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March 17, 2014

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • Earn Your MD Short Sale Certification
        - This Thursday at PGCAR
  • GRI 100 Starts April 9
  • 5K Fun Walk/Run is Saturday, April 12
  • Give Blood and Save Lives!
  • Annual Prayer Breakfast - April 18
  • MRIS Training at PGCAR Tomorrow
  • Leveraging Your Credit Union
        - Thursday, March 27
  • REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo
        - Coming to DC May 12th - 17th
  • Membership Renewals Past Due

    Homeownership Matters
  • Flood Insurance Affordability Act
        Passes House and Senate
  • Top 10 Things to Know: Tax Reform Draft
        Would Reduce Mortgage Interest Deduction
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: Make the Grass Greener
        on YOUR Side of the Fence
    The Industry Insider
  • Senate Vote a Victory for Property Managers
        - Bill Now Waits House Action
  • Legislative Alert: Lead Reduction Law Resources
  • Visit the PGCAR Legislative Section
  • Earn Your MD and DC CEU at PGCAR
  • Inclement Weather / Snow Policy
  • Remember! Enjoy Savings on CEU at PGCAR!
  • Obama FY 2015 Budget Includes $100 Million
        for Purple Line
  • Market Sen$e: Mortgage Rates Change
        Course Again, Edge Back Up
  • February Home Contracts And Settlements
        Even with January
  • Commercial Investors Cautiously Optimistic
  • Sales Coach: Who's Defeating You? You!
        10 Things You Should Stop Saying to Yourself
  • Code of Ethics: Case #15-1
  • 2015 NAR Leadership Academy
        - Applications Due March 31
  • Good Neighbor Nominations
  • PGCAR and WCR Membership Applications

    Earn the Maryland Short Sale Certification This Thursday
    Early Bird Pricing Ends Today

    This one-day program gives you the knowledge to successfully navigate short sales while staying compliant with new regulations including the MARS Act. ALL real estate licensees involved in any aspect of short sales MUST COMPLY with the Act.

    How do you know if you're in compliance?
    How do you protect yourself and avoid penalties of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment?

    PGCAR is here to help!
    Join us this Thursday, March 20
    9 am - 3 pm at PGCAR

    Only $195 through TODAY, March 17 / $225 after today

    Register now at >


    GRI 100 Series Begins April 9

    Improve your industry knowledge and your income! Earn your GRI by taking the GRI 100, 200 and 300 Series in any order.

    Register for the entire GRI 100 or individual classes at

    Wed, April 9 Module 101: Building a Real Estate Business
    Fri, April 11 Module 102: Prospecting & Listing Techniques
    Thu, April 17 Module 103: Fair Housing & Cultural Issues; and
    MD Law Ethics, Flipping & Predatory Lending

    (3 MD Fair Housing CEU and 3 MD Ethics CEU)
    Wed, April 23 Module 104: Basic Residential Financing
    (6 MD Elective CEU)
    Fri, April 25 Module 105: Marketing Methods
    (4.5 MD Elective CEU)

    Click here to register for the full series >
    Also earn 3 MD Ethics hours, 3 MD Fair Housing hours and 10.5 MD elective hours with GRI 100.

    David Maclin Memorial Scholarship 5K Run Walk
    DATE:   Saturday, April 12
    TIME:   9 - 11:30 am 5K Fun Walk/Run
    8 - 8:45 am Registration & Packet Pickup
    LOCATION:   Marlboro Ridge Club House
    COST:   $25 - adults, $5 - children under 12
    $30 for adult registrations after April 4
    and Race Day

    Commit to helping more students reach their dreams by joining us now!

    Register or Donate >
    Become a Sponsor >

    Give Blood and Save Lives!
    PGCAR is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive® on Wednesday, April 16th. Plan to join us, and tell your friends, family, and colleagues as well: all are invited to come give the gift of life!

    When:   Wednesday, April 16th
    from 9 am to 2:30 pm
    Where:   PGCAR Office
    Who:   YOU - and anyone else who wants to give the gift of life!

    There's no need to make an appointment; just drop in at your convenience between 9 am and 2:30 pm.

    Be a hero: blood donors save lives!

    You are Invited to the
    Women's Council of REALTORS®
    36th Annual Prayer Breakfast

    Good Friday, April 18
    8:00 am Registration * 8:30 am Breakfast / Program
    Marlboro Ridge Clubhouse
    11401 Marlboro Ridge Road, Upper Marlboro, MD

    Invite your family and friends to join us as we meet in fellowship with co-workers and associates to give thanks together on Good Friday.

    EVERYONE is Welcome!

    Save the Date and Spread the Word!


    Senate and House Pass the Flood Insurance Affordability Act
    President Obama Expected to Sign Quickly

    On Tuesday, March 4, an amended Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370) was passed by the House with a vote of 306 - 91. Last Thursday, March 13, the Senate also approved H.R. 3370, with a vote of 72 - 22. The Senate acted quickly to pass the bill as amended by the House to avoid the need for a conference committee to reconcile any differences. The amended bill further corrects issues with implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

    Some of the changes in the House bill include:
    • Removing FEMA's authority to increase premium rates inordinately when a property is sold or a flood map is updated.
    • Limiting annual rate increases to 18% on individual policies.
    • Once again grandfathering properties that are built to code.
    • Refunding the excessive premium to policyholders who purchased a property before FEMA issued warnings of the rate increase.
    • Balancing treatment of property owners and prospective buyers to restore real estate market stability.
    Read more about this important issue:


    Top 10 Things for REALTORS® to Know About Tax Reform Proposal
    REALTORS® Oppose Plan to Limit MID

    Federal real estate legislation report On Wednesday, February 26, House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) released his long-awaited plan to reform the federal tax system. NAR president Steve Brown expressed the association's strong opposition and extreme disappointment in a statement released shortly after the proposal was unveiled. . .
    "NAR supports reforms that promote economic growth, but we strongly oppose severely altering the rules that govern ownership and investment in real estate. Real estate powers almost one-fifth of the U.S. economy, employs more than 17 million Americans, and contributes a quarter of all federal and state tax revenue and as much as 70 percent of local taxes."

    "We are extremely disappointed with several of the provisions contained in U.S. House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp's tax reform draft released today, namely proposed limits on the mortgage interest deduction and capital gains, and the repeal of deductions for state and local property taxes. These proposed changes to the taxation of real estate will impact every single American, either directly or indirectly."

    "NAR will carefully analyze the details of the Chairman's plan so we can best educate Congress and the public about how this plan would impact the owners, consumers, and producers of both residential and commercial real estate."
    NAR's Legislative Policy Team has reviewed the 2,000+ page document to evaluate the potential impact on real estate, both on residential and commercial, contained in the "discussion draft."


    Maryland Senate Unanimously Passes Bill to Overturn 2012 "Pit Bull Legislation"

    Maryland Pit Bull Legislation The Maryland Senate unanimously passed S.B 247 that overturns the 2012 ruling that deemed pit bulls to be "inherently dangerous."

    S.B. 247 passed by a 45-0 vote. On Friday, February 28, the Senate unanimously approved a bill to hold dog owners liable if their pet (regardless of breed) bites someone, unless they can prove they did not know it could happen. Similar legislation (H.B. 73, introduced by Del. Luiz Simmons, D-17) is awaiting action by the House of Delegates.

    Humane Society, February 28: MD Senate Praised for Passage of Compromise Legislation for Maryland Dogs >



    Owners of rental properties built prior to 1950 must meet a number of requirements in order to maintain compliance with Maryland's Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing law.

    For instance, owners must:
    • Register rental units with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE).
    • Distribute required educational materials to tenants every 2 years.
    • Satisfy lead paint risk-abatement standards at appointed events.
    Click here for complete information and resources needed to stay compliant with this law, provided by MDE.

    Visit the PGCAR Legislative Section
    for local, state and federal information and updates, including:

    2014 Legislative Priorities for REALTORS®

    Short Sale Assistance and the Maryland MARS Act

    County Government Leadership Guide

    Your Local RPAC Dollars at Work!

    1. My HOME / My HOME II Program
      Up to 5% or $20,000 in Homebuyer Incentives!
      Program offers up to 5% of sale price (through My HOME) of a primary residence anywhere in Prince George's County; up to $20,000 (through My HOME II) within targeted zip codes. Program details >
    2. College Park Live Smart Program
      Up to $5,000 in Homebuyer Incentives!
      College Park's program highlights affordability and convenient location to encourage home sales in the community, offering up to $5,000 in incentives to home buyers. Program details >
    3. Homebuyer Savings for City of Laurel
      Buyers of foreclosed homes receive tax credits. The program offers a five-year descending City tax credit of up to $3,500 for buyers purchasing their primary residence within Laurel City limits.
      Program Details >
    4. $30 Million Targeted Areas Initiative for All Homebuyers
      First-Time Homebuyers Can Gain Same Benefits in ANY Prince George's County Area

      Reduced interest rates starting at 2.875% (APR 3.675%) for qualified homebuyers purchasing a new primary residence. Program Details >
    5. Buy Suitland Initiative
      $40,000 Maximum in Downpayment & Closing Cost Savings!
      Up to 5% of home purchase price to first-time homebuyers or those who haven't owned within the last 3 years; Up to 7% for local civic employees. Program Details >   Revised Buy Suitland Flyer >
    6. Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLB Atlanta)
      Up to $15,000 toward a foreclosure purchase; Up to $7,500 toward the purchase of a property located in area approved for NSP funds. Program Details >
    7. American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI)
      Up to $10,000 to County homebuyers who have not owned a home within the last 3 years.
      Program Details >
    8. Freddie Mac HomeSteps SmartBuySM
      Offers up to $500 for purchase of a home warranty.
      Home listings and incentive details >   Sign up for buyer leads >

    Most of these programs can be used in combination. Information on these and other homebuyer savings are available at


    Consumer Tip: Make the Grass Greener on YOUR Side of the Fence
    Leave the Envy to Your Neighbor

    Home Upgrades If this winter's polar vortex has noticeably shocked the cortex of your grass, you'll need to take action to ensure that your lawn is lush and verdant, come summer. Ice, salt, and sub-zero temperatures can all take a toll on greenery; damage will become evident when temperatures warm, as patches you expect to turn green in spring, well... don't.

    First, test to see whether the grass is dead or simply dormant by tugging on the brown areas. If they resist your tug, they're likely to revive, but if they pull up easily, you've got dead grass in (and on) your hands.

    Try these tips for restoring verdancy to your winter-worn turf:
    • Wait until soil temperatures reach 50-65 degrees and nighttime lows are above 35, after the chance of frost has passed.
    • Use a spade to cut around the dead patches, then pull up those patches. They can go to the compost pile, if you have one.
    • If you can afford sod, which is more costly than seed but easier to care for and establish, lay sod over the dead patches. Otherwise...
    • Reseed:
      1. Use a rake to distribute grass seed on the exposed soil.
      2. Keep soil moist by misting lightly with water for 15 minutes a day.
      3. Water deeply when you see the seed germinate; do not allow it to dry out.
      4. As young grass begins to grow, feed it with a high-phosphorous fertilizer.
      5. Begin cutting grass only after it grows to 3 inches.
    When trying to establish new grass, moisture is key, so be sure you're watering well (but not drowning the seeds). Consistent care of the new growth will help to ensure your lush carpet of green (and your neighbor's green eye) when summer arrives.

    For more information about caring for your lawn and landscape, please visit >


    Earn All MD and DC Required CEU at PGCAR

    All classes are held at PGCAR offices. There's plenty of parking!

    This Wednesday, March 19
    MD Legislative Update
    3 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    MD Fair Housing
    1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
    1.5 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    This Thursday, March 20
    Maryland Short Sale Certification
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Jill Pogach Michaels 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    This Friday, March 21
    3 MD Elective CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Rachel Jefferies 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

    Next Tuesday, March 25
    MREC Agency-Residential
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Fredericka Lloyd 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

    Next Wednesday, March 26
    MD Code of Ethics
    3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Reverse Mortgages
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Bruce Winstead 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    Wednesday, April 9
    GRI 100 Series
    - Full Series of 5 Classes Begins

    MD CEU - 16.5 hours total
    various 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Tuesday, April 22
    MD Code of Ethics
    3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

    Complete CEU Schedule >

    PGCAR Store


    SNOW POLICY: PGCAR classes will be conducted as scheduled unless the Prince George's County Government offices are closed. If you are registered for a class and it is cancelled, your registration fee will be returned or transferred to a future class.

    Please be safe and use your best judgment with regards to driving. If unable to attend due to weather, please e-mail Scott Miller or call Scott at 301-306-7961 and you will not be charged. If you will not be attending class, please indicate whether you would like to reschedule or if you would like a refund.

    PGCAR committee meetings: If Prince George's County Public Schools are CLOSED, all PGCAR committee meetings will be cancelled. If Prince George's County Public Schools are on a delayed schedule, committee meetings will be held as scheduled.

    PGCAR offices will be open unless the Prince George's County Government is closed.


    Remember! Enjoy Savings on CEU at PGCAR!

    Maryland and DC real estate CEU is on sale at PGCAR PGCAR Members and REALTORS® - Enjoy steep discounts on ALL classes held at PGCAR!

    Register for ANY 3 CE class for $18 early bird, $33 regular.
    Register for ANY 1.5 CE class for $11 early bird, $26 regular.

    Hurry to today >


    Obama FY 2015 Budget Includes $100 Million for Purple Line
    Proposed 16-Mile New Carrollton-to-Bethesda Light Rail Line Receives
    FTA Nod of Approval

    The proposed FY 2015 federal budget released March 4 by President Obama includes funding of 7 Federal Transit Administration "New Starts" projects, including $100M for the proposed Purple Line which would extend from New Carrollton in Prince George's County to Bethesda in Montgomery County.

    While the proposed budget will undergo extensive review and negotiations within Congress, it shows FTA's prioritization of public transportation initiatives.

    Keep up with the Purple Line project at
    Read more at The Washington Post.


    Market Sen$e: Fixed Mortgage Rates Change Course Again, Edge Back Up

    Last Thursday, March 13, Freddie Mac released results that showed fixed mortgage rates inching up again after last week's mild decline.

    Freddie Mac's Vice President and Chief Economist, Frank Nothaft, noted that mortgage rates rose ever-so-slightly amid the week's light economic reports.

    "Of the few releases, the economy added 175,000 jobs [PDF] in February, which was above the market consensus forecast and followed an upward revision of 25,000 jobs for the prior two months," observed Nothaft. "Meanwhile, the unemployment rate nudged up to 6.7 percent, the first rate increase in over a year."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending March 13, 2014:
    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.37%, up from 4.28%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.38%, up from 3.32%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.09%, up from 3.03%.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.48%, down from 2.52%.
    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >


    EVEN WITH JANUARY - Statistics Available Online

    facebook logo After December's spectacular increases in settlements, January and February settlements were akin to the weather temperatures experienced - lower than we would like. Single family settlements decreased 3% from January to February, whereas condo settlements increased 6% month-to-month. Single family contracts increased 1.6% and condo contracts increased 3.5% from January to February.

    Visit for more details. And don't forget to like PGCAR on Facebook to see monthly statistics first. And remember, spring begins this Thursday!

    National real estate news from NAR:


    Commercial Real Estate Investors Cautiously Optimistic for 2014

    Commercial real estate investments are expected to produce generally solid returns in 2014, according to the authors of Expectations & Market Realities in Real Estate 2014 - The Future Unfolds, an annual forecast report released by Deloitte, NAR, and the Real Estate Research Corporation (RERC).

    Research findings indicate that although uncertainties remain, the economy is expected to continue to grow slowly and improve modestly in 2014. Ample liquidity is creating investment potential. Furthermore, commercial real estate investment has expanded beyond the primary markets (big cities such as New York, DC and San Francisco) to the secondary and tertiary markets (suburban areas and inland cities).

    In addition, the report carefully analyzes and offers a research-based assessment of the office, industrial, apartment, retail, and hotel property sectors. The report also provides an outlook for the three most likely economic and investment scenarios for 2014 and beyond.

    Download the full report >
    Read the news release >
    Read a short intro >


    Sales Coach: Who's Defeating You? You!
    10 Things You Should Stop Saying to Yourself

    Home Sales Coach Words matter. Despite what we said about sticks and stones as kids, what we hear and what we say can make a big difference to ourselves and others. Words can inspire, empower, encourage, or... they can cut us down. And it's what we say to ourselves that matters most.

    There are 10 common phrases that we REALTORS® use to defeat ourselves. Take these out of your vernacular now, and see what a difference it makes:

    1. I'll (insert task here) when I'm not so busy.
    2. I'm not getting enough leads from my broker.
    3. My leads haven't been very good.
    4. Technology is too confusing.
    5. Marketing/an assistant/coaching just costs too much.
    6. I have no appointments today.
    7. Clients don't want to be "sold."
    8. My client was stolen by another agent.
    9. Buyers lie.
    10. The client listed with another agent because I wouldn't reduce my commission.
    Now that you're thinking about these 10 phrases, take time to think about what else you're saying to defeat yourself. Stop saying those things, too, and switch to empowering yourself. Naturally, you'll use words to do that.

    For more information about why you should avoid these, please visit >


    Case #15-1:
    Knowing or Reckless False Statements About Competitors

    REALTOR® A operated a residential brokerage firm in a highly competitive market area. He frequently used information from the MLS as the basis for comparative ads and to keep close track of his listing and sales activity as well as his competition.

    One day, while reviewing MLS data and comparing it to a competitor's ad, REALTOR® A noticed that REALTOR® Z had used a diagram to demonstrate his market share, contrasting it with those of several other firms. The ad showed that REALTOR® A had listed 10% of the properties in the MLS over the past three months.

    REALTOR® A thought this was low. His analysis of MLS data showed his market share was 11%. REALTOR® A filed an ethics complaint against REALTOR® Z citing Article 15 of the Code of Ethics in that REALTOR® Z's "obviously understated market share claim" was a "misleading statement about competitors." REALTOR® A's complaint was considered by the Grievance Committee which determined that an ethics hearing should be held.

    At the hearing, REALTOR® Z testified he had always been truthful in his advertising and that all claims were based in fact. He produced an affidavit from the Board's MLS administrator which indicated that a programming error had resulted in miscalculations and, after careful recomputation, REALTOR® A's market share over the past three months had been 10.9%. The administrator's statement noted that this was the first time that information related to REALTOR® A's listings or sales had been misstated on the system. "I relied on information from the MLS. It's always been accurate and I had no reason to even suspect it was wrong last month," said REALTOR® Z in his defense.

    The Hearing Panel agreed with REALTOR® Z's logic, noting that a REALTOR® should be able to rely on generally accurate information from reliable sources. They reasoned that if, on the other hand, the MLS had shown REALTOR® A having, for example, 1% of the market, then REALTOR® Z's reliance on the information would have been "reckless" because REALTOR® A had generally had a 10-15% market share and a reasonable conclusion would have been that the information from the MLS was seriously flawed.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 15, what do you think the hearing panel concluded? Click here to find out >



    Tomorrow, March 18 @ 9:30 am
    MATRIX 301: Success with Stats

    Tomorrow, March 18 @ 1:00 pm
    MATRIX 102: CMA's, Present Listings with Confidence

    Tomorrow, March 18 @ 3:00 pm
    MRIS 301: What's New & What's Coming

    MRIS reports that agents who take advantage of their FREE workshops, also tend to seldom receive complaints and fines for misuse of the MLS. Visit for details and registration. Advance registration with MRIS is required.


    Leveraging Your Credit Union
    Free Webinar Next Thursday, March 27 at 10 am

    Join Victoria Gillespie, National Director of Business Development of REALTORS® Federal Credit Union, as she walks you through the many free products and services available to maximize your financial planning, as a licensed REALTOR®.

    Just to name a few:
    • Dues Savings Plans
    • Professional Development Lines of Credit
    • Debt Management Strategies
    • Money Management Strategies
    • Tips to Managing a Fluctuating Income
    and so much more from a Credit Union designed to meet the unique needs of REALTORS®.

    Register for the webinar here >
    Join the REALTORS® Federal Credit Union here >


    2015 NAR Leadership Academy
    Applications Accepted Through March 31

    Are you already actively involved, have a passion for the industry and a vision for the future of real estate? If this describes you, consider applying for the 2015 graduating class of the National Association of REALTORS® Leadership Academy.

    Details and application >
    November 2014 - May 2015 Academy Sessions >
    Application deadline is Monday, March 31, 2014

    Some people dream of great accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them. - Author Unknown


    REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo is May 12th - 17th
    Register Today!

    Trade Expo
    Meetings:   May 12 - 17
    Capitol Hill Visits:   May 14 - 15
    Trade Expo:   May 14 - 15

    The REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo (renamed from NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo) will be Monday through Saturday, May 12th through 17th in Washington, DC. The Trade Expo will be open Wednesday and Thursday, 10 am to 6 pm both days.

    Come together and take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy, and the association. Join fellow REALTORS® for a variety of meetings and events including: special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, and the industry trade show.

    Registration is still FREE to REALTOR® members. For more information, to plan your Convention Schedule, and to register, click here.


    REALTOR® Magazine Seeks Good Neighbor Nominations
    Five Winners will Receive $10,000 Grants and National Publicity

    REALTOR® Magazine is seeking nominees for the 2014 Good Neighbor Awards. The program recognizes REALTORS® whose extraordinary commitment to community service has helped make their communities better places to live.

    If a REALTOR® you know is putting forth the effort to make a difference in the community, help their cause by nominating them today!

    Deadline for entry is Friday, May 16.
    Click here for details, rules and an entry form.


    PGCAR and WCR Membership Applications for 2014
    New Agents? Looking for a PGCAR or Local WCR Membership Application?

    Download the New 2014 PGCAR Membership Application from >
    Women's Council of REALTORS® Prince George's Chapter Membership Application >


    Membership Renewals Past Due

    Brokers and non-paid Agents - January 31 was the deadline to pay 2013 - 2014 dues or remove any unpaid agents from your office roster. All new, licensed agents in your office were also required to join by January 31.

    Renew Online, or please call the office at 301-306-7900 to renew.

    Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®
    8300 Corporate Drive, Suite 100  :  Landover, MD 20785
    Phone 301-306-7900  :  Fax 301-306-8273  :  :  ©2014 PGCAR

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