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March 31, 2014

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • DC Primary Election Day
        - Polls Open 7 am - 8 pm April 1
  • 5K Fun Walk/Run is Saturday, April 12
  • Give Blood and Save Lives!
  • Annual Prayer Breakfast - April 18
  • MAR Commercial Real Estate Symposium
  • MRIS Training at PGCAR April 29
  • REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo
        - Coming to DC May 12th - 17th
  • Membership Renewals Past Due

    Homeownership Matters
  • Flood Insurance Relief Signed
        into Law by President Obama
  • Top 10 Things to Know: Tax Reform Draft
        Would Reduce Mortgage Interest Deduction
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: How to Help Your
        Home Stay Clean
    The Industry Insider
  • Prince George's County is "All In"
  • Legislative Alert: Urge End of Eminent Domain
        Use to Seize Performing, Underwater Mortgages
  • Visit the PGCAR Legislative Section
  • Earn Your MD and DC CEU at PGCAR
  • Remember! Enjoy Savings on CEU at PGCAR!
  • Obama FY 2015 Budget Includes $100 Million
        for Purple Line
  • Market Sen$e: Fixed Mortgage Rates
        Back on the Upswing
  • Sales Coach: What You Don't Say
        Can Speak Volumes Too!
  • Code of Ethics: Case #16-3
  • Good Neighbor Nominations
  • PGCAR and WCR Membership Applications

    DC Primary Election Day Voting
    Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 1

    Primary voting takes place in DC tomorrow, April 1.
    Polls are open 7 am to 8 pm.

    Make sure your voice is heard by casting your vote! Your vote holds our leaders responsible for the decisions they make and sends a message on the issues important to you.

    Find Your Polling Place >

    Use the new Mobile App to get directions to your polling place, register to vote, view the candidate list and more. Download for FREE via the web or your mobile phone.

    Not registered or recently moved? You can register at your local polling place on Primary Day.


    David Maclin Memorial Scholarship 5K Run Walk

    When you join us at the 5K to walk/run/jog/skip/stroll/amble (your choice) to the finish line, you'll be helping Prince George's County high school graduates make a very important journey - to higher education! Proceeds from your participation in the Fun Walk/Run go to the David Maclin Memorial Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to local students so they can continue education beyond high school - a dream that might not be realized, but for you.

    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

    Thank you to our generous sponsors!

    Presented by PGCAR
    Hosted by Toll Brothers

    Sponsored by:
    Gail Nyman, RE/MAX United Real Estate - T-Shirts
    Village Settlements - Runners' Numbers with Tear Tag
    TitleMax LLC - EMT/Ambulance
    CyberVillage Networkers - Online Marketing

    Burma Signs:
    Karen Forsythe, Q Williams Real Estate Associates
    Juanita and Valecia Maclin, Realty Executives of Annapolis

    Your Name Here


    Prince George's County is "All In"

    Representatives of PGCAR were on hand last week at the County Executive's press event promoting Prince George's County as "All In" for the relocation of the FBI headquarters. Federal, State, and local Legislators representing Prince George's County joined with business leaders and others, to demonstrate that both the public and private sectors are engaged and committed to bringing the new FBI building and FBI staff to Prince George's County.

    Pictured (L to R): Isaac Showell, Carlos Lancaster, Mike Graziano, Desiree Callender, County Executive Rushern Baker, and Chuck Ottley.

    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!

    Please Join Us at 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!


    Flood Insurance Relief Signed into Law by President Obama
    Bi-Partisan Flood Insurance Affordability Act Becomes Law

    On Friday, March 21, President Barack Obama signed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370) into law. The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act repeals the Federal Emergency Management Agency's authority to increase premium rates when a property is sold, and delays flood insurance rate hikes for property owners nationwide.

    "Today, many months of hard work, negotiation and bipartisan compromise have culminated in a law that will end skyrocketing flood insurance costs for hundreds of thousands of home owners," says U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. "Though the measure isn't perfect, it ensures there will be no more dramatic rate increases for families currently facing unaffordable premiums."

    Some key changes included in this legislation:
    • 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 newer properties and 25% for some older ones.
    • 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:

    MAR Commercial Real Estate Symposium

    From Concept to Reality–Moving Your
    CRE Project Forward

    3 Hours Continuing Education
    (pending approval)
    Open to all Real Estate Practitioners

    WHEN: Friday, May 9
    9 am - 12:15 pm
    WHERE: Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport
    1739 West Nursery Road
    Linthicum, MD 21090
    COST: $35
    PROGRAM: 8 - 9 am
    Registration and Continental Breakfast

    9 - 10:30 am
    Panel Discussion
    (1.5 Hours Professional Enhancement CE Pending, Category "F")
    Our team of experts will discuss how to obtain tax credits, work with local agencies, arrange financing, get the public on board (fighting NIMBYism), and get environmental approvals in order to move a commercial real estate project forward to completion.

    Dr. Anirban Basu, CEO of the Sage Policy Group will moderate the panel discussion. Dr. Basu will also present his views on the topic.

    • Jerry Wit, St. John Properties, Inc.
    • Abe Rosental, 28 Walker Associates
    • Marc Dubic, Duball, LLC
    10:30 - 10:45 am

    10:45 am - 12:15 pm
    2014 Legislative Update - Impact on Commercial Real Estate
    (1.5 hours Legal & Legislative CE Pending, Category "A")

    William Castelli, Vice President, Government Affairs,
    Maryland Association of REALTORS®


    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."

    Support SB 850 to Protect Maryland's
    Housing and Financial Market Recovery

    The House Environmental Matters Committee is considering SB 850, which PROTECTS the housing and financial markets from an investor scheme attempting to use state and local governments' condemnation authority -- also know as eminent domain -- to seize performing, underwater mortgages or deeds of trust.

    The Maryland Senate recently passed an amended SB 850 which includes a two-year sunset provision. This would allow time to study the constitutionality of such an over-reach of eminent domain authority, as well as allow time for housing and financial markets to improve.

    Email your Legislator to encourage Support of SB 850 >

    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: How to Help Your Home Stay Clean
    Eight Tips to Clean Smarter - Not Harder

    Spring is finally here and the mercury's rising, so our thoughts are naturally turning to the annual home deep cleaning that comes with the season. Did you know there are ways to help ensure that the sweeping, scrubbing, and dusting you do will last longer? It's true; read on!

    Try these 8 tips to help prolong the time between cleanings:

    1. Decrease dust with proper humidity.
      Keeping the humidity in your home in the 40% - 50% range will help prevent static AND reduce the growth of nasty dust mites.
    2. Keep glass shower doors sparkly with rain repellant.
      Pick up some windshield rain repellant from the local auto-supply store: applying it to your glass shower doors will keep soap scum from building up.
    3. Reduce staining on stone countertops.
      Stone is typically sealed when it's installed, but should be re-sealed twice a year to prevent staining.
    4. Guard against spills on furniture and carpets.
      A protective spray like Scotchgard or Ultra-Guard can be applied once a year to keep spills from being absorbed.
    5. Clean the oven without chemicals.
      A wet pumice stone will clean dirt and grease faster than oven cleaners - and it's safer for you, too.
    6. Spot cleaning keeps you spot-on.
      Keep spot-cleaning supplies handy to swipe at smudges, dust bunnies, and dirt quickly - before they become big jobs.
    7. Raise the wattage and brighten the room.
      Low-wattage bulbs can make rooms look dark and keep you from seeing dirt and dust; "daylight" bulbs, though, provide better light and can help boost your mood.
    8. Sweep with a clean broom.
      Broom bristles tend to hold onto dirt and dust. Keep your broom bristles (and floors) cleaner by washing them with soapy water, using spray dusters, or combing dirt and dust out.
    With all the time you'll save with these handy tips, you can get outside more often and enjoy the long-awaited warm weather.

    For more information on these tips and on spring cleaning in general, please visit >


    Earn All MD and DC Required CEU at PGCAR

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

    Tuesday, April 15
    Understanding Credit Reports
    & How to Improve Your Credit

    3 MD Elective CEU
    Michael Chelst 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

    Friday, April 18
    3 MD & DC Elective CEU
    Rachel Jefferies 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 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.
    Reverse Mortgages
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Eric Rittmeyer 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    Wednesday, April 23
    Things That Go Bump in the Night
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Steve Horodyski 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

    Thursday, April 24
    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.

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

    Monday, April 28
    MREC Required Supervision
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Larry Hudson 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Wednesday, April 30
    DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending
    3 DC Required Fair Housing CEU
    Jackie Talpa 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    DC Legislative Update / Exam Prep
    3 DC Required Legislative Update CEU
    Jackie Talpa 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Complete CEU Schedule >

    PGCAR Store


    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 Back on the Upswing

    Last Thursday, March 27, Freddie Mack released results showing upward movement in fixed mortgage rates.

    The Vice President and Chief Economist for Freddie Mac, Frank Nothaft, said the rise in mortgage rates followed an uptick on the 10-year Treasury note.

    "Comments by the Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen indicated a possible increase in interest rates as soon as early 2015," observed Nothaft. "Also, the S&P/Case-Shiller® [PDF] 20-city composite house price index rose 13.2 percent over the 12-months ending in January 2014."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending March 27, 2014:
    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.40%, up from 4.32%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.42%, up from 3.32%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.10%, up from 3.02%.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.44%, down from 2.49%.
    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >

    Some related news from NAR:
    Freddie: No More Record-Low Mortgage Rates

    Like us on Facebook to see monthly Prince George's County home sales and weekly mortgage reports as soon as they are released!


    Sales Coach: What You Don't Say Can Speak Volumes Too
    Nonverbal Signals Might be Sending a Different Message

    Home Sales Coach Communication is key in the real estate profession: if you don't express yourself correctly, your sales can seriously tank. You know this, of course, so you're careful to use the right words, whether spoken or written. Enter the rub: the words you select aren't the only - and sometimes aren't the main - thing you're conveying. Nonverbal signals can either support or undermine the message you want to get across.

    Pay attention to these nonverbal cues to be sure you're saying what you mean:
    1. Common Ground.
      You can go a long way in establishing rapport by modeling the vocal cadence or actions of the other person. If he talks slowly, loud, fast, or quietly, adjust your voice similarly. You can also mirror body language - facial expressions, stance, or mannerisms - to make others feel comfortable with you. Just be subtle so it doesn't appear that you're trying to mimic.
    2. Tone.
      This is most pronounced on the phone, but also pertinent in person. The tone of your voice can be welcoming or off-putting, so be careful that your stressful day or the coffee you just spilled on your shirt doesn't come through in your voice. And a smile - even on the phone - is invaluable.
    3. Body language.
      Actions like crossing your arms and fidgeting can tell others that you're not interested. Be sure your posture and mannerisms convey that you want to hear what they say.
    4. Eye contact.
      Maintain eye contact without staring. Too much can be intimidating, but not looking them in the eye - or looking away during a conversation - says your mind is elsewhere.
    5. Proximity.
      Like staring, standing too close can make the other person uncomfortable. Conversely, trying to talk when standing too far away is difficult at best. As a general rule, 2 feet is the very closest (best for those with whom you have easy rapport) and 12 feet is appropriate for presentations, but too far for conversations.
    Awareness of nonverbal signals can help you far beyond your professional conversations, and practicing your nonverbal cues can be done just about anywhere. You'll find it becomes second nature pretty quickly.

    For more information on nonverbal signals and how they can enhance your communication, visit >


    Case #16-3:
    Mass Media Solicitation Not a Violation of the Code

    REALTOR® A, a residential broker, worked in a market area that included an attractive suburb of a large city. At the time that REALTOR® A launched a new advertising program, there were a number of houses for sale in the neighborhood listed exclusively with other REALTORS®, each having the respective listing broker's sign on its front lawn.

    Working with his advertising agency, REALTOR® A developed a special brochure describing the service of his offices and soliciting clients. The format of the brochure was designed so that it could be hung over a door knob, and a commercial distribution service was employed to hang one of these brochures on homes in REALTOR® A's market area.

    In the course of distributing REALTOR® A's brochures, the commercial distribution service placed a brochure on the front door of every house in REALTOR® A's market area, including houses that had other REALTORS®' signs in the front yard. Several of the REALTORS® whose clients received REALTOR® A's brochures filed complaints with the Board against REALTOR® A. The Grievance Committee considered the complaints and referred them to the Secretary to schedule a hearing by a Hearing Panel of the Professional Standards Committee, at which time all of the complaints would be considered. The complainants charged REALTOR® A with unethical conduct in failing to respect the exclusive agency of other REALTORS®.

    At the hearing, REALTOR® A defended his action by saying that the distribution of his advertising brochures was widespread in nature; that it had been carried out by a commercial distribution service; and that it was of the same nature as radio or television advertising or a general mailing that might come to the attention of some clients having exclusive listing contracts with other REALTORS®.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 16, what do you think the hearing panel concluded? Click here to find out >



    Tuesday, April 29 @ 10:00 am
    MRIS 101: Kick Off Your Career with MRIS

    Tuesday, April 29 @ 1:30 pm
    KEYSTONE 101: Entering Listings Correctly, The Key to a Fast Sale

    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.


    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 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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