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June 23, 2014

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • Vote in the Maryland Primary Election
  • MD and DC CEU Class Schedule
  • August 6 - 7 Broker Summit
        - Early Bird Pricing Ends June 30
  • FYI: Fall/Winter Brokers Course
        - Available on Eastern Shore

    Homeownership Matters
  • Maryland DHCD Introduces The Maryland
        HomeCredit Program
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: Demystifying the
        Credit Conundrum
    The Industry Insider
  • Help Elect REALTOR®-Friendly Candidates
        - Check Out PGCAR Endorsements in Primaries
        - Statewide Endorsements Also Announced
  • College Park Rent Control Overturned
  • County and National Market News
  • Announcing REAL Trends
        - June Issue is Waiting for You!
  • FREE with MRIS Subscription
        - Homesnap Pro Mobile App
  • REALTORS® Introductory Guide to Rentals
        - Downloadable Resource!
  • Market Sen$e: Fixed Mortgage Rates
        Reverse Course, Move Slightly Lower
  • Sales Coach: Push Yourself
        to Drive Your Business
  • Code of Ethics: Case #5-1
  • Personal and Professional Lines of Credit
  • PGCAR and WCR Membership Applications


    John Lesniewski
    2014 PGCAR President

    The Primary Election Day polls are open 7 am until 8 pm tomorrow, and I know that many of you (hopefully ALL who haven't voted yet!) are heading to the polls. As you do, I hope and strongly encourage you to consider supporting candidates that share a "Pro-REALTOR®" agenda. For many years PGCAR has engaged in the election process, as does the Maryland Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS®.

    This year PGCAR is endorsing candidates in all nine Prince George's County Council races, the County Executive race and the race for Clerk of the Court. There are three open seats for County Council, where we interviewed candidates and selected three to support. In addition, we are excited to support a former REALTOR®, Sydney Harrison, for the office of Clerk of the Court.

    In these open seats and the Clerk race, I hope you'll join me in voting for these REALTOR® endorsed candidates:

    Clerk of the Prince George's County Circuit Court -
    Sydney Harrison:
    Sydney has a strong history of involvement with PGCAR. Though he no longer holds the REALTOR® designation as he was ethically obligated upon taking a position of employment at the circuit court, his passion and respect for REALTOR® concerns remains high. As a member of PGCAR, Sydney was an RPAC life member, committee chair, and actively involved in PGCAR activities. Sydney understands that a properly functioning foreclosure docket and land records office is of utmost importance to real estate professionals. As a former staffer in the Clerk's office Sydney is prepared to bring those operations into proper order. The Washington Post recently endorsed Sydney's campaign, as does County Executive Rushern Baker, Senate President Mike Miller, all eight County Senators and more. The Clerk of the Court serves Countywide so I hope all REALTORS® will join in electing Sydney to Clerk of the Court.

    To learn more about Sydney and to volunteer for his campaign visit here:

    County Council District 2 - Doyle Niemann:
    During his twelve years in the Maryland House of Delegates, Doyle worked closely with the MAR and PGCAR Legislative Committees in crafting legislation that was favorable to the real estate industry. His community service and experience in government is evidenced by his service not only in Annapolis but on the Mt. Rainier City Council, the Democratic Central Committee, the School Board and more. Mr. Niemann's knowledge on Maryland's foreclosure laws is unmatched. Doyle is endorsed by the Washington Post, Prince George's Gazette and other respected elected officials. PGCAR believes he has the "hands on" experience to govern, and PGCAR encourages District 2 REALTORS® to support his campaign.

    Learn more about Doyle Niemann here:

    County Council District 3 - Dannielle Glaros:
    Dannielle serves as Chief of Staff to current District 3 Councilman Eric Olson. PGCAR staff and committee volunteers have worked closely with Danielle over the years on numerous pieces of Council legislation. She has proven to be open to REALTOR® concerns and avidly seeks our input on real estate matters. We currently have a strong working relationship with the District 3 Council office and we look forward to continuing our relationship under the leadership of Ms. Glaros. The Washington Post and the Gazette are endorsing Danielle as their choice for District 3, as does Councilman Eric Olson, County Executive Rushern Baker and others. PGCAR strongly encourages all District 3 REALTORS® to vote for Danielle Glaros.

    Learn more about Danielle here:

    County Council District 4 - Todd Turner:
    Todd currently serves as Legal Counsel to the County Council. In that capacity he has firsthand experience and valuable knowledge on most, if not all, Council issues. Todd also is a five-time elected Council member to the Bowie City Council which has given him proven experience in running one of the largest municipal governments in Prince George's County. Todd has been instrumental in bringing stakeholders together on complicated matters before the council. He has an excellent relationship with PGCAR staff and Legislative Committee members that will absolutely spill over into his role as a County Council Member. Todd is endorsed by many community leaders, including current District 4 Council Member Ingrid Turner, State Senator Doug Peters, the Washington Post and Prince George's Gazette. We encourage all District 4 REALTORS® to please support Todd Turner for Council.

    Learn more about Todd here:

    Where we have a proven track record of "friendliness" toward real estate concerns we are supporting incumbent candidates. Find our entire endorsed slate below.

    The Association has been hard at work interviewing candidates in anticipation of the 2014 Primary Election on Tuesday June 24th. All of the candidates who were interviewed and who responded to our candidate questionnaire offer a wide range of personal and career experience. Unfortunately, elective office is limited to one, so difficult choices had to be made.

    With such strong candidates, there were many issues to consider during our discussions. However, after thorough debate and careful deliberation, PGCAR believes that the candidates listed below best share the REALTOR® vision and each possesses a keen knowledge of the issues facing our members and the real estate industry. These candidates demonstrate that they understand the issues of concern to the real estate community, homebuyers, sellers and property owners in Prince George's County. Each of these candidates shares a strong commitment to ensure an excellent quality of life in Prince George's County.

    PGCAR is pleased to endorse the listed candidates for local office:
    Whether in Upper Marlboro, Annapolis, or on Capitol Hill, PGCAR is advocating for you and your clients. We encourage your support of these PGCAR REALTOR® Party endorsed candidates beginning with early voting on June 12th or the official primary election on June 24th.

    MAR Government Affairs

    The Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR) and PGCAR endorse these listed candidates for statewide races:
    Prince George's County Senate Delegation


    Prince George's County House of Delegates


    John Lesniewski,
    2014 PGCAR President


    Vote in the Maryland Primary Election TOMORROW, JUNE 24

    Find your polling location >
    Polls will be open 7 am - 8 pm

    Please consider voting for PGCAR and MAR endorsed candidates. It affects us, our industry, home owners and our economy.

    This year's Primary Elections are IMPORTANT! Only the winners go on to the General Elections in November. Don't assume an "easy win" for REALTOR® endorsed candidates. Vote!


    LEGISLATIVE ALERT - June 23, 2014
    Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs


    Last week the College Park City Council considered a resolution to end their controversial rent stabilization ordinance that has been on the books since 2005. On a 5 to 4 vote the Council acted to allow the law to expire, effective September 1, 2014.

    In an effort to work with city landlords, the Council graciously suspended enforcement of the ordinance meaning that true "rent control" never took hold in College Park. Regardless, having an open ended piece of legislation of this nature on the books conflicts with private property rights.

    PGCAR partnered with the Prince George's County Property Owners Association in testifying in support of the "sunset" (i.e. allowing the law to expire).

    For more information contact Mike Graziano, PGCAR Director of Government Affairs, at 301-306-7900 or, or contact MAR Government Affairs at 800-638-6425.



    facebook logo In the Prince George's single family market, May 2014 contracts kept an even pace with April 2014, while settlements increased another 7.5%.

    In county condo/coop sales, contracts increased 7.4% from April to May, while settlements increased 2.4%.

    Single family listings are up 22.6% from 2013 to 2014 year-to-date, with increases in all $200,000 - $899,999 price ranges. Condo & Coop listings are up 10.1% year-to-date, with increases in the 0 - $199,999 and $400,000 - $499,000 ranges.

    See the detailed Prince George's County sales statistics for May at June statistics should be released on Monday, July 7. Like us at to be one of the first to know!

    Also see these national stories from NAR:
    "Coming Soon" Properties Can Create Consumer Confusion
    New Home Construction Needed to Match Job Creation, Improve Affordability in Majority of U.S.
    Video: Pending Home Sales Edge Up in April; Lawrence Yun's Market Forecast
    NAR Member Survey Shows Rise in REALTOR® Income and Sales Volume


    New Member Benefit: REAL Trends Ezine
    The Trusted Source for Real Estate Professionals

    REAL Trends

    Now available FREE to PGCAR members, REAL Trends delivers practical real estate, leadership and business tips and analysis essential to you. The June issue includes stories addressing the battle over listings data, why real estate agents add value, the outlook for the housing market, and how the real estate market is being affected by millennials. Read this month's issue today!

    Click here to view REAL Trends now >


    FREE: Download the Homesnap Pro Mobile App

    You're showing homes to a buyer and they notice another "For Sale" sign, or a great-looking property but looks like no one is living there. What's the scoop on those two? Find out details on listed and non-listed properties, by entering the address in the Homesnap Pro app.

    Visit to download the app, sign up for a webinar, and learn the many features.
    Homesnap Pro news article >


    Maryland DHCD Introduces The Maryland HomeCredit Program
    Available Now Through December 15, 2015

    On June 1, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) launched the Maryland HomeCredit Program, which lets eligible homebuyers lower their federal taxes each year for the life of their loan. The federal tax credit is equal to 25% of the value of mortgage interest payments paid yearly, up to $2,000, and may be claimed annually.

    For additional information on the Maryland HomeCredit, please click here >

    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: Demystifying the Credit Conundrum

    Let's face it: credit can be confusing. Our media is jammed with ads about credit reports, credit scores, credit coaching - credit, credit, credit, ad infinitum. How do you sort it all out? Read on.

    First, your credit report is not the same as - nor does it include - your credit score. A credit report is what potential lenders use to calculate your credit score at the time you apply for credit or a loan.

    Second, your credit report is indeed available to you for free. Through, you may retrieve your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus - Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax - once a year without charge. You can also find many advertisements on the Internet for "FREE" Credit Scores which require signing up for a monthly for-fee service. That's not exactly free! Go to and take advantage of an actual free credit report first.

    It's a good idea to add three annually recurring reminders to your calendar and check the report from just one bureau every 4 months. For example, you could add the following to your calendar for every June 25, October 25, and February 25:

    Free credit report check at every 4 months:
    June - Experian
    October - Equifax
    February - TransUnion

    This is the first in a series of three REALTOR® Connection articles about credit; watch our next issue for information about what affects your credit score!


    Earn All MD and DC Required CEU at PGCAR

    All classes are held at PGCAR offices unless otherwise noted.

    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.

    This Friday, June 27
    MREC Required Supervision
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Larry Hudson 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    MD Fair Housing
    1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
    1.5 DC Elective CEU
    Larry Hudson 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    Wednesday, July 9
    Successfully Selling Government Owned Properties
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Melanie Gamble 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

    Friday, July 11
    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.

    Thursday, July 17
    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


    REALTORS® Introductory Guide to Rentals
    Resource Booklet Now Available to PGCAR Members

    PGCAR has released the REALTORS® Introductory Guide to Rentals. Whether you manage one rental, specialize in rental property management, or are considering rentals, the Guide includes information useful to you. Here are just a few of the topics covered:

    • Advertising Rental Properties
    • Landlord Tenant Law - Legal Requirements
    • The Rental Application Process
    • Fair Housing Requirements and Resources
    • Treatment of Pets Versus Service Animals
    • Security Deposits
    • Evictions
    • 2014 Legislative Changes Affecting Rentals
    • Resource Links
    • . . . and Much, Much More!
    Download the Rentals Guide at Members Only >


    Market Sen$e: Fixed Mortgage Rates Reverse Course, Move Slightly Lower

    Results released by Freddie Mac last Thursday, June 19, indicated a shift in movement for fixed mortgage rates as they edged down after two weeks of upticks.

    "Housing starts [PDF] in May were 6.5 percent below the revised April rate. Following a similar pattern, building permits fell 6.4 percent in May after a 5.9 percent increase a month earlier," said Freddie Mac's Vice President and Chief Economist, Frank Nothaft. "Also, CPI [PDF] rose 0.4 percent in May, more than expected, following a 0.3 percent rise in April."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending June 19, 2014:
    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.17%, down from 4.20%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.30%, down from 3.31%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.00%, down from 3.05%.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.41%, up from 2.40%.
    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >

    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: Push Yourself to Drive Your Business

    Home Sales Coach Over time, we can all get into a rut: it's sort of human nature. We develop routines to accomplish our myriad duties, and at some point the routines become robotic. That is, unless we remind ourselves to get out of the rut by expanding our comfort zones.

    Pushing your boundaries will not only help you get (and keep) your creative juices flowing - it'll also expand your comfort zone. Just as athletes build muscle to improve their performance, you'll improve your professional performance by stretching your limits. Identify an area or skill that you want to improve, set a goal, and work on it. You'll see that as you achieve your goal, you're driven to look to other areas and push yourself more.

    Remember the turtle's lesson, though: slow and steady wins the race. Expand your comfort zone gradually to avoid burnout; celebrating your small successes will help to keep you inspired along the journey.

    For more information about expanding comfort zones, please visit


    Case #5-1:
    Contemplated Interest in Property Appraised

    Seller A and Buyer B were negotiating the sale of an apartment building, but couldn't agree on the price. Finally, they agreed that each would engage an appraiser and they would accept the average of the two appraisals as a fair price. Seller A engaged REALTOR® C as his appraiser, and Buyer B engaged REALTOR® D. Both REALTORS® were informed of the agreement of the principals. The two appraisal reports were submitted. The principals averaged the two valuations and made the transaction at the price determined.

    Six months later, it came to the attention of Seller A that REALTOR® C was managing the building that he had appraised. Upon making further inquiries he learned that REALTOR® C for several years had managed five other buildings owned by Buyer B, and that he had been Buyer B's property manager at the time he accepted the appraisal assignment from Seller A.

    At this point Seller A engaged REALTOR® E to make an appraisal of the building he had sold to Buyer B. REALTOR® E's valuation was approximately 30% higher than that arrived at six months earlier by REALTOR® C.

    These facts were set out in a complaint against REALTOR® C made by Seller A to the local Board of REALTORS®. The complaint charged that since REALTOR® C was an agent of Buyer B; since he managed all of Buyer B's properties; since he had become manager of the property he had appraised for Seller A in connection with a sale to Buyer B; and since he had not disclosed his relationship to Buyer B, he had acted unethically, and in the interest of his major client had placed an excessively low valuation on the property he had appraised for Seller A.

    At the hearing, Seller A also brought in a witness who stated that he had heard Buyer B say that he had made a good buy in purchasing Seller A's building because Seller A's appraiser was his (Buyer B's) property manager.

    Buyer B, appearing as a witness for REALTOR® C, disputed this and protested that he had paid a fair price. He substantiated REALTOR® C's statement that management of the building formerly owned by Seller A was never discussed between them until after it had been purchased by Buyer B.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 5, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled? Click here to find out >


    2014 REALTOR® Broker Summit
    Registration Fee Only $79 Through June 30

    Join us for the 2014 REALTOR® Broker Summit being held August 6 - 7 in Atlanta, GA.
    The summit begins on Wednesday, August 6 at 2 pm and concludes Thursday, August 7 at noon.

    The 2014 REALTOR® Broker Summit will allow you to:
    • Hear from industry leaders about issues of concern to you and your business.
    • Take part in roundtable discussions on topics including Agent Retention & Recruitment, Risk Management, Marketing Promotions and more.
    • Network with your colleagues.
    • Gain advice on legal issues, economic outlook and best practices.
    • Low registration fee of $79* includes evening reception and dinner of August 6, and breakfast on August 7.
    You'll also get to hear from top brokers during RISMedia's Power Broker Round table session. To view the entire agenda, click here.

    You can fly-in the morning of August 6 and fly home the afternoon of August 7. Enjoy deeply discounted hotel rates with free Wi-Fi and shuttle service to/from the airport. United Airlines discounts are also available. For travel information, click here.

    You don't want to miss the Broker Summit that was created by your peers – all with you in mind!

    *Registration fee increases to $99 after next Monday, June 30.


    23-Week Brokers Course Starting September 9
    Class Forming Now on Eastern Shore

    Brokers Course Register now for the Coastal Association of REALTORS® Brokers Course, a 23-week course scheduled from 9 am to 3 pm every Tuesday from September 9, 2014 through February 24, 2015 (December 23 & 30 excepted).

    Accepted in MD, DE, and DC, and partially in PA and VA, this class not only provides all of the instruction needed to sit for the brokers exam, the Brokers Course holds a pass rate of greater than 90%! The cost of $1295.00 includes course materials; a $200 non-refundable deposit is required. Contact CAR to inquire about payment plans. There is a 20-person minimum to hold the class.

    Click here for information and registration >


    REALTORS® Federal Credit Union
    Personal and Professional Lines of Credit

    Whether you're consolidating higher interest debt, investing in home or business improvements, spreading tuition or annual dues payments, or simply opening a line of credit "just in case", you can cover it with a REALTORS® Federal Credit Union line of credit or personal loan.

    Apply for personal or professional loans and find out more about great offers here >


    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 >


    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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