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Prince George's County Association of REALTORS real estate news, events, education and legislation
Members Only  |  Forms  |  Education  |  Calendar
February 4, 2018

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
Events & Industry Insider Info
Consumer's Corner
News & Trends

Dear Members,

We value you as a member and thank you for your patience as we transitioned to our new office space in December!

As you know, the 2018 Dues payments were due on October 31, 2017. Typically, a late charge of $75 is added to all unpaid accounts after midnight November 30. Due to PGCAR's office move and our systems being reconnected, we are delighted to inform you that the PGCAR Board of Directors authorized a reprieve on late fees for all non-paid accounts. This has enabled those to pay their Dues after the October 31 deadline without paying the late fee!

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: The $75 Late Fee of $75 was not assessed to unpaid accounts until after January 15. This late fee is non-refundable and will not be waived.

All unpaid accounts as of midnight Sunday, February 4 will be terminated. Termination incurs an additional $125 reinstatement fee. This reinstatement fee is non-refundable and will not be waived.

Renewing at is as Easy as 1-2-3:
  1. Click here
  2. Log in
  3. Renew online and receive receipt!
Renew online to receive an emailed, itemized receipt.

Thank you for being a part of PGCAR!

Membership renewals were due October 31. Pay by February 4 to save $125 plus SentriLock and PGCAR benefits
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PGCAR President Cheryl Abrams It is with great anticipation and pleasure that I officially announce our new location at 8300 Corporate Drive, Landover, Maryland. Aside from some minor growing pains, PGCAR enjoyed a very smooth move into our new headquarters in December. We are fully operational, with more spacious and comfortable surroundings. Our new state of the art classroom, modern committee meeting facilities, and staff office space enable us to better serve member needs.

Over the last year, PGCAR purchased and undertook a complete remodel of the existing space and transitioned it into a class "A" office location in the heart of Prince George's County, at the Metro East complex at the New Carrolton Metro. Our new and larger office location allows us to add more functions for value added service to all members. Additionally, we are offering approximately 9000 square feet of rental space to qualified tenants. Should you have a contact seeking at least 2000 square feet of commercial office space, please have them contact our leasing representative, NAI Michael Company, directly at 301-459-4400.

Please keep an eye out for notice of our Grand Opening Celebration and Ribbon Cutting Celebration in the spring!!

On another note, it is with mixed feelings that we announce the departure of one of our valued employees, Education Director Scott Miller. Since joining the PGCAR team in 2005, we have all come to know and value Scott for his hard work, professionalism and commitment to our members. We wish Scott the greatest happiness and success in his future. His REALTOR® family will miss him. Scott's last day of work is Friday, February 9. We invite members to drop in and say goodbyes and to wish him a wonderful future.

CE classes will continue to be scheduled as we transition our education department.

We hope that your year is off to a great start!

Cheryl Abrams Davis, President
Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®, Inc.
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Calling All Achievers!  Apply now for the 2017 PGCAR Achievement Awards -- then celebrate starting March 28 when Award winners will be announced.

Open to all current PGCAR Primary Members holding a broker or salespersons license, with $2.5 Million or more in 2017 production, and in good standing on or before July 1, 2017. Members licensed for the first time during 2017 must be a PGCAR Primary Member in good standing on or before September 30, 2017.

Then Apply Using the Required Award Entry Form:

ALL Award Entry Forms with Entrance Fees
MUST be received by
5 pm on Friday, February 16
($40 Entry Fee does not include the dinner celebration.)

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David and Juanita Maclin Scholarship 5K Fundraiser

Best Value and Guaranteed Fun Time - Register a Team >
A team of up to 10 people is only $150. Only $300 for 11 - 25 teammates. Sign up and give yourself a team name (e.g. it can be your company or office name). During sign up, complete as much team member information as you can, then ask others to join you. They can sign in under your team name during on-site registration. Proceeds go to the Scholarship Fund!

Presented by PGCAR
Hosted by Toll Brothers

The 2018 Maryland REALTORS®
Annual Conference & EXPO
is Coming to Prince George's County!

September 20 - 23
Gaylord National Harbor

Real estate, homeownership and property management legislation for Prince George's County, Maryland state and Federal

2018 Legislative Priorities for REALTORS®

First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account

Maryland REALTORS® support tax-free savings accounts for first-time homebuyers. First-time homebuyers or individuals creating an account for a first-time buyer beneficiary could deposit up to $50,000 (state tax free) in an account. If the money was not used for a first-time home purchase, the holder of the account would be subject to the state tax and penalties. Issue Sheet >

Escrow Money Held by Third Parties

Maryland REALTORS® support legislation to regulate third party companies holding real estate earnest money deposits. These deposits were once were held almost exclusively by real estate brokers. While there is no legal prohibition against such companies holding earnest money deposits, these third party companies are not subject to the same regulatory requirements as real estate brokers. Some companies may require agreement among the parties to establish an account and detail what happens with the money when a transaction falls apart, while other companies may provide little guidance to sellers and buyers. Consequently, the Maryland REALTORS® believe home sellers and buyers would benefit from state law providing basic rules on how the money is deposited, held and disbursed. Issue Sheet >

Guarantee Fund

Maryland REALTORS® support statutory changes to the Maryland Real Estate Commission "Guarantee Fund." The Guarantee fund compensates consumers when a real estate agent has violated their legal obligations. Real estate licensees pay a separate guarantee fund payment when they apply for their initial licensing. The law also specifies that if the Fund falls below $250,000, then all licensees will be assessed an additional fee to recapitalize it. Although the fund is not likely to fall below $250,000 in the near term, the fund has experienced some large payouts. Given that the Real Estate Commission's current budget is healthy, the Maryland REALTORS® would like to give the Commission authority to transfer up to $500,000 from their general fund to the Guarantee Fund when it is close to falling below the statutory minimum. Such authority would help licensees avoid a special assessment if the Commission's general fund is already flush with real estate licensing fees. Issue Sheet >

Broker Succession

The Maryland REALTORS® supports a technical change to the Maryland Real Estate Brokerage Act. Current law provides direction regarding the continuation of a brokerage after the death of the broker but has no corresponding language providing direction when a broker is disabled and unable to continue operating the company. Other states have updated their statutes to address this situation by adding "disability of a broker" to the statute. In such cases, a family member would have a period of time to attain a broker's license and continue the business or time to sell the business. Issue Sheet >


Although the 2017 Maryland General Assembly rejected legislation that would have expanded the Best Available Technology (BAT) requirement for septic systems to new construction outside of Maryland's Critical Areas, a work group has been studying potentially new septic initiatives. Maryland REALTORS® are opposed to legislation that would extend the BAT requirement outside of the Critical Areas. In addition, the Maryland REALTORS® would oppose mandatory septic pump outs or mandatory inspections of such systems. Issue Sheet >

For more information contact Dwayne Mingo, PGCAR Government Affairs Director, at 301-306-7900 or, or contact MAR Government Affairs at 800-638-6425.
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MRIS Expanded Markets and Data Feed Capabilities
Greatly Increased Region for $10 Monthly

Bright was formed to break down barriers. These barriers have tied agents and brokers to fractured data sets for too long, even while consumers have had seamless access to data through any number of third party portals. We are well on our way to eliminating these issues for agents, brokers and consumers throughout the region.
One of the ways this is accomplished, is to unify markets through the data available to you for use on your websites. Over the last few months MRIS has been working with website vendors to help them switch to the new Bright data feed, which provides a larger geographic footprint for your website than any of the former MLS organizations which combined to form Bright. You now have access to more data. If you have an IDX product integrated with your website, you were recently upgraded to getting data for the expanded Bright footprint. More listings to search, means more opportunities for clients to find their dream home and more potential sales for you. There's no work for you to do if already subscribed to an IDX. Nothing to sign. Most vendors have already received the information to make the switch to the new feed possible. We strongly encourage you to connect with vendors, to make sure the vendor has received the information we sent.

Additionally, bringing together 9 organizations required significant review of the existing products, services, fees, and policies in each market, to find the right combination for Bright. That resulted in some changes in the billing of IDX and other data products.

A change in the cost was introduced in January. Bright's philosophy is to provide a standard MLS product that includes the expanded geography and core tools needed by most agents for a competitive price, while offering premium products at an additional cost for those who wish to provide enhanced services to clients. IDX, VOW or other data feeds are some of these premium products.
  • An individual IDX or VOW data feed subscription for agents with one website now costs $120 per year, or $10 per month.

  • Additional websites cost an additional $10 per month.

  • Brokers are charged $500 per year for up to five products or services, such as an IDX website, an analytics tool, or CRM package purchased for the brokerage.
Billing for agents who have individual websites separate from a brokerage website, and for brokers who use IDX and other products began in January. While this small monthly fee is new, by offering this as a premium service, we were able to reduce your core MLS subscription fees since consolidating as Bright.

Learn more about MLS and IDX billing changes >

Have a question? Bright can help!
The Bright Customer Support Center is available to answer your questions about Bright and their IDX or VOW solutions. Call 1-844-55-BRIGHT (1-844-552-7444) or email

Revive. Refresh. Drink More Water!

Ever notice how lifeless a house plant looks when you forget to water it? Just a little water and it seems to perk back up. Water is just as essential for our bodies because it is in every cell, tissue, and organ in your body. That's why getting enough water every day is important for your health.

Healthy people meet their fluid needs by drinking water when thirsty, before thirsty, and with meals.
Read More

What's Your Body Mass Index?

According to the CDC, Body Mass Index (BMI) provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people, and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.

Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 to 29.9 while obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or above. The recommended upper limit of body fat as a percentage of body mass is 25.0%.

Read More
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Wed, Feb 7
1:30 - 4:30 pm
MREC Required Supervision @ PGCAR
3 MD Required (Category I) or Elective CEU
Register >
Thu, Feb 8
9 am - 4:30 pm
NAR Tech Edge in Wilmington, NC
High-energy, short sessions on latest tech trends. Bring back productivity, security, videos, marketing, lead gathering & other actionable insights.
Details & registration >
Thu, Feb 8
7 - 9 pm
Prince George's County FY2019 Budget Listening Session
People who are interested in testifying must pre-register online or by calling 301-952-4547. Testimony will be limited to 3 minutes per presenter and one speaker per organization. Written testimony will also be accepted. Location: Prince George's Community College - Rennie Forum
Details & registration >
Mon, Feb 19
Presidents' Day
PGCAR Offices Closed
Fri, Feb 23
6 pm (EST)
Volunteering Works Application Deadline
Win $1k grant plus a year of one-on-one mentoring from a recipient of the Good Neighbor Award or Honorable Mention, to help implement improvements for your community service project.
Details & application >
Fri, May 4
6 pm (EST)
Good Neighbor Awards Application Deadline
Win $10k grants and publicity for your charity. Winners will be flown to the November NAR annual conference and receive their award in front of thousands of fellow REALTORS®.
Learn More >   |   Entry Form >
Mon, May 14
- Sat, May 19
REALTOR® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo
Annual FREE NAR Conference in Washington, DC. Save the Dates!
Thu, Nov 15
9 am - 4:30 pm
NAR Tech Edge in Fairfax, VA
High-energy, short sessions on latest tech trends. Bring back productivity, security, videos, marketing, lead gathering & other actionable insights.
Details & registration >
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PGCAR Member Benefits
It Pays to Be a Member!

Save on all of Your PGCAR Membership Benefits
YOUR Membership in the Prince George's County Association of REALTORS® = $1,445 in discounted services!
Get the most from your membership!

There's great benefits for our REALTOR® and Affiliate members!

Prince George's County REALTOR membership application for real estate agents Prince George's County REALTOR membership application for real estate agents  REALTOR® Membership Application
Prince George's County affiliate membership application for real estate industry partners Prince George's County affiliate membership application for real estate industry partners   Affiliate Membership Application
Prince George's County affiliate membership levels and benefits for real estate industry partners   Affiliate Membership Levels and Benefits
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Maryland and DC CEU Lookup

Did you know? You can view your CE hours which are electronically recorded for a Maryland or a DC license.

Great reasons to stay in touch! Share these with your customers.

David and Juanita Maclin Memorial $2,500 Scholarship

Do you know a Prince George's County Public High School Senior who wants to further his / her education and is already making a difference in the community?

Alert them to submit a David and Juanita Maclin Memorial Scholarship application before Wednesday, February 28. Winners will receive a $2,500 scholarship towards further education in any community college, university or trade school.

Please also share this with Principals and Teachers at your local schools, so you may enable someone who may not have received the materials to share this opportunity with their class.

You can make an important difference in the life of a student!

Scholarship Letter   •   Scholarship Application   •   Permission Slip

Scholarship Applications are Due Wednesday, February 28.

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"The Federal Reserve did not hike rates this week, but the market views future hikes as a near certainty. The expectation of future Fed rate hikes and increased borrowing by the U.S. Treasury is putting upward pressure on interest rates. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage is up over a quarter of a percentage point (27 basis points) from the first week of the year. 30-year fixed mortgage rates have increased for four consecutive weeks and are now slightly above where they were last year at this time."

Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending February 1:

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.22%, up from 4.15% ~ Last year: 4.19%
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.68%, up from 3.62% ~ Last year: 3.41%
The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.53%, up from 3.52% ~ Last year: 3.23%

Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >
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Visit to see the most current home sales, as well as past statistics.
And don't forget! Like PGCAR on Facebook to see monthly statistics first!

January 2018 statistics will be available on or shortly after Tuesday, February 6.
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- - - NEWS AND TRENDS - - -
Reminders, trends and other news you should know.

National News & Market Surveys

Regional News

2018 Election News

We will start including articles about Prince George's candidates and issues in the 2018 elections for Maryland Governor, Prince George's County Executive, and other state or local elections. Our intent is to be unbiased in this listing yet with a special focus on Prince George's, including articles that can help keep you informed on varied candidates, positions and issues.
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8300 Corporate Drive, Suite 100  |  Landover, MD 20785  |  Phone 301.306.7900  |  Fax 301.306.8273  |  |  ©2018 PGCAR
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