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April 16, 2012


    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
 
Events
  • Cinco de Mayo RPAC Fundraiser
        - 2 Weeks Away
  • David Maclin Memorial 5K
        - Thank You for a Successful First Year!
  • PGCAR Education Day
  • Get Workforce Housing Training - This Thursday
  • REALTOR® Safety Webinar
  • Solving the Mysteries of the MAR Contract
  • Annual MAR Commercial Real Estate Conference
  • Rally to Protect the American Dream
  • 2012 NAR Midyear - Next Month in DC
    Homeownership Matters
  • Amazing Homebuyer Incentives
  • 203K Training for Homebuyers
  • Consumer Tip: Gardening Mistakes to Avoid
  •  
    The Industry Insider
  • Who Shall be Named Prince George's ROTY?
  • Give 10 Minutes to Win $10,000 for Charity
  • MREC's Spring 2012 Commission Check
  • REALTOR® Safety Tips
  • Market Sen$e: Sales Surge, 15-Year Fixed Rate
        Reaches All-Time Record Low
  • DC and MD CEU
  • Sales Coach: Tips for the Perfect
        Home Showing
  • Code of Ethics: Case #6-4
  • Personal and Professional Lines of Credit
  • Wanted: MAR & NAR Committee Volunteers
  • Good Neighbor Nominations
  •  
     
    Cinco de Mayo RPAC Fundraiser


    Texas Hold'em Cocktails & Hors d'oeuvres Silent Auction Door Prizes
    Network with Fellow REALTORS® Meet Local and State Legislators
    Best Mexican Outfit Contest Credit Toward RPAC Contribution

     -  Single Ticket $35  -  Three Tickets $100  - 





      All sponsors and door prize or auction donations will be recognized on a  
    continuous PowerPoint presentation and signage the night of the event,
    on the pgcar.com website, and in REALTOR® Connection.



    RPAC is organized for REALTORS®, run by REALTORS®, and exists
    solely to further issues important to REALTORS®.

     
     

    David Maclin Memorial Scholarship 5K Fun Walk/Run Success!


    Thank you volunteers, sponsors, and participants for an AMAZING First Annual 5K Walk / Run. 5K PHOTOS will be released soon! Thanks for contributing to a bright future in Prince George's. Since the inception of the David Maclin Memorial Scholarship Fund, over $30,000 has been awarded to Prince George's County High School Seniors to further their education.

       

    We had beautiful weather and a terrific time. Over sixty runners made their way through three miles of rolling paths in the Marlboro Ridge Community of Upper Marlboro. Valecia Maclin (David's daughter) said, "It is humbling to see the folks come out to participate in such a worthwhile cause. And I can't thank Toll Brothers and PGCAR enough for helping us to continue this legacy of scholarship and achievement." PGCAR thanks everyone who came out Saturday and supported this incredibly worthwhile event!

    To read the article in the Washington Running Report, click here >

    Congratulations to this Year's Scholarship Winners!

    Tolulope Oluwakorede Adetayo, Charles Herbert Flowers High School
    Alleyah Miner, Oxon Hill High School

    Tolulope will be attending the University of Maryland, and Alleyah will be attending Lafayette University. Both will receive $2,500 toward their expenses.

     
    Tuesday, May 22
    at La Fontaine Bleu
    Earn 6 CE hours for MD and DC Continuing Education
     
    MORNING:
    • Contracts
      3.0 CE, MD & DC Elective Hours
      Instructor: Stu Stern
    • MREC Required Supervision
      3.0 CE, MD Required "I" Hours
      Instructor: Al Monshower
    • MD Code of Ethics
      3.0 CE, MD Required "D" & DC Elective Hours
      Instructor: Jill Pogach Michaels
    • 203K Purchase Rehab
      3.0 CE, MD Elective Hours
      Instructors: Michael Chelst / M. Gamble
    AFTERNOON:
    • DC Fair Housing
      3.0 CE, DC Required Hours
      Instructor: Prabhjit Singh
    • MD Legislative Update
      3.0 CE, MD Required "A" & DC Elective Hours
      Instructor: Al Monshower
    • MREC Agency-Residential
      3.0 CE, MD Required "H" Hours
      Instructor: Fredericka Lloyd
    • Short Sales
      3.0 CE, MD Elective Hours
      Instructor: Jill Pogach Michaels

    Terrific Courses & Instructors

    Choose One Morning and
    One Afternoon Class

    Breakfast, Lunch and
    Our Famous
    Top-it-as-you-like-it
    Ice Cream Social

    All for Only
    $75 Members
    $100 Non-Members

    CLICK HERE
    TO REGISTER AND
    TO SELECT YOUR
    CLASSES NOW !

    Click here for a printable flyer.

     
     

    Learn How to Use Homebuyer Savings Programs
    and Earn 6 CEU This Thursday!


    This Thursday, April 19 @ PGCAR, 9 am to 4 pm
    • Bridging the Gap From Availability to Affordability
    • State and Local Programs
    • Federal Programs and National Initiatives
    Learn all the inside details on homebuyer savings programs and earn 6 CEU for only $25.
    Required for Workforce Housing Certification.
    Register at pgcar.com >

     
     

    FREE WEBINARS - Important Topics for All REALTORS®


    Annual Prayer Breakfast Every Agent's Five-Step Plan for Open Houses
    This Thursday, April 19 @ 11 am

    Learn the warning signs of a potentially dangerous situation, the safe way to conduct an open house and listing appointment, and how to safely work foreclosed properties.  Details & registration >

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    MAR Contract Solving the Mysteries of the MAR Contract
    Next Thursday, April 26 @ 10 am

    Hear directly from the MAR Legal Department experts about the pitfalls and questions regarding your use of the MAR Contract of Sale. Even if you're familiar with the Contract, get updates and guidance on how to make your transactions go more smoothly.  Details and Registration >

     
     

    MAR Presents: Bio Sciences in MD and the Impact on Commercial Real Estate
    Earn 3.0 CE Hours (1.5 Professional Enhancement, 1.5 Legal/Legislative)


    Thursday, May 3
    8 am - 12:15 pm
    Four Points by Sheraton BWI
    7032 Elm Road, Baltimore, MD

    Open to All Real Estate Practitioners
    $35.00

    Learn about emerging trends in employment in Bio Sciences and the 2012 Legislative Session, and their impact on Commercial Real Estate.

    Details and Registration >

     
     

    Rally to Protect the American Dream!
    One Day to Protect Home Ownership!


    May 17    9:30 am - 11 am    Capitol Hill

    During the 2012 NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings, we are going to show that no one cares more about defending the benefits housing and real estate provide to our country than Prince George's County REALTORS®.

    NAR will be taking care of everything (the sign up, logistics, transportation, lunches, water, t-shirts, and more). All you have to do is register and show up. Let's journey together to protect home ownership and investment in real estate.

    Please share this information and link with your co-workers and make this Rally a top priority to attend!

    Details and RSVP at www.REALTORRALLY.org

     
     

    2012 NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo


    The REALTORS® Midyear Meetings & Trade Expo is where NAR members come together to take an active role in advancing the real estate industry, public policy, and the association. There will be a variety of meetings and events including: special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, the industry trade show, and a Rally on Capitol Hill.

    Meetings:   May 14 - 19
    Capitol Hill Visits:   May 16 - 17
    Trade Expo:   May 16 - 17
    Rally:   May 17

    Midyear is FREE to all REALTOR® Members!
    For details and registration click here.

     
     
    1. Buy Suitland Initiative
      Up to 5% of home purchase price to first-time homebuyers; Up to 7% for local civic employees. Program Details >

    2. Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLB Atlanta)
      Up to $15,000 towards a foreclosure purchase; Up to $7,500 toward the purchase of a property located in area approved for NSP funds.
      Program Details >   Details & webinars for REALTORS® >

    3. American Dream Downpayment Assistance (ADDI)
      Up to $10,000 to County Homebuyers who have not owned a home within the last 3 years.
      Program Details >

    4. My HOME
      Up to 5% of the home sale price to qualified homebuyers who have not owned a home within the last 3 years.
      Program Details >   County My HOME Website >

    5. Centex Adds Savings to My HOME Program
      Purchase a Centex Home in the Victory Promenade development with My HOME funds and receive seller assistance also. For more information call (301) 350-5875 or email Jennifer Eaddy.

    6. The Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP)
      Acquisition / Rehabilitation Mortgage Program with new incentives for Renovating Fixer-Uppers, and the Homeward Bound Program offering lower mortgage rates on foreclosed or short sale properties.
      Program Details >

    7. Freddie Mac HomeSteps SmartBuySM
      Offers a limited FREE two-year HomeProtect® Home Warranty and up to 30% savings on new appliances.

    Home Listings and incentive details are at www.homesteps.com >
    Sign up for homesteps.com buyer leads >

    Most of these programs can be used in combination. Information on these and other homebuyer savings are available at pgcar.com. For more My HOME program details, members can login to pgcar.com Members Only.

     
     

    203K Training for Homebuyers
    This Saturday, April 21 at 10 am


    Spread the word to your customers and contacts who may benefit from My HOME, Buy Suitland or a 203K loan including renovation financing. This training is for buyers (not REALTORS® and Lenders) and will be at the CEO Cafe, 6305 Ivy Lane, Greenbelt, MD 20770.

    RSVP required, to hstokes@co.pg.md.us.

     
     

    Consumer Tip: Gardening Mistakes to Avoid


    Whether you're getting a property ready to sell, have just moved into a new house, or are happily settled in the home of your dreams, it's that time of the year; Time to get out, work in your yard and enjoy the sunshine. Here are a few tips to make sure you use your time and finances wisely - and get a beautiful, sustainable yard in return.

    Wait a Year
    People get excited, especially with a new house and the coming of spring, so they're apt to weed and plant the second the weather starts to get warm. By waiting and watching for a year, you can find out how many hours of sunlight each part of your yard gets, what month your lawn greens up and what month it becomes dormant, and what hidden treasures may already be buried on your property. What appears to be a weed in the spring may turn into a beautiful flowering vine in the fall.

    Avoid Overcrowding
    Plants that look properly spaced when you plant them will be close together in a few years, and will have to compete for sun, water and nutrients. Give trees plenty of space and stagger bushes to create rows. The results may look sparse at first, but in a few years they will fill in the space without suffocating each other.

    Come up with a Long Term Plan
    Draw a simple sketch of your yard - what is already there now and what you plan to add later. Look online for sites that help you pick plants and design beds. Planting without a design plan is like building a house without blueprints. Impatience and lack of planning will most likely result in a waste of time, money and energy.

    Not Enough Sun
    Many gardeners pick plants solely for how they look and do not consider the amount of sun they may need. Take a week and write down how much sun or shade an area gets, then pick the plant designed for those conditions. Full Sun is considered 6 hours or more; Partial Sun/Shade is considered 3 to 5 hours; and Full Shade is considered less than 3 hours.

    Too Much Water
    Automatic irrigation systems and water timers may be a luxury, but can waste a lot of water and cause root rot and other problems if you're using them for a few minutes every day. Instead, water for forty to sixty minutes, two to three times a week. A deeper, intermediate soak helps lawns and plants develop deeper root systems.

    To read the article in its entirety, go to houselogic.com >

     
    Who shall be named Prince George's REALTOR® of the Year?

    It could be you, or someone you know whom exemplifies leadership and service.

    Submit your nominations by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 15.
    1. Entries must be submitted on PGCAR's official form.
    2. Nominees must be Primary members of PGCAR.
    3. Nominees must be REALTOR® members who provide continuous, dedicated service to the industry to enhance the quality of the profession.

    4. Supporting information or documentation may be included as an attachment to the entry form.
    5. Pictures and supportive information are not encouraged.
    6. Entries that do not follow this format will be disqualified.
    7. ONE (1) COLOR PHOTO (any size) must be submitted in digital format, as a jpeg or .tif file, of 300 dpi or greater resolution, to jostenso@pgcar.com with the subject line ROTY and your name.
    8. Deadline for submissions to PGCAR is 5 p.m. on Friday, June 15, 2012.
      POSITIVELY NO LATE SUBMISSIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

    One ROTY application will be submitted by PGCAR to be entered in the MAR competition. The winner of the State Award will be sent to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) for consideration in the national award. Could we see a Prince George's REALTOR® honored in Ocean City and Orlando this year?


     
     

    Give 10 Minutes to Win $10,000 for Charity
    Along with a chance to win a $250 gas card!


    The PGCAR Community Service Committee realizes that Prince George's County REALTORS® give back to their communities every day in a number of different ways.

    You are coaches, mentors and scout leaders. You deliver Meals on Wheels, work on Habitat and Christmas in April Homes. You create March of Dimes walk teams and Scholarship Fun Walk/Run events. So many of our offices raise money every year for a favorite charity, collecting food, coats and toys.

    And because you don't do it for the recognition, sometimes we aren't aware of ALL of the wonderful things you are doing. Well now is your chance!

    PGCAR has a chance to win MAR's CARE Award, which gives us $10,000 to use for whatever charity we select. We could use it for another Habitat House; we could sponsor another Fun Run for scholarships to our graduating students; we could give it to a food bank or numerous other charities - the possibilities are endless.

    But we can't win if you don't let us know what you're doing!

    To be eligible for the $250 gas card drawing, please complete the survey by midnight April 26, 2012. You must fully complete the survey to be eligible.

    Click here for survey >

     
     

    MREC's Spring 2012 Commission Check
    Need to Know Information for all REALTORS®


    This issue contains useful topics and practice issues that come up frequently for real estate professionals. Some of the subjects covered are:

    • The Launch of Paperless Licensing
    • Who is Allowed to Conduct an Open House and FAQs
    • Use of the 'Coming Soon' Signs
    • Referrals for Home Employment

    Stay up-to-date and informed by reading The Commission Check >

     
     

    REALTOR® Safety Tips
    Information to Keep You Protected


    The mere nature of the real estate business puts REALTORS® at risk on a daily basis. Unfortunately, when agents are rushing to get ready for a showing or if they get overly excited about a new lead, safety tends to take a back seat.

    TOP THREE SAFETY MEASURES

    1. Identify the buyer/seller/agent BEFORE you join him/her alone in a car or a house (get a copy of his/her driver's license).
       
    2. Always carry your cell phone, program 911 into speed dial, and don't hesitate to call for help.
       
    3. Trust your instincts.

    PGCAR is so dedicated to the importance of this issue that we now have a REALTOR® Safety Page.
    Please continually check back to see updated information.

     
     

    Market Sen$e: 15-Year Fixed Rate Reaches All-Time Record Low,
    County Home Sales Surge with Early Spring


    Results released on April 12 are showing fixed mortgages declining for the third consecutive week in line with a weak employment report. Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac, states, "Fixed mortgage rates eased for the third consecutive week following long-term Treasury bond yields lower after a weaker than expected employment report for March. Although the unemployment rate fell to the lowest reading since January 2009, the overall economy added just 120,000 new jobs in March, nearly half that of the market consensus forecast. On a more positive note, the Federal Reserve reported hiring was steady, or showed a modest increase, across many of its Districts in its April 11th Beige Book of regional economic conditions."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending April 12, 2012:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.88 percent, down from 3.98 percent.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.11 percent, down from 3.21 percent.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.85 percent, down from 2.86 percent.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.80 percent, up from 2.78 percent.
    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    County Home Sales are Enjoying Spring Surge!

    March 2012 home sales show across-the-board improvements in contract signings and settlements, in both the single family and condo/coop markets. In Prince George's County single family home sales, new contracts increased 4.8% from February to March, and settlements increased an amazing 23%. Condo/coop home sales, new contracts increased a dramatic 23.3%, and settlements increased 1.6% from February to March.

    Home prices are also showing a stabilizing trend. The positive trends are encouraging more home sellers and buyers into the market.

    See detailed statistics for March 2012 at www.pgcar.com/stats >

    To be the first to see home sale statistics when they're released, like us at www.facebook/pgcar. While you're there, add yourself to the Find a REALTOR® Directoy.

     
     
     

    Earn All MD and DC Required CEU at PGCAR


    All classes are held at PGCAR offices, just off the Route 202 / Landover Road exit of I-495. Find our NEW association office at 9200 Basil Court, Suite 400, Largo, MD 20774. There's plenty of parking.


    This Wednesday, April 18
    MREC Agency-Residential
    3.0 MD Required or elective CEU
    Fredericka Lloyd 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    This Thursday, April 19
    Workforce Housing Certification:
    Three Classes in One Day!

    6.0 MD Elective CEU
    9:00 am - 4:00 pm

    Next Monday, April 23
    MREC Required Supervision
    3.0 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Don Martin 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Next Thursday, April 26
    Current Mortgage Guidelines Made Easy
    3.0 Elective CEU, MD and DC
    Michael Chelst 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    Real Estate Tax Issues
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Linda de Marlor 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Wednesday, May 2
    Commercial SBA Loan Programs
    3.0 MD Elective CEU
    John Throne 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Thursday, May 17
    How to Handle Settlements
    3.0 Elective Elective CEU
    Jill Michaels 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    MD Fair Housing
    1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
    1.5 DC Elective CEU
    Jill Michaels 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Complete CEU Schedule >>

     
     

    Sales Coach: Tips for the Perfect Home Showing


    Home Sales Coach Because of the abundance of houses listed online, buyers have more choices and are more informed than ever. Unfortunately, until they actually see the house in person, it is hard to find out what they really want. Here are some useful tips to make sure the home-showing process goes as smoothly as possible.

    Be Prepared

    Before you even begin looking for the perfect home, make sure they understand how the home-buying process works. Things such as how much the buyer can afford as a down-payment, do they have a prequalification letter, and are they prepared to make a competitive offer should all be discussed prior to showing them a prospective property.

    Do a Drive-By

    When you're working with buyers who are not quite sure of what they want, take some time to drive-by the homes they saw in a photo or found online that they think they'd be interested in. Buyers will often be able to say just from the curb if they like the house or not. You'll also be able to narrow down preferred house styles and neighborhoods.

    Give Them Space

    When showing the property, let the buyers freely walk around as much as possible and discuss pros and cons without you being in earshot. If they feel they're being shadowed, they may give you the impression they're more interested than they really are, and this could lead to confusion later.

    Be a Caretaker

    Before you leave the property, make sure the lights are off, curtains are back in original position and everything is locked. In addition, leave your business card with the date and time of the showing and a 'Thank You!' as a friendly gesture to the sellers and listing agent.

    Safety First!

    Showing properties is risky. Although many buyers you work with you know, sometimes they can be total strangers. Always err on the side of caution. Get a copy of their driver license(s), never walk in front of them, never show a home alone, and always let someone at the office know where you are and when you plan to return.

    Click here to read all 10 Tips for the Perfect Home Showing!

     

    Case #6-4:
    Acceptance of Rebates From Contractors

    REALTOR® A, who managed a 30-year-old apartment building for Client B, proposed a complete modernization plan for the building, obtained Client B's approval and carried out the work. Shortly after completion of the work, Client B filed a complaint with the Board of REALTORS® charging REALTOR® A with unethical conduct for receiving rebates of "kickbacks" from the contractors who did the work.

    At the hearing, Client B presented written statements from the contractors to substantiate his charges.

    REALTOR® A defended himself by stating that he had carried out all work involving the preparation of specifications, solicitation of bids, negotiations with the contractors, scheduling work and supervising the improvement program; that he had presented all bids to the owner who had authorized acceptance of the most favorable bids; and that he and Client B had agreed on an appropriate fee for this service.

    REALTOR® A also presented comparative data to show that Client B had received good value for his money. After all of the contracts were signed and the work was underway, REALTOR® A found that his fee was inadequate for the time the work required; that he needed additional compensation but didn't want to add to his client's costs; and that when he explained his predicament to the contractors and asked for moderate rebates, they agreed.

    Questioning by panel members revealed that the contractors felt that since they were being asked for rebates by the man who would supervise their work, they felt that they had no choice but to agree.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 6, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

    Find out here >>

     
     

    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 >

     
     

    WANTED: MAR and NAR Committee Volunteers


    Committee descriptions and a volunteer form are now online at www.mdrealtor.org. All MAR members are encouraged to apply for 2 but no more than 3 preferred committee choices. Some committees have specific requirements; however, every attempt will be made to accommodate your request for at least one committee assignment. Committee selections are prioritized by qualifications and date received.

    Reminder: Current MAR committee members must re-apply for 2012 - 2013 MAR Committee Memberships.

    MAR Applications Due By Wednesday, May 9 >

    2013 NAR Committee Recommendations

    NAR committee recommendations are also open (login required).
    Nominations are due by Friday, May 25. Self nominations are encouraged.

    NAR Committee Details and Nomination Form >

     
     

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


    REALTOR® Magazine is seeking nominees for the 2012 Good Neighbor Awards. The program recognizes REALTORS® whose extraordinary commitment to community service has helped make their communities better places to live. Five winners will be announced in the November/December issue of REALTOR® Magazine, will be recognized at the 2012 REALTORS® Conference in Orlando, and will receive a $10,000 grant for their charity - along with additional publicity, prizes and benefits.

    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 18. Click here for more details. Click here for rules and an entry form.

    Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®
    9200 Basil Court :  Suite 400 : Largo, MD 20774
    Phone 301-306-7900  :  Fax 301-306-8273  :  www.pgcar.com  :  ©2012 PGCAR

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