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The official newsletter of the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®

September-October 2013

USPS: 017-467

Volume 19, Number 4

2013 GCAAR REALTOR® of the Year – Bonnie Casper GCAAR is pleased to name Bonnie Casper as its REALTOR® of the Year for 2013. Bonnie is currently an agent with Long & Foster REALTORS® in Bethesda, MD. Bonnie serves as GCAAR’s Immediate Past President and has held a number of positions on GCAAR’s Board of Directors, including: President (2012), President-Elect (2011), Secretary (2010), and Board member (2008–2009). She has been a member of and has also chaired several GCAAR committees, among them: Budget Committee, Nominating Committee (Chair), Legislative Committee (Montgomery County & DC), Green REALTOR® Task Force, and the REALTOR® Political Action Committee (Chair). Bonnie also served as the Chair of the Building Task Force that was responsible for identifying and securing the purchase of GCAAR’s new headquarters earlier this year. At the state and national levels, Bonnie is an active member of the Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR) where she has served as its District Vice President, Director, and on several committees, including the Finance, Grassroots, Executive, Nominating, Housing Opportunity, Legislative, and Nominating Committees. She was recently elected 2014 MAR Secretary (see page 3). At the national level, Bonnie has been a National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Director, served on NAR’s State and Local and Land Use Committees, and was the Federal Political Coordinator to Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen. Among her many civic activities, Bonnie is a member of the Metro Bethesda Rotary Chapter, Montgomery County Family Services Agency

Board of Directors, Junior League of Washington, Democratic Party Precinct Chair, Leadership Montgomery Class of 1993, to mention a few. “Bonnie Casper has given tirelessly to our association. I know first-hand how hard she worked to protect our livelihoods and home ownership rights. Bonnie’s selfless dedication put our Association on the map and in front of local and state politicians like no other person has done before her. I am fortunate to consider her a friend and mentor and congratulate Bonnie on being chosen by her peers for this award,” said Michael McGreevy, 2013 GCAAR President. “Bonnie Casper’s commercial acumen helped GCAAR purchase a new building and saved us from perpetual leasing. Her political instincts keep us well connected in DC, Rockville, and Annapolis so we’re not blindsided by anti-housing legislation. Her hard work on our behalf made her an easy choice as a REALTOR® leader,” said Dennis Melby, 2008 GCAAR President.

Michael Fowler Captures the Top Rookie Spot GCAAR is pleased to announce Michael Fowler as its 2013 Rookie of the Year. Michael is an agent with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty in Washington, DC. Michael has been a REALTOR® since 2011.

Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® 8757 Georgia Avenue, Suite 600 Silver Spring, MD 20910

Michael is very active both professionally and in the community. He is a member of the District of Columbia’s Association of REALTORS®’ (DCAR) Communications Committee and chairs the Social Media sub-committee. His civic activities include: Board member of the DC Center for the LGBT Community, the Lupus Foundation of America Walk Committee, Shaw Main Street Association Promotion Committee, 2012 Brainfood Grill-Off, and Georgetown Jingle volunteer.

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Michael Fowler TTR Sotheby’s International Realty Washington, DC

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Association 3 GCAAR in the 3 Ask the 4 Board 4 Meet Your GCAAR Staff & Committees ����������������page 5 NAR Director’s 6 7

“One of Michael’s best characteristics is his involvement in the community and specifically the neighborhood he lives, in - Shaw. I foresee Michael having a very long career in real estate and even holding future leadership positions within the industry. His commitment and drive are just that strong,” says fellow colleague and 2011 GCAAR Rookie of the Year, Pamela Wye.

Green 8 Technology/Tool 9 NAR 9 MC & DC Market 10 13 White Flint 15 REALTOR® Fest 15 Public 16

2014 GCAAR Annual 18 Getting the 18 19 GCAAR Headquarters 19 Legal 20 Education 21 22 GCAAR 22

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2013 September - October

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Association NEWS 2013 Board of Directors President Michael McGreevy

President-Elect Gregory Ford Secretary William H. Highsmith Jr. , JD, GRI

Bonnie Casper Elected MAR Secretary GCAAR Immediate Past President Bonnie Casper was elected 2014 Secretary of the Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR) at the Membership Meeting held at the MAR Annual Conference in Ocean City Maryland in early September. “I am humbled and honored to gain the support of the local associations and to be elected Secretary of the Maryland Association of REALTORS®,” Bonnie remarked. “It’s a great organization and gives me the opportunity to serve all members on a state level in the profession that we all hold so dear. I look forward to working on the Executive Committee with President Russ Boyce, President-Elect Janice Kirkner, Treasurer, our own Carole Maclure, and Immediate Past President Carlton Boujai.”

Treasurer Tim Knobloch

Immediate Past President Bonnie Casper

Chief Executive Officer Michael Moran

Bonnie shares her good news after the vote is announced.

Bonnie takes the oath.

Bonnie with 2013 GCAAR President Michael McGreevy (left) and 2013 President-Elect Greg Ford.


Koki Adasi David Bediz Jamie Coley Thomas Daley Suzanne Des Marais Carter Ferrington Dorie Glass Jacque Grenning Gwen Henderson Mynor Herrera Emiliana Victoria “Vicky” Lobos-Kirker Margaret “Peg” Mancuso


in the


Reporter’s Blog September 20, 2013 GCAAR mentioned as a participant in the DC Green Festival

Bobette Banks

Advertising Representative Arlene Braithwaite

Capital Area REALTOR® (USPS 017-467) is published five times a year by the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®, 8757 Georgia Avenue, Suite 600, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Periodicals postage paid at Silver Spring, MD. Member subscriptions account for $10 of each member’s annual dues. Annual subscriptions are available to non-members for $25. Subscription inquiries may be sent to Capital Area REALTOR® at the above address. Copyright© 2013 by the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO CAPITAL AREA REALTOR®, ATTN: GCAAR, 8757 GEORGIA AVENUE, SUITE 600, SILVER SPRING, MD 20910. The Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® makes no warranties and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained herein. The opinions expressed herein do not necessary reflect the opinions of the officers, directors or staff of the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®. The Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® accepts submissions of articles and photographs and these items become the property of the The Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®. The publisher reserves the right of full editorial authority and to decline publication of any article not deemed proper. Deadline for all submissions, including camera-ready advertising on disk or film, is the first of the month prior to publication. Reprint with permission only. Reprint permission may be obtained by contacting the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® at 301.590.2000; via fax at 301.590.2248; or via e-mail at REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies and may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its Code of Ethics.

Capital Area REALTOR®

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Downtown DC: What’s Next?

The Washington Post September 13, 2013 In December 1980, Elizabeth Blakeslee packed her few things into a Datsun and set off from a seaside town in North Carolina for the nation’s capital. – Elizabeth Blakeslee, GCAAR member featured

Apps Put Power in Palm of Homebuyers’ Hands

The Current Newspapers September 18, 2013 “This sort of technology empowers buyers. They can operate independently until they want to view the property.” - Jim Bell, GCAAR member “I think it helps folks on the fly while they’re out and about.” - Skip Singleton, GCAAR member

REALTOR® Adds Bit of Philanthropy

The Current Newspapers September 18, 2013 “People don’t buy a home simply because it’s a home. They buy a home because they’re invested in a certain community.” - Joshua Oliver, GCAAR member

Day in the Life – Sammy Dweck, REALTOR®

InTheCapital/ July 23, 2013 “I enjoy the challenge of getting people on to the next phase of their lives – and knowing that no matter how long I’ve been doing this, I’ll always learn something interesting and meet someone new the next day.” - Sammy Dweck, GCAAR member

Serving the Business Needs of OUR Professionals

2013 September - October


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Ask the President Michael McGreevy 2013 GCAAR President Q. One of my agents recently called me to say that SentriLock had terminated their SentriCard® access because they had lent their card to another agent in my office who had inadvertently left their card at home. SentriLock refused to turn the card back on even after I called to vouch for both of my agents. This seemed harsh…what’s going on? - A Manager in Washington, DC A. One of the benefits of using an electronic key system is increased security for homeowners and our members, and we have an obligation to protect that security. Loaning out a SentriCard® is a violation of the Association’s SentriLock Rules and Regulations. And it’s a violation with potentially expensive consequences. Section 5-2 of the Rules and Regulations outline the “Security of SentriCard® and Property Key” provisions. Section 5-2 (d) states that a card holder may not “lend the SentriCard® or property key to any person, for any purpose whatsoever, or to permit the SentriCard ® or property key to be used for any purpose by any other person.” Violations of these provisions could result in fines of up to $5,000 and suspension of all key card privileges. So while I understand an agent wanting to help out a fellow agent, our greater commitment is to protect the security of homeowners and to uphold the SentriLock’s rules and regulations we subscribe to.

Speaking of the Diamondback purchase, the Board approved the selection of an architectural firm to assist in the design of the Association’s space. Move-in is targeted for late 2013. The Board congratulated the Education and Events Committees for a successful 2013 REALTOR® Fest held July 23 at the North Bethesda Marriott. More than 450 members and guests attended the all day education event and trade show. The Community Service committee raised over $3,000 for GCAAR Cares at their silent auction during REALTOR® Fest. The Education Committee announced that more required Virginia CE courses have been added to the GCAAR curriculum offerings. Check the full course schedule at The Board congratulates the 2,400+ GCAAR members who have made their 2013 investment in the REALTOR® Party! The Association has exceeded its fair share goal for both Maryland and the District of Columbia! GCAAR members have invested a total of more than $163,000 in 2013. Make your investment online at The Contract and Clause Committee released updates to several forms including: Form 1300, MAR Sales Contract; Form 1330, FHA Financial Addendum; Form 1341, Buyer Agency Agreement; Form 1350, MultiUnit Addendum to the Regional Contract; Form 1352, Conventional Financing Addendum, and Form 1388, VA Financial Addendum. In addition, the Property Management Committee released Form 1205, Montgomery County Lease; and Form 1221; DC Lease.

It’s probably a good idea to read the SentriLock rules and regulations, which can be found online under the “Tool Kit” tab at Take a moment at your next agent meeting and share with your team some of the rules and regulations highlights. Q. I was pleased to hear that GCAAR has purchased a headquarters building and that the Association will be an owner rather than a renter. But I’m wondering what will happen to my annual dues as a result. Are they going to go up? - An agent in Olney A. This great question requires an even greater answer! Several of my associates have asked me about this and the answer is a resounding “NO!” The purchase of the building will not necessitate a dues increase. In fact, we based our detailed search for a new headquarters with projections that the building will be a positive cash flow investment and will therefore be a source of non-member revenue and strengthen our financial position as one of the largest REALTOR® associations in the country. When GCAAR moves in to its new home sometime around the end/first of the year, the building will be fully leased! That’s right…and because we are our own landlord we will pay ourselves rent and not some other investor (landlord). Brilliant!

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The GCAAR Board of Directors met June 7 in Silver Spring, July 19 in Rockville, and August 23 in Silver Spring. 2013 Maryland Association of REALTORS® President Carlton Boujai visited the Board at the June meeting, giving a report on MAR’s activities. He congratulated the Board on its recent purchase of the new headquarters office building at 15201 Diamondback Drive, in Rockville Maryland.

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2013 September - October

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Serving the Business Needs of OUR Professionals

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10/10/13 3:15 PM

MEET YOUR GCAAR COMMITTEES International Committee

Grievance Committee

The International Committee brings real estate specific international events and information to members. It selects topics and speakers and secures sponsors for events. The committee meets bi-monthly.

The Grievance Committee is GCAAR’s “Grand Jury” for ethics complaints and arbitration requests. It reviews documents filed in ethics complaints and arbitration requests and determines whether to forward cases to Professional Standards Committee for hearings. The committee meets monthly.

The International Committee mourns the loss of its Vice Chair Luba Vidgop Barg, who passed away on September 13.

2013 Roster Chair Jeffrey Ganz, GRI

2013 Roster Chair: Hildegarde “Hildy” Pollard

Vice Chair John Sullivan ABR®, ASB

Daniel Ayers Thomas Brockett Joseph Buffington, II Cynthia Davis Leslie Dembinski James Downing Ben Dursch Samuel Dweck Leslie Friedson Jody Goren Jaynie Grant, GRI Neal Greene Aaron Hargrove, CBR Michael Hsur Mary Illes

Vice Chair Luba Vidgop Barg

Christopher Jeffries Kay Kline James Kneussl, CBR, GRI, SRES® Moquit Malik, GRI Patricia McKenna Cynthia Moses Eileen Rogers Orfalea Marc Pina, ABR®, GRI Margaret Regnier Katrina Schymik Josette Skilling Glen Sutcliffe David Thomas, GRI Vanessa Narma

Marie Ahlgren-Stephanos M. Jacqueline Bennett Asmeret Demeter-Medhane Alfredo Duque Laura Gilley Samia Gouda Lise Courtney Howe Marcelo Martinez

Pushpa Mittal, CRS, GRI Cherrealle Moore Silvia Rodriguez, CIPS®, GRI Dana Scanlon Andres Serafini Wendy Vasquez Cedron Williams

L-R: Staff Liaison, Sabine Alexander; Chair Hildy Pollard; Vice Chair, Luba Vidgop Barg  

L-R: Vice Chair, Jeffrey Ganz; Staff Liaison, Yvette Robinson; Chair, John Sullivan


*In the May/June issue of Capital Area REALTOR®, Jearline Williams was not included in the roster for the Professional Standards Committee. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.

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* Actual Gold Star Sticker is used, not just a star graphic. Only 1 winner per issue. Winner must present the issue of CAR with the sticker to claim winnings. If no winner is identified by CAR’s next mailing, the winnings are forfeited.

Capital Area REALTOR®

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2013 September - October


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NAR Director’s Report

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DCAR Speaker Series Hosts Councilmembers Wells & Bowser

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has been busy working on our behalf over the summer. In fact, the NAR Board of Directors held a special meeting in Chicago in July and voted to enhance our industry website, In August at the annual Leadership Summit, 2014 President Steve Brown outlined NAR’s program for addressing the issues of greatest importance to the housing industry over the next 12 months under the theme “The Time is Now”. These include protecting the existing real estate tax provisions in the tax code, ensuring a strong secondary mortgage market, implementing common-sense financial reforms, and ensuring access to affordable property insurance. More on these issues can be found at Closer to home, GCAAR was gratified to receive a grant from NAR to fund the production of our Smart Growth report for the region. I was pleased to guide this to its fruition. This report focuses on the issues regarding the impact of transitioning from a suburban to urban area, the transportation needed to maintain our standards of growth and our quality of life. I hope you will join us in San Francisco November 7 - 11 for the annual NAR conference. It’s full of organizational meetings, classes, trips, motivational speeches, and even a performance by the rock band Foreigner! For information and to register, go to This is my third and final year as a NAR Director on behalf of GCAAR, and I think my most important vote has been providing the resources to our Association to compete in the national political marketplace. Our voice, the voice for homeownership, won’t be drowned out by all the new political money added to the election process. In my opinion a major responsibility of REALTORS® is to advocate for homeownership.

2013 DCAR President Bo Menkiti with Councilmember & 2014 Mayoral Candidate Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6).

While my time serving you at GCAAR on the Executive Committee is done, I’m glad to have the opportunity to continue to be involved in GCAAR and to serve next year as Chair of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC). I thank you for all of your support over the years, and for giving me the opportunity to serve. I wish our 2014 leadership team all the best.

Councilmember and 2014 Mayoral Candidate Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) addresses parking issues in the District.


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Bonnie Casper is 2013 Director of the National Association of REALTORS®, Immediate Past President of GCAAR and 2014 Secretary of the Maryland Association of REALTORS®. She can be contacted at

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10/10/13 3:16 PM

How Much Do You Know about MRIS Core? 7 ½ MRIS Resources You Should Explore

MRIS is always working to improve and add to our suite of MRIS Core products and services. While most customers are familiar with Matrix and Keystone, many more MRIS Core products are included as part of your MRIS subscription and the list is growing!

What Are the MRIS Core Products? In addition to Matrix and Keystone, you also have the following products available to you at no additional cost: 1. Document Management – Upload documents directly to the listing using Document Management. Control who accesses your documents by setting them to Public (available to all MRIS customers) or Private (available only to MRIS customers within your office). 2. MRISFax – Easily send large documents via the MRISFax tool. You can send the faxed document as a PDF to up to 10 email recipients in a single transmission! 3. MRIShomes™ Mobile App – Go mobile with MRIS! Login to the MRIShomes™ mobile app with your MRIS ID and password to view additional property information such as list price history, days on market, distressed property information, showing instructions, agent remarks and more. GPS search enables you to search listings wherever you are! 4. ListHub – Brokers, syndicate your listings with the nation’s largest online listing distribution and marketing network. With the ListHub dashboard, control and filter how and where your listings get published.

5. RatePlug – Deliver interactive, real-time mortgage programs, payment and qualifying information to your clients. RatePlug provides them with a one-stop shopping experience for finding the right home and financing. 6. RBI Market Statistics ( – Position yourself as the market expert in your area with up-to-the-minute market stats straight from the MLS. You can even embed charts and videos on your website or blog. 7. Short Sale Center – Navigating the short sale process can be difficult, but having access to the right information and resources can help. The MRIS Short Sale Center combines the tools you need to expedite the short sale process, prospect for listing leads and become the distressed property expert in your area.

Learn More in ½ the Time with MRIS-U! Training for each of the MRIS Core products is available by visiting For those who have interest in training but don’t have much time in your schedule for classes, videos of our most popular classes and quick product tutorials are available 24/7 on

More MRIS Core Product and Enhancements Are Coming Soon! The best way to stay current with MRIS news, product sneak peeks and exclusive promotions and events is to interact with us on our social media channels. If you haven’t connected with us on, Facebook or Twitter, you might miss out on what’s happening at MRIS. Visit us at, like MRIS on Facebook, and follow @MRIS_REal_News on Twitter to keep in touch with MRIS!

Thank You! MRIS celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year, and as we reflect on the past, we are reminded of two things: 1. We certainly have added and enhanced products to stay up to date with changing technology and trends over the last two decades, and 2. We serve as the MLS for the best customers in the real estate industry. We thank you for being a part of MRIS, and we look forward to many more years of providing the best service to you!

Capital Area REALTOR®

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2013 September - October


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Green Resources GCAAR Supports DC Green Festival GCAAR’s Green Committee was in the house at the DC Green Festival September 21-22. Green Festival is the nation’s largest green marketplace for the conscious consumer with every participating vendor demonstrating their commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

Hot Topic: Energy-Efficient Mortgages An Energy-Efficient Mortgage (EEM) is a mortgage that credits a home’s energy efficiency in the mortgage itself. EEMs give borrowers the opportunity to finance cost-effective, energy-saving measures as part of a single mortgage and stretch debt-to-income qualifying ratios on loans thereby allowing borrowers to qualify for a larger loan amount and a better, more energy-efficient home.

Phillip Dixon and Shahnaz Tehraniazad represent GCAAR at the DC Green Festival.

To get an EEM, a borrower typically has to have a home energy rater conduct a home energy rating before financing is approved. This rating verifies for the lender that the home is energy-efficient. CONVENTIONAL ENERGY-EFFICIENT MORTGAGES Conventional EEMs increase the purchasing power of buying an energyefficient home by allowing the lender to increase the borrower’s income by a dollar amount equal to the estimated energy savings. While Freddie Mac does not offer EEMs, they do allow underwriting flexibilities for energy-efficient improvements with all of their offerings. FHA ENERGY-EFFICIENT MORTGAGES The mortgage loan amount for an FHA EEM can be increased by the cost of effective energy improvements. VA ENERGY- EFFICIENT MORTGAGES The Veteran’s Administration (VA) EEM is available to qualified military personnel, reservists, and veterans for energy improvements when purchasing an existing home.

GCAAR Green Committee Chair Lili Sheeline (right) & volunteer Roshani Kothari

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION share resources and info at the GCAAR table. To learn more about EEMs, contact Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the FHA, or the VA. Additional information about energy-efficient mortgages can be found on the websites for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). More information on other energy-efficiency financing opportunities for homebuyers and homeowners can be found on the U.S. Department of Energy’s website. Source:

New Montgomery County Green Investor Program Montgomery County’s Department of Economic Development (DED) has released the application and qualification criteria for a new incentive program designed to drive green innovation locally by supporting early-stage investors. The Green Investor Incentive Program encourages investments in green companies by reimbursing qualified investors with payments of up to $50,000. To qualify as a green business, a company must, among certain other criteria, provide a green product or technology, be headquartered in the County, have been in business for less than ten years, and employ fewer than 50 people. Individuals and investment firms that have invested in qualified green companies from July 24, 2013 until December 31, 2013 are potentially eligible to access this year’s $500,000 appropriation. The program will be first-come first-served, and investors will have until January 15, 2014 to submit their applications. For more information or to download the application, please visit the Department of Economic Development’s website at


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Capital Area REALTOR®

10/10/13 3:16 PM

Technology / Tool Box Social Apps

Five of the best social apps to expand your marketing efforts. By Graham Wood, REALTOR® Magazine 1. INSTAGRAM The thing about selling real estate is that it’s all about the photos. So Instagram is a natural boon to agents. What’s great is that it’s also a time-saver when it comes to marketing. Don’t wait for a professional photographer to shoot images, and then have to upload them all to your site. Snap a photo of a home, add a cool photo filter, and post to Instagram in seconds. You can use the power of a visual to get the word out about a new listing immediately. Pittsburgh-based Coldwell Banker agent Tim Gyves also uses Instagram to network with like-minded contacts. “It’s helped me do more than tweet links to listings,” he says. “[I’ve gotten] to know people who share similar appreciation for architecture.” Here’s another plus with Instagram: You can enable the “photo map” feature, which will show the location of your photo. If you’re uploading a lot of photos in a particular neighborhood, you can establish yourself as the neighborhood expert. Price: Free. 2. HOOTSUITE Want to post an announcement about a new listing or open house, even while you’re busy with a client? The best thing about HootSuite, which allows you to post to many different social media accounts from one platform, is that you can schedule posts for specific times. So if you know you’re going to be out of the office when your listing officially comes on the market, you can schedule announcements and promo posts on all your social media accounts from HootSuite hours or even days in advance. You can also create lists of people you follow: clients, agents, buyers, sellers, and so on. Price: Free. 3. VINE It’s like Twitter for video. Vine lets you create six-second looping video clips that you can post to Twitter and Facebook. The app includes tools to help you edit your video as seamlessly as possible. Of course, selling a home in six seconds is pretty difficult.® asked agents about

how Vine could be used for their business, and some suggested it’s a good platform to showcase your knowledge of your market. Post short tips for buyers or sellers, or announce a sale you recently closed. It also could be used to highlight a particular feature of a listing. It’s worth noting that Instagram also has a video option now, which lets you film and upload up to 15 seconds of video. Some of REALTOR® Magazine’s followers on Twitter said they prefer Instagram over Vine. Price: Free. 4. FOURSQUARE If you really want to establish yourself as a local expert, try checking in at various places and sharing your location with your contacts. If they see that you check in often at places in a certain neighborhood, you’ll give the impression that you know the area very well. Become the “mayor” of a certain restaurant or bar, and you’ll look even better. You may find that people start coming to you for advice on living in your area. Price: Free. 5. FLICKR Obviously, Flickr is a great place to post listing photos. But it can be so much more than that. There are real estate-focused groups where you can network with other agents or clients. One powerful aspect of Flickr that is often overlooked is the potential for search engine optimization. Flickr images often pop up in search results, making the site another path from Google to you. Make sure your Flickr photos have specific titles that use key searchable terms. Throw a link to your Web site in the photo description to increase your chances of people going there. Before you know it, you may be generating leads! Price: You can get three types of Flickr accounts: free, ad-free ($49.99 a year), and Doublr ($499.99 a year). The free account gives you a terabyte of storage space for photos and videos, but you will see ads on Flickr. Ad-free gets rid of the ads, and Doublr doubles your storage space to two terabytes. You also have the option of putting rights restrictions on your photos so they cannot be legally used by other parties.

RISE TO NEW HEIGHTS at the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo Every fall, real estate professionals from across the U.S. and around the world come together for the annual REALTORS® Conference & Expo, which will be held November 8-11 in San Francisco, CA. The theme this year is Discover Your Magic. The conference features: • More than 100 education sessions, featuring nationally-recognized speakers, trainers, and industry experts, who discuss timely topics and critical issues of value to REALTORS® • 400 industry vendors at the Trade Expo, who present the latest innovative tools just for real estate professionals • Unlimited networking and referral-building opportunities, including special events, networking lounges, and the Expo show floor This is an event you don’t want to miss! Register at

Capital Area REALTOR®

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2013 September - October


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MC & DC Market Reports Fred Flick, Ph.D. Consultant/Housing Economist

Year-to-date through July, the Maryland housing market has shown solid growth. Property sales totaled 35,360 units, and they were up 13.3% from the first seven months of 2012. The average price of $308,760 has risen 4.9% from the comparable 2012 figure; and, the median price of $261,900 rose 6.2%. For the month of July, sales totaling 6,481 homes bounded almost 27% from a year before. Statewide, the July average home price came in at $335,655 -- 4.7% above a year before. Correspondingly, the median price of $286,758 jumped almost 10%. On the supply side, the overall statewide active inventory included 26,090 properties, equating to a 4-month supply at the July sales rate.


The total July unit sales volume came in at 1,280 properties, leaping 32% from a year ago. The sold dollar volume totaled $677,458,922, vaulting almost 40% from a year before. The average sold price came in at $529,265 – rising 6%; and, the median price of $435,500 jumped over 10% from a year ago. Properties turned over faster than earlier in the year. Average days on the market totaled 35, and were almost 39% below those of the year before. Furthermore, the ratio of average sales price to average original listing price was 97.2%, up about 2% from last year. Active listings totaled 2,246 properties, but this level was almost 9% below that of July 2012.

With good sales rates, given the tight inventory, single-family prices have been moving up at a near double-digit pace. Year to date, the average sales price was $576,652, and the median was $465,000. In 2012, the average single-family home sold for $529,026 and the median priced property cost $425,000. Doing the math through August, average and median prices are up 9% and 9.4%, respectively, from last year. We are finally seeing the kind of confidence in the market that moves prices. Pent-up demand and short supply are also helping.

AUGUST SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES The August year-to-date settlements and contracts paces rose significantly from the paces of August 2012. Year-to-date single-family settlements (6,076) jumped 14% and year-to-date contracts (6,579) rose almost 10% from a year before. The monthly figures moved up at similar paces. Monthly settlements (870) bounced almost 20% from a year before; and, new contracts for the month (799) rose almost 11%.

AUGUST CONDOMINIUMS AND COOPERATIVES Through August, there were 1,838 condo/coop settlements -- a jump of almost 20% from a year ago. And, the 238 monthly settlements bumped-up 14% from the level of August 2012. As would be expected, contracts also have performed well. Year-to-date contracts for August (2,017) jumped 15% from a year before; August contracts (254) advanced over 11% from August 2012.

The inventory trend improved through the spring and summer, but is still below levels of last summer. August total single-family active listings of 1,792 properties were 5% below those of last August; and below July’s inventory and the levels of September and October 2012, as well. On the bright side, 958 monthly new listings in August were 19% above the level of a year ago. But, at the August contracts pace, there was only about a 2.2 months supply of properties. This ratio is slightly higher than those of last spring.


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Inventory has finally caught up with last year. August condo/coop active listings (452) came in at 1.6% above last August; it is now higher than all months back to August 2012. Furthermore, August new listings (293) bounced 18% above last year’s monthly figure. At the August contracts pace, there was only a 1.8-months supply of properties. This ratio is higher than earlier in the spring; but, the tight inventory of previous months continues to help with price appreciation in this seller’s market.

AUGUST SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES The Washington, DC single-family sales market has significantly improved compared to last year. Year-to-date settlements (2,749) jumped 9% and new settlements in August (350) were up 5.7% from the same period in 2012. Similarly, year-to-date contracts (2,963) rose 6%; and, August single-family contracts (370) bumped 12.5% above a year before.

The summer marked a big turnaround in housing prices. Both average and median prices rose substantially. For all of 2012, the average and median sales prices were $250,738 and $208,225, respectively. Thus far, through August, the average price of $269,981 was up 7.7% from 2012; and, the median price of $220,000 was almost 5.7% above the 2012 median. Again, the pent-up demand and tight inventory have been a boon to sellers.

The District’s single-family inventory continues to be below the levels of last year, but the gap is diminishing. August total active listings totaled 598 properties. This was just 5% below those in August 2012, an improvement over the spring and early summer months. However, new single-family listings for the month (377) were up only about 6% from a year before. The seller’s market is drawing out listings in the twilight months of the summer, but at a relatively slow rate.


The tight inventory has finally worked to push up price appreciation rates. In 2012, single-family average prices ($655,645) had jumped 11% compared to the average for 2011. And 2012 median prices ($530,000) had bounced up 18%. This year, through August, the average single-family home cost $719,279 with the median at $600,000. Through August, these prices yield appreciation rates of 9.7% and 13.2%, respectively. While they are below the 2012 rates, they are still very solid numbers.

The District’s unit sales pace moved up substantially by mid-summer. In July, it totaled 779 properties, rising 23% from a year ago. And, the sold dollar volume was $492,029,773 – leaping almost 37% from the previous year. The average sale price was $631,617-- up 11%; and the median price was $520,000 – almost a 14% jump from last July. Furthermore, the average sales price to average original listing price ratio came in at 98% -- up almost 2 percentage points from a year before. However, July inventory included only 1,212 total actives and that figure had dropped almost 19% from a year ago.

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MC & DC Market Reports, continued from page 11

So far through August, condo/coop prices averaged $452,434 and they are up almost 5.4% from the 2012 average. Continuing a recent trend, lower-priced units have seen more appreciation. Through August, the median price of $410,000 rose 7.9% compared to the $380,000 figure for 2012.

AUGUST CONDOMINIUMS AND COOPERATIVES The Washington, DC condominium and cooperative market continued to show strength in both sales and price appreciation. Year-to-date August settlements (2,628) leaped 26% and contracts (2,749) jumped 18% from a year ago. Moreover, monthly settlements of 402 properties vaulted almost 44% from a year before. In the same direction, but not to the same extent, monthly contracts (336) edged-up 7% over those of August 2012.

HOUSING INDUSTRY PRODUCTION July’s 896,000 total new private home starts (seasonally adjusted and annualized rate, ‘saar’) were up 6% from the June rate, and were 21% above the July 2012 rate. However, the 591,000 (saar) single-family starts actually declined 2% from June, but were 15.4% above the July 2012 rate. Total private housing permits (943,000 saar) were up 2.7% from June, but were over 12% above the July 2012 rate. Single-family permits (613,000 saar) were almost 2% below the June level, but were 18% higher than in July 2012. New residential home sales in July totaled 394,000 units (saar). This figure was 13.4% below the revised June rate but 6.8% above the estimate for July 2012. Furthermore, the national new home inventory has loosened a bit with 171,000 properties available, or a 5.2 months supply. And, price performance has substantially improved over the year. The average price of $322,000 was 14.3% above a year before; the $257,200 median was up 8.3%.

As in the single-family market, condo/coop inventory continues to be below the same period in 2012. So far, January logged the lowest level at just 465 actives. There was steady improvement through July to a total of 604 listings, but they were still 25% below the previous July. And for August, total actives (553) declined from the July level and dropped below the comparable 2012 figure by almost 21%. Nevertheless, new August listings (377) bounced up over 30% from August 2012. At the current contracts pace, there was only about a 1.7 months supply of properties. This has improved over the year, but still is way below historical norms.

Total existing home resales through July totaled 5.39 million units (saar). The monthly increase of 6.5% was the best month of sales since November 2009. The median price came in at $213,500 (up 13.7% from a year before) with the $260,100 average up 10%. At the end of July, there was a 2.28 million unit inventory (saar), which represented a 5.1 months supply. As with our local markets, lack of inventory continues to be a problem for the national housing market. While the July level was slightly better than the 4.7 months supply at the end of March, it is still less than the 5.9 months average for all of 2012. For the single-family resales market, July sales rose 6% (4.76 million, saar) from June, but jumped 16% above the pace of July 2012. Moreover, the single-family median price ($214,000) bumped 13.5% and the average ($260,600) moved up 10% from a year ago. In the existing condo/coop market, sales (630,000 saar) rose 8.6% from June, but leaped almost 24% from July 2012. Furthermore, the national condo/coop median price came in at $209,600 -- up 15.5% from a year before. The average price ($255,900) rose almost 12%. MONETARY POLICY, THE DEBT, INTEREST RATES, AND INFLATION There have been strong indications from the Fed that we soon should see some slowing -- lower amounts each month -- in the rate of Treasury and mortgage security purchases. Bernanke earlier suggested, in Fed minutes and testimony, that this may occur some time toward the end of this year and would last through mid-2014. The markets have been pushing


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up interest rates in anticipation and the bond and stock markets have shown some recent weakness. In the first week of September, the 10year Treasury bond yield came very close to 3%, and we have been seeing increases in 30-year fixed mortgage rates, as they are tied to the 10-year bond. However, with the latest employment report, bond prices rose and yields came down a bit. The decision about “tapering” will be wrapped up with growth, inflation, labor market, and stock market concerns. The pace at which this “tapering” will occur is still anybody’s guess. Some analysis suggests first cutting back on Treasury purchases and keeping mortgage security purchases at current levels. However, European policy makers, attending the recent Fed annual conference in Jackson Hole have encouraged the Fed to go slow on cutbacks as they have been experiencing problems and are just now starting to pump-up their economies the way the Fed has been doing since the great recession began. While there is concern that this could create more international inflation, the Fed is likely to continue purchasing large amounts of government securities. Up to this point, the great inflation has yet to materialize. The Fed will probably decide in its mid-September meeting whether, and how much, to taper back its mortgage security and Treasury purchases. MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES The Freddie Mac survey for the first week of September showed conclusively that average mortgage interest rates have been moving up in anticipation of the Federal Reserve cutting back on bond and mortgage security buying. In these recent results, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.57%, while 1-year adjustables (ARMs) averaged 2.71%. Fifteen-year loans came in at 3.59% and 5/1-yr ARMs were affordable at 3.28%. At the 30-year rate, the move up is over 1 percentage point from spring and with the one-year ARM, a rise of about 25 basis points. CONSUMER PRICES AND ENERGY COSTS The July Consumer Price Index increased only 2% over the past year – an acceptable level of annual inflation. During this period, gasoline and fuel oil prices rose, as well as electricity and natural gas. Food costs rose modestly. When food and energy are taken out of the July index, the annualized “core” inflation still was only 1.7%. On a monthly basis, the overall CPI index increased by 0.2% from June to July. Examining the key components of the index over the year past: food prices edged up 1.4%; housing shelter costs (mostly rents) rose 2.3%; and, apparel prices rose only 1.6%. While, medical care services rose 2.6%, medical care commodities were down 0.1% from July 2012. Energy commodities rose 5% -- gasoline rose 5.2% and fuel oil bumped 3.4%. Energy services (electricity and natural gas) increased 4.3%. THE BOTTOM LINE The spring 2013 market started out at a cautious pace. However, both property types and both jurisdictions have seen strong double-digit sales rates and price rises through the mid-summer market. Of course, low inventory continues to be a problem across all properties and areas, likely holding the sales volume down. While 2012 was a good year, and 2013 looked like a hard slog earlier this spring, the market has significantly improved through the summer. It is still the case that we are waiting for a full kick-in of sequester impacts. And, this fall there will be another big budget and government shut-down fight between the White House and Congress. Nevertheless, the overall national outlook is positive and the local outlook seems even better. Hopefully, all of us will be lifting champagne-filled glasses by the holidays.

Thank You 2013 RPAC Investors!

Golden “R” Bonnie Casper Carole Maclure Dale Ross GCAAR

Crystal “R” Jamie Coley Jane Fairweather Fred Kendrick Jill Michaels Michael Moran

Koki Adasi Briana Ayala Elizabeth Blakeslee Douglas Carter Thomas Daley Suzanne Des Marais James Downing Greg Ford Carlos Garcia Brandon Green Harold Huggins Adrian Hunnings

Wendy Banner Frederic Bates David Bediz Jan Brito Nathan Carnes Roger Carp Kimberly Casey Anita Centofanti Lori Connor Lauren Davis Sherry Davis Joe Detrick Anthony DeVol Gary Ditto Melinda Estridge

Sterling “R” Ellen Katz Tim Knobloch Dana Landry Alana Lasover Peg Mancuso Michael McGreevy Bo Menkiti Jorge Montalvan Shelly Murray Frank Pietranton, Jr. Leigh Reed Scott Reiter

Randy Rothstein Jason Sherman Brenda Small Jennifer Smira Frank Snodgrass Christopher Suranna Patrick Weed Meredith Weisel Holly Worthington Edward Wood

Capital Club

Kymber Lovett-Menkiti Santhy Mallios Yolanda Mamone Vittorio Muzzatti Bonnie Roberts-Burke Michael Schaeffer P. Joy Siegel Martin Signore Josette Skilling Dominic Turano Phyllis Wiesenfelder Kirsten Williams Hans Wydler

Jeffrey Ganz Andrea Gaus Ricki Gerger Sally Hamidi Gordon Harrison Zelda Heller Mynor Herrera William Highsmith Colin Johnson Ann Johnston Angela Jones Daryl Judy Elley Kott Cheryl Leahy Jeremy Lichtenstein

As of October 7, 2013

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White Flint Expansion Still a Hot Topic at Development Seminar

Evan Goldman Federal Realty Investment Trust

GCAAR welcomed a standing room only crowd to an update on the White Flint expansion plans at the GCAAR Development Seminar on July 18. Moderated by GCAAR Immediate Past President Bonnie Casper, speakers included: Francine Waters, White Flint Partnerships; Rob Eisinger, ProMark Real Estate Services; Evan Goldman, Federal Realty Investment Trust; Mike Smith, LCOR; Mark Winston, Chair, Montgomery County Executive’s Transit Task Force; and, Tom Street of the Montgomery County Executive’s Office.

Two years ago, GCAAR presented its first Economic Development Round Table highlighting White Flint. At that time REALTORS® learned that the Montgomery County Council unanimously approved the White Flint Sector Plan, and within months the White Flint Sector design won the Neighborhood/ Small Area Plan Award from the National Capital Area chapter of the American Planning Association. The Plan creates a thriving, diverse mixed-use center with highest density closest to the Metro and along Rockville Pike.

July 23, 2013

Bethesda North Marriott

GCAAR headed back to the North Bethesda Marriott on July 23 for this year’s REALTOR® Fest. Because it was a DC renewal year, classes were packed with attendees seeking to get their CE credits in before the August 31 deadline, and with GCAAR offering the needed classes at REALTOR® Fest, it was the perfect place to be! Here’s a recap of the event: • 456 attendees Sold-out trade show with over 40 vendors • • $5600 worth of cash and prizes awarded • 2492 hours of CE credits earned Thanks again to all of our sponsors and attendees for their support of this year’s event.

Following up on 2011’s informative event, attendees learned what has happened over the last two years and more specifics about the planned development along the White Flint transit sector, including the North Bethesda Gateway (East Village, Tilden Place), and updates on Phases 1-2 of ProMark’s Rockville Pike projects. Federal Realty Investment Trust announced publicly for the first time its plans for retail, office, and hotel development. Integral to the presentations was the discussion about the Rapid Transit Vehicle system. Key to the Sector Plan’s success is the County’s development and funding of this mass transit network. Without a mass transit system, the sector plans cannot be implemented due to the inability of the County’s road system to carry the additional traffic. “From the size of the crowd it’s evident that the future of the White Flint corridor is a topic in which many people are very interested,” said Bonnie Casper. “There’s a lot going on in this area and it is a test case for the County and private sector to see if they can work together to grow the economy, improve housing affordability, and maintain the quality of life that our residents have come to expect.”

Full house at Dave & Buster’s.

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Public Policy

REAL Advocacy for REALTORS®

Check out GCAAR’s bi-monthly Legislative and Public Policy Report at for a full list of federal, state, and local legislation being reviewed by the Government Affairs Department. You can also email or with comments or questions!

ON THE HILL While Congress was in August recess, NAR was hard at work on many issues that will be on the chopping block this year. Here is what’s on the table: FANNIE AND FREDDIE REFORM Lawmakers are finally moving forward with reforming the secondary mortgage market. Recent introduction of legislation like the “PATH Act” (Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners) would eliminate Fannie and Freddie, and drastically reduce the accessibility to FHA loans. MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION (MID) House and Senate leaders are considering significant federal tax reform options. A “blank slate” approach emerged this summer, which would initially eliminate every provision in the tax code, including MID. QUALIFIED RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE (QRM) More revisions to the QRM rule are possible, helping millions buy homes and strengthen the mortgage market. A recent proposal would require banks to retain a piece of mortgages when borrowers spend more than 43% of their monthly income to repay the debt. FLOOD INSURANCE In response to REALTOR® concerns about rate increases, a proposal for a one-year delay to any changes is moving through Congress. Stay up-to-date on NAR’s political activity and access all CALLS FOR ACTION through NAR’s REALTOR® Action Center at

NEW MARYLAND LAWS IN EFFECT SHORT SALES & FORECLOSURES MD law now requires a “mortgage assistance relief service provider” providing “mortgage assistance relief services” to comply with specific MD and federal regulations. “Mortgage assistance relief services,” such as negotiations or discussions over short sale issues, are considered outside the scope of a MD real estate license. Violators of the new law can be liable for serious damages and criminal charges. On the foreclosure front, Homeowner Associations (HOAs) and Condo Associations may no longer foreclose on a property if the lien is comprised only of fines and/or attorney fees to collect those fines. Foreclosure may only proceed on liens for delinquent assessments and/or attorney fees to collect those assessments. HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE A new law requires an insurer to provide notice to consumers clarifying what the anti-concurrent coverage (ACC) clause in their policies mean. An ACC clause provides that if loss is caused by both covered and non-covered events, the loss claim will not be paid. REFINANCING Homeowners can now refinance a first mortgage without obtaining permission from the lender that funded a home equity loan or second mortgage. Visit MAR’s Government Affairs section at for a full list of bills from the 2013 Session.

TRANSPORTATION UPDATE OVER $1 BILLION IN MD STATE FUNDING FOR TRANSPORTATION Governor Martin O’Malley recently announced funding for nearly $1.7 billion in transportation projects in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. Funded by a sales tax on motor fuels, the Governor pledged $400 million for construction of the 16-mile Purple Line, a public-private partnership connecting Bethesda and New Carrollton with light rail service. O’Malley also named members to a MD task force that will investigate the feasibility of creating regional transit financing districts and local-option revenues for transportation. They are set to report recommendations by December 15, 2013. The transportation overhaul doesn’t stop there—MD voters will also see an amendment to the Maryland Constitution prohibiting the use of the Transportation Trust Fund for other purposes on their ballots during the 2014 election. MONTGOMERY COUNTY RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM UPDATE After nearly 5 years of planning on a Rapid Transit System (RTS), the Montgomery County Planning Board finally submitted a Draft of its Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan to the Council this past July. Bonnie Casper, GCAAR Immediate Past President, presented testimony at the Council’s hearing in September. She urged the Council to adopt a plan that allows for the design and construction of a high performance Rapid Transit System, with flexibility for those who implement the plan to build the best possible system.


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MONTGOMERY COUNTY For up-to-date information on Montgomery County legislation, visit the County’s website at TREE PROTECTION LAWS (Effective March 2014) Two new bills have been signed into law to help protect tree canopy in the County. Here’s what you need to know: Trees on Private Property • Homeowners are NOT required to pay the County or plant replacement trees every time they take a tree down. The provision is only triggered by large projects requiring Sediment Control Permits (SCP). • If you do need a SCP for a project (i.e. you’re disturbing more than 5,000 sq. ft.), you need to replace the trees you take down, or plant new trees even if you don’t take any down. • If planting isn’t in your plan, you have the option to pay into a Replacement Fund. Trees in County Right-of-Way (Roadside Trees) • To cut down or trim a roadside tree, you need to: obtain a permit; plant another tree; and pay into a tree replacement fund. • DOES NOT apply to trees that are a danger to people or property (i.e. - when a tree branch is going to fall on your car). If you are unsure if a tree is in the County right-of-way or if you must plant a replacement, contact the Department of Permitting Services (DPS) at 311 inside the County (or 240.777.0311). The Executive Branch is drafting regulations for implementation of these laws, so stay tuned for updates! NEW COUNTY HISTORIC PRESERVATION TAX CREDIT (Effective July 29, 2013) A new law allows owners of properties designated as “historic” to take tax credits of up to 25% for qualified improvements that help preserve the historic nature of properties. This is a dramatic increase on Maryland and Montgomery County’s previously allowed tax credit of 10% for qualified improvements.


MARYLAND ZONING CORNER GCAAR WEIGHS IN ON MONTGOMERY COUNTY ZONING REWRITE The Zoning Ordinance Rewrite is out of committee and moving on to the full Council. GCAAR is submitting comments on a number of key issues, including: • Allowing more residential housing throughout the County • Preserving neighborhood character while accommodating changing demographics • Supporting voluntary incentives for developers to build affordable housing units • Simplifying process for homeowners to rebuild after involuntarily demolishment • Offering flexibility for property owners to apply for reasonable zoning exceptions. The Ordinance will be reviewed by the Council in the next couple of months and likely pass early 2014.


For additional information visit

Key points include:

NEW DC FORECLOSURE LAW After months of consultations with stakeholders, the DC Council passed legislation aimed at helping troubled homeowners.

• Residential mortgage borrowers now have the same rights for a defective “Notice of Default” as for a “Notice of Intention to Foreclose” • Voids residential foreclosure sales if a lender files a “Notice of Intention to Foreclose” without a final recorded mediation certificate • Mediations must be completed within 180 days of mailing required forms. The District may soon start to see foreclosure proceedings move along more quickly.

PARKING IN DC RECONSIDERED IN ZONING REWRITE DC’s Office of Planning released its latest draft of DC’s Zoning Rewrite and announced it will reduce, rather than eliminate, minimum parking requirements in transit-rich areas outside downtown. Parking remains one of the most contentious issues and stakeholders of all opinions are expected to start heavily weighing-in on the debate!

HIGH RECORDATION AND TRANSFER TAXES ADDRESSED DCAR testified at the Tax Revision Commission’s public hearing in June advocating for the elimination of DC’s unreasonably high recordation and transfer taxes. The Commissioners were very receptive to DCAR’s positions, and will take our arguments into consideration as they draft preliminary recommendations. ISSUE TO WATCH: STATEHOOD MOVEMENT REVIVAL District residents gathered during the March on Washington in August to voice outrage against DC’s lack of statehood. The District’s three-person shadow delegation currently has very few resources at its disposal, and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) has no official vote in Congress. Statehood could mean MAJOR changes for the real estate industry and movement on the issue may be on the horizon: the DC Council is considering a bill that would put $1.1 million in resources to the City’s delegation. 2014 BUDGET UPDATE The District’s record high $12.1 billion budget went into effect October 1, 2013. It does not include any new real estate taxes or fees, but there are important changes to be aware of: • DC’s sales tax will decrease from 6% to 5.75% (lower than VA and MD) • Tax breaks on income from out-of-state bonds are restored • $18 million was set aside for potential Tax Revision Commission revenue

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2014 GCAAR Annual Dues Deadline: Saturday, November 30, 2013 Your 2014 GCAAR Annual Dues invoice was posted online at on October 1. Unlike MRIS, GCAAR does not keep credit card account information on file; all payment account details must be submitted each billing cycle. GCAAR accepts all major credit cards (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa), personal/corporate checks, and money orders. We do not accept cash payments for dues.

Payment options include:

* Paying with a credit/debit card online at, where your invoice may be viewed, printed, and paid using our secure online payment system. You will receive an instant e-mail receipt if payment attempt is successful. * Faxing a credit/debit card payment directly to our Accounting Department at 301.296.2188 * Mailing payment to our Silver Spring location below: GCAAR Attn: Annual Dues 8757 Georgia Ave, Suite 600 Silver Spring, MD 20910-3737 * Paying in person at one of our three office locations (Rockville, Silver Spring, or Washington, DC). Please consult our website for hours of operation. (Our Rockville location is open most Saturdays to provide service to our members.)

GCAAR does not take payments over the phone. Payments postmarked on or before November 30, 2013, and received after this date, will not be considered timely. Payment must be received at GCAAR offices or paid online at on or before the November 30 due date. The easiest, quickest, and most secure way to pay your dues is online at As of December 1, 2013, all outstanding accounts will incur a $25 late fee. If payment is not received by December 31, 2013, a $150 reinstatement fee will be placed on outstanding accounts. At that time, membership privileges, including SentriLock card services, will be suspended until full payment is received. For billing inquiries, please contact our Accounting Department at 301.590.8781 or at GCAAR wants to thank you for your continued support!

Getting the Appointment and Winning the Listing Members, new and seasoned, packed the GCAAR classroom on July 10 to hear Koki Adasi and Cindy Souza of Long & Foster share their tips on how to get an appointment and win a listing. Koki and Cindy led the audience in a lively discussion on topics including: * Are you sure you really want to be a listing agent? * How to get listing appointments * Getting chosen over another agent * Objections from sellers that may cost you the listing or even the listing appointment * You’ve got the listing, now what? * Role play workshop

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L-R: 2013 GCAAR President Michael McGreevy, Cindy Souza, Koki Adasi


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YPN Group Networks in Bethesda; Features Top Tech Producers in G’town On Wednesday, July 10, YPN hosted another fun-filled happy hour at the popular Caddies on Cordell in Bethesda. Attendees enjoyed great food, drinks, and networking inside and out.

L-R: Eugene Cunanan, Robert Dinh, and Jake Ryon enjoy a cool one out on the deck.

YPN attendees pause for speeches.

Maximizing technology in real estate was the focus of the September 12 YPN seminar at the Georgetown Public Library, as top producers Koki Adasi, Phil Di Ruggiero, Adam Isaacson , Lindsay Reishman, Chris Speicher, and Brent Summers shared timely tech tips to enhance your real estate business. With some unexpected “shout outs” from fellow YPN members Danai Mattison and Jessica Evans, the group talked about the success they’ve enjoyed using tools like Virtual Assistant, YouTube, Zillow, Contractually, tracking ROI, and building business through video.

Front Row L-R: GCAAR President Michael McGreevy, Adam Isaacson, Phil Di Ruggiero, YPN Chair Colin Johnson Back Row: L-R: Brent Summers, Koki Adasi, Lindsay Reishman

New GCAAR Headquarters Update As you know, GCAAR has completed the purchase of 15201 Diamondback Drive in Rockville, Maryland and plans for the move are underway. The architect has been selected and space planning has begun. We are hoping to move into our new space by late 2013 or early 2014. We are thrilled to own the space where we will soon be working. You, the members, played a critical role in this process at the May 10 membership meeting, when you approved the financing for the Diamondback building purchase. Thank you again for your diligence and support of this project. This could not have been done without you. Look for more information via email and on over the next few months.

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Legal Hotline By Chris Darby, Tom Muldoon and John Nalls of Counselors Title, LLC, and Pardo & Drazin, LLC, General Counsel Below are some questions answered on the GCAAR and DCAR Legal Hotlines. The answers provided here are the opinions of the authors, are for informational purposes, and are only for GCAAR members. Neither Counselors Title, LLC, nor Pardo & Drazin, LLC is providing legal advice, but rather providing a general statement of law. No lawyer/client relationship is - or will be - established as a result of the material which follows. Readers are encouraged to retain their own counsel for their specific questions. Answers may have been edited for formatting purposes.

Maryland Legal Hotline Question: We were having a discussion and the subject of the obligations as it relates to property condition in the post-settlement occupancy agreement came up. I was the only one who felt that the responsibility for fixing any broken items remains the responsibility of the seller. All the other agents felt it was the responsibility of the buyer. I took a look at a post- settlement occupancy agreement and to me, it wasn’t very clear. Is there language in the agreement that a lawyer would recognize (and a lay person wouldn’t) as keeping the responsibility with the seller? Or, has the agreement changed and the responsibility is now with the new owner? Answer: The Post-Settlement Occupancy Agreement (GCAAR Form #1309) Paragraph #3, provides, in part, that, “The Seller hereby agrees to deliver the Property vacant, clear of trash and debris, broom clean and in the condition required under the Contract of Sale and this Agreement.” The result is that the obligations as they relate to the property’s condition extend through the post-settlement occupancy period and thus lie with the seller throughout that period. Question: I am listing a property in Maryland and the seller wishes to sell “as is.” I was recently advised by a potential buyer that smoke detectors must be installed regardless of any agreement as to property condition. What are my seller’s obligations with regard to smoke detectors? Answer: Effective July 1, 2013, Maryland substantially changed its requirements regarding the installation and disclosure of smoke detectors for residential properties. Section 9-102 of the Public Safety Article of the Maryland Code generally requires that at least one approved smoke detector be installed in each sleeping area (space that includes one or more sleeping rooms and a hall or common area immediately adjacent to any sleeping room) of a residential dwelling. The new law requires that, by January 1, 2018, any 1 or 2 family dwelling shall have the following: 1. A minimum of one smoke alarm on each level of the residential unit, including basements and excluding unoccupied attics, garages and crawl spaces; 2. That the alarms be AC powered with a battery backup unless the property was constructed prior to 7/1/95, in which case they may be battery operated; and 3. If battery operated, only sealed, tamper resistant units incorporating a silence/hush button (can silence alarm without removing battery) and using long life (10 year) batteries may be used. The Legislature also amended the Disclosure Disclaimer law (Real Property Article Section 10-702) to require that sellers disclose whether: 1) smoke alarms will provide an alarm in the event of a power outage; 2) are over 10 years old; and 3) if battery operated, are


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sealed, tamper resistant units incorporating a silence/hush button and use long life batteries as required in all Maryland Homes by 2018. Question 8A was amended on the Maryland Disclosure Disclaimer form (GCAAR Form 912) to comply with this new requirement. While the new law does not require sellers to upgrade to the new requirements prior to sale (the original version did require the upgrade whenever there was a change of ownership but this was stricken form the final version), it does require sellers to comply with the present smoke alarm requirements regardless of the agreement of the parties as to property condition and does require disclosure of the existing system.

DC Legal Hotline Question: In a real estate transaction where the seller dies after contract ratification but before settlement, what is the most prompt way to assist the purchaser with getting the return of their escrow deposit? This is a District of Columbia transaction. Answer: First of all, there is no reason that the transaction cannot go forward simply because the seller died. His estate is still obligated under the contract and a personal representative simply needs to be appointed. The District does not have a law similar to Maryland’s which provides for release of escrow by an escrow agent absent a release after notification to the parties. A release must be signed or an inter pleader action must be filed as provided in Paragraph 4 of the Regional Contract. Question: I have a property on the market in DC. There was competition and the GCAAR Escalation Clause was used to increase the offer in the winning contract. The Escalation Clause calls for the seller to deliver “sufficient documentation” to justify the sales price increase. Has that been defined? Answer: You are correct. The GCAAR Escalation Clause (Form #1319) does not define “sufficient documentation”. This escalation clause is really a solicitation of a counter-offer. It spells out the conditions under which the buyers might be willing to increase the initial price contained in their offer. As part of the sellers’ response to buyers, the buyers request “sufficient documentation” to justify the increase. The buyers, in either agreeing to the adjusted sales price (initialing the change on the first page of the contract), will determine if the documentation provided is sufficient. Ultimately, buyers and sellers will agree that whatever documentation provided is sufficient by having both parties put pen to paper and accept a new sales price. Should the parties be unable to agree on the adequacy of the documentation provided as proof, well then they are free to go on their own way; the Escalation Clause is not binding on either party.

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Oct. & Nov. Education & Event Schedule Unless otherwise noted, all classes listed will be held at the GCAAR Conference Center, 8757 Georgia Ave., Suite 600, Silver Spring, MD. Please check our website at for more updates and additions. This schedule is subject to change. October 21, 2013 Virginia Residential Standard Agency CEU: 3 hours VA (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: Ann Johnston Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

October 25, 2013 Virginia Fair Housing CEU: 2 hours VA (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: Ann Johnston Time: 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

November 4, 2013 GRI 302: Taxes CEU: 6 hours DC (Elective) Instructor: Barbara Maloney Time: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

October 21, 2013 New Member Orientation CEU: No CEUs Instructor: Jill Michaels Time: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. * GCAAR Rockville/MRIS

October 25, 2013 Virginia Mandatory Agency CEU: 1 hour VA (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: Ann Johnston Time: 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

November 4, 2013 Working with Buyers CEU: 3 hours MD, DC & VA (Elective) Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. * GCAAR Rockville/MRIS

October 21, 2013 Maryland Code of Ethics & Predatory Lending CEU: 3 hours MD (Required) & 3 hours DC (Elective) Instructor: Jill Michaels Time: 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. * GCAAR Rockville/MRIS October 21, 2013 Virginia Mandatory Contracts Class CEU: 2 hours VA (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: Ann Johnston Time: 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. October 21, 2013 Virginia Legal Update CEU: 1 hours VA (Required), DC (Elective) Instructor: Ann Johnston Time: 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. October 22, 2013 Regional Sales Contract Update CEU: 3 hours DC, MD & VA (Elective) Instructor: Jill Michaels Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. * GCAAR Rockville Board Room October 23, 2013 Title Insurance CEU: 3 hours DC, MD & VA (Elective) Instructor: Harry Yazbek Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

October 28, 2013 GRI 301: Environmental Issues & Contracts, Settlement Procedures & Disclosures CEU: 6 hours DC (Elective) Instructor: Vimal Kapoor & Greg Flynn Time: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. October 29, 2013 Home Inspections CEU: 3 hours DC, MD & VA (Elective) Instructor: Mark Somerville Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. * GCAAR Rockville Board Room October 29, 2013 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) Instructor: Bill Frost Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. October 29, 2013 Financing Issues/Update CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) & MD & VA (Elective) Instructor: Jim Semeyn Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. October 29, 2013 Reverse Mortgages CEU: 1.5 hours MD & DC; 1 hour VA (Elective) Instructor: Eric Rittmeyer Time: 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. * GCAAR Rockville Board Room

October 24, 2013 GRI 205: Agency Law & Buyer Representation CEU: 6 hours DC (Elective) Instructor: Marj Rosner Time: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

October 30, 2013 RPR Basics CEU: No CEUs Instructor: Win Singleton Time: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

October 25, 2013 Virginia Ethics CEU: 3 hours VA (Required) & 3 hours DC (Elective) Instructor: Ann Johnston Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

October 30, 2013 RPR Basics CEU: No CEUs Instructor: Win Singleton Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. * GCAAR Rockville Board Room

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November 4, 2013 Representing the Seller CEU: 3 hours MD, DC & VA (Elective) Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. *GCAAR Rockville/MRIS November 6, 2013 GRI 303: Professional Standards, Mediation, Arbitration & Procuring Cause CEU: 6 hours DC (Elective) Instructor: Barbara Maloney Time: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. November 7, 2013 Legal & Legislative Update (2009-2012) CEU: 3 hours MD (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: Al Monshower Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. November 7, 2013 Maryland Fair Housing CEU: 1.5 hours MD (Required), DC (Elective) Instructor: Al Monshower Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. November 8, 2013 MREC Agency - Residential CEU: 3 hours MD (Required), DC (Elective) Instructor: Jacqueline Talpa Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. November 8, 2013 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) Instructor: Jacqueline Talpa Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. November 14, 2013 GRI 304: Legal and Legislative Update & Land Use Planning and Develop.m.ent CEU: 6 hours DC (Elective) Instructor: Chris Darby & Ann Johnston Time: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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Quiz REALTOR® Safety September may have been REALTOR® Safety Month, but there is never a bad time to keep safety in mind. For more tips, articles, videos, archived webinars, and more, visit 1. What situations do real estate professionals list as their top safety concerns? A) Showing vacant properties B) Hosting open houses C) Showing short sale or foreclosed homes D) All of the above 2. The 10-second rule is a smart and quick way to keep safety at the forefront throughout the day. How does it work? A) Take 10 seconds to review self-defense strategies right before getting out of the car. B) Breathe deeply and count backwards from 10 to gain composure before meeting new people. C) Take 10 seconds at new destinations to evaluate surroundings and check for anything out of the ordinary. D) If a client is late, give them 10 seconds past their scheduled time and then leave. 3. True or False: When listing a property it’s okay to say the property is vacant as long as you have potential buyers fill out a customer identification form and/or make a copy of their personal identification. True False 4. True or False: Since you received a referral from a trusted source it is okay to assume the referral is safe and you have nothing to worry about. True False 5. 18% of male real estate professionals have said they have felt unsafe at one time or another in the course of their real estate job. What percentage of female agents have said the same thing? A) 35% B) 60% C) 42% D) 27%

6. When letting a potential buyer explore areas of the home you should: A) Always position yourself between the potential buyer and the exit B) Let the potential buyer follow behind you as you show them the home C) Avoid going into basements and confined areas D) Answers A & C 7. When holding an open house you should: A) Upon entering a house for the first time, check all rooms and determine several “escape” routes B) Post on social media that you are holding an open house with the address and time C) Assume everyone has left at the end of the open house and lock up D) Ignore phone calls from your office, friends, or family during the opening house Answers Q.1 - All of the above Q.2 - Take 10 seconds at new destinations to evaluate surroundings and check for anything out of the ordinary. Q.3 - False Q.4 - False Q.5 - 42% Q.6 - Answers A & C Q.7 - Upon entering a house for the first time, check all rooms and determine several “escape” routes

4th Annual GCAAR Cares Silent Auction Fundraiser It was barely 8:30 in the a.m. when the bidding wars began at the 4th Annual GCAAR Cares Silent Auction held at REALTOR® Fest on Tuesday, July 23. With beach-themed decorated tables located in a prime location near the registration desk, members went into action fairly quickly, as bidders sparked wars before entering their first class. GCAAR Cares member and Silent Auction Subcommittee Chair, Dina Paxenos, did a great job organizing the event again this year, which raised over $3,000.

GCAAR members trigger early morning bidding wars.


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Thanks to everyone, particularly our GCAAR Cares Committee, members, donors, and staff for making this year’s silent auction a wonderful event and great success.

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