Capital Area REALTOR® Nov/Dec 2014

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Official publication for the Greater Capital Area Assocation of REALTORS®


nov/dec 2014







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New President – p. 6

GCAAR Cares Year in Review – p. 8

nov/dec 2014

Emeritus Members – p. 25

Public Policy – p. 24

features 3

Association News/GCAAR Happenings


Lessons Learned During an Inconsistent Market


Affiliate Spotlight


GCAAR Installs 2015 Board of Directors


GCAAR Cares – Year in Review


New Emeritus Members


Quiz: What Do You Know About Mortgage Fraud?

in every issue 2 Ask the President 14 MRIS 15

NAR Director’s Report


Housing Statistics


Legal Hotline


Public Policy

27 Technology 30

Membership Corner


GCAAR in the News


Education Schedule

Capital Area REALTOR® (USPS 017-467) is published five times a year by the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®, 15201 Diamondback Drive, Suite 100, Rockville, MD 20850. Periodicals postage paid at Rockville, 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. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Capital Area REALTOR®, ATTN: GCAAR, 15201 Diamondback Drive, Suite 100, Rockville, MD 20850. 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 necessarily reflect the opinion 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 the items become the property of 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 submissions, including camera-ready advertising, is the first of the month prior to publication. Reprint with permission only. Reprints may be obtained by contacting the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® at 301.590.2000; via fax at 301.590.2248; or send an e-mail to 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. Copyright© 2014 by the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®. All rights reserved.

15201 Diamondback Drive, Suite 100 • Rockville MD 20850 Phone: 301.590.2000 • Fax: 301.590.2248 • Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter@GCAARNow Follow us on LinkedIn/in/GCAAR CAPITAL AREA REALTOR® • May/Jun 2014


board of directors

ask the president Q: Every year around this time GCAAR advertises its SuperPass. How does it work?

A: The SuperPass allows you to take up to seven continuing Suzanne Des Marais PRESIDENT-ELECT


education courses per month during the 2015 calendar year for only $119! Purchasing the SuperPass will give you access to most of the continuing education classes GCAAR will offer during the 2015 calendar year. A few things to remember: you must be a GCAAR member in good standing to purchase the SuperPass, you will still need to pre-register for your courses, and the SuperPass is non-refundable and non-transferable. Visit the home page of and click on the SuperPass banner for additional details about SuperPass usage.

Q: I couldn’t make it down to New Orleans for the NAR convention this year. Can I access some of the sessions online?


Tim Knobloch TREASURER

A: NAR makes many resources available for free to members

after its conventions. So although you missed out on the networking and fun of New Orleans, you can still learn quite a bit from the sessions held there. One of my favorite sessions at every NAR meeting is Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s Residential Forecast. The video and slides are free to access, and are included in links below. If you don’t find what you’re looking for in the free materials, you may be able to order a recording of the session you want from Playback NAR. Free access to conference information:



directors Koki Adasi David Bediz Thom Brockett Jamie Coley Tom Daley Dorie Glass

Jacque Grenning Sally Hamidi Gwen Henderson Vicky Lobos-Kirker Hildy Pollard Pat Weed




Carla Conway DESIGN & LAYOUT


Slides for Economist Presentation: (click on Nov. 7 Residential Real Estate Trends and Outlook) Playback NAR Sessions available for a fee:

Capital Area REALTOR® Magazine


NAR Chief Economist Presentation video: (click on 2014 Residential Forecast)

Q: Why is the deadline to pay my dues before the end of the year? A: Excellent question – it’s one I’ve asked myself. When you renew

your membership with GCAAR, you are also renewing your membership with the state level association (Maryland or DC) and the National Association of REALTORS®. When GCAAR receives your payment, we remit portions of it to your associations in Chicago (where the National headquarters are) and Annapolis or DC. As with any financial transaction, it takes time for these transactions to be deposited in our local accounts, transferred across state lines, and cleared. The only way we can ensure you are a member of the state and national associations on January 1 is to ensure that your payment has been forwarded prior to that date.

association news Harold Huggins Appointed to CCIM Institute’s 2015 Executive Committee

Maryland Association of REALTORS®, in addition to a number of other accolades. He is a past president of the Mid-Atlantic CCIM Chapter, which honored him with a named endowed scholarship from the CCIM foundation in 2012.

GCAAR member Harold H. Huggins was appointed to serve as a member of the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) Institute’s Executive Committee, which is a governing body for the organization that works in conjunction with CCIM’s Board of Directors, national committees, and staff. The organization’s leadership teams convene at CCIM Institute’s spring and fall business meetings. The CCIM Institute is one of the largest commercial real estate networks in the world. Harold has been involved in various capacities of the real estate business for over 51 years. His specialties include expertise in residential and commercial sales and leasing, property management, and appraisal services. Harold has received many honors from the national, state, and local REALTOR® associations, the Omega Tau Rho from the National Association of REALTORS®, REALTOR® of the Year from the Montgomery County Association of REALTORS® (now GCAAR), and the life achievement award from the

GCAAR Hosts CRS Ninja Training Class The Council of Residential Specialists (CRS) held their “Ninja III” selling class at GCAAR’s Rockville classroom on October 22. CRS is just one of many organizations taking advantage of GCAAR’s training facilities.

GCAAR happenings YPN Closes Out the Year Sharing Top Producers “Secrets” and Giving Back GCAAR’s Your Professional Network (YPN) held two very successful events this fall. YPN’s annual professional development event was held October 14 at the District Architecture Center and attracted over 100 attendees to learn the “Dirty Little Secrets” of Top Producers. Tips ranged from the latest and greatest technology solutions to good old-fashioned human interaction. Everyone walked away with new ideas and perspectives on growing their own businesses. On November 19, YPN held its last happy hour for 2014 with drinks and appetizers at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Friendship Heights. The event benefited Shepherd’s Table and brought colleagues together for one last networking event before the holiday season.

Top Producers Panel

Capital Area REALTOR® Statement of Ownership (Required by USPS) CAPITAL AREA REALTOR® • Nov/Dec 2014


Lessons Learned During an Inconsistent Market

is increasing in many locations.“Buyers don’t feel that same urgency to snatch things up the way they did at the beginning of the year, although there are still pockets of bidding wars in Petworth and on Capitol Hill,” says Morgan Knull, an associate broker with Re/Max Gateway in DC.

Adapting to market conditions

by Michele Lerner While 2013 was a wild year of fast-paced transactions and frustrated buyers fretting over low inventory, 2014 started with a hot February, cooled in July, and didn’t warm up much in the fall. “The best word for this year has been ‘inconsistent’,” says Daryl Judy, an associate broker with Washington Fine Properties in DC. “There’s no understanding it and no predicting it, either.” The local housing market in 2014 didn’t follow normal seasonal adjustments and there were divergent patterns from one neighborhood to another. “DC has been totally different than the surrounding suburbs,” says Donna Evers, broker/owner of Evers & Co. Real Estate in DC. “The city is like an island performing differently than its neighbors.” For example, the dollar volume of sales in October 2014 compared to October 2013 rose by 25.5 percent in DC, says Evers, while it dropped by 6.3 percent in Fairfax County and by 1.7 percent in Montgomery County during that same period. “We’ve had many multiple bidding situations and yet some homes are just not selling,” says Judy.

Consistent activity key to handling inconsistent market

No matter what kind of market we’re in, as a REALTOR® you need to prospect all the time, says Ned Rich, managing broker with McEnearney Associates in DC. “Business will never just fall into your lap,” says Rich. “You have to prospect every week to generate business for the coming weeks, especially in an uncertain market.” Evers says REALTORS® must always stay in motion so they can generate consistent sales. “You can’t say you’re too busy or that you can’t afford to market yourself,” says Evers. “You need a professional outlook and a game plan, especially if sales are slow in your market. You need lots of discipline with your time and your finances to be a successful REALTOR®.” CJ Davis, a REALTOR® with Long & Foster Real Estate in Silver Spring, says it’s extremely important for REALTORS® to be in the market all day, every day to see it first-hand. “You need to know how things are changing from day-to-day and talk to other agents about what they’re seeing in different neighborhoods,” says Davis. Judy says that REALTORS® can’t sit back and expect contracts to materialize, particularly in an uncertain market. “Things only happen because someone makes them happen,” says Judy. “You have to be involved. You have to broker the deal.”No one can explain exactly why the market is so fluid, but one factor could be that inventory



Whether you’re working in a hot market or a slow one, you have to be adaptable, says Anslie Stokes, a REALTOR® with McEnearney Associates in DC. “When you’re working with sellers, it’s important to price the house for the exact market you’re in, not the market of even a couple of months ago,” says Stokes. Low inventory has been an ongoing issue in many neighborhoods, but Davis successfully addressed the problem for several buyers this year. “I found a FSBO that was the perfect house for one of my buyers,” says Davis. “It took awhile, but I was able to negotiate with the seller to pay my buyer’s agent fee.” In another case, Davis wrote letters to every owner in a building where her buyers had been looking for two years for the perfect condo. Finally an owner agreed it was time to sell and she was able to negotiate the transaction. “I always look at withdrawn listings, too, and found one that was perfect for another buyer,” says Davis. “I reached out to the former listing agent for that one instead of going around the agent and was able to successfully negotiate the purchase.”

Converting renters to buyers

The influx of millennials in DC in recent years has changed the way some agents approach marketing. Rich says one of his agents successfully generated several sales among young renters who called to ask for assistance finding a rental. “She asked them if they had thought about spending their $2,500 per month budget on a mortby Michele Lerner gage instead of rent and then put them in touch with a lender who could work with them to qualify for a loan,” says Rich. Stokes says many millennials are more inclined to rent, but when they’re ready to buy she finds them more analytical than older buyers. “REALTORS® have to adapt to the style of young buyers who not only want a lot of data, but who also tend to be more competitive, almost like they’re shopping on eBay for a house,” says Stokes.

Expanding relationships to serve your clients

Good communication with lenders and other agents is as important as communicating well with clients. “Playing nice in the sandbox makes all the difference in the world,” says Rich. “If you know the agent on the other side of the table or you have a good reputation in the business, it can make a huge difference for your clients.” Establishing a good relationship with local lenders can save a transaction when buyers have a financing issue. “Recently a buyer I was working with was turned down for a loan because his roommate had paid the rent late,” says Knull. “The roommates had paid the rent separately and my buyer had time-stamped checks from the previous two years showing his on-time payments, but Bank of America still turned him down. Luckily I was able to find a correspondent lender who would approve the loan.” The bottom line, no matter what kind of market we’ll see in 2015, is that REALTORS® have to stay on top of their game. “You can’t take your eye off the ball for a second in real estate,” says Judy. “Your business can go down fast if you do.”



Affiliate Spotlight



Ann Johnston The Settlement Group

Commission Plans Suited for Professionals!

GCAAR is pleased to announce Ann Johnston as its Affiliate of the Year for 2014.

100% for only $395/month OR 80/20 Split with no monthly fee!

Ann is an attorney with over 30 years of experience in real estate-related law practice (including insurance defense and risk management issues), title law, real estate brokerage law, and the real estate sales industry. She is licensed as an attorney, a settlement agent and real estate salesperson in Virginia; as a real estate broker and attorney in North Carolina; and as an attorney in the District of Columbia. She is a settlement attorney for The Settlement Group in Burke, VA where she provides legal updates and continuing education programs to real estate professionals throughout the Metro DC area.

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NO ADDITIONAL COST! *** Four Locations Serving the Metro DC, MD & VA area

Ann has been a member of GCAAR’s Education Committee since 2010, serving as the Chair of the Committee in 2013 and 2014. Through Ann’s guidance and leadership, the committee grew in size from 19 to 25 members and successfully broadened its mission to include providing Professional Enrichment (formerly Rookie) programs and integrating the work of the Green Subcommittee to further the reach of environmentallyconscious REALTORS®. In addition, Ann has enabled GCAAR to provide Virginia required CE classes to its members. She has taught numerous classes for GCAAR throughout the past four years at multiple locations (Silver Spring, Rockville, DC, and this year in Fairfax through our partnership with the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®), is a supporter of RPAC, and has been a contributor to Capital Area REALTOR®.

Tysons Corner, VA North Bethesda, MD

Gaithersburg, MD Silver Spring, MD

What Are You Waiting For? Contact Greg Burns to Schedule a Confidential Interview:

888.444.9964 ext.22 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR® • Nov/Dec 2014


association news Suzanne Des Marais Installed as 2015 GCAAR President Spirits were high for the 2014 GCAAR Annual Meeting, Holiday Party, and Installation of the 2015 officers and Board members at the House of Sweden on December 3. The House of Sweden is home to the Embassy of Sweden, the Embassy of Iceland, office suites, as well as an Event Center that features conference and exhibition halls. Situated on the Potomac River, the venue provided a sophisticated setting as Suzanne Des Marais was installed as 2015 GCAAR President. Awards were given to the 2014 Affiliate of the Year Ann Johnston, Rookie of the Year CJ Rader, and REALTOR® of the Year Michael McGreevy. Attendees included Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR) President Janice Kirkner, CEO Mary Antoun, and a host of special guests from fellow Associations.

2013 DCAR President Bo Menkiti administers the oath to Suzanne.

THANK YOU GCAAR thanks Greg Ford for his leadership and vision as 2014 GCAAR President. We appreciate your service.



Affiliate of the Year Ann Johnston

Rookie of the Year CJ Rader

REALTOR® of the Year Michael McGreevy

Suzanne with her mother Sally and daughter Jeanne.

GCAAR CEO Mike Moran presents gifts to retiring Association leaders, Joan Ostenso (left) from the Prince George’s Association of REALTORS® and Mary Antoun of the Maryland Association of REALTORS®.

President-Elect Peg Mancuso with GCAAR member Ellen Katz.

Congratulations to the 2015 GCAAR Board Officers:

President Suzanne Des Marais President-Elect Peg Mancuso Immediate Past President Greg Ford Secretary Jamie Coley Treasurer Tim Knobloch 2015 GCAAR Executive Committee L-R: President, Suzanne Des Marais; Treasurer, Tim Knobloch; President-Elect, Peg Mancuso; Secretary, Jamie Coley; Immediate Past President, Greg Ford.


Koki Adasi

David Bediz

Thom Brockett

Roger Carp

Tom Daley

Sally Hamidi

William “Bill” Hounshell

Vicky Lobos-Kirker

Danai Mattison

Hildy Pollard

Frank Snodgrass

Pat Weed




Year in Review

GCAAR Cares is pleased to announce the 2014 grant recipients • The ARC Montgomery County • Affordable Housing Conference of Montgomery County • Community Connections (DC) • Community Family Life Services (DC) • Dwelling Place (MC) • Green Door (DC) • Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless • Pathways to Housing DC • Stepping Stones (MC)




This year’s recipients are leaders who endeavor to make the world a better place. GCAAR salutes you.

Photos, top to bottom: BLOOD DRIVE

(Top left) GCAAR Cares Committee members Samantha Damato and Marlene Trimble volunteer at the blood drive. The November 3 GCAAR Cares Blood Drive exceeded goal, collecting 23 units of blood that will help up to 69 people. GCAAR Board Treasurer, Tim Knobloch, (Left) GCAAR Cares Committee Chair Chuck Clapper, and Embrace Home Loan employees Shari Rothman and Amore Azimi were excited to give.

Friendship Place – Ending Homelessness, Rebuilding Lives So many success stories . . . FRIENDSHIP PLACE is a Washington, DC leader in developing solutions to homelessness that have demonstrable results and a lasting impact. Their innovative, customized, person-focused programs empower participants to rebuild their lives, find homes, get jobs and reconnect with friends, family and the community, permanently.

Friendship Place 2013 GCAAR Cares Grant recipient Friendship Place provides welcome baskets for residents like Emily and Younga.

GCAAR Cares has been a Champion Partner of Friendship Place since 2009.




Year in Review Boots for Vets GCAAR Cares Boots 4 Vets campaign collected 30 pairs of new boots and shoes for veterans.

$10 CE Class GCAAR’s Education Department designated five classes during 2014 to benefit GCAAR Cares, raising well over $1,000 for the GCAAR REALTORS® CARE Fund.

Walk ‘n Roll GCAAR Cares takes photo with MC Council President Craig Rice during May 4 Walk ‘n Roll event to help the homeless in Montgomery County.

Affordable Housing Conference of Montgomery County 2013 GCAAR Cares Grant Recipient Affordable Housing Conference of Montgomery County announces closing cost winners at May conference.




CALVARY WOMEN’S SERVICES provides homeless women with both housing and services that support good health, employment, and independent living. Calvary Women’s Services holds a nutrition education class.

Calvary Outdoor Shed 2013 GCAAR Cares Grant recipient Calvary Women’s Services receives shed for outdoor garden.

Bettina Ramon (center) from Calvary Women’s Services visits GCAAR Cares.

Fair Housing Elizabeth Rockabrand (not shown) of Gaithersburg Middle School was GCAAR’s 2015 Fair Housing Poster Contest winner. Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot spoke at reception held at the Goldstein Treasury Building in Annapolis on April 22. CAPITAL AREA REALTOR® • Nov/Dec 2014



Year in Review

2014 Rebuilding Together® DC volunteers. Over 50 volunteers came out to support this year’s DC project.

Rebuilding Together® House Captain, GCAAR Cares Committee Member, and 2013 Rookie of the Year, Michael Fowler, did a fantastic job overseeing this year’s Rebuilding Together® DC project.

Silent Auction at REALTOR® Fest

(L-R): Chuck Clapper, Deborah Bell, Carol Clavenstein, Dina Paxenos - GCAAR Cares Committee members celebrate Silent Auction success with a selfie at their July meeting.

GCAAR Cares raised over $7400 at this year’s 5th Annual Silent Auction at REALTOR® Fest.



Changing Lives, One Family at a time!

Hope and a Home 2013 GCAAR Cares Grant recipient Hope and a Home made upgrades to temporary housing units.

Dwelling Place 2013 GCAAR Cares Grant recipient Dwelling Place receives smiling faces with blue bedroom.

Thanks to the support of people like you, Hope and a Home empowers low-income families in DC to create stable homes for themselves and make lasting changes in their lives.

Founded in 2004, Pathways to Housing DC provides home, health, and hope to more than 2,000 adults each year who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk for homelessness.

Pathways 2013 GCAAR Cares Grand recipient Pathways to Housing DC provides new home for Russell.


13 13

Get Answers to the Top 10 MRIS Compliance Questions of 2014 By Michelle Yam, Manager, MRIS Compliance Department


is committed to maintaining the best, most accurate listing information available in the MLS system. One of the responsibilities of the MRIS Compliance Department is to answer subscriber questions on the MRIS Rules and Regulations and MRIS policies. To help you avoid common Compliance notifications, my team and I have compiled and answered the 10 questions most often asked by MRIS subscribers in 2014.

1. How do I remove/reset Days On Market (DOM)?

The days on market are a part of the property’s listing history and cannot be removed or manipulated. The Days on Market resets if a property has been off the market for 90 consecutive days or is sold. Any attempts to manipulate the Days on Market will result in a fine.

2. My seller doesn’t want the property shown yet. Do I need to enter it into MRIS?

Yes, you have a fiduciary responsibility to protect and promote your client’s interests. An Active listing must be available to show immediately upon entering the listing. While your client is preparing the property for showing, you may enter the listing into the Coming Soon status for up to 21 days. If the listing is in Active status and is not available for showing, change the status to Temp Off.

3. Is there a timeframe for Temp Off status?

Yes. Ratification is between the buyer and seller. MRIS Rules require that all changes in price or status are updated within two business days of the effective date of change, excluding weekends and holidays.

7. Is there a way to keep track of pending Contract, Contingency and Settlements dates?

Yes. We provide both the Listing Compliance Report and the Listing Contingency Expiration Report to monitor your date-based listings, available at compliance. Also, you may set up alerts in Keystone to remind you of upcoming dates.

8. Can I share my User ID and Password with clients, my assistant or team member to search for listings?

Yes, Temp Off is a limited-use status that can be used for up to 14 days. However, we recognize that some situations may take longer than others to resolve. Please contact the Compliance Department to request an extension if your circumstance requires additional time.

No. The combination of your User ID and Password will allow someone to access your personal information, edit any listings in Keystone for the branch office and view confidential information. Anyone affiliated with your office or team is required to have their own MRIS ID and Password to access the system.

4. Is an image of the Main Exterior required?

9. Can my fine be waived?

Yes, if “Lister will upload all” is the selected photo option. Once a listing is submitted, an image or photo of the main exterior must be submitted within 48 hours excluding weekends and holidays unless the seller has requested in writing that no photos are to be included as part of the listing. This must be designated under Photo Options as “No photo per seller”. The exception to this policy is if a listing in Coming Soon status is not required to have an image. However, once the listing’s status changes, the above rules will apply.

5. Can I include text or contact information on my Photos/Virtual Tours?

No. Text, logos and contact information are not permitted on Photos or Virtual Tours.tus that can be used for up to 14 days.

6. A contract was signed but we’re awaiting bank


approval. Do I have to change the status?


A waiver request must be submitted within 20 days of being assessed, and these must be submitted in writing using the Appeal of Fine form located under the Compliance menu on the website. You will need to log in to view this form.

10. How do I report a violation?

You may use the “Confidentially Report a Violation” button on the Full Listing Display in Matrix. You may also send an email to compliance with the listing information. The Compliance Department will investigate the matter to determine if a compliance violation has occurred. Want more information? Log in to to view a number of helpful resources available on the page. If you have other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Compliance Department at or (301) 838-7140.

Thanks for helping to keep the MLS data accurate!


director’s report The NAR Board of Directors met on November 10 in New Orleans at the Association’s Annual Convention. Your GCAAR representatives were there and, with our colleagues across the country, we voted on some significant changes to the professional expectations of REALTOR® members, how RPAC dollars are raised, and several other issues of concern today.

Code of Excellence — The grandest measure the Board took

was the approval for NAR to draft an aspirational “Code of Excellence” to be approved by the Board at a future meeting. The purpose of this Code is to raise the bar of professionalism through training in competencies that consumers value, such as stewardship of property listing data, privacy and security of consumer information, advocacy of property rights, community involvement, and technology.

Professional Standards — The Board approved increasing the fre-

quency of NAR’s Code of Ethics educational requirement to every two years, and developing an industry standard to allow consumers to evaluate REALTORS® fairly and accurately. To make the enforcement of professional standards more efficient, the board approved many changes to the complaint process, including shortening the time frames for ethics enforcement administration, expanding authorized use of “remote” testimony, and establishing an optional citation system and schedule of fines. The board extended for another five years a CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Code of Ethics enforcement pilot program where “lateral discipline” is administered by other local REALTOR® associations to which the member belongs in cases where suspension or termination is imposed.

RPAC — You may know that when you invest in RPAC you are

supporting REALTOR-friendly candidates and issues on the federal, state, and local levels. You may not know that currently 30% of the dollars raised go to federal level races and issues, with the remaining funds staying at the state and local levels. Starting in 2015, NAR will eliminate the 30/70 split, and set single national fundraising goals for all state-level associations.

Issue Mobilization Grants — State and local associations will now

GREG FORD 2014 GCAAR President, NAR Director Industry Trends — To help the association stay ahead of drone

technology, the board adopted a policy in support of the safe and responsible use of the technology by members, and committed to work with federal regulators as they write rules for the technology. The association will continue to educate members on permit and other requirements for drone use. The link between student debt and the ability to buy a home needs more research. The board supported continued monitoring of the issue and legislative and regulatory efforts to promote education and disclosure requirements to help students.

Education — To help preserve the value of the Graduate, REAL-

TOR® Institute (GRI) designation, the board approved changes to the program’s curriculum and process. Among other things, members can take no more than five years to complete the coursework, can substitute exam and experience for no more than half a state’s course requirements, and the accreditation process will be based on an online audit rather than a peer review.

MLS — The board approved changes to help ensure MLS data is as

accurate and timely as possible. Changes include increasing the frequency of MLS data updates to no less than every 12 hours, enabling MLS participants to display IDX information from all MLS IDX feeds where they hold participatory rights, and permitting the display of MLS sold data for IDX display where sold information is otherwise publicly accessible.

Technology — The

board heard a report on the acquisition of operator Move Inc. by global media company News Corp. It also heard reports on the success of the new .REALTOR top-level Internet domain, and NAR’s acquisition of the .realestate domain. RPR reported on its extensive data on 116 million parcels of property and its roll-out of a mobile app, RPR Mobile.

Legal — The board approved assistance to defray costs to asso-

ciations, MLSs, and brokerages in four cases, each involving copyright or patent infringement actions.

Dues — The board tweaked its dues policy so that proration is

allowed for a new member only when the member didn’t hold membership in the prior calendar year.

have to put up some of their own funds to receive NAR issues mobilization grants under a “skin in the game” policy. The amount of the contribution depends on the size of the grant request and may include funds from coalition partners and non-financial resources such as staff and volunteer hours.

Insurance Committee — The New committee was established to

The board approved grants to the North Carolina Association of REALTORS® to preempt tax reform efforts by the state and to the Minnesota Association of REALTORS® to protect MID from tax reform efforts.

Service Award (DSA) recipients, Mike Brodie of Plano, Texas, and James Helsel Jr., of Camp Hill, Pa. This year’s William R. Magel Award for outstanding association executives went to Bill Martin, CEO of the Michigan Association of REALTORS®.

monitor legislative and regulatory matters involving property/ casualty, flood insurance, natural disaster, terrorism, and other insurance issues.

Recognition — The board recognized this year’s two Distinguished



housing statistics MONTGOMERY COUNTY & DC Montgomery County Sales Market For the month of October, the combined (single-family and condo/coop) sales market showed a weaker performance than in October of 2013. The total unit sales volume came in at 888 properties, down 3% from a year before. The monthly sold dollar volume totaled $433,360,070, and was down 1.7% from a year before. The average sold price came in at $488,018, up about 1.3% from last year; and, the median price of $387,310 rose about 2.2% from a year ago. Properties sold in October turned over more slowly than a year ago. Average days on the market totaled 57 – 11 more than in the previous October.

October Single-Family Homes

Over the past ten months, Montgomery County year-to-date settlements and contracts were down about 5% from a year ago. October year-to-date single-family settlements (7,026) came in 5.6% under the same period in 2013; and, year-to-date contracts (7,503) slipped just under 5% from a year before. The October monthly results were a bit more neutral. Indeed, settlements (671) edged up just under 1% compared to a year before; and, new contracts for the month (793) were down less than 1%.

On the other hand, October inventory was up substantially from October 2013. At the end of 2013, single-family active listings totaled only 1,330 homes. By July, there were 2,594 total actives -- a whopping 38% above the level of a year before. At the end of October, 2,697 property listings were 36.8% above those of October 2013. Nevertheless, even with this strength in listings, at the October contracts pace, there was only about a 3.4-month’s supply.



So far, the 2014 single-family sales pace has been down slightly, but price performance has risen. In 2013, the year-end average sales price was $573,281, and the median was $460,000. Through October, the average and median prices were $581,104 and $465,000, respectively. These are up about 1.4% and 1.1%, respectively, from the 2013 prices. That does not quite make-up for the 2014 unit sales drop, but after 2013, some price adjustments are to be expected.

October Condominiums and Cooperatives

The October condominium and cooperative market was down substantially compared to a year before. Through October, there were 2,184 settled sales – down almost 6% from a year ago. And, for the month, settlements declined 13% to only 215 units. October year-to-date contracts showed greater declines. Year-to-date contracts (2,301) dropped 7% from a year before; moreover, the 250 new monthly contracts declined by over 6%. Clearly, the condo/coop market has not been as strong as last year.

by Fred Flick, PhD, Consultant/Housing Economist

totaled 743 closed properties, up 12% from October a year ago. Moreover, the monthly sold dollar volume of about $459,884,000 rose about 25% from the previous October. The average sold price came in at $618,956, up 12%; and the median sold price was $500,000, up about 10%. The average days on the market figure came in at 35, and that was down 1 day from a year before.

Moreover, October inventory substantially exceeded most of the levels of 2013. October condo/coop active listings (644) came in 29% above the level of a year before. And, monthly new listings (326) jumped 3.5% above the October 2013 figure. Nevertheless, at the monthly contract pace, there was only a 2.6-month’s supply of properties. Some of the demand for condo/coops may have shifted to the single-family market.

October Single-Family Homes

While the month was strong, so far this year, the Washington, DC single-family unit sales market continues to be a bit soft. October year-to-date settlements (3,399) edged down by 0.4% (less than one-half of one percent), and October new settlements (360) only equaled those of a year before. Also, the year-to-date performance of contracts was down slightly. October year-todate contracts (3,634) declined by 1.6% from a year ago; and, monthly performance of single-family contracts (433) was down by 3%. Compared to the single-family market, the 2014 condo/coop market continues to show lagging price appreciation. For 2013, the average price of $269,950 was up almost 7.7% from 2012; and, the median price of $220,000 was 5.6% higher. However, through this October, there has been more demand at the lower end of the market. The average price of $265,728 has slipped about 1.6%; and, the median of $221,500 is up less than 1% from 2013.

Washington, DC Sales Market For the month of October, the District of Columbia combined unit sales pace was up substantially compared to a year before. It continued, page 18


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housing statistics On the supply side, the District’s October single-family inventory was slightly above the levels of a year before. October active listings totaled 735 properties— up 3.5%. However, new single-family listings for the month (531) slipped 1.3% from a year before. Accordingly, as we have seen for several months, at the October contracts pace there was only a 1.7-month’s supply of homes. However, the low supply has helped price appreciation.

The District’s single-family price performance has been very good considering the sluggish unit sales record. Home prices through October are up nicely from the end of last year. In 2013, the average DC single-family home cost $711,905 with the median price at $599,900. This translated to appreciation rates of 8.6% and 13.2%, respectively, above 2012 prices. Through October, the average price of $758,776 rose by 6.6% and the median of $620,000 moved up by almost 3.4% over 2013 prices. These rates are nowhere near those of 2013, but they look pretty good in a world where inflation is staying below 2%.

October Condominiums and Cooperatives

The DC condominium and cooperative market, through



October, has been holding its own with a slight positive unit sales trend. Year-to-date October settlements (3,268) were up 1.5% and year-to-date contracts (3,430) edged up 0.8% from a year ago. Moreover, October settlements (383) leapt 25.6% from a year before. Monthly contracts (360) did slip 3.5% compared to last October.

The supply of listings is up only slightly from a year ago. During the summer, by the end of July, listings totaled 686 units and were up 13.6% over July 2013. While the inventory has continued to increase, by the end of October, new listings (699) were only 2.2% higher than a year before. Continuing that summer trend, at the October contracts pace, there was only a 2-month’s supply of properties. Nevertheless, again, the shortage of supply has contributed to price appreciation.

With tight supply, condos and coops experienced very good appreciation rates in 2013. Annual average and median prices were up 5.9% and 7.5% from their respective 2012 figures. Through this October, prices are still showing positive upward movement. The year-to-date October average of $473,306 rose 4.1%; and, the $415,000 median edged up 1.6% from the end of

year 2013 figures. The tight supply has helped and the appreciation rates are reasonable, given the current economic trends.

National Resale Market

Nationwide, total existing home resales in September (most recent) totaled 5.17 million units at a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate (SAAR). The monthly figure rose 2.4% above August, but was 1.7% below the SAAR rate for September 2013. Also, the September median price of $209,700 increased 5.6% from a year before with the $255,500 average rising 3.7%. At the end of September there was a 2.3-million unit inventory (SAAR), which represented a 5.3-month’s supply of homes. The month’s supply was down 1.3% from August, but 6% above the September 2013 level. At the national level, month’s supply has been below the normal range of 6 months since the recession. For the single-family resale market, September sales (4.56 million, SAAR) were 2% above the level of August, but were 1.9% below the pace of September 2013. However, the single-family median price ($210,300) rose 5.9% and the average ($255,700) moved up 3.9% from a year ago. In the existing condo/coop market, sales units (610,000 saar) were 5.2% above the August figures, and equaled the rate for September 2013. The national condo/coop median price came in at $205,200 – edging up 3.2% from a year before. The average price ($254,400) increased only 2.5%.

Economic Growth and Jobs Economic Growth


household survey for the unemployment rate came in with a relatively low 5.8% rate. (Some labor economists think that 5.5% is about the best we can now achieve in this global economy). Furthermore, involuntary part-time and discouraged workers fell to 11.5% from 11.8% a month before. It is now at its lowest point since 2008. But, most of the new jobs are in lower wage fields, such as retail and hospitality. And, average earnings for private-sector workers were up only 2% from a year ago -- barely above the inflation rate. While interest rates and mortgage rates are historically low, there are concerns about the ability of the millennial generation (adults under 35) to save enough for a home down payment. Recent studies show that millennials have a negative 2% savings rate –meaning they are continually adding debt. Job market difficulties – finding full-time employment and finding good paying jobs with benefits – has been a major problem. Also, many who educationally qualify for higher paying jobs carry staggering debt burdens, often due to student loans. On the other hand, baby boomers and other older Americans have a 13% saving rate (those 35 to 44 save 3% of their income; 45 to 54 year olds save 6%). And since those over 55 are among the richest households in the country, they are getting richer while their children are struggling to get into the housing market. The difficulties of finding good employment and lack of savings among young households will prove to be a major problem for the housing industry down the line. Utilizing the housing ladder analogy, if the younger households cannot get on the ladder, it will affect the ability of those on the ladder to move-up.

Jobs The Bottom Line

The Bureau of Economic Analysis’ advance estimate of third quarter real GDP growth (the economic growth rate less the inflation rate) came in at a solid 3.5%. Another more complete estimate will be released on November 25. The report also indicated that real GDP growth for the second quarter was 4.6% -- a very good number, indeed. Nevertheless, some economists are predicting that the fourth quarter will be weaker, possibly coming in around a 2.5% rate. The price index for domestic purchases increased 1.3% in the third quarter -- a number considerably below the Federal Reserve’s 2% desired level. However, this indicated that consumer inflation was not a problem this summer. The October payroll employment report was again positive with 214,000 new non-farm jobs – the 49th straight month of gains, contributing to the best annual increase since 1999. Nevertheless, historically, the total new job increase is lower than in many previous and shorter recoveries. Also, the

Overall, the 2014 sales market has been weaker than 2013, but price appreciation has offset some of the unit sales losses. Since 2013 was such a very good year, you just have to expect a bit less this year. But some good news is that, so far, the anticipated adverse economic changes due to the Fed stopping quantitative easing have not come to pass. While most economists believe the Fed will start allowing short-term interest rates to rise by next spring, the slower growth rates in China, Brazil, and India and recessions in Europe will lessen the demand for longer-term financing. This will help keep mortgage rates down. It is not certain that there will not be negative repercussions eventually, but now the U.S. is getting stronger while competitor nations are getting weaker. On the other hand, the major long-run problem for the housing market will not be higher interest rates or inflation. It will be a lack of young, middle-income buyers. Overall, economic growth for the DC metro region will likely be solid even with the Republicans in charge of Congress. The problem will not be one of macroeconomic finance, but one of demographic finance. CAPITAL AREA REALTOR® • May/Jun 2014 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR® • Nov/Dec 2014

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legal hotline By Chris Darby, Tom Muldoon, and John Nalls of Counselors Title, LLC, and Pardo & Drazin, LLC, General Counsel



I am in a short sale situation in which the listing agent is demanding that the title company identified in Paragraph 17 of the Montgomery County Jurisdictional Addendum (GCAAR Form 1312) to our MAR contract be used, but my buyer now wishes to use a different company. I thought that Maryland law provided that the buyer has the right to choose the title company. Does the contract supersede Maryland law? Could this void the contract?



You are correct that the buyer has the right to choose the title company and sellers cannot require use of a particular title company as a condition of sale. With respect to Maryland real estate brokers and agents, Section 17-607 of the Business Occupations and Professions Article provides: § 17-607. Designation of title insurance, settlement, or escrow company, mortgage lender, financial institution, or title lawyer (a) In general. — Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section, in a real estate transaction involving a single-family dwelling, a real estate broker, an associate real estate broker, a real estate salesperson, or a lawyer acting as a real estate broker may not require a buyer, as a condition of settlement, to employ a particular: (1) Title insurance company; (2) Settlement company; (3) Escrow company; (4) Mortgage lender, or financial institution as defined in the Financial Institutions Article; or (5) Title lawyer. (b) Exception. — A seller may not be prohibited from offering owner financing as a condition of settlement. However, once the parties have ratified an agreement which provides for a particular title company (when using the Regional contract, this is addressed in Paragraph 6), that is a material term of the agreement and both parties would have to agree to amend the agreement in order to use another title provider. Buyers should therefore do their due diligence regarding a title company they would like to use prior to submitting any offers so that they can make this a part of the agreement initially.


QUESTION: I am the listing agent for a condo for sale in DC. My

client (the seller) wants to make the buyer pay all closing costs, including all seller side costs in the transaction as part of the contract. He said he recently sold a condo in VA where that was made one of the terms of the contract. Is this legal in the District of Columbia?





It is legal to negotiate these taxes. It is long-standing custom in the District that the DC Jurisdictional Addendum defaults to the buyer paying the recordation and the seller paying the transfer tax, but that, like all other costs, can be negotiated. Below are the code sections setting forth that the tax is due at recordation of the deed and the amount of said taxes. CHAPTER 9. TRANSFER TAX ON REAL PROPERTY § 47-903. Imposition of tax; rate; returns; liability for tax. (a) (1) There is imposed on the transferor for each transfer at the time the deed is submitted to the Mayor for recordation a tax at the rate of 1.1% of the consideration paid for the transfer; provided, that: (a-4) Beginning October 1, 2006, except for residential properties transferred for a consideration less than $ 400,000, an additional tax of .35% is imposed upon a deed that is subject to the tax under subsection (a)(1) or (3) of this section. Of the funds collected under this subsection, 15% shall be Deposited in § 42-2802 and the remainder shall be deposited in the General Fund of the District of Columbia. CHAPTER 11. RECORDATION TAX ON DEEDS § 42-1103. Imposition of tax; rate; return; contents; liability for tax; extension of period for filing, and waiver of, return (a) (1) At the time a deed, including a lease or ground rent for a term (with renewals) that is at least 30 years, is submitted for recordation, it shall be taxed at the rate of 1.1% (to complete the calculation of total recordation tax due at time of recording, see also additional tax in subsection (a-4) of this section), as follows: (a-4) Beginning October 1, 2006, except for residential properties transferred for a consideration less than $ 400,000, an additional tax of .35% is imposed upon a deed that is subject to the tax under subsection (a)(1) of this section. Of the funds collected under this subsection, 15% shall be deposited in the Housing Production Trust Fund established by § 42-2802, and the remainder shall be deposited in the General Fund of the District of Columbia.



I represent a Buyer who ratified a contract, which included the Conventional Financing Addendum (GCAAR Form 1352). The number of days the parties selected in Paragraph D(1) have passed, and I was not informed by her lender until after that time that the Buyer was not approved. The Buyer also tried to get a loan with another bank, and they denied her several days later. The Buyer wants the total earnest money deposit (EMD) refunded back to her. The Seller and the Listing

Broker want a portion of the EMD for compensation. Is it reasonable for the Listing Broker and Seller to keep a portion of the EMD?


ANSWER: No. The pertinent portions of the Financing Contingency contained in the Conventional Financing Addendum provide:

D. FINANCING CONTINGENCY: (1) This Contract is contingent until 9:00 p.m. ____ Days after Date of Ratification (“Financing Deadline”) upon Buyer: (a) Delivering to Seller a firm written commitment(s) for financing from Lender (“Commitment”), OR (b) Delivering evidence to Seller that Buyer has sufficient funds available to complete Settlement without obtaining financing. This contingency shall be deemed removed by compliance with either (a) or (b). (2) If Buyer fails to remove this contingency by the Financing Deadline, this contingency will continue, unless Seller at Seller’s option gives Notice to Buyer that this Contract will become Void. If Seller Delivers such Notice, this Contract will become void at 9:00 p.m. on the third Day following Delivery of Seller’s Notice unless, prior to that date and time, Buyer has removed this contingency as provided herein. (3) If, prior to removal of the Financing Contingency, Buyer receives a written rejection for the Specified Financing from Lender and Delivers a copy of the written rejection to Seller, this Contract will become Void. Pursuant to Paragraph D(2), the Financing contingency continues even after the expiration of the number of Days selected in Paragraph D(1) unless the seller gives a Notice voiding the contract pursuant to Paragraph D(2). Even if such Notice is given by Seller, Buyer would have 3 days to attempt to obtain a written commitment or evidence that she does not need a loan to go forward. At any time while the contingency is still in effect, the Buyer may void the Contract by delivering a copy of the written rejection for the Specified Financing to the seller. Once the Contract becomes void without default by either party, paragraph 28

of the Regional Contract provides that both parties will immediately execute a release directing that the Deposit be refunded in full to the Purchaser.


QUESTION: On an upcoming settlement, the title work came back

reflecting a defect that will take an undetermined amount of time to fix, by at least six months. Is my client, the buyer, required to still go through with the purchase if it takes this long, or they cannot fix the issue at all and wouldn’t be able to provide title insurance?


ANSWER: No, unless the Seller can cure the title defect within 30 days of the Settlement Date. Paragraph 19 of the Regional Contract (GCAAR Form 1301) provides, in pertinent part:

Title is to be good and marketable, and insurable by a licensed title insurance company with no additional risk premium. Title may be subject to commonly acceptable easements, covenants, conditions and restrictions of record, if any; otherwise, Purchaser may declare this Contract void, unless the defects are of such character that they may be remedied within 30 days beyond the Settlement Date. In case action is required to perfect the title, such action must be taken promptly by Seller at Seller’s expense. Accordingly, Seller must provide an insurable title or be able to cure any defects in the title within 30 days of Settlement or the Buyer may declare the contract void. If Seller is able to cure the title defect within the 30-day time period, however, Buyer must go through with the purchase.

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.

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public policy Maryland Key Real Estate Related Laws Effective January 1, 2015 A number of new Maryland State laws affecting real estate professionals will go into effect on January 1, 2015. Below are the four important ones you need to be aware of:

Interest on Security Deposits for Residential Leases

Lowers the security deposit interest rate required to be returned to renters (from 3% to 1.5% or a rate equal to the US Treasury Daily Yield Curve Rate, whichever is higher.)

Maryland Estate Tax

Unifies the Maryland estate tax credit with the federal estate tax credit by January 1, 2019, phasing it in over the next 5 years beginning in 2015. In 2014 the Maryland credit was only $1,000,000 while the federal credit was over $5,000,000.

Lead Paint Requirements for Pre-1978 Rentals

Requires all residential rental properties built before 1978 to register with the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) and follow certain requirements. Owners of pre-1950 residential rental properties have been required to register with MDE since 1996; the new requirement does not affect those units.

Criminal History Record Checks Required for Appraisers Requires an applicant for an initial real estate appraiser’s license and certification to undergo a criminal background check through the Criminal Justice Information System Central Repository. The federal government will no longer recognize Maryland-issued real estate appraiser licenses without this specific background check.

Keep an eye out for more information on these laws from GCAAR and MAR Government Affairs news!

Transportation MD Transportation Trust Fund Secured in Lockbox GCAAR is thrilled by the passage of a ballot measure that creates a Maryland State Constitutional Amendment to protect the Transportation Trust Fund. The amendment bans diversions from MD’s $4.6 billion Transportation Trust Fund unless the governor declares a fiscal emergency and receives approval from a three-fifths’ supermajority of both General Assembly chambers. The Trust Fund is financed with revenue from the gas tax, vehicle registration fees, titling taxes and other sources, and pays for highways and mass transit. As part of a coalition supporting the amendment, GCAAR was able to conduct polling of Maryland voters, support a website explaining the ballot language, encourage voters through various means to go out and support ballot question 1, and more. The lockbox amendment is only the beginning. State and local governments need to work together to adopt the financing and organizational methods needed to implement a range of transportation solutions, such as a bus rapid transit system.



DC Mayor Outlines Major Transportation Vision DC Mayor Vincent Gray recently revealed the MoveDC plan, a massive 25-year venture to shape DC’s transportation to serve its growing population, with an initial two-year plan to address the City’s current needs. Among the short-term goals, DDOT will conduct several studies, including how to increase the 16th Street NW corridor’s bus capacity, and the Mayor’s desire to keep streetcar funding intact. The long-term policy includes 200 miles of bike lanes and trails, extended “high-capacity transit” routes, and even water taxis on the Potomac and Anacostia rivers.

Montgomery County GCAAR Collaborates with County for Green Education Session This past November, GCAAR joined Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) officials to offer education on local energy and environmental programs, and marketing greener homes. The class included an overview of green concepts, County resources, and information on the

long-term financial benefits of environmentally sustainable updates. Thanks to DEP for bringing valuable resources to our members! A presentation from the class can be viewed on

Attendees check in for Green education session with Education Coordinator Gail Holcombe.

Watch your GCAAR email for future collaborations.

zoning corner New Zoning Code in Effect for Montgomery County After years of community meetings, stakeholder discussions, and drafting, Montgomery County’s new Zoning Code finally took effect October 30, 2014. The new Code embraces modern planning concepts and offers new tools for users, helping realize the goals of the County’s master plans. GCAAR weighed in heavily during the rewrite process and most of the changes we suggested have been incorporated. Out-of-date provisions have been updated, protections are in place for residential communities, and the number of zones has been reduced, making the Code simpler to read. Overall, the old 1,200 page Code was reduced to 400 pages and reorganized for easy use. Generous grandfathering provisions guarantee existing uses are protected. GCAAR will continue working with the Planning Board to ensure members are fully equipped to understand relevant changes.

HAVE QUESTIONS? Email Katalin Peter at

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public policy Montgomery County GCAAR Encourages County to Improve Operation of Common Ownership Communities The Montgomery County Council introduced two bills increasing regulations on Common Ownership Communities (COCs), such as homeowners associations and co-ops. Treasurer Tim Knobloch testified in support of the first bill, which provides additional education to members of a COC Board. Individuals serving on governing bodies need appropriate training and understanding of their responsibilities. GCAAR supports this legislation, as long as the new education requirements are not cost prohibitive. The second bill introduced would put additional mandates on residential homeowners trying to obtain licenses to rent their units. While the legislation is intended to help COCs lower the delinquency rate on COC dues, GCAAR is concerned that homeowners will be subject to yet another fee to obtain documentation proving that their dues are up-to-date. GCAAR’s Public Policy Committee and leadership team have been extremely active in working with the Council on these issues, and will continue to do so as these bills move through the legislative process.

L-R: Scott Goldberg, Public Policy Committee; GCAAR Treasurer Tim Knobloch; Casey Anderson; Harold Huggins, Public Policy Committee; MAR President-Elect and 2012 GCAAR President Bonnie Casper; Dick Stoner, Public Policy Committee Vice Chair.

Politically Speaking Series Montgomery County Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson Casey Anderson, the recently-named Chairman of the Montgomery Planning Board, joined GCAAR for a Politically Speaking Series event in mid-October. Mr. Anderson focused on development throughout the County and the need to balance economic development with adequate residential options, such as three- and four-bedroom apartments. He also stressed the importance of school construction and the County’s changing demographics. Mr. Anderson graciously thanked GCAAR for its involvement with local government and emphasized the importance of continuing to work with elected and appointed officials throughout the County. GCAAR’s input is always welcome at the Planning Board. Chairman Anderson will be invited back on a regular basis to keep you apprised of the issues that affect REALTORS®.

District of Columbia DCAR Supports Bill to Lower Recordation Taxes for First-Time Homebuyers Your advocacy efforts have been heard loud and clear! DC Councilmembers David Grosso and Jack Evans worked with the DC Association of REALTORS® (DCAR) to introduce the First-time Homebuyer Tax Credit Amendment Act of 2014 to cut the recordation tax rate from 1.45% to 0.725% for firsttime District homebuyers. DCAR’s October Speaker Series featured David Grosso discussing the new legislation, where he stressed “For many, homeownership remains the most tangible path to building generational wealth, and this legislation will assist in helping first-time District homebuyers realize the great American dream.”



L-R: DCAR CEO Ed Krauze, DC Councilmember David Grosso, 2014 DCAR President Bonnie Roberts-Burke, 2014 President-Elect, Ed Wood.

While the Bill won’t move before the end of 2014, Councilmember Grosso is expecting to reintroduce it next session with Councilmember Evans—and hopefully more co-sponsors! CONGRATULATIONS to our REALTOR® community for this tremendous first step in lowering the barriers to homeownership.

District of Columbia DCAR First-Ever Lobby Day a Remarkable Success! DCAR exceeded all expectations with its first ever “Lobby Day” on November 17. The full day included over 20 members of DCAR’s leadership meeting with nearly every single Councilmember’s office, as well as a special lunch with Council Chairman Mendelson. 2014 DCAR President Bonnie Roberts-Burke with DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.

Members focused the meetings on the Association’s legislative priorities: recordation and transfer taxes; affordable and workforce housing; economic development; and improvements to the efficiency and effectiveness of the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA). All the Councilmembers and staff were extremely receptive to our issues and said they would consider them with an open mind.

DCAR member Angela Jones with DC Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie.

Lobby Day was organized by DCAR’s Wilson Building Task Force, chaired by DCAR Board member Dianah Shaw. DCAR intends to make Lobby Day an annual event. Thanks to our dedicated members for advancing the REALTOR® agenda at the Council!

GCAAR Welcomes New Emeritus Members! The National Association of REALTORS® Emeritus status is given to those REALTORS® who have 40 years of membership in the national organization. GCAAR is proud to congratulate the following members who have reached Emeritus status.

Vivian Beyda Donald Boucher Martha Chacon Patricia Dading Camay Davis Chela Giacchino William Hennessy Louis Maurer Gerard Occhiuzzo


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DID YOU KNOW? Mortgage fraud results in an estimated $4 billion to $6 billion in annual losses in the United States, and the number of cases reported continues to skyrocket each year. Mortgage fraud can encompass elaborate schemes that involve anything from inflated property values, undisclosed kickbacks, identity theft, and preying on home owners facing foreclosure. Even more alarming, sometimes the perpetrator may be your client.

How much do you really know about mortgage fraud? Take the quiz below to test yourself. Q.1 Which of the following is a common type of mortgage fraud?

m Property flipping m Equity skimming m Inflated appraisals m All of the above

Q.2 Mortgage fraud can involve a person with good credit who agrees to provide his or her name to help someone with bad credit to obtain a loan. What is that person usually referred to?

m Impostor m Guarantor m Straw buyer m Grantor

Q.3 Which government agency investigates mortgage fraud?

m Internal Revenue Service m FBI m U.S. Secret Service m All of the Above

Q.4 In a foreclosure rescue scam, home owners are often told that their homes can be saved from foreclosure if they do what?

m Complete a short sale m Pay upfront fees and transfer the deed m Use a straw buyer m All of the Above


Q.5 What is the mortgage fraud scam called when a buyer borrows the down payment from the seller without the lender’s knowledge?

m Equity skimming m Air loan m Silent Second m All of the Above

Q.6 Which of the following constitutes mortgage fraud?

m Selling a home for less than the seller’s mortgage m Buyer immediately rents the property without notifying the lender m Borrower refinances mortgage every year

m All of the Above

Q.7 Which of the following items below could serve as a warning sign to possible mortgage fraud?

m No money-down loans m Overstating income on document m Signing a document containing blanks m All of the Above

Q.8 What are the two distinct areas of mortgage fraud that the FBI investigates?

m Bank fraud and illegal steering m Straw buying and bait and switch m Undisclosed kickbacks and electronic crimes m Fraud for profit and fraud for housing

Q.9 Who are usually the perpetrators found to be involved in the majority of mortgage fraud losses?

m Family members m Housing industry and mortgage professionals m College roommates m Ex-cons

Q.10 What do many experts believe is the key to combating the majority of the largest losses from mortgage fraud?

m Tougher penalties for perpetrators m Outlaw property flipping m Mandatory background checks for all parties m Accurate appraisals

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Correct answers on page 29

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Answers to Quiz from page 26 1 – ALL OF THE ABOVE Mortgage fraud consists of misrepresentation, misstatements, and omissions during the loan process. One common scam of equity skimming involves a fictitious company that threatens bankruptcy or foreclosure to trick home owners and investors. Illegal property flipping is when properties are purchased, values then inflated through false appraisals, and the property is repurchased numerous times at a higher price. With inflated appraisals, an appraiser, working with a borrower, provides a higher property value than what the home is really worth. 2 – STRAW BUYER The straw buyer (or nominee) pretends to be a legitimate buyer by allowing his or her name or credit history to be used when applying for a loan for someone who is unable to obtain one or who wants to keep his identity concealed. The straw buyer is usually given cash in exchange for the use of their name on the mortgage application. 3 – ALL OF THE ABOVE No centralized reporting agency exists for mortgage fraud complaints or investigations. As such, several national, state, and local agencies collaborate to investigate mortgage fraud, including the FBI, IRS, and the U.S. Secret Service. To report any mortgage fraud or suspicious scams, visit or contact your state and local consumer protection agency. 4 – PAY UPFRONT FEES AND TRANSFER THE DEED The number of foreclosure rescue schemes continues to increase. Home owners in foreclosure or who are at risk of defaulting on a loan are misled by perpetrators into believing that their homes can be salvaged by transferring the property deed and paying upfront fees to an unlicensed company. The perpetrator often will just run off with the upfront fees collected or, in extreme cases, get a second loan on the property or even sell the home without the home owner’s knowledge. 5 – SILENT SECOND A borrower commits mortgage fraud when he or she takes part in a silent second mortgage. This is when a buyer borrows the down payment from the seller in order to purchase the house but fails to disclose the source of the down payment to the lender. Since this is a loan that will need to be repaid, it counts as debt, and the lender needs to figure it into the borrower’s debt to income ratio. 6 – BUYER IMMEDIATELY RENTS THE PROPERTY WITHOUT NOTIFYING THE LENDER If the buyer does not intend to live in the property, he or she must disclose that to the lender. Lenders charge higher premiums to buyers who will not be taking occupancy or who are purchasing it as an investment property, since lenders perceive them as a higher risk. 7 – ALL OF THE ABOVE These all can serve as warning signs of mortgage fraud. Overstating income to qualify for a larger mortgage is fraud. Also, blank lines should never be left on loan documents because information can be added by someone else after the borrower has signed it. If there are any blanks, “N/A” (or not applicable) should be added or the blanks should be crossed through 8 – FRAUD FOR PROFIT AND FRAUD FOR HOUSING With fraud for housing, which usually only involves a single loan, a borrower misrepresents or provides false information (such as by overstating income on loan documents) in order to purchase a home or get a lower interest rate. The borrower usually intends to make mortgage payments. However, with fraud for profit crimes, the borrowers generally have no intention of paying the mortgage and the objective is usually to default on the loan so that the home lands in foreclosure. Fraud for profit crimes are usually more severe since these schemes are often more complex and involve more parties, multiple loans, and higher dollar losses. 9 – HOUSING INDUSTRY AND MORTGAGE PROFESSIONALS Industry insiders who work in the mortgage and real estate business are the most familiar with the mortgage loan process and, therefore, often are the perpetrators of mortgage fraud for profit crimes. In fact, it’s estimated that about 80 percent of the mortgage fraud losses come from those who work in the housing industry, such as appraisers, accountants, attorneys, real estate brokers, mortgage underwriters/processors, settlement/title company employees, mortgage brokers, and loan originators, according to the FBI. 10 – ACCURATE APPRAISALS Appraisal fraud tends to be linked with the most significant losses in mortgage fraud. “Inflated appraisals are at the root of most real estate scams, including illegal flipping, cash back at closing schemes, and refinancing rip-offs,” authors Ralph R. Roberts and Rachel Dollar write in Protect Yourself From Real Estate and Mortgage Fraud (Kaplan Publishing, 2007). The authors note that an unbiased and accurate appraisal protects everyone in a transaction -- buyers are assured they’re paying fair market value and lenders know the property is worth enough to justify the loan. CAPITALCAPITAL AREA AREA REALTOR • ® Nov/Dec REALTOR • May/Jun2014 2014 ®


GCAAR in the news Montgomery County Council Bills Address HOA, Condo Boards The Gazette December 3, 2014

“The paperwork and time required would impose an extra burden on landlords who pay their dues and follow the rules.”

— GCAAR Treasurer Tim Knobloch

Michael McGreevy Named 2014 GCAAR REALTOR® of the Year Washington Business Journal People on the Move November 25, 2014

— Michael McGreevy GCAAR Immediate Past President featured

CJ Rader Named 2014 GCAAR Rookie of the Year

Washington Business Journal People on the Move November 25, 2014

Ann Johnston Named 2014 GCAAR Affiliate of the Year Washington Business Journal People on the Move November 25, 2014 — Ann Johnston GCAAR Affiliate featured

MD Regulation Discourages Referrals from Real Estate Agents The Washington Post November 14, 2014

“This regulation interferes with the professional relationship between the agent and his client, censors the agent’s ability to give meaningful information to their clients, and turns the agent into an agent for the state.” — GCAAR Past President Dennis Melby

— CJ Rader GCAAR member featured

membership corner QUESTIONS

SentriLock Announces Live Support Option On December 1, 2014, SentriLock announced the launch of the Live Support option. Now you will have the ability to work with trained SentriLock experts on such topics as website training, card utility troubleshooting and more, right from your computer. To take advantage of this new communication channel, all you have to do is log into the SentriLock website and click the Live Support option in the top right hand corner of the main page. From there, you will see a Limitation of Liability statement, SentriLock chat rules and chat instructions. These items serve the purpose of setting the expectations for users of the Live Support feature.



about the Live Support option? Please feel free to contact SentriLock Support at 877.736.8745.

Need a Receipt for 2014 Payments? GCAAR receipts (dues, registrations, supplies): Email MRIS receipts: Call 301-838-7100 SentriLock receipts: Call 1-877-736-8745 Thank you for being a valued GCAAR customer!

education schedule January 9, 2015 Virginia Mandatory Contract Review CEU: 1 hour VA (required) and DC (elective) Instructors: George Glekas and Jessica Chipoco Time: 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

January 5, 2015 Solving Sellers Issues CEU: 1.5 hours MD and DC (elective) Instructor: Colleen Smyth Time: 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. January 5, 2015 Maryland Fair Housing CEU: 1.5 hours MD (required) & DC (elective) Instructor: Lisa Bosse Time: 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. January 7, 2015 Maryland Code of Ethics and Predatory Lending CEU: 3 hours MD (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Al Monshower Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. January 7, 2015 DC Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours DC (required) Instructor: Counselors Title Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. * NAR Building/3rd Floor January 7, 2015 Maryland Legal & Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours MD (required) & DC (elective) Instructor: Al Monshower Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. January 7, 2015 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (required) Instructor: Counselors Title Time: 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. * NAR Building/3rd Floor January 8, 2015 Virginia Ethics CEU; 3 hours VA (required) & DC (elective) Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. January 8, 2015 Virginia Fair Housing CEU: 2 hours VA (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. January 9, 2015 Virginia Legal Update CEU: 1 hours VA (required) and DC (elective) Instructors: George Glekas and Jessica Chipoco Time: 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. January 9, 2015 Virginia Mandatory Agency CEU: 1 hour VA (required) and DC (elective) Instructors: George Glekas and Jessica Chipoco Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

January 12, 2015 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (required) Instructor: Tony Duncanson Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. * NAR Building/3rd Floor January 12, 2015 DC Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours DC (required) Instructor: Jacqueline Talpa Time: 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. * NAR Building/3rd Floor January 14, 2015 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (required) Instructor: Suzanne Feinstein Time: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. January 15, 2015 Financing Issues/Update CEU: 3 hours DC (required); MD and VA (elective) Instructor: Jamica Browne Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. January 15, 2015 Financing Issues/Update CEU: 3 hours DC (required); MD and VA (elective) Instructor: Chanin Wisler Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. * NAR Building/3rd Floor January 15, 2015 Maryland Fair Housing CEU: 1.5 hours MD (required); DC (elective) Instructor: Lawrence Elliott Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. January 15, 2015 Understanding Credit Reports, Scoring Models and How to Improve Your Credit Score CEU: 3 hours MD, DC and VA (elective) Instructor: Chanin Wisler Time: 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. * NAR Building/3rd Floor January 16, 2015 RPR Basics CEU: No CE Instructor: Win Singleton Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. January 16, 2015 RPR Advanced CEU: No CE Instructor: Win Singleton Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. January 21, 2015 The New Virginia Residential Sales Contract CEU: No CE Instructor: Chris Darby Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. * NAR Building/3rd Floor January 21, 2015 DC Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours DC (required)

NOTE: All classes are held at GCAAR’s Rockville office unless otherwise noted.

Instructors: Patrick Tangney and Kevin Anderson Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. January 22, 2015 New Member Orientation CEU: No CE Instructor: Dana Hollish Hill Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. January 22, 2015 Maryland Code of Ethics and Predatory Lending CEU: 3 hours MD (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Jill Pogach Michaels Time: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. January 23, 2015 Maryland Code of Ethics and Predatory Lending CEU: 3 hours MD (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Ned Rich Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. *NAR Building/3rd Floor January 23, 2015 Maryland Fair Housing CEU: 1.5 hours MD (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: David Politzer Time: 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. *NAR Building/3rd Floor January 26, 2015 The ABCs of Rentals CEU: 3 hours MD and DC (elective) Instructor: Jean Poitevien Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. * NAR Building/3rd Floor January 26, 2015 FIRPTA for Residential Real Estate CEU: 1.5 hours MD and DC (elective) and 2 hours VA (elective) Instructor: Lisa Lu Britton Time: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. *NAR Building/3rd Floor January 28, 2015 Financing Issues/Update CEU: 3 hours DC (required); MD and VA (elective) Instructor: Michelle Mathews Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. January 28, 2015 DC Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours DC (required) Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. January 28, 2015 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (required) Instructor: Mary Chieppa Time: 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. January 29, 2015 Home Inspections CEU: 3 hours MD, DC and VA (elective) Instructor: Vimal Kapoor Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. January 29, 2015 Home Innovations and Trends CEU: 3 hours MD, DC and VA (elective) Instructor: Vimal Kapoor Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. continued, p. 32

31 31


education schedule January 31, 2015 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (required) Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m

February 6, 2015 MREC Agency - Residential CEU: 3 hours MD (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: David Politzer Time: 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. *NAR Building/3rd Floor February 7, 2015 Financing Issues/Update CEU: 3 hours DC (required); MD and VA (elective) Instructor: Chanin Wisler Time: 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. February 9, 2015 Mortgage Basics CEU: 3 hours MD, DC and VA (elective) Instructor: Jamica Browne Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

February 4, 2015 DC Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours DC (required) Instructor: P. Joy Siegel Time: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. February 4, 2015 Financing Issues/Update CEU: 3 hours DC (required); MD and VA (elective) Instructor: Alex Peters Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. February 4, 2015 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (required) Instructor: Mary Chieppa Time: 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. February 5, 2015 Contract Basics CEU: 3 hours MD, DC and VA (elective) Instructor: Robert Moses Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. February 5, 2015 Financing Issues/Update CEU: 3 hours DC (required); MD and VA (elective) Instructor: James Semeyn Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. *NAR Building/3rd Floor February 5, 2015 FHA Financing CEU: 3 hours MD, DC and VA (elective) Instructor: Russell Rothstein Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. February 5, 2015 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (required) Instructor: Jacqueline Talpa Time: 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. *NAR Building/3rd Floor February 6, 2015 2011-2013 Maryland Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours MD (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: David Politzer Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. * NAR Building/3rd Floor



February 9, 2015 Representing the Seller CEU: 3 hours MD, DC and VA (elective) Instructor: Cammie Reed Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. February 11, 2015 Working with Buyers CEU: 3 hours MD, DC and VA (elective) Instructor: Dana Hollish Hill Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. *NAR Building/3rd Floor February 11, 2015 2010-2014 Maryland Legal Update CEU: 3 hours MD (required) Instructor: Chuck Kasky Time: 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. February 11, 2015 203K CEU: 3 hours MD, DC and VA (elective) Instructor: Cedric Johnson Time: 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. *NAR Building/3rd Floor February 12, 2015 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (required) Instructor: Counselors Title Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. February 12, 2015 Financing Issues/Update CEU: 3 hours DC (required); MD and VA (elective) Instructors: Debbie Benkert and Chris Darby Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

February 13, 2015 RPR Basics CEU: No CE Instructor: Win Singleton Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. *NAR Building/3rd Floor February 13, 2015 RPR Advanced CEU: No CE Instructor: Win Singleton Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. *NAR Building/3rd Floor February 13, 2015 Maryland Fair Housing CEU: 1.5 hours MD (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Al Monshower Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. February 18, 2015 Broker Manager Forum: Brokerage Rules Governing Escrows, Supervision and Education CEU: No CE Instructor: Chuck Kasky Time: 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. February 18, 2015 Maryland Fair Housing CEU: 1.5 hours MD (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Carrie Anne Messina Time: 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. February 19, 2015 New Member Orientation CEU: No CE Instructor: Shahnaz Tehraniazad Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. February 19, 2015 Maryland Code of Ethics and Predatory Lending CEU: 3 hours MD (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Jill Pogach Michaels Time: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. February 20, 2015 Maryland Code of Ethics and Predatory Lending CEU: 3 hours MD (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Ned Rich Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. *NAR Building/3rd Flo

February 12, 2015 DC Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours DC (required) Instructor: Counselors Title Time: 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. February 13, 2015 MREC Agency - Residential CEU: 3 hours MD (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Al Monshower Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

NOTE: All classes are held at GCAAR’s Rockville office unless otherwise noted.

The market is changing. And so is our name. When the most respected brand in the world, Berkshire Hathaway, puts its name on a real estate sign, that’s a good sign for the market and a great sign for you. Prudential PenFed Realty is proud to join them as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty.


Fall of 2014

©2014 Prudential Real Estate brokerage services are offered through the independently owned and operated network of broker member franchisees of BRER Affiliates LLC. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are registered service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, used under license with no other affiliation with Prudential. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brokerage services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.®

Get to know us at: Contact us at: 410-547-5711 or 703-877-2714

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