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REALT O R

CapitAl Area

®

www.gcaar.com

Official publication for the Greater Capital Area Assocation of Realtors®

january/february 2014

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Welcome to the st issue of GCAAR’s new magazine!

My clients are interested in Green homes. How can I help them? ... page 12

Legislative Breakfast - p. 5

Press Conference - p. 4

Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

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from the editor

Welcome

to the newly-designed Capital Area REALTOR®, GCAAR’s print publication published five times per year. With this issue we introduce a completely new design taking the publication from a newspaper to a magazine format. We’re proud to say that magazine will be printed on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) paper which promotes the responsible management of forests worldwide. In order to use the FSC logo on printed documents, the document must have flowed through the FSC Chain of Custody from the FSC-certified forest, to a paper manufacturer, merchant, and finally to a printer that has FSC Chain-of-Custody certification. We’re excited about the new design and we look forward to hearing from you. You can check out Capital Area REALTOR® online via GCAAR.com, so please do and please share. If you have ideas, comments, or suggestions, feel free to contact us at communications@gcaar.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Enjoy,

Bobette Banks Editor

Capital Area REALTOR® (USPS 017-467) is published five times a year by the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®, 15201 Diamondback Drive, Rockville, MD 20850. 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. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Capital Area REALTOR®, ATTN: GCAAR, 15201 Diamondback Drive, 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 bbanks@gcaar.com. 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®.

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Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

All rights reserved.

15201 Diamondback Drive, Rockville MD 20850 Phone: 301.590.2000 • Fax: 301.590.2248 • www.gcaar.com Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/GCAAR2 Follow us on Twitter@GCAARNow Follow us on LinkedIn/in/GCAAR Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

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REALTOR

CapitAl Area

®

features

in every issue

1

From the Editor

3

4

Greg Ford Speaks at State of the Market Press Conference

4

Association News

6

GCAAR Cares: Grant Recipient Spotlight

8

Technology

13

Expand Your Reach in 2014 with a GCAAR Sponsorship

9

Meet Your

GCAAR Committees

21

Using MRIS to Enhance Your Real Estate Business

10

NAR Director’s Report

27

Quiz: What Do You Know About Home Sellers?

12

Green Resources

29

Affiliate List

14

Housing Statistics

22

Membership Corner/ GCAAR in the News

GCAAR Cares

On the Cover:

Green Resources - My clients are interested in Green homes. How can I help them? - page 12

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january/february 2014

Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

page 6

board of directors

Q. I’ve heard that GCAAR’s headquarters are relocating

Ask the President

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RPAC

24

Public Policy

28

Legal Hotline

ask the president

Greg Ford President

Suzanne Des Marais President-Elect

to Rockville in early 2014. I’m a DC resident and my office is located here as well. Any chance you’ll be opening up a service center more convenient to me? -An agent in Dupont Circle

A. Thanks for your excellent question. As an association, Peg Mancuso SECRETARY

Tim Knobloch TREASURER

we are constantly striving to better serve our members and we believe that new Rockville facility helps us accomplish this goal. The new location has many perks (like free parking!) that we haven’t been able to offer in our current location. Having said that, we do understand that the new location may be less convenient for some of our DC-based members. We are currently working closely with the DC Association of REALTORS® (DCAR) to find a new location that will better serve our DC members. The new location will continue to offer all the services we currently have in our present location at 500 New Jersey Avenue, such as lockboxes, keycards, REALTOR® store, dues payment, and a meeting room. Our goal is to also have a classroom in the new space thereby making it more convenient for our DC members to attend classes and other GCAAR events.

Michael McGreevy IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT

Michael Moran CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

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

GCAAR’s footprint reaches from upper Montgomery County on the border with Frederick County, down to the Anacostia waterfront and lower Potomac River where it meets Alexandria, and everything in between. We are constantly striving to serve all of our members throughout that footprint. We’re making great strides in that direction as we look to increase the services we offer in DC. Stay tuned to GCAAR publications and emails for updates!

Capital Area REALTOR® Magazine Bobette Banks MANAGING Editor

Arlene Braithwaite Advertising Representative

Debbie Bell ASSOCIATE Editor

Lisa Cadigan, Cadigan Creative Design & Layout

Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

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association news Greg Ford Speaks at State of the Market Press Conference 2014 GCAAR President Greg Ford joined fellow association leaders at the State of the Market Press Conference held at the National Press Club on December 11. Greg was joined by Jon Wolford, 2013 Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS® Chairman, and David Versel, Senior Research Associate, George Mason University. Greg gave an overview of the 2013 housing numbers for DC and Montgomery County, and left the audience with these takeaways:

Delegate Jim Gilchrist, Delegate Charles Barkley, County Executive Ike Leggett, Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo, Delegate Anne Kaiser, Councilmember Hans Riemer, Councilmember Nancy Floreen, Councilmember Roger Berliner David Bediz, GCAAR Board Member; GCAAR CEO Mike Moran; 2014 GCAAR President Greg Ford; 2014 President-Elect, Suzanne Des Marais; GCAAR Board Member Koki Adasi

• Sales prices are increasing • Market is stabilizing; buyers see value • Rental prices will continue to rise • Montgomery County is moving toward smarter growth

County Executive Ike Leggett and GCAAR President Greg Ford

Elected Officials and REALTORS® Get Together at GCAAR’S Annual Legislative Breakfast County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett and other Montgomery County local, state, and federal legislators came to GCAAR to mingle with REALTORS® at the legislative breakfast on January 6. Attendees heard first-hand what to expect from their elected officials’ legislative agendas in the next year. Addressing the packed room were GCAAR President Greg Ford, who emphasized the growing need for government to focus on population growth and housing affordability; Ike Leggett, who reinforced the importance of innovative transportation solutions and his continued focus on improving education; and Anne Kaiser (Chief Deputy Majority Whip of the Maryland House of Delegates and Montgomery County House Delegation Chair), who discussed the valuable relationships GCAAR has developed with representatives in the General Assembly and all levels of government. The well-attended event provided a great forum for members and guests to enjoy a delicious breakfast and learn firsthand about the most important legislative issues affecting Montgomery County’s communities.

Greg being interviewed by Helen Wong of Epoch Times

Jon Wolford, NVAR Chairman; David Versel, George Mason University; 2014 GCAAR President, Greg Ford

is moving in March! Visit us soon at

15201 Diamondback Drive, Rockville MD

Delegate Anne Kaiser

Tax Tips Seminar Linda de Marlor, President of Tax-Masters Inc., brought her usual verve and boundless energy as she shared tax tips with a packed house on January 8.

Look for more details on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and GCAAR.com!

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Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

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GCAAR CARES

grant recipient spotlight Featured 2013 Grant Recipient: Pathways to Housing DC Grant Amount - $1,500 Pathways to Housing DC is a local non-profit committed to ending chronic homelessness by moving individuals who are homeless and coping with serious mental illnesses, co-occurring substance abuse disorders, and/ or other medical challenges, off of the streets of Washington, DC and into permanent, safe, and supportive housing. At least 9 out of every 10 individuals they place in housing stay in housing and on the path to recovery, and ultimately, to independence. Since 2004, Pathways to Housing DC has been able to successfully end homelessness and support recovery for more than 600 of the most vulnerable residents in our nation’s capital.

Impact of GCAAR Cares Grant: “The GCAAR Cares Grants Program has made

a tremendous impact on Pathways to Housing DC,” states Pathways’ Director of Development, Hannah Zollman. In 2013, Pathways moved 79 chronically homeless individuals with serious mental illnesses and other medical challenges from the streets of Washington, DC into permanent supportive apartments. Today, these men and women (many of whom are Veterans) now have a place where they can begin to rebuild their lives and live out their dreams. GCAAR’s generous support will go to help cover those critical expenses not covered by government resources (such as furniture and household items), which are necessary to transform a place into a home.

Russell’s Story: Russell grew up in Southeast DC before becoming homeless more than three decades ago, struggling with schizophrenia. He spent the last ten years sleeping on a park bench downtown. This fall, with assistance from his Pathways team, Russell moved off the streets and into a permanent apartment, where he is able to experience the wonderful independence and empowerment that comes with having a safe, personal space to call his own. Thanks to GCAAR, Pathways was able to provide Russell with a place to call home. Contact: For more information on Pathways to Housing DC, please contact Hannah Zollman at hzollman@pathwaysdc.org or (202) 529-2972 ext. 130.

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Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

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technology

meet your GCAAR committees

By Steve Pacinelli, Tech Savvy Agent FotoNotes Provides A Lot More Than Photos and Notes

GCAAR Public Policy Committee

Your Professional Network (YPN)

If property management is part of your business strategy, FotoNotes may be worth looking into. FotoNotes is a mobile-first solution for real estate field services, including property and facilities management, property preservation, broker price opinions (BPOs), construction estimates, and more. It’s a great tool to collect and share real estate information — photos, voice notes, text, and other information in the field — and differentiate the average real estate agent from the tech savvy one. While FotoNotes is currently targeting property managers, an individual REALTOR® could use the application in several ways: • To document client tours of a property, taking photos, capturing note and issues, and giving clients this information immediately after the tour.

• To highlight special features or details in a house and share them with clients. • If they’re also property managers, to issue work orders for maintenance and property preservation. As for the nuts-and-bolts, FotoNotes has four components:

• Track repairs and improvements that might need to be addressed prior to the sale of a property.

1. Mobile application. For iPhones/iPads, it’s available today from iTunes. For Android devices, it’s coming later this fall.

• To collaborate with a client and potential contractors on home improvements during the sales process – to share ideas and get cost estimates for carpentry, painting, roofing, and other remodeling and construction services.

2. Web application that allows users to manage and share all information on the web.

• To perform BPOs (broker price opinions) faster and more thoroughly. • To quickly capture photos, location, and other information about a property and have it organized in a form (data structure) that they define.

3. Web-based template configurator that a non-technical administrator can use to create mobile templates. The templates specify the data to be collected and the workflow for the tasks performed in the field. 4. Application programming interface (API) to easily integrate mobile field data with back-end office systems.

To learn more, visit FotoNotes.com

L-R: Staff Liaison, Katalin Peter; Chair, Elley Kott; Vice Chair, Dick Stoner; Staff Liaison, Meredith Weisel The GCAAR Public Policy Committee works with staff to serve the public policy interests of REALTORS® in Montgomery County, Maryland and surrounding jurisdictions. It reviews, discusses and recommends support for or against proposed regulations and legislation related to the real estate business. Working on both government and grassroots levels, the GCAAR Public Policy Committee is a key voice for REALTOR® issues. The committee meets monthly.

2014 Roster

Elley Kott, Chair Richard Stoner, Vice Chair Deborah Benkert Lisa Bosse Jan Brito Bonnie Casper Liliana Chedrauy Gregory Coggins Suzanne Feinstein Scott Goldberg Harold Huggins Thomas Kennedy Ernest Knight Tim Knobloch

Andrea Long Anthony Mancuso Peg Mancuso Philip Raskin Pramedai Reed Margaret Regnier Andres Serafini Monica Sharma Jacqueline Simon John Sullivan Marlene Trimble Patrick Weed Huijuan Xie

YPN Member Danai Mattison and 2014 GCAAR Immediate Past President Michael McGreevy The leaders of the future are building their networks today. GCAAR’s YPN helps them do it. The committee selects topics, speakers, and locations for quarterly events and solicits and secures sponsors. The committee has monthly call-meetings and quarterly meetings.

2014 Roster

Thomas Castagnola, Chair Jessica Evans, Vice Chair Sean Adderly Michael Altobelli Briana Ayala Kevin Brunell Sean Forschler Justin Levitch Danai Mattison Rahkiya Reid

Kathleen Rollins Rob Rothstein Jacob Ryon Dana Scanlon Marteina Scott Andres Serafini Kenneth Storck Abi Swington-Stokes Patrick Tangney as of 2/10/2014

as of 2/10/2014

DCAR Public Policy Committee The DCAR Public Policy Committee is managed by the state level District of Columbia Association of REALTORS®. For more information, contact Katalin Peter at kpeter@gcaar.com.

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Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

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NAR

NAR Ethics and Professionalism Updates

director’s report Greg Ford, 2014 GCAAR President NAR Priorities for 2014

GCAAR Featured in Power of R Campaign

2014 National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) President Steve Brown has outlined a number of priorities in 2014. These include: • Delaying flood insurance rate changes

• Protecting the mortgage interest deduction (MID) and other tax incentives

For more information on these and other issues, visit: Realtor.org or Realtoractioncenter.org (for public policy issues).

Qualified Mortgage Update On Jan. 14, 2014, NAR submitted a statement for the record to the U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit hearing on “How Prospective and Current Homeowners Will Be Harmed by the CFPB’s Qualified Mortgage Rule.” The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act established the Qualified Mortgage (QM) as the primary means for mortgage lenders to satisfy its “ability-to-repay” requirements. In the statement, NAR pointed out that it has been generally supportive of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) efforts to craft a QM rule that is not unduly restrictive and provides a safe harbor for lenders making QM loans. NAR has a policy supporting the idea that lenders measure a consumer’s ability to repay a loan. For this reason NAR strongly supports the Ability-to-Repay (ATR) rule in general but has significant concerns with some elements of the QM portion of the rule, which includes the 3 percent cap on points and fees as well as the 43 percent Debt-to-Income (DTI) limit. NAR also believes it is critical for policymakers to construct a QRM rule that mirrors the newly implemented QM rule.

Scan the QR code to read the NAR Statement.

Code of Ethics

Below are updates to the 2014 Code of Ethics that every REALTOR® must know.

Standard of Practice 3-2

• Monitoring overly tight credit standards and the impact of caps on points and fees

• Supporting REALTOR® party candidates at the federal, state, and local levels

T

he National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) introduced several important revisions in ethics and professionalism for 2014.

NAR has launched its Power of R campaign to demonstrate how REALTORS® advocate for the real estate industry and the nation’s 75 million property owners -- in the community, at city hall, at the state house, and on Capitol Hill. Standing one million strong, REALTORS® help build vibrant communities; they help people achieve the American Dream of home ownership; and they champion accurate, reliable data as part of a real estate transaction. NAR is encouraging REALTORS® to use the #PowerofR to share all the good we do with others in the industry and with consumers. GCAAR was recently recognized in REALTOR® Magazine for demonstrating the Power of R through the work being done by our Community Service Committee, GCAAR Cares. Get involved and show us how you are demonstrating the Power of R!

Any change in compensation offered for cooperative services must be communicated to the other REALTOR® prior to the time that REALTOR® submits an offer to purchase/lease the property. After a REALTOR® has submitted and offer to purchase or lease property, the listing broker may not attempt to unilaterally modify the offered compensation with respect to that cooperative transaction. (Amended 1/14)

Article 10

REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. (Amended 1/14)

• Share your stories and photos on Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr using the hashtag #PowerofR.

REALTORS®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. (Amended 1/14)

• Update your Facebook cover photo with one of our pre-made banners.

Standard of Practice 10-3

How can you get involved?

What kind of stories and photos demonstrate the #PowerofR? • Your advocacy work with local, state, or national officials

• Your volunteer activities that support and improve your community • Your work to educate consumers and young people about responsible property ownership Learn more at realtor.org/topics/powerofr

REALTORS® shall not print, display or circulate any statement or advertisement with respect to selling or renting of a property that indicates any preference, limitations or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. (Adopted 1/94, Renumbered 1/05 and 1/06, Amended 1/14)

Standard of Practice 11-1

When REALTORS® prepare opinions of real property value or price they must: 1. be knowledgeable about the type of property being valued, 2. have access to the information and resources necessary to formulate an accurate opinion, and

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Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

3. be familiar with the area where the subject property is located unless lack of any of these is disclosed to the party requesting the opinion in advance. When an opinion of value or price is prepared other than in pursuit of a listing or to assist a potential purchaser in formulating a purchase offer, the opinion shall include the following unless the party requesting the opinion requires a specific type of report or different data set: 1. identification of the subject property 2. date prepared 3. defined value or price 4. limiting conditions, including statements of purpose(s) and intended user(s) 5. any present or contemplated interest, including the possibility of representing the seller/landlord or buyers/tenants 6. basis for the opinion, including applicable market data 7. if the opinion is not an appraisal, a statement to that effect 8. disclosure of whether and when a physical inspection of the property’s exterior was conducted 9. disclosure of whether and when a physical inspection of the property’s interior was conducte 10. disclosure of whether the REALTOR® has any conflicts of interest (Amended 1/14)

Pathways to Professionalism

Another NAR document entitled Pathways to Professionalism includes a new professional courtesy under “Respect for Property” which states: “Respect sellers’ instructions about photographing or videographing their properties’ interiors or exteriors” You can access the Code of Ethics and Pathways to Professionalism documents in the Code of Ethics section of the NAR website (realtor.org). Here you will find a wealth of information and resources on ethics and professionalism. The articles and videos are valuable tools for ethics training in office meetings. Every REALTOR® should bookmark this section of the website for quick reference. The end of 2013 marked the close of the NAR Code of Ethics Centennial celebration. Let us look forward to next 100 years of excellence in real estate through ethics and professionalism. Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

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green resources

sponsorship Expand Your Reach in 2014 With a GCAAR Sponsorship The Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® (GCAAR) represents almost 9,000 real estate agents in Maryland and the District of Columbia. GCAAR is dedicated to the advancement of the residential real estate industry and strives to meet the needs of its broad-based membership. GCAAR is looking for companies like yours who are looking to further their name recognition within our membership through sponsorship opportunities. We offer your company direct access to the Mid-Atlantic’s leading REALTORS® who have discretionary funds for a wide array of products and services. GCAAR sponsorships are the perfect complement to any strategic marketing plan, as they support your other promotional efforts, help you gain awareness, and also target specific audiences at a variety of events. We are proud of the sponsorship packages that we maintain, and we are always adding new events and features to further enhance your experience with GCAAR. GCAAR has two categories of events for our members – Signature Events and Education/Networking Events.

D

o you have clients interested in buying or selling a “Green” home? You can be a helpful resource as a REALTOR®!

We know the concept of “going Green” can be intimidating if you are not familiar with it. Get the basics down and you will be well on your way to understanding environmental consciousness in real estate.

What do you mean by “Green” home or “Green” features?

Energy efficiency, health, comfort, and environmental stewardship are what many people think of when they hear about a Green home. There are different ways of defining Green; national and regional standards exist and can be applied to new or existing homes (e.g., Energy Star Certified and LEED). Popular Green features include:

As with everything Green, there is no one definition for a Green REALTOR®, but many REALTORS® are concerned about environmental issues related to real estate, and have made the commitment to educate themselves to be an important resource. You can even achieve a nationally recognized “Green” real estate designation (e.g., EcoBroker and NAR GREEN).

My clients are interested in Green homes. How can I help them?

As a REALTOR®, you can help consumers with purchasing, selling, or improving Green properties by helping them understand the potential benefits and implications of Green improvements and/ or features in real estate. You may be able to discuss, or lead them to reliable and objective resources about issues such as: Energy efficiency

Water conservation – inside and out

• Rain water catchment systems (e.g., rain gardens, rain barrels)

Indoor air quality

Landscaping with native species

• Organic paints, furnishings, and carpets

Recycled-content building materials

Walkability & community amenities

• Double-pane windows

• Recycled content materials (e.g., glass or paper counter tops) • Dual-flush toilets • High-efficiency heating/cooling systems

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I often hear the phrase “Green” REALTOR®--what is that?

Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

How can I learn more?

Keep a close eye out for Green education opportunities at GCAAR in your emails. We also send out useful Green resource guides to keep handy, along with information about Green events in the community.

Signature Events

Our Signature Events encompass a full range of large-scale events that cater to the majority of our members. These events provide large reach and high visibility among leaders in the Mid-Atlantic Region. These events include REALTOR® Fest, our annual conference and trade show, held in July and the GCAAR Holiday Party, Installation, and Annual Meeting held in December.

Education/Networking Events

Our Education/Networking Events offer more focused events that draw targeted groups of our membership. These events allow you to direct your dollars to target markets of members such as brokers, managers, rookies, and members of Your Professional Network (YPN). The events in this category (held throughout the year) include lunch forums, non-CE classes, workshops, networking breakfasts, the GCAAR New Member Orientation, happy hours, a bowling event and new for 2014 – a picnic. Our packages are designed with a controlled fee structure so that you can easily integrate them into your marketing budget for the year. To learn more about what opportunities exist, please contact Mark Glazer, Director of Programs at mglazer@gcaar.com or 301-590-8787, or Hakeema Jones, Meetings & Events Manager, at hjones@gcaar.com or 301-590-8793.

Make GCAAR sponsorships part of your marketing plan. It’s more than just a sponsorship. It’s a good investment in your company’s future.

Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

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housing statistics

by Fred Flick, PhD, Consultant/Housing Economist

MONTGOMERY COUNTY & DC Maryland Overview Year-to-date through November, the Maryland housing market continued to show very well. Property sales totaled 56,219 units, and they jumped 13% from the first eleven months of 2012. The average price of $307,723 rose 4.7% from the comparable 2012 figure; and, the median price of $260,486 was up 5.6%. The price rises are slightly below the rates through the first eleven months. At the end of November, the active inventory was 25,779 units for a 5.8 months supply. Pendings for December closings totaled 5,347, rising 4% from 2012.

The inventory trend, as expected, slipped a bit from November but was still above the levels of last December through February of 2012. At the end of the year, total single-family active listings came in at 1,330 properties -- 8% above those of last December. And, the 396 monthly new listings in December edged up 2% above the level of a year ago. However, at the December contracts pace, there still was only about a 2.8 months supply of properties.

For the month of November sales totaled 4,408 homes, but were down 2.7% from a year before. Statewide, the November average home price came in at $315,148, 8% above a year before. However, the median price of $257,677 rose only about 4.7%.

Montgomery County Sales Market

The total December unit sales volume came in at 832 properties, rising over 10% from a year ago. The sold dollar volume totaled $418,404,055, jumping over 14.5% from a year before. The average sold price came in at $502,889 – edging up 3.6%; and, the median price of $386,000 rose 7.2% from a year ago. Properties sold in December turned over more quickly than earlier in the year. Average days on the market totaled 53 -- 13% below those of the previous December. The seller’s market continued as the ratio of average sales price to average original listing price was 95.4%, up almost 1% from last year. December active listings totaled 1,715 properties, and this level was about 10% above that of December 2012.

The year ended with price performance significantly up from last year. Given the tight inventory, single-family prices continued to move up at near double-digit rates. Year-end, the average sales price was $573,281, and the median was $460,000. In 2012, the average single-family home sold for $529,026 and the median priced property cost $425,000. Accordingly, the average and median prices jumped 8.4% and 8.2%, respectively, from last year. These are great annual appreciation rates anyway you cut it.

Ending inventory substantially exceeded the levels of 2012. December condo/coop active listings (419) came in at 21% above the previous December and were higher than in the first three months of the year. However, December new listings (151) slipped about 2% below the 2012 monthly figure. At the December contracts pace, there was about a 2.6-months supply of properties. This ratio is higher than in the late summer; however, inventory is still tight compared to historical norms.

December Condominiums and Cooperatives

Through December there were 2,737 condo/coop settled sales -- a leap of about 20% from a year ago. And, the month ended on a high level as well -- 209 settlements were up almost 14% from December 2012. Similarly, year-to-date contracts through December (2,792) bumped-up 15% from a year before. However, new December contracts (159) slipped almost 2% from a year before.

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Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

The District’s unit sales pace stayed strong through the late fall. In December, it totaled 675 properties, rising 21.4% from a year ago. And, the sold dollar volume was $393,677,058 – jumping almost 15.6% from the previous December. The average sold price came in at $583,225; however, it was down 4.8% from December 2012. On the other hand, the median sold price was $479,900 -up almost 5.5%. Furthermore, the average sales price to average original listing price ratio increased relative to last year. It was up 1.3% to hit 96.7%. Inventory was up as well. December inventory included 1,060 total actives and that figure rose 5% from a year ago.

December Single-Family Homes

The Washington, DC single-family sales market significantly improved over 2012. Year-to-date settlements (4,089) rose 9% and new settlements in December (355) jumped almost 17% from the same month in 2012. In parallel, year-to-date contracts (4,243) moved up about 8%; however, December single-family contracts (257) slipped 1.5% from a year before.

December Single-Family Homes

By the end of 2013, year-to-date settlements and contracts rose significantly over those of 2012. December year-todate single-family settlements (8,661) jumped 11.4% and year-to-date contracts (8,882) moved up 9% from a year before. The monthly figures rose at slower paces. Monthly settlements (622) were up 8.4% from a year before, but new contracts for the month (483) edged up less than 1%.

Washington, DC Sales Market

The year’s condo/coop market also showed very good price appreciation, although not quite as high as for the single-family market. Both average and median prices rose substantially. For all of 2012, the average and median sales prices were $250,738 and $208,225, respectively. For 2013, the average price of $269,950 was up almost 7.7% from 2012; and, the median price of $220,000 was over 5.6% above the 2012 median. Again, the pent-up demand and tight inventory have been helped to make it a sellers market.

... continued, page 16 Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

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housing statistics The District’s December single-family inventory exceeded the levels of a year ago, however it was down significantly from November. December total active listings totaled 534 properties— up only 1.5% above a year ago. However, new single-family listings for the month (238) bounced 16% from a year before.

Prices ended the year on a high note relatively to 2012. Through December, the average single-family home cost $711,905 with the median at $599,900. Compared to 2012 these prices yielded appreciation rates of 8.6% and 13.2%, respectively. In 2012, singlefamily average prices ($655,645) had risen 11% and median prices ($530,000) jumped almost 18% compared to the figures for 2011.

December Condominiums and Cooperatives

The DC condominium and cooperative market, like the singlefamily market, also had a strong finish. Year-to-date December settlements (3,795) leaped almost 21% and contracts (3,848) jumped 16% from a year ago. Moreover, monthly settlements of 318 properties vaulted 23% from a year before. On the other hand, December monthly contracts (216) actually declined almost 3% from a year before.

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Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

sales units (580,000 saar) slipped almost 8% from October and 3% from November 2012. Nevertheless, the national condo/coop median price came in at $197,400 – bouncing up 10% from a year before. The average price ($246,000) rose almost 8%.

Economic Growth and Jobs

December condo/coop inventory was down a bit from November, but was still above the levels of the months in the first quarter of 2013. For December, 554 total actives were about 12% above those of the previous December. And, the 233 new listings for December were almost 46% above the level of a year before. Obviously, the strong price appreciation in 2013 helped bring on the inventory. However, at the December contracts pace, there still was only a 2.6 months supply of properties. This was an improved rate over the year, but way below historical norms.

Housing Industry Production

December new privately owned home starts totaled 999,000 units at a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate (‘saar’). They showed a bit of a flattening trend as they were almost 10% below the November rate, and only 1.6% above the December 2012 rate. The 667,000 (saar) single-family home starts fell 7% below November, but came in about 8% above the December 2012 rate. Tracking future building, December total private housing permits (986,000 saar) slipped 3% from November. However, they rose almost 5% above the December 2012 rate. Accordingly, single-family permits (610,000 saar) were about 5% below the November, but still came in 4.5% above December 2012. New single-family home sales in November totaled 464,000 units (saar). This figure was 2% below the revised October rate, but 16.6% above the estimate for November 2012. Furthermore, the national new houses for sale inventory (167,000 saar) tightened to a 4.3-months supply. Consequently, price performance improved from earlier in the year. The average price of $340,300 was 17% above a year before; and, the $270,900 median jumped almost 11%.

Through the end of the year, condo/coop prices averaged $454,600 and they rose about 5.9% from the 2012 average. Through December, the median price of $408,500 bumped-up 7.5% compared to the $380,000 figure for 2012. This continued the recent trend of lower priced units seeing higher appreciation rates.

Total existing home resales through November (most recent available) totaled 4.9 million units (saar). The monthly figure slipped 4% below the October sales rate and 1% below the rate for November 2012. Nevertheless, the median price of $196,300 jumped over 9% from a year before with the $244,500 average rising 7%. At the end of November there was about a 2-million unit inventory (saar), which represented a 5-month supply of homes. This inventory was down slightly from October, but 5% above the November 2012 level. For the single-family resales market, November sales (4.32 million, saar) declined 3.8% from October and were about 1% below the pace of November 2012. However, the single-family median price ($196,200) rose over 9% and the average ($244,300) moved up over 7% from a year ago. In the existing condo/coop market,

The Bureau of Economic Analysis final estimate for the 2013 third quarter real GDP growth showed an increase of just over 4%, significantly higher than the earlier estimates. The second quarter of 2013 came in at 2.5%. In general, the economy has been hovering around a 2.5% average real growth rate over the past three years. Many forecasters estimate the fourth quarter of 2012 will come in around 4%. This suggests that 2013 will be better than most thought and that 2014 has a chance for even stronger growth. Economic forecasting is a hazardous occupation. As far as the world economy is concerned, it is expected that China’s growth rate will slow and Europe is just starting to get back on its feet. The U.S. and South America will become the major engines for world economic growth. The fall retail season actually turned out to be better than expected, boosting hopes for the economy going into 2014. Retail sales gained 0.2% in December and excluding autos, were up 0.7%. These indicated strong consumer demand responding to a stronger economy. Consumer spending makes up over two-thirds of GDP. However, retail prices are still relatively flat and bottom lines are tight. Major retailers have been lowering profit forecasts for the last quarter. On the other hand, the December jobs report was a major disappointment and contra-indicated other good economic news. Nonfarm payroll employment increased by only 74,000 new jobs, around 200,000 are considered good. The bad weather hitting most of the country may have been a factor in causing a smaller job count. Consequently, some analysts think the bad jobs number could be revised upward in early 2014. The household survey for the unemployment rate came in with a 6.7% number; however, analysts suspect many job seekers are giving up looking or retiring. The workforce still has significant numbers of long-term unemployed and part-time workers. Even if growth accelerates in 2014, it will take more years of job growth to get the unemployment rate down to the 5% to 6% range.

Monetary Policy, Interest Rates and Inflation

The confirmation of Janet Yellen to the Fed chairmanship, effective February 1, will not likely alter the recent policy trends. Already the Fed cut Treasury bond and mortgage bond purchases by $5 billion each in December, buying only $75 billion. The economy ... continued, page 19 Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

17


housing statistics has come back stronger than expected and the Fed decided to start “tapering” at the end of last year. In theory, there should be some pullback in stock and bond prices – meaning increases in interest rates. However, other factors are affecting both stocks and bonds, as the stock market still is close to record levels. The taper could be tapered if employment data does not improve. At the end of January, the Fed will decide whether it will cut another $10 billion. The Fed still is holding short-term interest rates near zero and is not likely to move away from that position for a while.

Mortgage Interest Rates

The Freddie Mac survey for the middle of January showed that average mortgage interest rates have pulled back a few basis points from the beginning of the year. In these recent results, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.41%, while 1-year adjustables (ARMs) averaged 2.56%. Fifteen-year loans came in at 3.45% and 5/1-yr ARMs were affordable at 3.10%.

Consumer Prices and Energy Costs

The December all-items Consumer Price Index increased 1.5% over the past year – about one-half of a percentage point under the Fed’s desired rate of annual inflation. On a monthly basis, the overall CPI index increased by 0.3% from November to December. When food and energy are taken out of the December index, the annualized “core” inflation still was only at a 1.7% rate. Examining the key components of the index over the year past: food prices edged up 1.1%; housing shelter costs (mostly rents) rose 2.5%; and, apparel prices rose 0.6%. While medical care services rose 2.5%, medical care commodities rose only 0.3% over the year. Also, energy commodities dropped 8% -- gasoline slipped 1% and fuel oil fell 1.8%. However, energy services (electricity and natural gas) increased 2.4%. In the latter half of 2012, declines in energy costs and consumer prices helped consumers afford other goods and services.

The Bottom Line

The 2013 markets maintained strong momentum through the fall and finished on a high note. Both property types and both jurisdictions experienced high sales rates and price appreciation. Nevertheless, low inventory continues to be a problem. While the problem has improved, a bigger selection of properties might net even bigger sales volumes in 2014. The political scene in Washington improved at the end of the year. The recently passed budget bills will hopefully cut the money wrangling and also work to limit some of the sequester impacts. Hopefully we will avoid a big March debt ceiling fight. Accordingly the overall national outlook is positive and the local outlook seems even better. Analysts are expecting to see improved business investment in 2014. The metropolitan area should be a beneficiary of economic growth and experience a solid rate of increase in real estate sales and prices.

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Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

19


Using Market Data to Enhance Your Real Estate Business 3 Sources for Timely, Accurate Local Data that Sets You Apart

I

n a home sales transaction, both sides want to walk away a winner. The sellers want top dollar for their homes, while the buyers want a great deal. This tug-of-war can take its toll on a real estate professional, especially for those who have worked on both sides.

How do real estate professionals keep their client’s expectations realistic? With data, of course! Using data for your local housing market helps support your recommendations for list prices and buyer offers. Whether its contract negotiations or impressing new clients with your local market knowledge, MRIS is here to help you showcase your expertise. As an MRIS customer, you have timely local market data at your fingertips that you can use when meeting with potential clients who are ready to sell or counseling buyers who want to make an offer on their dream home. 1. Matrix Statistics – Did you know that when you perform a search in Matrix, you have the ability to pull price and status statistics right from the Matrix Button Bar? After you run a search, select any (or all) listings and click the “Stats” button to create a report of what’s going on in your client’s desired area. 2. RBI Market Statistics (FREE) – Use RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI) to bulk up your content for listing presentations and/or website. You can get basic data for your ZIP code or county from rbintel.com. This includes a Detailed Report, which is a spreadsheet showing trends broken out by property type and price range. Also, take advantage of the embeddable MarketWatch region videos. Place them on your blog or website and they will automatically update on a monthly basis. 3. rbiEXPERT (Subscription) – Take your statistical knowledge to a deeper level with an rbiEXPERT subscription. Impress your clients with powerful data analysis via interactive charts and market gauges for any ZIP code. In a rush? Print out the Local Market Insight report relevant to your customer’s property type – the infographics and market narrative will provide a terrific starting point for your discussion. The reports automatically include your name and contact info, so leave a stack of them at your next open house. Don’t underestimate the power of numbers when it comes to your business. Start using local market data in your listing presentations and marketing campaigns today! Capital Area REALTOR® Magazine readers can enjoy a special promotion on rbiEXPERT through February 28. Sign up for a year of rbiEXPERT with promo code GCAAR14 and get three months FREE. With this offer, you pay only $149.91 – 25% off the regular yearly price of $199.88. Discount applies to first year only - regular fee applies at renewal.

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Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

21


Your Voice Counts

membership corner

RPAC

Make an Investment in RPAC Need GCAAR Receipts for Tax Purposes? Please email membershiprecords@gcaar.com, and let us know which year(s) you need, and where to send them (i.e., mail, fax, and/or e-mail). For SentriLock receipts, please call 877-7368745. For MRIS receipts, please call 301-838-7100.

REALTOR® Insurance Benefits The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) offers many REALTOR® insurance benefits such as: REALTORS® Core Health Insurance provided by SASid and United States Fire Insurance Company in partnership with NAR. • Access to exclusive limited medical insurance rates and plans for NAR members between the ages of 18 and 65. • Plans start as low as $70.69 per month

REALTORS® Dental Insurance provided by SASid and Ameritas in partnership with NAR. • Exclusively for NAR members and their families • Plans include coverage for preventive, basic, and major dental expenses • Most plans include extra benefits such as orthodontia, professional whitening, and more. For more information, visit www.REALTORSDentalInsurance. com or call 877-433-5845.

For more information, visit www.REALTORSCoreHealthInsurance.com or call 877-267-3752.

• Accepted at over 60,000 pharmacies nationwide (including CVS, Walmart, Target, Rite Aid, and more)

Koki Adasi Thomas Daley Suzanne Des Marais James Downing Greg Ford Harold Huggins Adrian Hunnings Angela Jones Tim Knobloch Peg Mancuso Shelly Murray Frank Pietranton, Jr. Jennifer Smira Patrick Weed Edward Wood

continue to serve our communities with dedication, commitment, and diligence.”

GCAAR ReAltoRs® Care!

Distinguished Award Winners Ads January 22, 2014

Thank You REALTORS® Ads - December 11, 2013 Gazette and Current Newspapers

Federal Cutbacks Show Need to Remake Local Economy ® r at Rebuilding Together More than REALTORS® voluntee ery County home. to repair a Montgom ted in the 2013 project, has 30 volunteers participa consecutive year GCAAR marking the ninth ng Together®. partnered with Rebuildi

P. Joy Siegel, Esq. Settlement Ink 2013 GCAAR Affiliate of the Year

Michael Fowler TTR Sotheby’s International Realty 2013 GCAAR Rookie of the Year

Each year, REALTO RS® support the Affordabl e Housing Conferenc e of Montgomery County by essay contest that awards sponsoring an closing costs to the essay winner.

to organizations REALTOR® donations provide twin beds like The Dwelling Place housing. for families in transitional

Here are some of the local organizations served by ReAlToRs® in the past year: • Affordable Housing Conference of Montgomery County • Calvary Women’s Services • Hope and a Home • National Center for Children & Families

two-time Winner of the Maryland Association of ReAltoRs® special Projects Award

www.gcaar.com (301) 590-2000

22

Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

Crystal “R”

Sterling “R”

“Thank you, GCAAR members! You

REALTORS® support the 4th Annual GCAAR Cares Silent Auction, which helps fund grants to nonprofits in Montgomery County.

Bonnie Casper Carole Maclure

• Card is activated instantly upon signing up

Greater Capital area assoCiation of realtors®

Bonnie Casper Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. 2013 GCAAR REALTOR® of the Year

Golden “R”

Jamie Coley Jill Pogach Michaels Randy Rothstein Christopher Suranna

GCAAR in the news

Michael McGreevy, 2013 GCAAR President

Thank You RPAC Investors

Drug Card America provided by SASid to NAR members. • Free discount prescription card (60% on generic prescriptions, and up to 15% on name brand prescriptions)

For more information, visit www.drugcardamerica.com/NAR or call 877-267-3752.

• Next-day coverage is available

Bonnie Casper, 2014 Political and Campaign Affairs Committee Chair

Sun Gazette December 19, 2013 - GCAAR mentioned

N.Va. Real Estate Market Solid Despite Inventory Woes Sun Gazette December 19, 2013 - GCAAR mentioned

Capital Club ($250-$999) Briana Ayala Wendy Banner Frederic Bates David Bediz Thomas Brockett Nathan Carnes Thomas Castagnola Lori Connor Christopher Darby Anthony DeVol Jeffrey Ganz Andrea Gaus Dorie Glass Scott Goldberg Jacqueline Grenning

N

ow more than ever, it is critical for REALTORS® to come together and speak with one voice about the stability a sound and dynamic real estate market brings to our communities. From city hall to the state house to the U.S. Capitol, our elected officials are making decisions that have a huge impact on the bottom line of REALTORS® and their customers. 2014 is an election year in Maryland, and your Political and Campaign Affairs Committee will be interviewing county candidates to determine whom they will endorse. Your DC REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) Trustees are also busy interviewing candidates for Mayor and several City Council seats. Our State Associations will be working closely with the local associations to help encourage investment in the REALTOR® Party. GCAAR’s fair share goal is almost $130,000 for the two jurisdictions. Stay tuned for some fun opportunities to get involved!

Realtor Party ®

Sally Hamidi Gwen Henderson Colin Johnson Ellen Katz Anthony Mancuso Kevin McDuffie Thomas Muldoon Vittorio Muzzatti Allan Prigal Bonnie Roberts-Burke R. Bradley Runyan Susan Sanford Marie Shannon P. Joy Siegel

(as of Jan. 20, 2014)

RPAC is your ‘political E&O insurance’ Join with thousands of your fellow REALTORS® by making your investment today! You can invest online at gcaar.com or send your check made payable to RPAC to our offices at 15201 Diamondback Drive, Rockville, MD 20850. Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

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public policy

on the Hill

District of Columbia REALTORS® Testify on Radon & Mold Disclosures

GCAAR and DCAR recently testified on legislation that would: 1) require sellers to make additional radon disclosures to buyers, and; 2) require property owners to disclose information about mold to tenants. We emphasized how comprehensive disclosures are already included in standard contracts, and any unclear disclosure requirements could lead to confusion. We urged the Council to remove language requiring disclosures where there is no known information about the presence of radon or mold.

DCAR Succeeds in Suppressing Proposals to Raise Recordation and Transfer Taxes

After over a year of presentations and deliberations, the DC Tax Revision Commission released its final recommendations. In a big win for the REALTOR® Party, the Commission’s final report dismissed policy options to raise recordation and transfer taxes in the District. DCAR advocated heavily on this issue contributing research, testimony, grassroots outreach, and letters to oppose increases.

Other important recommendations released include:

REALTORS® can expect to see the debate over these issues continue at the Council.

• Creating a lower tax bracket for middle-income residents

Lower Property Taxes on the Horizon

• Raising DC’s standard deduction and personal exemption to the federal levels • Phasing out personal exemptions for high-income earners • Eliminating the low income tax credit, the DC employee first-time homebuyer credit, the deduction for long-term care insurance, and the deduction for DC and federal government retiree pensions • Lowering business franchise taxes and exempting investment funds from the unincorporated business franchise tax • Raising the estate tax threshold to $5.25 million (federal level) • Raising sales tax rate to 6% and expanding the sales tax to more services (not including real estate commissions) • Levying a local services fee on employers with over four employees every quarter All Tax Revision Commission resources, including DCAR advocacy materials, are available at http://www. dctaxrevisioncommission.org/.

The DC Council passed a bill that will seriously reduce residential property taxes for certain District homeowners: it exempts low- and moderateincome homeowners ages 75 or older who have lived in the city for at least 15 consecutive years from all property taxes. The Council is also considering legislation to cap the yearly increase in a homeowner’s property tax bill at 5% (currently capped at 10%), even if the home’s market value increases more than that. Legislation to give a property tax exemption for disabled veterans was also recently introduced. For details and information about effective dates, email dclegislative@gcaar.com.

Maryland General Assembly The Maryland General Assembly reconvened January 8 and GCAAR is working diligently with MAR to address the legislative issues important to the real estate community.

2014 Legislative Priorities Homeowner and Condo Association Disclosures and Fees

GCAAR and MAR support making homeowner and condo association laws more uniform across the state, particularly regarding rescission rights, disclosure content, and timing. REALTORS® also support making the fees associated with resale packets commensurate with the cost of preparing the information.

Rental Security Deposit Rates

GCAAR and MAR support legislation to reduce the 3% interest rate mandated for rental security deposits. It has been many years since anyone has received 3% interest on saving and checking accounts – property owners should not have to come out of pocket to pay back a renter’s security deposit.

Eminent Domain

Eminent domain authority gives government the right to take private property for public purposes as long as just compensation is paid to the private property owner. A number of cities are exploring using eminent domain to condemn private mortgages—allowing a homeowner to refinance into a new mortgage product. MAR strongly opposes this new use, which legal experts believe is unconstitutional.

Pit Bulls and Landlord Liability

Due to a Maryland Court of Appeals decision in 2012, landlords are currently held to the highest level of legal liability when a tenant’s pit bull attacks a person. REALTORS® strongly support legislation to return the law to the prior rule: only negligent landlords face legal liability.

Growth and the Environment

Maryland is considering a regulation that would require certain home builders to account for added pollution with extremely high fees. MAR is concerned that new regulations could undermine housing affordability.

Stormwater Fee

GCAAR and MAR oppose any increase of the stormwater fee for residential and commercial real estate.

Budget and Transportation

In recent years, several measures have been enacted to address transportation financing needs. State and county governments need to continue to fund infrastructure needs, including the Corridor Cities Transit Way and a Rapid Transit System for Montgomery County. GCAAR supports legislation to protect funding for these vital projects. continued, page 26

I

n 2013, NAR focused its advocacy on creating a thriving real estate market. We made headway on keeping down-payment requirements reasonable and defending flood insurance. With a new year ahead, we have a great deal of work to do. As always we need everyone’s help in responding to Calls For Action and investing in our advocacy efforts!

2014 Federal Legislative & Regulatory Agenda Qualified Mortgage (QM) Rule REALTORS® have achieved significant victories in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) QM rule - a law that ensures lenders make loans to borrowers who have the ability to repay. With lingering concerns in implementation, NAR is working with Congress to fix any unintended consequences. Ensuring Secondary Mortgage Market NAR continues to work with Congress on a comprehensive approach to restructuring the secondary mortgage market. We strongly believe any new secondary market entity replacing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the government sponsored enterprises, or GSEs) must have an explicit government guarantee. Maintaining Current GSE Loan Limits NAR is leading the effort to keep the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) from reducing conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Preserving Homeownership Tax Policies Both the House and Senate are considering options to reform the federal tax system by eliminating certain deductions, exemptions, and credits. NAR believes the current real estate tax provisions are vital to the health of the economy. Safeguarding Consumer Data Privacy NAR is working with federal officials to develop appropriate legislative and regulatory best practices to lessen the potential for breaches and identify theft. Bolstering Commercial Real Estate Lending NAR advocates for healthy liquidity in commercial credit markets.

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Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

25


quiz

public policy Montgomery County Long Branch and Glenmont Sector Plans Approved Bethesda Plan Up For Review

Changes are slated for neighborhoods throughout the County. As implementation of the new Long Branch and Glenmont Sector Plans begin (both were approved by the Montgomery County Council at the end of 2013) the Planning Board turns its eye to updating the twenty-year old plan for Bethesda.

The Long Branch Plan encompasses the eastern part of Montgomery County (between Langley Park and Silver Spring) and is partially in response to the Purple Line, a Metro-transit system that would link Bethesda and New Carrollton through Silver Spring. The revised plan provides increased zoning density and supports financing tools to encourage publicprivate partnerships. The Glenmont Sector Plan covers approximately 600 acres around the intersection

of Georgia Avenue and Randolph Road, envisioning a neighborhood centered on the Glenmont Shopping Center and the existing Red Line Metro station. The new plan will transform the area into a walkable community with convenient public transit options for residents and visitors.

Board will reach out to the public for feedback on land use and density, urban design, mobility, and environmental quality. For more information on all of the County’s Sector Plans, visit the Montgomery County Planning Board’s website at www.montgomeryplanning.org.

The Bethesda Downtown Plan, which has been in effect for twenty years, is now under review by the Montgomery County Planning Board. Over the next year, the Planning

zoning corner DC’s Zoning Rewrite Near Completion Zoning is critical to the ongoing development of your community. In the current regulation rewrite, the DC Zoning Commission is considering three issues of particular interest to REALTORS®.

Accessory Apartments The draft regulations propose simplifying and streamlining the approval process for accessory apartments. Residents would no longer have to go through a lengthy special exception process, and under very specific conditions could have an accessory apartment by right.

Parking Certain mandatory parking requirements would be relaxed near transit, and downtown mandatory parking minimums removed entirely. Parking requirements for residential areas would mostly stay unchanged.

Low Density Residential Many of DC’s lower density residential areas cannot be rebuilt under the current zoning. The new regulations would generally allow greater flexibility to accommodate the District’s changing demographics. Want more details? Visit the dedicated webpage www.dczoningupdate.org.

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Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

Lobby Day in Annapolis Gives Strong Start to Maryland Legislative Session GCAAR members and staff met in Annapolis on January 14 to participate in the Maryland Association of REALTORS®’ (MAR) annual Lobby Day. Lobby Day provides a forum for REALTORS® to personally lobby State Senators, Delegates, and staff on issues critical to homeowners and the real estate industry. Nearly 200 participants were greeted by MAR leadership and staff and enjoyed breakfast at GCAAR Board Member Jamie Coley and the famous Annapolis GCAAR President Greg Ford after a full Governor Calvert House. day of lobbying legislators. REALTORS® were matched with their representatives and headed over to the Senate and State Houses for over 100 visits with legislators. GCAAR REALTORS® met with the Montgomery County Delegation, the largest in the General Assembly, whose members hold key positions on nearly all of the House and Senate’s standing committees. At the individual meetings, legislators learned about 2014 REALTOR® priorities, including HOA/condo fees, transportation, and security deposit interest rates (read more on page 24), as well as facts about the role of real estate in the Maryland economy. Maryland currently ranks 10th among all states for its reliance on property taxes as a major revenue source, and real estate related jobs are associated with more than $15 billion in wage/salary income. Lobby Day is an effective, grassroots activity that helps educate our representatives on the practical concerns affecting your everyday business. Members form relationships with legislators that are important for addressing real estate industry issues today and in the future. A number of visits even lead to conversations about elected officials sponsoring REALTOR®-friendly bills! GCAAR will continue working with MAR and other local Maryland REALTOR® associations during the General Assembly session. Stay up to date on legislation and events at www.mdrealtor.org.

???

What Do You Know About Home Sellers? Q.1 For how many years has the typical seller lived in their home? 5 years 7 years 9 years 16 years

Q.2 What percentage of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home? 62% 76% 88% 91%

Q.3 What percentage of sellers offered incentives, like assis-

tance with home warranty policies and closing costs, to attract buyers? 9% 13% 26% 36%

Q.4 Recent sellers typically sold their homes for what percentage of the listing price? 78% 81% 86% 97%

???

Q.5 What percentage of recent sellers had to delay or stall

selling their home because the value of their home was worth less than their mortgage? 5% 9% 13% 17% Correct Answers on page 28

Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

27


legal hotline

affiliate list

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

If a Buyer provides a copy of the Home Inspection Report and requests a closing cost credit in lieu of repair in their initial Notice under the Specific Home Inspection Contingency contained in Paragraph 2 of the Addendum of Clauses (GCAAR Form 1332), can the Seller then cancel the contract on the 3rd day following the delivery of the request for the closing cost credit unless the Buyer withdraws the closing cost request?

Answer:

No. Pursuant to Paragraph 2A, Seller at this point in the negotiations may only either accept the offer pursuant to Paragraph 2A(a) or make another offer pursuant to Paragraph 2A(b). If Seller makes another offer which Buyer accepts, the parties are bound. If Buyer makes a different offer, Seller then at that time pursuant to Paragraph 2A(c) declares the contract void unless Buyer accepts Seller’s prior offer within three (3) days.

Question: If a resident in Montgomery County is thinking about

selling their home, and they live near or behind the proposed Purple metro line, do they have to disclose this to potential buyers?

Answer: Pursuant to Montgomery County Code (Sec.40-13), a

Seller is required to fully disclose to Buyers all specific facts relevant to, or affecting any property, imposed by any law or regulation or any common law principle. Under this general principle, it could be argued that the potential existence of the Purple Line must be disclosed. Section 40-10(a), however, requires that “Before signing a contract for the sale of real property, the seller must give the prospective buyer an opportunity to examine the applicable county master plan and any municipal land use plan for the area in which the property is located, and any adopted amendment to either plan, and approved official maps showing planned land uses, roads and highways, parks and other public facilities affecting the property contained in the plan.” If the buyer were to review the Master Plan, the existence of the Purple Line would be ascertained and thus it could be argued that a disclosure by Seller is not necessary. Most buyers do not avail themselves of this opportunity, however, and it is my opinion that the best practice would be to disclose the potential Purple Line to potential buyers.

Question: I have a listing of a commercial building in the District with two residential tenants. Do I need to inform the tenants in writing before I list the property? What kind of notice should I use for this kind of property? Should we wait until we get a third party offer? Should notice only be given to the residential tenants? Answer:

There is no requirement to inform tenants in writing before listing a property. When an owner in the District decides to sell a property, all residential tenants are entitled to notice of two separate rights under the Rental Housing Conversion

28

Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

and Sale Act of 1980, commonly known as TOPA: 1) Offer of Sale(Form B); and 2) Right of First refusal (Form C). The decision whether to provide an Offer of Sale prior to obtaining a Third Party contract depends upon the circumstances. Most sellers wait until they have a Third Party contract and then provide both the Offer of Sale and the Right of First Refusal at the same time (Form A). This allows the market to determine how much to offer. The time limits and rights are different for 2-4 unit buildings than for a single unit. TOPA only applies to residential tenants.

Question:

I am about to get multiple contracts containing an Escalation Clause (GCAAR Form 1319). What kind of documentation do I have to give to the buyer who agrees to escalate the highest and must it be equal to other offers?

Answer:

Since the escalation clause is non-binding and is essentially an invitation to make a counter offer, the sufficiency of the documentation needed to trigger an escalation is really in the eyes of the beholder, in this case the buyer, who is being asked to increase their offer. Some sellers will provide a redacted version of the other offer and others will simply not provide any documentation and request a best and final offer from the buyer. It is ultimately up to the buyer to determine what documentation is sufficient and what they are willing to offer and present that offer to the seller for consideration. 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.

??? Answers to Quiz on page 27: 1.

9 years

2.

Need a Service? GCAAR Affiliate Members Can Help You GCAAR has over 160 Affiliates. Affiliates are non-REALTOR® professionals who are involved in real estate-related transactions such as settlements, house inspections, mortgage services, banking, insurance, and more. Below is a list of our current Affliates. To contact an Affiliate, or if you are interested in becoming an Affiliate, visit gcaar.com (Resources>Find An Affiliate). If there are any updates to this list, please send them to membershiprecords@gcaar.com.

Business

Contact

Phone Number

Type

eAppraisal Group

Mary Garner Bremerman

301-570-6114

Appraisers

J Hansen Appraisal Assc LLC

John Hansen

301-464-2878

Appraisers

Chase Commercial Appraisal Division

Chad Harris

215-640-3413

Appraisers

James Blaine Miller Jr

James Miller Jr.

301-933-9881

Appraisers

Roxann Novel Appraiser

Roxann Novel

800-232-7196

Appraisers

Chase Commercial Appraisal Division

Carlos Ortiz

215-640-3413

Appraisers

Chase Commercial Appraisal Division

Anna Pagi

215-640-3413

Appraisers

Anne M Powell Appraisals

Anne Powell

410-721-7505

Appraisers

Curtin Law Roberson Dunigan

Thomas Dunigan

202-530-3300

Attorneys

Finkelstein & Horvitz PC

Nathan Finkelstein

301-951-8400

Attorneys

Andrew FitzGerald Atty at Law

Andrew FitzGerald

301-933-6550

Attorneys

Paley Rothman

Diane Fox

301-951-9336

Attorneys

Ward & Klein Chartered

Thomas Gibbons

240-243-7200

Attorneys

Shaner & Helf LLC

Thomas Helf

301-913-9306

Attorneys

Joseph Greenwald & Laake PA

Harvey Jacobs

240-399-7891

Attorneys

KVS Law

David Kanstoroom

301-605-1420

Attorneys

Kass Mitek & Kass PLLC

Benny Kass

202-659-6500

Attorneys

Jackson & Campbell PC

Roy Kaufmann

202-457-6710

Attorneys

Law Office of Arthur Konopka

Arthur Konopka

202-686-0600

Attorneys

Kayton & Kotz LLC

Daniel Kotz

301-770-4107

Attorneys

Lasso & Lasso PC

Ricardo Lasso

202-537-0343

Attorneys

Richard W Lawlor PA

Richard Lawlor

301-340-2400

Attorneys

Greenstein DeLorme & Luchs PC

Richard Luchs

202-452-1400

Attorneys

Gelman, Rosenbury & Freedman

Kevin Matthews

301-951-9090

Attorneys

Law Office of Robert McCarthy

Robert McCarthy

301-654-3730

Attorneys

Law Offices of David P Modell

David Modell

301-634-9820

Attorneys

Law Offices of Quinn O'Connell Jr

Quinn O'Connell Jr.

202-537-1820

Attorneys

Miles & Stockbridge PC

Stephen Orens

301-762-1600

Attorneys

Greenstein DeLorme & Luchs PC

Vincent Mark Policy, Esq.

202-452-1400

Attorneys

Bregman Berbert Schwartz Gilday LLC

Wendy Pullano

301-656-2707

Attorneys

88%

Ward & Klein Chartered

Richard Ross

240-243-7200

Attorneys

3.

36%

Vaughn W Royal Attorney at Law

Vaughn Royal

202-895-1530

Attorneys

Samuelson Law Offices LLC

Kenneth Samuelson

202-494-0848

Attorneys

4.

97%

5.

13%

Paley Rothman Goldstein Rosenb

Linda D Schwartz

301-656-7603

Attorneys

Siegel & Associates

P. Joy Siegel, Esq.

301-907-8808

Attorneys

For more information, or to become an Affiliate, visit gcaar.com continued, page 30 Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

29


affiliate list

30

Business

Contact

Phone Number

Type

Business

Contact

Phone Number

Type

KVS Law

Marty Stanton

301-605-1420

Attorneys

HSBC

Michael Schimmel

202-203-0157

Mortgage Companies

Aaron Lee Stein Attorney

Aaron Stein

301-948-2383

Attorneys

Sandy Spring Bank

Guy Silas

301-617-4233

Mortgage Companies

Glazer Winston Honigman Ellick

L. Mark Winston

202-537-5500

Attorneys

Sandy Spring Bank

Kenneth Storck

301-617-4233

Mortgage Companies

John F Wolf Jr Attorney

John Wolf Jr.

301-951-0940

Attorneys

JP Morgan Chase Bank

Kurtis Tai

301-233-1006

Mortgage Companies

Zanelotti Law PLC

Joseph Zanelotti

703-224-4402

Attorneys

First Home Mortgage

David Toaff

301-657-1003

Mortgage Companies

Britton PLLC

Lisa Britton

202-416-0121

Attorneys

First Home Mortgage

Travis Vollmerhausen

301-562-9540

Mortgage Companies

Bromberg Rosenthal LLP

Jonathan Bromberg

301-251-6200

Attorneys

McLean Mortgage Corp

Kelly Wadsworth

703-738-0900

Mortgage Companies

Chasen & Chasen

Ronald Chasen

202-244-4000

Attorneys

BB & T Mortgage

Patricia Widerman

301-590-2382

Mortgage Companies

Mid-Atlantic Inspection Srvcs

Alan Beal

202-403-7700

Home Inspection Companies

Apex Home Loan

Brian Willingham

301-610-9600

Mortgage Companies

Sentry Home Inspection LLC

Timothy Bills

202-234-9222

Home Inspection Companies

JP Morgan Chase Bank

Scott Willis

301-233-1006

Mortgage Companies

Sentry Home Inspection LLC

Herbert Higson

202-234-9222

Home Inspection Companies

BB & T Mortgage

Mark Woolson

301-493-8917

Mortgage Companies

Building Inspector of America

Vimal Kapoor

301-916-0300

Home Inspection Companies

SunTrust Mortgage Co

Skeeter Worthy

301-517-5401

Mortgage Companies

Sentry Home Inspection LLC

Lou Scerbo

202-234-9222

Home Inspection Companies

New Penn Financial

Elliott Bresler

240-813-7535

Mortgage Companies

Faux Pa Home & Energy Services

Donald Wade

301-874-3821

Home Inspection Companies

Perry Moving & Storage

Alvin Lewis

410-799-0022

Moving Companies

Old Republic Home Protection

Terry Crawford

925-866-1500

Home Warranties

Capitol Termite & Pest Control

Julio Gonzalez

301-657-4480

Pest Control Companies

Capitol Title Insurance Agency

Sara Demb Goldstein

301-231-7250

Housing Interests

Capitol Termite & Pest Control

Stanley Robinson

301-657-4480

Pest Control Companies

MD Dept of Housing & Community

William Ariano Jr.

410-514-7014

Housing Interests

Agent Photos Online LLC

John Brueske

877-774-4720

Photographer

Duffy Insurance Group LLC

Diane Duffy

301-384-5000

Insurance Companies

Columbia Property Management

Scott Bloom

888-857-6594

Property Management Companies

Duffy Insurance Group LLC

Mike Duffy

301-384-5000

Insurance Companies

Capital Environmental Testing

Todd Hix

202-257-9291

Radon Testing Companies

Duffy Insurance Group LLC

Sarah Vargas

301-384-5000

Insurance Companies

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc

Marvin Kotz

240-497-1700

Referral Specialists

1st Mariner Mortgage

Deborah Benkert

240-235-5337

Mortgage Companies

Capitol Title Insurance Agency

Stanley Goldstein

301-231-7250

Title Insurance Companies

Caliber Home Loans

Jamica Browne

301-660-3292

Mortgage Companies

eTitle Agency Inc

Carey Aquilina, Esq.

703-777-4261

Title/Settlement Companies

SunTrust Mortgage Co

Patrick Casey

301-517-5401

Mortgage Companies

Counselors Title LLC

Kathleen Asdorian

301-652-6615

Title/Settlement Companies

George Mason Mortgage LLC

Adriana Clapper

301-841-1320

Mortgage Companies

Counselors Title LLC

Briana Ayala

301-670-0100

Title/Settlement Companies

George Mason Mortgage LLC

Charles Clapper

301-841-1320

Mortgage Companies

Heritage Title & Escrow

Stephen Ballard

202-265-0535

Title/Settlement Companies

SunTrust Mortgage Co

Janet Demas

301-517-5401

Mortgage Companies

eTitle Agency Inc

Mara Bauserman

703-777-4261

Title/Settlement Companies

McLean Mortgage Corp

Frank Dodson

703-738-0900

Mortgage Companies

Classic Settlements

Lisa Bosse

301-921-2667

Title/Settlement Companies

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

Thomas Elwood

202-237-5586

Mortgage Companies

Monarch Title Inc

Katherine Brewer

202-546-3100

Title/Settlement Companies

Apex Home Loan

Erin Finke

301-610-9600

Mortgage Companies

District Title A Corp

Thomas Broullire

202-518-9300

Title/Settlement Companies

Waterstone Mortgage Corporation

Dan Flavin

410-788-9100

Mortgage Companies

Home First Title Group

Claire Buchner

410-266-0844

Title/Settlement Companies

Home Savings & Trust Mortgage

Derek Harman

703-766-4634

Mortgage Companies

Palisades Title Company

Steven Buckman

202-351-6100

Title/Settlement Companies

TD Bank

Jeremy Higgins

202-965-9450

Mortgage Companies

Settlement Professionals LLC

Carol Calomiris

202-363-1870

Title/Settlement Companies

Prospect Mortgage

Cedric Johnson

540-882-4176

Mortgage Companies

Olde Key Title

Lynn Caudle Boynton

301-294-3333

Title/Settlement Companies

Greenwood Lending

Shawn Johnson

202-594-6481

Mortgage Companies

Village Settlements Inc

Leslie Childs

301-590-9300

Title/Settlement Companies

New Penn Financial

Addy Jolly

240-813-7535

Mortgage Companies

Clarke Title LLC

Henry Clarke Jr.

301-840-8988

Title/Settlement Companies

First Home Mortgage

Christopher Jordan

301-562-9540

Mortgage Companies

Atlantic Closing & Escrow

Isadora Connor

202-730-2635

Title/Settlement Companies

TD Bank

Yatzuri Koehler

202-965-9450

Mortgage Companies

Counselors Title LLC

Christopher Darby

202-686-0100

Title/Settlement Companies

New Penn Financial

David Koonce

240-813-7535

Mortgage Companies

District Title A Corp

Jeff Darrah

202-518-9300

Title/Settlement Companies

JP Morgan Chase Bank

Michael Moss

301-233-1006

Mortgage Companies

Pinnacle Title & Escrow Inc

Marie Daugherty

301-424-5400

Title/Settlement Companies

Sandy Spring Bank

Jeffrey Nelson

301-617-4233

Mortgage Companies

Settlementcorp

David Deckelbaum

202-537-0005

Title/Settlement Companies

Suntrust Mortgage Inc

Sean O'Boyle

301-961-0905

Mortgage Companies

Classic Settlements

Joe Detrick

301-921-2667

Title/Settlement Companies

McLean Mortgage Corp

Patti O'Connor

703-738-0900

Mortgage Companies

RGS Title/Traditional Title

Anthony DeVol

301-654-9800

Title/Settlement Companies

Apex Home Loan

Michael Parsons

301-610-9600

Mortgage Companies

Federal Title & Escrow Co

Todd Ewing

202-362-1500

Title/Settlement Companies

TD Bank

Lewis Perez

202-965-9450

Mortgage Companies

RGS Title

Suzanne Feinstein, Esq.

301-230-0070

Title/Settlement Companies

Susquehanna Bank

Russell Rothstein

301-984-3600

Mortgage Companies

Main Street Settlements Inc

John Ferguson

301-570-3600

Title/Settlement Companies

Embrace Home Loans

William Rozek

301-354-8279

Mortgage Companies

Flynn Title

Gregory Flynn

301-545-0150

Title/Settlement Companies

First Home Mortgage Corp

Jacob Ryan

301-220-0999

Mortgage Companies

Olde Key Title

Grace Garrett

301-294-3333

Title/Settlement Companies

Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

31


affiliate list

32

Business

Contact

Phone Number

Type

North American Title Co

Janelle Gaughan

202-237-8222

Title/Settlement Companies

GPN Title Inc

George Glekas

301-294-4055

Title/Settlement Companies

Title Town Settlements

Todd Greenbaum

301-580-2850

Title/Settlement Companies

Counselors Title LLC

James Griffin

202-686-0100

Title/Settlement Companies

Village Settlements Inc

David Hahn

301-486-0799

Title/Settlement Companies

RGS Title

Joseph Hansen

301-230-0070

Title/Settlement Companies

Avenue Title Group

David Helfrich

202-296-4500

Title/Settlement Companies

Gemini Title & Escrow LLC

John Hodges

301-656-7733

Title/Settlement Companies

Village Settlements Inc

Michael Hollman

301-590-9300

Title/Settlement Companies

Monarch Title Inc

Ann Johnston

703-852-1764

Title/Settlement Companies

Pinnacle Title & Escrow Inc

Ilene Kanfer

301-762-6757

Title/Settlement Companies

Counselors Title LLC

Robert Kuczarski

301-670-0100

Title/Settlement Companies

Sage Title Group LLC

Bobby Lee

301-654-2560

Title/Settlement Companies

Closeline Settlements LLC

Elliot Liss

301-622-6000

Title/Settlement Companies

MBH Settlement Group LLC

Jill Messier

703-277-6800

Title/Settlement Companies

Sage Title Group LLC

Carrie Anne Messina

301-654-2560

Title/Settlement Companies

Michaels Title & Escow LLC

Jill Pogach Michaels

240-425-0008

Title/Settlement Companies

Monarch Title Inc

Evelyn Miller

703-852-1764

Title/Settlement Companies

Moses & Aiken, LLC/Home Team Title

Robert Moses

301-468-0080

Title/Settlement Companies

Counselors Title LLC

Thomas Muldoon

202-686-0100

Title/Settlement Companies

Counselors Title LLC

Timothy Mullin

202-686-0100

Title/Settlement Companies

Confidence Title & Escrow

Vittorio Muzzatti

301-740-1880

Title/Settlement Companies

Counselors Title LLC

John Nalls

202-686-0100

Title/Settlement Companies

Sage Title Group LLC

Judith Nixon

301-670-2812

Title/Settlement Companies

eTitle Agency Inc

Alison Orlans

703-777-4261

Title/Settlement Companies

Classic Settlements

Mary Papagjika

301-921-2667

Title/Settlement Companies

Fenton Title Co

Louis Pettey

301-590-0220

Title/Settlement Companies

ATG (Alltech Title Group)

Victoria Poe

703-934-2100

Title/Settlement Companies

Peak Settlements LLC

Adam Polsky

301-528-1111

Title/Settlement Companies

Paragon Title & Escrow Co

Philip Raskin

301-986-1114

Title/Settlement Companies

Counselors Title LLC

Michael Ridgway

301-652-6615

Title/Settlement Companies

Village Settlements Inc

Katerina Rodgaard

301-590-9300

Title/Settlement Companies

Village Settlements Inc

Kathleen Rollins

301-486-0799

Title/Settlement Companies

Paragon Title & Escrow Co

Randy Rothstein

301-986-1114

Title/Settlement Companies

Paragon Title & Escrow Co

Rob Rothstein

301-986-1114

Title/Settlement Companies

Stewart Title Group

R. Bradley Runyan

202-349-0220

Title/Settlement Companies

Champion Title

Sadaf Saberi

703-444-4100

Title/Settlement Companies

Village Settlements Inc

James Savitz

301-590-9300

Title/Settlement Companies

Express Title Co

Wayne Schrifrin

301-231-8200

Title/Settlement Companies

District Title A Corp

Brendon Sheperd

202-518-9300

Title/Settlement Companies

Counselors Title LLC

Ellie Slater

301-652-6615

Title/Settlement Companies

Counselors Title LLC

Colleen Smyth Cogan

301-670-0100

Title/Settlement Companies

District Title A Corp

Marc Sushner

202-518-9300

Title/Settlement Companies

District Title A Corp

Steven Sushner

202-518-9300

Title/Settlement Companies

District Title A Corp

Scott Sweitzer

202-518-9300

Title/Settlement Companies

Logan Title

Patrick Tangney

202-400-2509

Title/Settlement Companies

Olde Key Title

Caryn Wetmore

301-294-3333

Title/Settlement Companies

Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

Capital Area REALTOR® • Jan/Feb 2014

iii


Capital Area REALTOR® Jan/Feb 2014  

Welcome to the first issue of GCAAR's new magazine format of Capital Area REALTOR!

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