Capital Area REALTOR® Jan/Feb 2013

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Capital Area Realtor


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

January - February 2013

USPS: 017-467

Volume 19, Number 1

Gcaar’s Legislative Breakfast Brings Together Elected Officials and Realtors® GCAAR held its annual Legislative Breakfast on January 14 at its Rockville office. This important event was attended by over 85 GCAAR members and 15 legislators that represent Montgomery County at the local, state, and federal levels. Congressman Chris Van Hollen with 2013 Immediate Past President Bonnie Casper and Congressman John Delaney

Breakfast attendees listen intently to speakers

GCAAR Immediate Past President and 2013 RPAC Chair Bonnie Casper set the tone for the breakfast by outlining the association’s goals for the year, emphasizing how transportation infrastructure is “essential to economic development and maintenance of quality of life.” County Executive Ike Leggett reinforced the importance of expanding transportation options throughout the entire County by stating “growth…is something that we want to see happen.”

Chair Anne Kaiser (D-14) and Montgomery County Council Vice President Craig Rice (D-2) went on to discuss the important relationships that GCAAR has developed on all levels of government. They also spoke on behalf of their colleagues of the continued willingness to work together in the future. Overall, the event provided a great forum for everyone to mingle, enjoy a delicious breakfast, and learn first-hand what Montgomery County residents can expect to see on their elected officials’ legislative agendas for 2013.

The packed room then listened to Federal Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD-8) and newly elected Congressman John Delaney (D-MD-6) give an overview on issues of importance to the real estate community on Capitol Hill. The “Fiscal Cliff,” deficit reduction, and the debt ceiling were just a few of the items discussed. While Congressman Van Hollen noted how “we are not out of the woods yet” with regards to national economic stability, he stressed how Congressional leaders were making progress by encouraging bipartisanship. Chief Deputy Majority Whip of the Maryland House of Delegates and Montgomery County House Delegation

County Executive Ike Leggett with 2013 GCAAR President Michael McGreevy

Bonnie Casper Speaks at State of the Market Press Conference

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

2012 GCAAR President Bonnie Casper joined fellow association leaders at the State of the Market Press Conference held at the National Press Club on December 11. Bonnie was joined by Pat Kline, 2012 Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS® Chairman, and economist Lisa Sturtevant, PhD, from George Mason University. Bonnie gave an overview of the 2012 housing numbers for DC and Montgomery County, and left the audience with these key takeaways: • • • • • • •

Still a good time to buy and sell in DC and Montgomery County Sales prices are increasing Market is stabilizing; buyers see value Rental prices will continue to rise DC neighborhoods continue to see growth Montgomery County is moving toward smarter growth Housing must be created to serve smart growth areas

More pictures on page 3.

L-R, Lisa Sturtevant, George Mason University; NVAR Chairman, Pat Kline; 2013 Immediate Past President Bonnie Casper

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Association 3 Ask the 4 GCAAR in the 4 Meet Your GCAAR Staff & Committees �������������������page 5 NAR Director’s 6 The Rigorous Practice of Real Estate Sales........... page 7

Green 8 9 MC & DC Market 10 Public 14 GCAAR Affiliate 17 Membership 20 20 Education 21 Legal 22 Code of Ethics 22 23 GCAAR 23

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2013 January - February

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Capital Area REALTOR®

Association News 2013 Board of Directors President Michael McGreevy

President-Elect Gregory Ford

GCAAR Joins MAR in Annapolis for REALTOR® Lobby Day

GCAAR members and staff met in Annapolis on January 17 to participate in the Maryland Association of REALTORS®’(MAR) Lobby Day. Formerly Legislative Day, Lobby Day provided a forum to meet face-to-face with Montgomery County State Senators, Delegates, and staff to bring to their attention the most important issues affecting REALTORS® and homeowners. The new format was done to match constituents with their respective legislators, totaling over one hundred individual office visits. Participants were greeted by MAR Government Affairs staff and leadership at the Historic Maryland Inn before heading over to the Senate and House for their meetings. The Montgomery Delegation is the largest in the General Assembly, with key positions on nearly all of the House and Senate’s standing committees.

Secretary William H. Highsmith Jr. , JD, GRI

Treasurer Tim Knobloch

Immediate Past President Bonnie Casper

Chief Executive Officer Michael Moran

L-R: Maryland Government Affairs Consultant Meredith Weisel, GCAAR CEO Mike Moran, 2013 Immediate Past President Bonnie Casper, GCAAR COO Amy Ritsko-Warren, 2013 President-Elect Greg Ford, GCAAR Board Member Gwen Henderson, GCAAR Government Affairs Manager Katalin Peter


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

Legislators learned about MAR’s 2013 legislative priorities including, budget, transportation, security deposit interest rates, and lead paint laws, as well as the latest County housing statistics.

Lobby Day was highly successful at educating our representatives on the direct effect of any change that would hinder the housing recovery. The event allowed elected officials to develop relationships with REALTOR® constituents who put them into office. GCAAR looks forward to continued work at the State level during the General Assembly session and encourages all members to stay up to date at

L-R: Maryland Government Affairs Consultant Meredith Weisel, GCAAR Government Affairs Manager Katalin Peter, GCAAR CEO Mike Moran, District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® (DCAR) CEO Ed Krauze, and GCAAR Treasurer Tim Knobloch head over to the Senate and House for meetings


Bobette Banks

Advertising Representative Arlene Braithwaite

Capital Area REALTOR® (USPS 017-467) is published five times a year by the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®, 8757 Georgia Avenue, Suite 600, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Periodicals postage paid at Silver Spring, MD. Member subscriptions account for $10 of each member’s annual dues. Annual subscriptions are available to non-members for $25. Subscription inquiries may be sent to Capital Area REALTOR® at the above address. Copyright© 2013 by the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®. All rights reserved.

Bonnie Casper Speaks at State of the Market Press Conference

POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO CAPITAL AREA REALTOR®, ATTN: GCAAR, 8757 Georgia Avenue, Suite 600, Silver Spring, MD 20910. The Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® makes no warranties and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained herein. The opinions expressed herein do not necessary reflect the opinions of the officers, directors or staff of the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®. The Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® accepts submissions of articles and photographs and these items become the property of the The Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®. The publisher reserves the right of full editorial authority and to decline publication of any article not deemed proper. Deadline for all submissions, including camera-ready advertising on disk or film, is the first of the month prior to publication. Reprint with permission only. Reprint permission may be obtained by contacting the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® at 301.590.2000; via fax at 301.590.2248; or via e-mail at REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies and may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its Code of Ethics.

Capital Area Realtor®

Bonnie being interviewed by WMAL Radio

Bonnie with 2013 President-Elect Greg Ford

Not Receiving GCAAR or DCAR E-mails? Contact GCAAR’s Communications Department to get plugged in again at

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2013 January - February


Ask the President Michael McGreevy 2013 GCAAR President

Q. Hi Michael, I’m a Broker in Bethesda and I was recently told that if an agent in my office doesn’t pay their Association dues that, as the Broker, I am responsible? Can you explain why? A. Sure…we hear this question a lot. The answer may be a bit procedural; however, here it goes. Under the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) “dues formula”, the Broker or the ‘Designated REALTOR®’ for each office, is assessed dues on the basis of how many salespersons (licensees) are with that office. GCAAR, like all local Associations in this area, bills annual dues directly to the members. However, under the NAR rules, the Broker or Designated REALTOR® is ultimately responsible for the payment of the dues. So this means that if a sales associate in your office does not remit their annual dues, you as the Broker, are responsible for making that payment. Q. I’m a Sales Office Manager and I’m always looking to make my sales office meeting more interesting for my agents. Any suggestions on how GCAAR can help?

in the


Greater Capital area assoCiation of realtors® “Thank you, GCAAR members! You


Thank You REALTORS® Ads December 19, 2012 Gazette and Current Newspapers

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

Bonnie Casper, 2012 GCAAR President

GCAAR ReAltoRs® Care! Patrick “Pat” Weed Patrick Realty Company 2012 Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® REALTOR® of the Year

REALTORS® support the 3rd Annual GCAAR Cares Silent Auction, which helps fund grants to nonprofits in Montgomery County.

at Rebuilding Together® REALTORS® volunteery County home. A record to repair a Montgomer participated in the 2012 year number of 43 volunteers the eighth consecutive ®. project, marking with Rebuilding Together GCAAR has partnered

Suzanne Des Marais Keller Williams Capital Properties 2012 District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® REALTOR® of the Year (GCAAR Member) Anthony R. DeVol, Esq. Tradition Title 2012 GCAAR Affiliate of the Year

REALTOR® donations to organizations like Stepping Stones Shelter helped a client move to a new home.

had the unique GCAAR REALTORS® the Partnership for opportunity to support Makeover project Housing’s Maryland Homehome infested with to help renovate a flooded heater. mold due to a broken water

Here are some of the local organizations served by ReAlToRs® in the past year: • Affordable Housing Conference of Montgomery County • The Dwelling Place • Habitat for Humanity, Montgomery County • National Center for Children & Families

two-time Winner of the Maryland Association of ReAltoRs® special Projects Award (301) 590-2000

Distinguished Award Winners Ads January 16, 2013 Gazette and Current Newspapers

Bill Rozek Embrace Home Loans 2012 GCAAR Affiliate of the Year Jessica Evans Real Living At Home 2012 GCAAR Rookie of the Year (301) 590-2000




U.S. Housing and Property Market Outlook China Central Television - Biz Asia America, January 25, 2013 “New home sales are coming back, while low inventory will impact the prices.” - Bonnie Casper, 2012 GCAAR President Young and Old Seek Neighborhoods With Walkability The Washington Examiner, January 24, 2013 “Montgomery County will look drastically different in the next 10 years. Society is changing its habits, and mass transit is the No. 1 issue” - Bonnie Casper, 2012 GCAAR President Area Home Prices Jump As Housing Market Improves The Washington Examiner, January 14, 2013 “No matter how low the interest rates are, if you don’t have a job you’re not going to be in the market to buy a house.” - Bonnie Casper, 2012 GCAAR President


2013 January - February

A. Absolutely! As someone who conducts meetings myself, I can appreciate your question. The list of possibilities is too long to address here, but I would start by suggesting that you make a point of coming to our Broker/ Manager forums. These meetings present topics of interest to our Broker and Manager members, including recent topics like contract releases, pending legislation relevant to the real estate industry, legal updates, state of the market analysis, and other information that you will be able to take back to your sales team. I find these forums to be a “must do” and put them on my calendar for the entire year. In addition to the Broker/Manager forums, we have other resources available to you. Take a few minutes to check out our website, and our weekly e-publications; Newsline, which is published every Monday, and Broker Beat, which comes out on Friday’s and is tailored for our Managers and Brokers. Lastly if you’d like to have someone from GCAAR attend one of your sales meetings, please let us know! We’d be glad to arrange a time to share with your agents all of what GCAAR has to offer them and we promise to keep it interesting. Thanks for your question and keep bringing your agents valuable information. I’m sure they appreciate it.

Escalation Clauses Can Put Dream Homes Out of Reach The Washington Post, January 11, 2013 “The document, supplied by the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors® is used by buyers interested in raising their bid in a potential bidding war.” Builders Prepare for a Prosperous 2013 The Washington Examiner, January 10, 2013 “Areas in the District and Montgomery County slated for development are the U and H Street corridors, Southeast near the ball park, the Southwest Waterfront and the Bethesda urban center, White Flint and the Greater Seneca Science Corridor in Maryland.” - Bonnie Casper, 2012 GCAAR President Prediction Notices: What 2013 Could Have in Store for DC Real Estate Washington City Paper, January 10, 2013 “Figures from the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors® show a sharp disparity in new single-family home listings compared to 2011, with low-end housing dropping off and high-end housing picking up” Names and Faces: 2013 GCAAR Board, December 21, 2012 DC Appointments: Week of December 17: Michael McGreevy Appointed GCAAR President The Washington Post, December 21, 2012 Fiscal Cliff, Employment Shift Bring Area’s Economy Closer to Nations Sun Gazette, December 19, 2012 “People are waiting to make sure they have job security…Young people are saddled with debt, are in their first jobs and need to know they have security or can move from job to job.” - Bonnie Casper, 2012 GCAAR President Inventory Crunch Still Dogs Area Real Estate Sun Gazette, December 19, 2012 “Multiple offers and escalation clauses are becoming more frequent, but buyers learned from the recent housing bust and are not waiving house inspections.” - Bonnie Casper, 2012 GCAAR President

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Capital Area REALTOR®

Meet Your GCAAR Committee: Public Policy

Meet Your Gcaar Staff

GCAAR Public Policy Committee 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. DCAR Public Policy Committee The District of Columbia Public Policy Committee (managed by the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS®) works with staff to serve the public policy interests of REALTORS® in Washington, DC. It advocates for REALTOR® issues, as well as works with government officials to ensure that District laws and regulations are favorable to the entire real estate community.

Meet Your GCAAR Director of Programs - Mark Glazer Mark Glazer is the Director of Programs for GCAAR, the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® (DCAR) and the Greater Washington Commercial Association of REALTORS® (GWCAR). In his role, Mark oversees the daily operations for the education and events departments and works with senior management, the Boards of Directors of the three associations, and instructors/speakers to develop and deliver the highest quality professional development programs for the REALTOR® community. Prior to joining GCAAR, Mark worked for a number of local, regional, national, and international trade associations and professional societies running their professional development programs and events. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from The George Washington University. Meet Your GCAAR Events Manager - Hakeema Jones Hakeema Jones is the Meetings and Events Manager for GCAAR, DCAR, and GWCAR. In this capacity, Hakeema is responsible for annual events, such as GCAAR’s REALTOR® Fest and installation and GWCAR’s summit, installation, awards, golf outing, and MealTOUR. In her role as Rookie Committee Staff Liaison, she oversees the monthly Rookie events. She is also the staff liaison to GCAAR’s Events Committee and several GWCAR committees. Prior to joining GCAAR in 2010, Hakeema served as the Operations Manager for Sylvan Learning Center in District Heights, MD. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.

L-R: Staff Liaison, Katalin Peter; Chair, Peg Mancuso; Vice Chair, Elley Kott; Staff Liaison, Meredith Weisel

Meet Your GCAAR Committee: Your Professional Network (YPN)

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 meets monthly. 2013 Roster Colin Johnson, Chair Thomas Castagnola, Vice Chair Michael Altobelli Cassie Clancy Tina Del Casale Joe Detrick Jessica Evans

Danai Mattison Constantina Paxenos Gregory Scott Andres Serafini Jason Sherman Tyler Siperko Kenneth Storck Wendy Vasquez

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L-R: Staff Liaison, Amy Ritsko-Warren; Chair, Colin Johnson; Vice Chair, Thomas Castagnola; Staff Liaison, Pia Clarke

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2013 January - February


NAR Director’s Report Michael McGreevy 2013 GCAAR President, NAR Director

Housing Affordability Index to Set Annual Record

With 11 months of data reported, 2012 will go down as a record year for favorable housing affordability conditions, and a great year for buyers who could get a mortgage, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR’s national Housing Affordability Index stood at 198.2 in November, based on the relationship between median home price, median family income and average mortgage interest rate. The higher the index, the greater the household purchasing power; recordkeeping began in 1970. The final index numbers will be released on February 11. An index of 100 is defined as the point where a median-income household has exactly enough income to qualify for the purchase of a median-priced existing single-family home, assuming a 20 percent down payment and 25 percent of gross income devoted to mortgage principal and interest payments. For first-time buyers making small down payments, the affordability levels are relatively lower. NAR projects the housing affordability index to average 160 during 2013, which means on a national basis that a median-income family would have 160 percent of the income needed to purchase a median-priced existing single-family home.

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FHA Takes Additional Steps to Bolster Capital Reserves As part of a broad effort to strengthen the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMI Fund), FHA Commissioner Carol Galante announced a series of changes on January 30, 2013 that will allow the agency to better manage risk and further strengthen the health of the MMI Fund.

Increasing Annual Mortgage Insurance Premiums

FHA will increase its annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) for most new mortgages by 10 basis points or by 0.10 percent. FHA will increase premiums on jumbo mortgages ($625,500 or larger) by 5 basis points or 0.05 percent, to the maximum authorized annual mortgage insurance premium. These premium increases exclude certain streamline refinance transactions.

Requiring Most FHA Borrowers to Continue Paying Annual Premiums for the Life of the Mortgage

Commencing in 2001, FHA cancelled required MIP on loans when the outstanding principal balance reached 78 percent of the original principal balance. However, FHA remains responsible for insuring 100 percent of the outstanding loan balance throughout the entire life of the loan, a term which often extends far beyond the cessation of these MIP payments. FHA’s Office of Risk Management and Regulatory Affairs estimates that the MMI Fund has foregone billions of dollars in premium revenue on mortgages endorsed from 2010 through 2012 because of this automatic cancellation policy. Therefore, FHA will once again collect premiums based upon the unpaid principal balance for the entire period for which FHA is entitled. This will permit FHA to retain significant revenue that is currently being forfeited prematurely.

Requiring Manual Underwriting on Loans with Decision Credit Scores below 620 & DTI Ratios over 43 Percent

FHA will require lenders to manually underwrite loans for which borrowers have a decision credit score below 620 and a total debt-to-income (DTI) ratio greater than 43 percent. Lenders will be required to document compensating factors that support the underwriting decision to approve loans where these parameters are exceeded, using FHA manual underwriting and compensating factor guidelines.

Raising Down Payment on Loans above $625,500

Through a Federal Register Notice to be published in the next several days, FHA will announce a proposed increased down payment requirement for mortgages with original principal balances above $625,500. The minimum down payment for these mortgages will increase from 3.5 to 5 percent. This change, coupled with the statutory maximum premiums charged for these loans, will help protect FHA and further facilitate its efforts to encourage higher levels of private market participation in the housing finance market.

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2013 January - February


105-A W. Edmonston Drive • Rockville, Maryland 20852

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The Rigorous Practice of Real Estate Sales: The Need for Regular Reminders By Ann L. Johnston, Esq.

Does this even need to be said? Real estate sales is incredibly hard work. It’s a 24/7 life, always on call and available to clients for everything from hand-holding to baby-sitting, counseling, chauffeuring, scheduling, managing, coordinating, guiding, doing battle, taking the hits and knocks in negotiations while protecting the client (where does it end?), and then additionally we have to stay on top of the market, changes in financing, forms, practice standards and inventory; and if that’s not enough, there are all the laws, ethics, rules and regulations that govern us. It’s simply mind-numbing. So is it any wonder that REALTORS® sometimes make mistakes? Doing the work of sales requires its own focus, energy, and commitment. And sometimes in the throes of drawing in business and pulling transactions together, we lose track of certain required or important details (e.g., and where is that earnest money deposit? What was the deadline on that last repair request exchange? Or what happened to our counteroffer?). And when you look at the basis for licensing board disciplinary actions as well as claims and lawsuits over a period of years, with some exceptions, certain error problems consistently appear.* *(See Top 10 Legal Issues Facing Brokers” by Laurie K. Janik, REALTOR® Magazine, March 2000; “The Riskiest Business,” G.M. Filisko, REALTOR® Magazine, October 2011; See also NAR Legal Scans 2007, 2009 & 2011).

never be made in the MLS (direct other agents to contact the listing broker on certain matters---other disclosures however should be made in writing in the brochure---know the proper way to disclose! 3) All advertising and listing information must be true and accurate. Be sure that copy concerning your listings (and advertising) is accurate, updated (includes MLS listings, brochures, flyers, anything on a website, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and contains the disclosures required by the applicable licensing laws, the EHO and REALTOR® logos. 4) Never engage in discriminatory behavior. Treat all prospects and clients alike. Develop your own systems for the way you treat them and be consistent. Be prepared to walk away from any client if s/he insists on engaging in any discriminatory behavior. 5) Don’t make representations about what an HOA/COA, zoning department or other authority having any legal bearing on a property will decide about the use of the property. Always direct the buyers or sellers to and/or obtain a letter or some other writing directly from those authorities regarding the question. 6) Always represent the best interests of your client and be honest in all of your dealings. 7) Always make the appropriate written agency disclosures to all prospects, clients and customers.

Generally, the top areas of liability through 2011 based upon NAR’s Legal Scans 2007, 2009 & 2011, suggest the following, in varying order depending on the report: 1) Agency disclosure, esp. Buyer representation 2) Disclosure/Misrepresentation/Fraud & Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act 3) Breach of fiduciary duties 4) Fair housing violations 5) Failing to handle earnest money deposits properly (Regular basis for disciplinary actions) 6) RESPA violations and affiliated business disclosures 7) Improper contract formation and/or management 8) Ethics violations/procuring cause and claims for commission 9) Conflicts of interest and attempting to play lawyer 10) Advertising violations 11) Trying to be all things to a client, including especially getting and giving clients information on use of a property under relevant HOA/Condo and/or zoning regulations

8) Make sure the person signing any contract or legal document has the authority to sign it! Don’t lose your commission or a contract just because you failed to find out what person or persons needed to sign the listing agreement, sales contract etc. When in doubt, ask your favorite title attorney to run an ownership search (especially in estate or suspected bankruptcy situations).

In many cases, the errors giving rise to claims might have been prevented with just a simple “reminder.”

11) Don’t jump the gun and admit liability before discussing a problem situation with your manager and/or claims attorney. Although stepping up to the plate is a noble approach, before doing so, discuss the matter with your manager or corporate attorney. Admitting legal liability when you have none can expose all to unnecessary expenses, etc.

With the foregoing in mind, what follows is a list of suggested best practices served up as “reminders” (so named “REALTOR® Caveats”) in the hopes that these might help prevent even one claim. Although the list has been edited several times over the years, the general thrust of the advisories have remained the same.


1) Promptly and accurately handle all client funds. Never “hold” earnest money deposits unless the parties have so specified in the contract (except in Maryland where MREC rules prohibit Brokers from withholding deposit of emd longer than the licensing law allows—in which case, the EMD should be held by a title company) 2) Always disclose material facts regarding the condition of a property; but don’t “over-disclose” and provide information that turns out to be incorrect or misleading. Also, handle the disclosure in accordance with the rules of discretion: some disclosures should

Capital Area Realtor®

9) Document all significant conversations or communications. Keep a running communications log for each client/transaction file from the very first significant conversation to post-closing. Significant conversations or comments would include the client’s stated objectives; their directives to you for handling certain matters (some of which should be in the listing agreement, contract terms etc) and any special information you receive. 10) Be careful what you put in writing—including especially emails, faxes, instant messages, websites, Facebook, Twitter. Never put in writing what you don’t want to have read in a court of law.

12) DON’T play lawyer, accountant, engineer, home inspector, etc. Refer your clients to appropriately-licensed professionals. If special terms need to be added to a contract, have your clients write them in themselves if they won’t see an attorney! Or if they need special tax advice, have him/her/them see an accountant. Same with engineers, home inspectors, etc. Ann Johnston is an attorney licensed in Virginia, the District of Columbia and North Carolina and Director of Professional Development at Monarch Title, Inc. Nothing contained herein is intended to be legal and/or tax advice and is offered solely for instruction. Any legal and/or tax questions should always be addressed to licensed legal and/or tax professionals. Further, nothing herein is designed to replace or modify, in any way, the policies, procedures and instructions of any licensee’s managing broker and/or brokerage firm.

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2013 January - February


Green Resources 10 Going Green Facts Green Fact #1 In 2008, the United States consumed 99 Quadrillion BTUs (British thermal units) of energy. Green Fact #2 The gas equivalent of the lifetime energy savings offered by using a single 24 watt compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) in lieu of a 100 watt incandescent bulb would be sufficient to drive a Toyota Prius from San Francisco to New York. Green Fact #3 The amount of sunlight that falls on the Earth’s surface in one minute is sufficient to meet world energy demand for an entire year. Green Fact #4 The computer you’re using right now, in all the years you’ll own it, will never consume more energy than was required to create it. Green Fact #5 Recycling a single aluminum can would run a TV for three hours. Green Fact #6 If the entire population of the United States washed their clothes exclusively with cold water (instead of hot), we would save $3 billion in energy costs annually and cut national CO2 emissions by over a full percent! Green Fact #7 Recycling one ton of paper saves 20 trees and 7,000 gallons of water. Green Fact #8 15 to 30 percent of a home’s total heating and cooling energy is lost through poorly sealed duct-work. Green Fact #9 Burning one gallon of gasoline creates about 19 pounds of carbon dioxide. Green Fact #10 It takes 10 calories of fossil fuel energy to grow, process, and deliver one calorie of food energy to our tables. Source: blog/10-green-facts-that-will-make-yourhead-spin.


2013 January - February

Green By The Numbers

DC Ranks 1st and Maryland 6th on USGBC’s Top 10 States for LEED The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released its annual list of the top 10 states for new LEED certifications in 2012, on which DC ranks No. 1 and Maryland ranks No. 6. The per-capita list, which recognizes those states that are leading the way in transforming their buildings and communities, including Washington, DC, is based on 2010 U.S. Census data and reflects certifications for commercial and institutional buildings. The District of Columbia tops the ranking, with 36.97 square feet of LEED space certified per resident in 2012. With 47,201,750 total square feet of LEED-certified space through 2012, Maryland certified 1.90 square feet last year. As our region continues to make remarkable strides in LEED building certifications, it is important to note that this is just one measure of how environmentally friendly a particular jurisdiction is. Both DC and Maryland offer its residents a wide-array of programs, such as rebates and incentives for Greening residences. You can visit and, which have been specifically designated to address Green issues, to learn all about the number of initiatives going on in DC and Montgomery County, respectively. The full list of the top 10 states and Washington, DC, is as follows:

Rank State

Square feet of LEED space certified in 2012

Per capita

1 District of Columbia 22,246,445






3 Colorado 10,553,881










6 Maryland 10,954,324



New York







9 California 54,252,993










Learn more at Source:

Three Quick Tips for the Office

1) When holding events, meetings, or office functions, pay close attention to items being used, such as utensils, paper cups, plates, trays and try to use “eco-friendly” or “recycled materials.” 2) Each agent, if they have their own cubicle or office, should have a recycling bin for paper and plastic. This will encourage them to recycle. 3) Real estate forms should not be printed. Rather, the office should scan and have a digital library of the forms that would be accessible to all the agents in the office to use and print ONLY when needed.

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Capital Area REALTOR®

Technology What’s in Your Tool Box?

Amy Chorew of The Tech Byte shares some of her favorite new tech tools for real estate professionals.

Gmail – Send Mail Later

One of my favorite Gmail add ons is Boomerang. It allows you to do a few things including scheduling your email to be sent later. They have a free or paid version. I have been using the free one for about a year now. It is easy to install and use within your Gmail account. When you compose or reply to a message, you’ll see a drop down box where you can schedule or have the message delivered to you again, similar to a reminder. Let’s put this into practical uses: • Schedule an email to send during business hours, although you wrote it during those crazy late-night or early-bird hours. • Commit to follow up with a client in “a week” or “on Monday” and immediately compose an email with it set to deliver as promised. • Alert yourself with a Boomerang email sent to yourself as a reminder for important deadlines. • As soon as you receive notification of a showing appointment on one of your listings, set up an email to the showing agent requesting feedback to be sent after their showing.

The Search is On

Here it comes! I’m sure you have heard by now about the new Facebook Search. If not, go to Facebook and check it out. I really want to take this opportunity to encourage you to review your privacy settings. I recommend you review your privacy settings frequently on all social sites you are active in, however, when one announces news such as this – it’s time to go now (no, don’t even pass go)!

Photopin – Free Images Online

There are a gazillion places to find free photos on the web. Just do a Google search for “Free Images” and you will find plenty of websites including sites like and As a reminder, you can’t just grab any photo you find online for your own use. Most photos have copyright protection so it is important to have a good go-to resource for free-to-use photos. If you are a blogger, Photopin is a new source of “creative commons” photos that makes it easy to search and download images. Photopin searches Flickr to find the images you need and helps make adding them to a post quick and easy. All you need to do is search for a topic using the search box, preview the image, click “get photo” and download the photo — which includes multiple sizes as well as the proper link for attribution. Below is an example of what you receive once you complete the download.

• Schedule some Facebook posts via email to be sent to your custom Facebook email address that posts to your business page Give it a try. I could never throw a Boomerang correctly, but I can use this!

Facebook Groups for Real Estate

What are your favorite Facebook Groups with a real estate focus? Here are our favorites. If you have some ones that you like, send them to us at • National Association of REALTORS® Official Group • Evernote for Real Estate • First Bytes 101 for Real Estate • The Tech Byte *Club Members Only* • IFTTT (If This, Then That for Real Estate) • WordPress for Real Estate To join a Facebook group, click the [JOIN GROUP] button in the upper right corner under the Facebook Cover Photo. If it is an Open Group, you’ll be a member right away. If it is a Closed Group, you’ll have to wait on an Administrator to approve you first. Amy Chorew is a national real estate trainer experienced with helping managers and agents to maximize opportunities with technology. She can be reached at or 860-325-0101, or visit her blog at Her technology coaching series is available at www.

Capital Area Realtor®

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2013 January - February


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

In 2012, the Maryland housing market really came back. For the year, property sales totaled 54,068 units and they were up 5.5% from 2011. Similarly, the average price of $293,058 rose 5.4% from the comparable 2011 figure; the median price ($246,493) jumped almost 7.4% from 2011. This is definitely news that real estate is back. In December, home sales experienced a substantial jump, with prices seeing higher rates of increase. Maryland’s December total sales (4,398 homes) jumped 8.2% compared to a year before. Statewide, the December average home price came in at $299,759, almost 10% above a year before. And, the median price of $243,741 was up over 9% from December 2011.

Montgomery County Sales Market

While the 2012 sales trend in the county was strong, there was a big shortage of inventory. On average, a property was on the market 67 days, down from 78 in 2011. The average listing price for all sold properties was up 2.5% from 2011 at $477,552. And, the average sales to original listing price ratio was 95% -- up slightly from 94% in 2011.

Single-family prices did at least as well or better than sales. For the year, the average sales price was $670,494, and the median was $425,000. In 2011, the average single-family home sold for $515,161 and the median priced unit cost $405,000. Thus, through December, average and median prices were up 30% and 5%, respectively, from 2011. In 2009, annual prices bottomed out at $480,931 and $385,000, for the average and median, respectively.

For county unit volume, 2012 sales of 10,094 homes were up 6.4% from 2011; and, the sold dollar volume was $4,699,734,984 – up 9.7% from the previous year. However, there is still a major lack of inventory. At the end of December, 1,560 total actives were down 37% from a year ago, and the 533 new listings in December were down about 7% from the year before. December Single-Family Homes By year-end, Montgomery County single-family sales had significantly improved. December year-to-date contracts (8,149) were up by 6.3% from December 2011; however, new contracts for the month (479) slipped by 1.2%. Single-family settlements for the year (7,778) jumped 7%. Moreover, December monthly settlements (574) bounced over 8% from a year before.

December Condominiums and Cooperatives The condo/coop market also improved substantially in 2012. Through December there were 2,421 contracts -- a rise of 4.7% over the year. And, new contracts for the month (162) increased 3.8% from a year before. Yearto-date settlements (2,284) mirrored the behavior of contracts and rose 5%. Interestingly, 184 monthly settlements equaled those of December 2011.

December year-to-date listings volume was much lower compared to the end of 2011. Total single-family active listings of 1,230 properties were 33% below December 2011. And, monthly new listings (387 units) dropped 10.6% from a year ago. At the December contracts pace, there was about a 2.6 months supply. As could be expected, in this tight supply environment, average prices performed quite well.


2013 January - February

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As in the single-family market, December condo/coop inventory dropped like a rock below the 2011 level. More specifically, total actives through December (346) were 37.5% below last year’s comparable level. On the other hand, December new listings jumped 13% above the rate for a year before. At the December contracts pace, there was a 2.1-months supply of properties.

In 2012, the average and median sales prices were $250,738 and $208,225, respectively. These figures worked out to be 5.2% and 9.6% above the 2011 average ($238,441) and median ($190,000). Just like the single-family market, tight inventory has helped support prices and the average price for 2011 marks the bottom of the housing slump that started in 2009. Both 2012 prices were 20% below the 2008 highs of $312,720 and $260,000.

Washington, dC Sales Market While the Washington, D.C. sales volume was up double-digits from 2011, the market struggled with a lack of inventory. On average, a property was on the market only 60 days, down from 76 days in 2011. Furthermore, the average listing price of $563,450 for all sold properties was up 5.6% from 2011. The average sales to original listing price was 96.5% -- up from 94% in 2011. Unit volume sales were up substantially as well. In 2012, they totaled 6,905 properties – up 7% from 2011; and, the sold dollar volume was $3,813,429,064 – up 14% from the previous year. But the lack of inventory likely limited the sales volume. In December, 1,010 total actives were down 39% from a year ago, and the 363 new listings in December were down 11% from December 2011. Inventory problems will probably continue through 2013.

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December Single-Family Homes The Washington, D.C. single-family sales market in 2012 ultimately was only lukewarm and not much different from last year; however, prices took a big leap. Year-to-date contracts were only up 1.2% (3,937) with December single-family contracts (261) declining 7.4% from a year before. Similarly, year-to-date settlements (3,744) edged up less than 1%. On the bright side, new settlements in December (304) bounced 9% from December 2011.

As with Montgomery County, the District’s single-family inventory was tight all year, with the lowest level in December. December total actives came in at only 526 properties. This was down 36% from December 2011. Similarly, new single-family listings for the month (205) slipped 10% from a year before. The economic uncertainty associated with the local economy and federal budget and tax policy could be playing a role here.

But prices made up for the modest sales increases. In 2012, singlefamily average prices jumped 10.9% compared to the average for 2011. Furthermore, the median price vaulted 17.8%. Through December, the average single-family home cost $655,645 with the median at $530,000. When we compare what has happened since 2009, D.C. single-family home average prices rose almost 19% (from $551,236) with 30% for the median (from $408,000) priced home. The shortage of inventory has pushed prices up substantially.

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continued on page 12

2013 January - February


MC & DC Market Reports, continued from page 11

For the year through December, condo/coop prices averaged $429,390 and were up just 3.4% over the average for 2011. However, the average price rose almost 6.7% since the low point in 2009. Not surprisingly, lower priced units have seen more appreciation. Through December, the median price of $380,000 was up almost 5% compared to a year ago, and “middle” units saw their values increase by almost 6.7% since 2009.

December Condominiums and Cooperatives The Washington, D.C. condominium and cooperative market experienced strong unit sales demand but modest price appreciation. Year-to-date December contracts (3,310) were up 19% and settlements (3,146) rose 17% from a year ago. Sales for December hit double-digit levels as well. December contracts (222) jumped almost 19% over December 2011; moreover, settlements of 258 properties jumped 20% from a year before. The highest proportion of sales (24.8%) was concentrated in the $300,000 to $399,000 price category, with 42% in the $200,000 to $399,000 range.

Housing Industry Production The national housing industry continues to expand at a solid rate and is finally out of the housing recession. New residential home sales for November (most recent data available at deadline) totaled 377,000 units (seasonally adjusted and annualized rate, saar). This was 4.4% above the October 2012 rate and 15% above the November 2011 figure of 327,000. As with our local markets, national new home inventory was a bit tight at a 4.7 months supply in November. Prices also surged in November -- the average price of $299,700 leapt 19.9% from a year before; and, the $246,200 median jumped 14.9% from last November. December was a very good month for new home construction. Total privately-owned starts (954,000 units, saar) were up 12.1% from November, and were 37% above December 2011. Furthermore, December single-family home starts (616,000 saar) were 8.1% above the previous month, and 18.5% above a year before. Builders are continuing to be optimistic about the business. While total privately owned housing permits (903,000 saar) were up only 0.3% from November 2012, they were about 29% above the rate for December 2011. Single-family permits (578,000 saar) were 1.8% above the November level, and 27% higher than the previous December.

As with single-family properties, low inventory has helped support condo/ coop prices. This year, December logged the lowest level at just 495 actives – down 34% from a year ago. At the December contracts pace, there was only a 2.2 months supply. Moreover, new December listings of 160 units were down 13% from December 2011.

This year the national resale housing market came on strong. For all of 2012, resales hit their highest point in five years. A total of 4.65 million existing homes were sold, up 9.2% from 2011. In 2007, only 5.04 million were sold – the lowest number since 1998. However, for all existing homes, inventory at the end of December totaled only 1.82 million properties, representing a significantly less than ‘normal’ 4.4-months supply. This figure is down from a 12-months supply in July 2010 and less than monthly supply measures going back to 2005. In 2011, end-of-year inventory represented a 6.4 months supply. Inventory has become tighter as the market has improved, with the anticipated effects on prices. Sales could have been even higher with more inventories, although prices likely would have been lower. However, many sellers are still withholding listings until they see prices move up more. And, there still exists a “shadow inventory” of homes in default/foreclosure that will eventually come on the market. Banks seem to be trying to come to agreement with borrowers on new terms. This has slowed “dumping” and supported prices. And, investor demand has picked up many of those foreclosures that have made their way to the auction block. We will have to see what happens in 2013; if inventory is still thin, sales may not perform as


2013 January - February

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well as in 2012. However, this tug-of-war between sellers holding back for higher prices and buyer demand will continue to play out. December single-family home sales slipped 1.4% (4.35 million, saar) from November, but were 11.5% above the pace of December 2011. Furthermore, the single-family median price ($180,300) jumped almost 11% and the average ($231,200) was up 10% from last December. Existing condo/coop sales (590,000 saar) rose almost 2% from November, but bounded 23% from December 2011. And, the national condo/coop median price came in at $184,100 -- up 16% from a year before. The average condo/ coop price ($233,200) also rose double-digits to 12.8%. Economic Growth and Jobs Economic growth has gradually improved since the slow period in the spring of 2012. The Bureau of Economic Analysis’ final third quarter real GDP growth estimate was 3.1%. The second quarter figure came in at a down trending 1.3%; first quarter increased 2%. In general, the economy has been hovering around a 2% to 2.5% average real growth rate and this is a decent number. (This “real” figure subtracts out inflation of roughly 2%, so the actual ‘nominal’ dollar growth is closer to 4% and 4.5%). Over the past year, stronger housing markets have helped stabilize economic growth. These are pretty good numbers and show that the economy seems to be on a stable growth track. This partly explains the improving housing market; and, the improving housing market has also helped the economy. The recent Bureau of Labor Statistics’ jobs report indicated that the December unemployment rate was 7.8%, and down from levels around 8% earlier in the year. However, about 12.2 million persons still were unemployed and that number has not changed much over the past year. Total nonfarm employment increased by about 155,000 in December and in 2012, job growth averaged about 153,000 per month. In December, employment increased in the health care, food services/drinking places, construction, and manufacturing sectors. This rate of job growth still disappoints, with about 200,000 jobs needed each month to lower the unemployment rate significantly. However, the direction is positive and the economy is growing. Monetary Policy, the Debt, Interest Rates and Inflation The Fed announced in December that it would continue buying bonds and mortgage securities, about $85 billion each month, to keep long-term interest rates low. Such a policy will continue to be good for housing and the Fed has publicly acknowledged that housing needs to be stimulated. The Federal Open Market Committee also announced that its strategy is to keep the federal funds rate near zero until the unemployment rate is less than 6.5% -- as long as the predicted inflation rate for one to two years out is 2.5% or less. The Fed has never before enunciated such a specific policy strategy jointly linking unemployment and inflation. However, even if we see inflation exceeding 2.5%, it is not clear when, and by how much, they will eventually let interest rates rise. It is also not clear how much unemployment they would be willing to tolerate, and that often becomes a political issue. Nevertheless, what this means for real estate is that we should continue to see low interest rates for a couple of years, unless something very bad happens with inflation. The downside is that those who own bonds or bond funds will continue to see low returns. Congress and the White House are continuing to battle over the issue of who will, and how to, pay for the $1.3 trillion deficits the government has been running. Congress is putting off the debt ceiling fight until March. But, on March 1 $88 billion of government budget cuts (the ‘sequester’) will come due. The most recent tax increase on the top 1% and rise in dividend and capital gains tax rates, does precious little to cover the government’s expected future deficits. The President, in his inaugural speech firmly indicated he would stand against cutting Social Security and the Medicare/ Medicaid programs. He also wants to fund more education assistance and

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national infrastructure programs. Over the next 10 years, current federal budget deficits are projected to total about $8 trillion. The most recent tax hikes are projected to cover only about $650 billion, or about 8%, over that period. Obviously, with a stronger economy tax receipts will increase, but massive additional revenues are needed. What is most likely is that there will be further tax increases on most households through capping deductions. And, these will have to affect many more than the top 1%. The Republicans will want program changes to cut costs, and the Democrats will want higher effective taxes (how much you really pay relative to your income) -- possibly even new taxes such as value-added or a national sales tax. Tax breaks related to real estate will be at the center of this debate. Even if the Republicans are successful in obtaining some cuts or better ‘targeting’ of some federal programs, the future costs are still staggering. The inevitable outcome is that virtually all but the bottom of the income distribution will be paying more in various personal taxes, sales taxes, fees and user charges. Mortgage Interest Rates The Freddie Mac survey for the third week of January showed that average mortgage interest rates are still at historic lows. In those results, the 30year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.38%, while 1-year adjustables (ARMs) averaged 2.57%. Fifteen-year loans came in at 2.66% and 5/1-yr. ARMs were very affordable at 2.67%. The Fed plans to continue its policy of buying mortgage securities and long-term Treasuries through 2013 and possibly into 2015; we will have to see whether longer-term rates can go much lower with the economy improving and the stock market rising. Consumer Prices and Energy Costs The December Consumer price index was unchanged from November; however, over the previous 12 months, the index rose only 1.7%. Over this period there were decreases in electricity and piped gas. Moreover, when food and energy costs are taken out of the December index, the annualized “core” inflation was only slightly higher at 1.9%. Examining the key components of the December index, over the previous year: food prices edged up 1.8%; housing shelter costs (mostly rents) rose 2.2%; and, apparel prices bumped 1.8%. Medical care services rose 3.7%, but medical care commodities were up only 1.7% from December 2011. Energy commodities edged up 1.5% -- gasoline was up 1.7% and fuel oil bumped 3.6% from last December. But the best news was that energy services (electricity and natural gas) actually decreased 1.1%, due to a 2.9% fall in natural gas prices. In general, inflation seems to be at worst about 2%, and is continuing on a relatively “flat” trend. The Bottom Line The year 2012 has shown dramatic improvement in real estate production, new sales and resales markets. Real estate sales and prices in Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County, as well as other surrounding areas, have vastly improved. However, there are still many hurdles ahead. While the White House and Congress have pushed back the “fiscal cliff ” and sequester decisions, it is likely there will be budget cuts, especially related to military programs, as part of an eventual deal. However, these would likely affect surrounding areas in Virginia more than the District or Montgomery County. However, there will be local impacts. Moreover, there are still many eventual foreclosures likely and, the risk that they increase inventory at a rapid rate and put the breaks on price appreciation. There will also be more battles about lending terms, mortgage insurance issues, and ability of the secondary mortgage market to support the housing industry. Nevertheless, we have seen a pretty good year and hopefully 2013 will be solid as well. Like the return of “All My Children”, the metro area housing saga continues.

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2013 January - February


Public Policy REAL Advocacy for REALTORS® New Qualified Mortgage (“QM”) Rule

On Capitol Hill

NAR is working for you! Stay up to date on NAR’s political activity and access all CALLS FOR ACTION through NAR’s REALTOR® Action Center at

Real Estate Provisions in “Fiscal Cliff” Bill

Legislation to avert the “fiscal cliff ” was signed into law January 2, 2013. Below is a summary of real estate related provisions: - Real Estate Tax Extenders • Mortgage Cancellation Relief is extended for one year to January 1, 2014;

On January 10, 2013 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) released the QM rule, which provides standards a lender must use to minimize risky loans and help a borrower avoid an eventual default. The rule will take effect on January 10, 2014. Below are issues that were of particular concern to NAR: • The new QM rule will provide certainty and define the mortgage market with clear standards; • The forth coming rule on Qualified Residential Mortgages (QRM) is less likely to have a specific requirement (like 10% or 20%) on down payments; • The 3% cap for affiliated businesses is still a work in progress. The positive side is that CFPB has asked for an additional information/comment period; and • The one year implementation window gives the market time to prepare and level out.

• Deduction for Mortgage Insurance Premiums for filers making below $110,000 is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012; • 15-year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements on commercial properties is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012; and • 10 % tax credit (up to $500) for homeowners for energy improvements to existing homes is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012. - Permanent Repeal of Pease Limitations for 99% of Taxpayers So called “Pease Limitations” that reduce the value of itemized deductions are permanently repealed for most taxpayers but will be reinstituted for high income filers (individuals earning more than $250,000 and joint filers earning above $300,000). - Capital Gains Capital Gains rate stays at 15% for those in the top rate of $400,000 (individual) and $450,000 (joint) return. After that, any gains above those amounts will be taxed at 20%. The $250,000/$500,000 exclusion for sale of principal residence remains in place. - Estate Tax The first $5 million in individual estates and $10 million for family estates are now exempted from the estate tax. After that the rate will be 40%, up from 35%.


2013 January - February

Interest Rate on Security Deposits Currently, property owners are required to return a security deposit to a tenant with at least a 3% annual interest rate. MAR supports legislation that would require a security deposit to be returned to a tenant with a rate equal to the higher of a 1.5% flat rate or a rate comparable to the U.S. Treasury Daily Yield Curve Rate as measured by the first of the year.

Montgomery County

2012 Montgomery County Housing Policy The County Council is in the process of reviewing Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs’ recently drafted “2012 Housing Policy,” which recommends improvements to existing housing programs, as well as presents data and information on the status of housing in the County. The overall goals of the Policy are that the County will: • Preserve the existing regulated affordable housing stock and increase the number of affordable housing units;


For additional information or to submit comments, email

Maryland General Assembly

The General Assembly session began on January 9, 2013 and will go until April 8, 2013. Visit MAR’s legislative section at www.mdrealtor. org to learn about all the legislation that MAR’s Legislative Committee is reviewing, including a detailed overview of their 2013 priorities.

MAR 2013 Legislative Priorities

Budget and Transportation MAR opposes additional real estate taxes that would jeopardize housing recovery, as real estate is already taxed in several ways. MAR supports legislation that provides additional protection for the transportation trust fund. Growth and Rural Development Just in the last year, new septic system requirements, mandatory fire sprinklers, and Watershed Implementation Plan requirements will add thousands of dollars to the cost of many new homes. Additional regulations under consideration could add tens of thousands of additional dollars. MAR opposes additional costs on new construction.

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• Conserve and care for Montgomery County’s residential neighborhoods, while investing in quality communities; • Strive to prevent homelessness; and • Support the development of new housing, particularly in transit-oriented areas. Zoning Rewrite The Montgomery County Planning Board continues to work on modernizing and updating the zoning code. The Board is nearing the end of its review of their staff draft and will be undertaking an implementation review in the upcoming months. The Board’s goal is to transmit both the draft revision and the implementation recommendations to the County Council in May. View detailed information, including schedule, at development/zoning.

Montgomery County Legislation

For the most up to date information on Montgomery County legislation, visit the County’s website at where you can access videos of hearings and worksessions. Bill 41-12, Streets and Roads—Roadside Trees—Protections (Pending) Mainly would: require a permit for certain activities affecting roadside trees; require certain persons to pay into a roadside tree replacement

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fund under certain circumstances; and require the County Executive to adopt regulations specifying certain roadside tree protection, conservation, and replacement standards. Bill 37–12, Housing - Capital Improvements Program - Affordable Housing Assessment (Passed) Would require the Office of Management and Budget to submit an affordable housing assessment with certain capital projects proposed in the County Capital Improvements Program. Bill 35-12, Trees - Tree Canopy Conservation (Pending) Aims to: save, maintain and establish tree canopy; maximize tree canopy retention and establishment; establish procedures, standards and requirements to minimize the loss and disturbance of canopy as a result of development; provide for mitigation when canopy is lost or disturbed; and establish a fund for canopy conservation projects. Bill 31-12, Accessory Apartments—Licensing (Passed) Bill 31-12 compliments ZTA 12-11, which would allow some accessory apartments to be approved without a special exception (below). The Bill outlines a licensing procedure with notice provisions, specific standards and opportunities for objections or appeal. Expedited Bill 30-12, Taxation—Payments— Subdivision Staging Policy (Passed) Revises the procedure for setting and amending the rates for the transportation mitigation and school facilities payments authorized in the Subdivision Staging Policy. Zoning Text Amendment 12-18, Exemptions— Pre-1928 Resubdivisions (Pending) An amendment to provide an exemption from current zoning standards for pre-1928 property that resubdivide. Zoning Text Amendment 12-16, One Family Dwelling, Pre-1928 Lots (Pending) An amendment to allow the construction of a one-family dwelling located on any size lot recorded before 1928 and allow the reconstruction of any one-family dwelling located on any size lot recorded before 1928. Zoning Text Amendment 12-15, Guest House—Conditions (Passed) Adds conditions necessary for a guest house. Zoning Text Amendment 12-11, Accessory Apartments - Amendments (Passed) Would allow certain accessory apartments without a special exception. It would still require a special exception approval whenever all those circumstances are not present.

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Subdivision Regulation Amendment A 12-04, Minor Subdivisions—Ownership lots (Pending) An amendment to clarify the provisions for ownership lots in the minor subdivision process and generally amend the provisions for ownership lots. SRA 12-03, Minor Subdivisions—Part of a Lot (Pending) An amendment to authorize the approval and recordation of a plat for certain properties classified in a one family residential zone under the minor subdivision procedure under certain circumstances and generally amend the provisions for the application of the minor subdivision process.

DC Public Policy Update For additional information or to submit comments, email

District Issues DCAR Speaker Series The DCAR Speaker Series features top District government and agency officials addressing various issues of interest to the commercial real estate community. Attendees have the opportunity to not only hear specialized briefings from experts in their industries, but also the ability to ask questions and have candid discussions. The DCAR Speaker Series aims to bring together REALTORS® with the people that directly influence their livelihood. Stay tuned for information on upcoming Speaker Series events. DC Tax Revision Commission The DC Tax Revision Commission has been meeting since August of 2012 to prepare comprehensive recommendations to the Council and the Mayor regarding the District’s tax structure. One of the main issues they have been considering is DC’s regional competitiveness. They have reviewed a number of other jurisdictions, including our neighboring jurisdictions, and have preliminary found that while DC has a number of advantages such as steady employment rates, other issues such as high commercial tax rates still have a stifling effect on our economic growth. The Commission has also focused on regional and national fiscal trends, DC’s overall expenditure reports, and tax incentives. They

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will be reviewing individual taxes, including property taxes, more thoroughly in late spring/ early summer. DCAR plans on submitting input throughout the course of the Commission’s work. Additional information can be found at: Presidential Limousines Get ‘Taxation Without Representation’ Tags ‘Taxation Without Representation’ license plates were placed on all presidential limousines inauguration weekend, a long-awaited move by District leaders, DC Vote, ( and other voting rights activists.

After DC Vote began an online petition to the White House, the District Council passed a resolution calling on the White House to use the plates to raise visibility around DC’s lack of equal representation in Congress. This small, but important step demonstrates President Obama’s commitment to full representation for the people of the District of Columbia, and his willingness to fight for voting rights, Home Rule and budget autonomy.

District Legislation For the most up-to-date information on District legislation, including hearing dates, visit www. You can view a summary of real estate-related legislation from Council period 19 at REAL PROPERTY / HOMEOWNERS B20-22, Residential Real Property Tax Relief Act of 2013 (Pending) Lowers the cap on real property assessment increased from 10% to 5% and to abolish the requirement that residential real property be assessed at a minimum of 40% of the value of the home regardless of the cap. B20-23, Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Act of 2013 (Pending) Modifies property tax delinquency and sale procedures to provide a more equitable and transparent process; to expand pre-sale notice requirements; to reduce the number of tax sales resulting from homeowner receipt of incomplete data regarding delinquencies or from disputes regarding property classification; to permit homeowners to enter into installment agreements with the Office of Tax and Revenue to avoid tax

continued on page 16

2013 January - February


Public Policy, continued from page 15

sales; to expand post-sale notice to homeowners in order to minimize costs associated with redemption; and to provide equitable limitations on tax sale purchaser expenses that homeowners must pay in order to redeem their homes. B20-24, Major Real Property Assessment and Appeals Schedule and Revision Act of 2013 (Pending) Provides for extended assessment notice and first level appeal dates for large-valued real properties so that their final valuations may take into account the prior year’s income and expense information and thus result in increased accuracy; to provide for a list defining which real properties are required to file income and expense information with the Office of Tax and Revenue; and to provide that large-valued real property owners shall file income and expense information electronically when directed by the Office of Tax and Revenue. B20-26, “Long-time Homeowner Incentive and Economic Diversity Act of 2013” (Pending) Freezes the property tax for homeowners who have a household income of $125,000 or less, and have claimed the homestead deduction for at least 21 years. B20-27, “Homestead Deduction Equity Act of 2013” (Pending) Defers for one year any delinquent real property tax owed as a result of an erroneous or improper homestead deduction, which the Mayor, in the Mayor’s discretion, determines was made in good faith, and to apply retroactively the 50% homestead deduction in computing real property tax owed by homeowners to the first day of the tax year regardless of the date on which the eligible property owner applied; provided that the applicant was otherwise eligible for the deduction during the first half of the tax year. B20-31, District of Columbia Fire and Casualty Amendment Act of 2013 (Pending) Requires homeowners insurance companies to clearly state that homeowner’s insurance does not cover all risks and to list the additional optional coverage available to the homeowner; to require the homeowners insurance company to notify applicants that homeowner’s insurance does not cover losses from flood and to explain how flood insurance may be obtained. CAMPAIGN FINANCE B20-25, Campaign Finance Reform Amendment Act of 2013 (Pending) Prohibits contributions of $25 or more in the form of a money order and to ban contributions made by limited liability companies to a candidate or a political, exploratory, inaugural, transition, or legal defense committee. B20-28, Money Order Tiered Contribution Limit Amendment Act of 2013 (Pending) Limits campaign contributions in the form of a money order.


2013 January - February

B20-37, Campaign Finance Reform, Transparency and Accountability Amendment Act of 2013 (Pending) Closes the corporate and limited liability company bundling loopholes, to stop pay-toplay by prohibiting contractors and grantees that do business with the District government from making political contributions to the very people that decide and approve government contracts, and to add a simple disclosure requirement associated with a corporate political contribution to list the name and address of a person with a 51 percent or greater ownership interest. B20-43, Money Order Contribution Limit Amendment Act of 2013 (Pending) Prohibits money order contributions in excess of $100. B20-44, Consecutive Term Limit Amendment Act of 2013 (Pending) Establishs term limits on the elected office of the Mayor, the Chairman, the Council, the Board of Education, and the Attorney General to no more than two consecutive 4-year terms. BUSINESS / EMPLOYMENT B20-30, Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center and Dispensary Location Restriction Amendment Act of 2013 (Pending) Limits the number of medical marijuana cultivation centers and dispensaries that may locate in an election ward in the District of Columbia. B20-33, Electronic Communications Privacy Protection Act of 2013 (Pending) Requires that District law enforcement officers obtain a warrant issued by a judge from the Superior Court of DC authorizing the disclosure before requesting that an electronic communications provider disclose the contents of a District residents’ personal electrical communications. B20-36, Temporary and Small Business Entrepreneurship Amendment Act of 2013 (Pending) Requires the creation of a temporary business license, to establish a temporary certificate of occupancy and require the Mayor to develop an expedited approval process for obtaining a temporary certificate of occupancy, to establish that a property that is occupied by a temporary use for at least 60 days per 6-month property tax period shall not be classified as vacant property, and to require the Mayor to establish a public, central database of government-owned property available for temporary commercial activity. B20-62, Large Retailer Accountability Act of 2013 (Pending) Establishes standards for responsible business practices by large retailers by ensuring that they pay living wages and provide benefits.

Serving the Business Needs of OUR Professionals

B20-65, Equal Access to Employment for all Act of 2013 (Pending) Prohibits the use of consumer credit checks against prospective and current employees for the purpose of making adverse employment decisions. RENTALS B20-52, Rent Control Voluntary Agreement Procedure Amendment Act of 2013 (Pending) Ensures that any affected tenant has the opportunity to be heard before the approval or disapproval of a voluntary agreement to raise the rents in a rent-controlled accommodation; to ensure that the Rent Administrator has the opportunity to present grounds for disapproval of a voluntary agreement at a proceeding before the Office of Administrative Hearings; to eliminate automatic approval in the event that the voluntary agreement specifies rent increase for all units in the accommodation by a certain percentage; and to prohibit passive approval in the event that the Rent Administrator fails to approve or disapprove the voluntary agreement within a certain time period. B20-58, Tenant Bill of Rights Act of 2013 (Pending) Requires the Chief Tenant Advocate to produce a Tenant Bill of Rights; to require all leases for residential rental units to be accompanied by the Tenant Bill of Rights; and to set forth civil penalties for failure by landlords to provide the Tenant Bill of Rights to tenants at the time that the least is first presented. B20-74, Residential Omnibus Amendment Act of 2013 (Pending) Clarifies that a housing provider is prohibited from circumventing the rent control law by imposing on the tenant any mandatory fee for services or facilities except as included in the maximum rent charged; to extend for twelve months the TOPA rights of any tenant who has timely vacated a rental unit pursuant to a notice to vacate for the owner’s personal use and occupancy; and to define “reasonable notice” and “reasonable time” as these terms pertain to landlord entry into tenant’s units; and to amend the Housing Title of the D.C. Municipal Regulations to ensure that any lease requirement regarding the tenant’s notice of an intent to vacate is clear and conforms with existing law; to prohibit a housing provider from unreasonably withholding consent where the lease permits or does not prohibit subletting or lease assignment; and to provide tenants with damages when a landlord places or causes to be placed a prohibited provision in a lease in bad faith. Bill 20-77, Rental Housing Consumer Protection Act of 2013 Permits a tenant to bring a claim against a housing provider under the District Consumer Protection Procedures Act, and to limit that right to claims that cannot be brought under the Rental Housing Act.

Capital Area REALTOR®

Need a Service? GCAAR Affiliate Members Can Help You! 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 (Resources>Find An Affiliate). If there are any updates to this list, please send them to

Business Name


Anne M. Powell Appraisals eAppraisal Group Foremost Appraisals & Realty J Hansen Appraisal Assc LLC James Blaine Miller Jr. Roxann Novel Appraiser Rippeteau Architects PC Aaron Lee Stein Attorney Andrew FitzGerald Atty at Law Bregman Berbert Schwartz Gilday LLC Bromberg Rosenthal LLP Finkelstein & Horvitz PC Grant, Riffkin & Strauss PC Greenstein DeLorme & Luchs PC Greenstein DeLorme & Luchs PC Greenstein DeLorme & Luchs PC Hal J. Epstein Attorney Harry B. Sewell Jr. Chartered Jackson & Campbell PC John F. Wolf Jr. Attorney Joseph Greenwald & Laake PA Kass Mitek & Kass PLLC Kayton & Kotz LLC KVS Law Lasso & Lasso PC Law Office of Arthur Konopka Law Office of Mark A. Bayer Law Office of Robert McCarthy Law Offices of David P. Modell Law Offices of Quinn O'Connell Jr. Miles & Stockbridge PC Moses & Aiken, LLC/Home Team Title Paley Rothman Paley Rothman Goldstein Rosenberg Eig & Cooper Richard W. Lawlor PA Samuelson Law Offices LLC Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy Stephens & Associates PC Ward & Klein Chartered Ward & Klein Chartered Capital Area REALTORS® FCU Capital Area REALTORS® FCU Alban Home Inspection Services Inc. Building Inspector of America Building Specs

Anne Powell Mary Garner Bremerman Folusho Bello John Hansen James Miller Jr. Roxann Novel Darrel Rippeteau Aaron Stein Andrew FitzGerald Wendy Pullano Jonathan Bromberg Nathan Finkelstein Philip Raskin Abraham Greenstein Richard Luchs Vincent Mark Policy, Esq. Hal Epstein Harry Sewell Jr. Roy Kaufmann John Wolf Jr. Harvey Jacobs Benny Kass Daniel Kotz Marty Stanton Ricardo Lasso Arthur Konopka Mark Bayer Robert McCarthy David Modell Quinn O'Connell Jr. Stephen Orens Robert Moses Diane Fox Linda Schwartz Richard Lawlor Kenneth Samuelson Matthew Alegi Douglas Hirsch Marc Lipman Spencer Stephens Thomas Gibbons Richard Ross Nancy Hammann Anthony Launi Virginia Sulcer Vimal Kapoor Gary Anderson

Phone 410-721-7505 301-570-6114 301-925-7414 301-464-2878 301-933-9881 800-232-7196 202-387-7123 301-948-2383 301-933-6550 301-656-2707 301-251-6200 301-951-8400 301-258-1033 202-452-1400 202-452-1400 202-452-1400 301-681-3833 301-949-4656 202-457-6710 301-951-0940 240-399-7891 202-659-6500 301-770-4107 301-605-1420 202-537-0343 202-686-0600 202-466-4747 301-654-3730 301-634-9820 202-537-1820 301-762-1600 301-468-0080 301-951-9336 301-656-7603 301-340-2400 202-494-0848 301-230-5200 301-230-5200 301-230-5200 301-294-7081 240-243-7200 240-243-7200 240-314-0734 240-314-0734 301-639-4738 301-916-0300 301-855-3337





Credit Unions Home Inspection Companies

For more information, or to become an affiliate, visit

Capital Area Realtor®

Serving the Business Needs of OUR Professionals

2013 January - February


Need a Service? GCAAR Affiliate Members Can Help You! continued from page 17

Business Name Mid-Atlantic Inspection Srvcs Top to Bottom Services Home Staging by Vivian LLC Duffy Insurance Group LLC Duffy Insurance Group LLC Duffy Insurance Group LLC Klinger & Associates Inc. 1st Portfolio Lending BB & T Mortgage BB & T Mortgage Embrace Home Loans First Home Mortgage Corporation Fitzgerald Financial Fitzgerald Financial Fitzgerald Financial Sandy Spring Bank Sandy Spring Bank Sandy Spring Bank SunTrust Mortgage SunTrust Mortgage SunTrust Mortgage Suntrust Mortgage Inc Susquehanna Bank Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Wells Fargo Mortgage Capitol Termite & Pest Control Capitol Termite & Pest Control Columbia Property Management Long & Foster Real Estate Inc MW Realty TTR Sotheby’s International Realty Capitol Title Insurance Agency Capitol Title Insurance Agency Avenue Title Group Clarke Title LLC Classic Settlements Classic Settlements Classic Settlements Closeline Settlements LLC



Alan Beal 202-403-7700 Daniel Deist 301-938-9100 Vivian Gilbert 301-802-5166 Diane Duffy 301-384-5000 Mike Duffy 301-384-5000 Sarah Vargas 301-384-5000 Robert Klinger 301-428-4935 Kevin Dunn 703-564-9100 Patricia Widerman 301-590-2382 Mark Woolson 301-644-6420 William Rozek 301-354-8279 Jacob Ryan 301-220-0999 Daniel Fitzgerald 301-251-0080 Matthew Sines 301-251-0080 L. William Woods Jr. 301-251-0080 Jeffrey Nelson 301-617-4233 Guy Silas 301-617-4233 Kenneth Storck 301-617-4233 Patrick Casey 301-517-5401 Janet Demas 301-517-5401 Skeeter Worthy 301-517-5401 Sean O'Boyle 301-961-0905 Russell Rothstein 301-984-3600 Charles Vance 202-216-5704 Deborah Benkert 301-984-1880 Julio Gonzalez 301-657-4480 Stanley Robinson 301-657-4480 Scott Bloom 888-857-6594 Marvin Kotz 240-497-1700 Richard Sternberg 301-762-0900 Marcus Jaffe 202-333-1212 For more information, or to become an affiliate, visit Sara Demb Goldstein 301-231-7250 Stanley Goldstein 301-231-7250 David Helfrich 202-296-4500 Henry Clarke Jr. 301-840-8988 Lisa Bosse 301-921-2667 Joe Detrick 301-921-2667 Mary Papagjika 301-921-2667 Elliot Liss 301-622-6000

Type Home Inspection Companies (con’t) Home Staging Companies Insurance Companies

Mortgage Companies

Pest Control Companies Property Management Companies Referral Specialists Title Insurance Companies

Title/Settlement Companies

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ win $250! $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ Step 1: find a GOLD STAR STICKER in this issue of CAR*

STEP 2: Call Debbie Bell at 301.590.8771

Step 3: Collect your $250!

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


2013 January - February

Serving the Business Needs of OUR Professionals

Capital Area REALTOR®

Need a Service? GCAAR Affiliate Members Can Help You! Business Name Confidence Title & Escrow Counselors Title LLC Counselors Title LLC Counselors Title LLC Counselors Title LLC Counselors Title LLC Counselors Title LLC Counselors Title LLC Counselors Title LLC Counselors Title LLC District Title A Corp District Title A Corp District Title A Corp District Title A Corp District Title A Corp District Title A Corp Federal Title & Escrow Co. Flynn Title GPN Title Inc. Heritage Title & Escrow Main Street Settlements Inc MBH Settlement Group LLC Michaels Title & Escow LLC Monarch Title Inc. Monarch Title Inc. Monarch Title Inc. North American Title Co. Olde Key Title Olde Key Title Olde Key Title Palisades Title Company Paragon Title & Escrow Co Paragon Title & Escrow Co Peak Settlements LLC Pinnacle Title & Escrow Inc. Pinnacle Title & Escrow Inc. RGS Title RGS Title/Traditional Title Sage Title Group LLC Sage Title Group LLC Sage Title Group LLC Settlementcorp Siegel & Associates Stewart Title Group Village Settlements Inc. Village Settlements Inc. Village Settlements Inc. Village Settlements Inc. Village Settlements Inc. Village Settlements Inc. Zip Car Inc.

Contact Vittorio Muzzatti Briana Ayala Danny Cantwell Christopher Darby James Griffin Thomas Muldoon Timothy Mullin John Nalls Michael Ridgway Colleen Smyth Cogan Thomas Broullire Jeff Darrah Brendon Sheperd Marc Sushner Steven Sushner Scott Sweitzer Todd Ewing Gregory Flynn George Glekas Stephen Ballard John Ferguson Jill Messier Jill Pogach Michaels Katherine Brewer Ann Johnston Patrick Tangney Janelle Gaughan Lynn Caudle Boynton Grace Garrett Caryn Wetmore Steven Buckman Randy Rothstein Jason Sherman Adam Polsky Marie Daugherty Ilene Kanfer Joseph Hansen Anthony DeVol Bobby Lee Carrie Anne Messina Judith Nixon David Deckelbaum P. Joy Siegel R. Bradley Runyan Leslie Childs Suzanne Feinstein Esq. Michael Hollman Lisa Lamphier James Savitz Karen Thomas Fiona Teng

Phone 301-740-1880 301-670-0100 301-670-0100 202-686-0100 202-686-0100 202-686-0100 202-686-0100 202-686-0100 301-652-6615 301-670-0100 202-518-9300 202-518-9300 202-518-9300 202-518-9300 202-518-9300 202-518-9300 202-362-1500 301-545-0150 301-294-4055 202-265-0535 301-570-3600 703-277-6800 240-425-0008 202-546-3100 703-852-1764 202-298-6270 202-237-8222 301-294-3333 301-294-3333 301-294-3333 202-351-6100 301-986-1114 301-986-1114 301-528-1111 301-424-5400 301-762-6757 301-230-0070 301-654-9800 301-654-2560 301-654-2560 301-670-2812 202-537-0005 301-907-8808 202-349-0220 301-590-9300 301-590-9300 301-590-9300 301-590-9300 301-590-9300 301-590-9300 202-737-4900


Title/Settlement Companies (con’t)

Transportation Services

For more information, or to become an affiliate, visit

Capital Area Realtor®

Serving the Business Needs of OUR Professionals

2013 January - February



All Books* 50% off, while supplies last. (*excluding VA Prep Exam, MD and/or VA Practice & Law, Guide to Passing Pearson Vue and/or PSI, guest registries, and Homeowner Book of Records.)


GCAAR has a limited number of 2013 Boss Real Estate Planners left. Visit any of our three locations (Rockville, Silver Spring, or DC) to purchase one today.


Are you looking for discounts on prescription medication? NAR now provides REALTOR® members with a free Pharmacy program designed to help lower costs of prescription medications. This benefit is provided by SASID. For more information, please call 1.877.267.3752 or visit: NAR now provides REALTOR® members special pricing on real estate errors & omissions insurance. For more information, please contact the Victor O. Schinnerer Company at: 888-429-6638 or via email at:


* Limit the amount of personal information you share with the Client. Concentrate on your professional proficiency rather than personal information in newspapers, business cards, social media, etc. * Never leave your valuables (cell phone, purse, laptop, tablet, navigations system, etc.) visible in your car or hide your valuables while at your destination. Place your valuables in the glove compartment or the trunk prior to arriving at your destination or meeting your client. *

Remind homeowners to put valuables in a safe and secure place.


When showing a property, make sure you tell someone where you are going, who you are going with, and what time you will be done with your appointment.

* Consider making your contact phone number hard to trace. Rather than use a personal cell phone or home phone number, which can be typed into a website to find your home address, consider using a toll free number. Calls can be forwarded to a cell phone, cannot be traced, and the client will appreciate that the call is free.

What is RPAC? It’s your ‘Political E&O Insurance’ Since 1969, the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) has promoted the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates across the United States. The purpose of RPAC is to raise and spend money to elect candidates who understand and support REALTOR® and homeowner interests. The money to accomplish this comes from voluntary contributions made by REALTORS®. These are not members’ dues; this is money given freely by REALTORS® in recognition of how important campaign fundraising is to the political process. RPAC doesn’t buy votes. RPAC enables REALTORS® to support candidates that support the issues that are important to their profession and livelihood. It provides you your “seat at the table” for the discussion of the important issues that confront home ownership. The amount of money RPAC spends to support candidates makes it one of the top trade association PACs in the nation. REALTORS® are a key part of the American Dream: home ownership. But now, more than ever, REALTORS® are facing forces from many directions that threaten their profession. Property tax burdens, lack of available financing and difficulties in short sales transactions are only a few of the issues that somewhere, every day, REALTORS® confront when selling a home. RPAC allows REALTORS® to make sure their concerns about these issues are heard and understood by public officials. Please make your investment today! For additional information please contact Katie Maclure at Printed by permission from the National Association of REALTORS®


2013 January - February

Thank You 2013 RPAC Investors!

Golden “R” Bonnie Casper Carole Maclure Dale Ross

Crystal “R” Fred Kendrick

Sterling “R” Koki Adasi Briana Ayala James Coley, Jr. Thomas Daley Suzanne Des Marais Brandon Green Harold Huggins Adrian Hunnings Ellen Katz Tim Knobloch Alana Lasover Peg Mancuso Michael McGreevy Bo Menkiti Michael Moran Frank Pietranton, Jr. Randy Rothstein Brenda Small Frank Snodgrass Holly Worthington

Capital Club

Wendy Banner David Bediz Elizabeth Blakeslee Jan Brito Anita Centofanti Lori Connor Joe Detrick Anthony DeVol Melinda Estridge Gregory Ford Jeffrey Ganz Andrea Gaus Sally Hamidi Mynor Herrera

Bill Highsmith, Jr. Colin Johnson Ann Johnston Angela Jones Elley Kott Kymber Lovett-Menkiti Santhy Mallios Vittorio Muzzatti Bonnie Roberts-Burke P. Joy Siegel Martin Signore Josette Skilling Jennifer Smira Kirsten Williams

As of Feb. 4, 2013

Serving the Business Needs of OUR Professionals

Capital Area REALTOR®

March-April Education & Event Schedule Unless otherwise noted, all classes listed will be held at the GCAAR Conference Center, 8757 Georgia Ave., Suite 600, Silver Spring, MD. Please check our website at for more updates and additions. This schedule is subject to change. March 1, 2013 What Is RPR and How Can It Help Your Business CEU: No CEUs Instructor: William Singleton Time: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. March 1, 2013 What Is RPR and How Can It Help Your Business CEU: No CEUs Instructor: William Singleton Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. * GCAAR Rockville Board Room March 6, 2013 DC Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) Instructor: Counselors Title Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. March 6, 2013 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) Instructor: Counselors Title Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. March 8, 2013 Working with Investors CEU: 1.5 hours MD (elective) Instructor: Lisa Williams Time: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. * GCAAR Rockville Board Room March 8, 2013 Reverse Mortgages CEU: 1.5 hours MD & DC (elective) Instructor: Eric Rittmeyer Time: 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. * GCAAR Rockville Board Room March 13, 2013 Broker Manager Forum: How to Keep Agents Out of Your Office and You Out of Court CEU: No CEUs Instructor: Gary Hardy Time: 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. March 13, 2013 Maryland Fair Housing CEU: 1.5 hours MD (Required) & DC (elective) Instructor: Chris Erichsen Time: 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. March 14, 2013 Short Sales CEU: 3 hours DC, MD & VA (Elective) credit Instructor: Jill Pogach Michaels, Esq. Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. * GCAAR Rockville /MRIS

Capital Area Realtor®

March 14, 2013 MREC - Broker Supervision CEU: 3 hours MD (required) & 3 hours DC (Elective) Instructor: Chuck Kasky, Esq. Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. * GCAAR Rockville/MRIS March 15, 2013 New Member Orientation CEU: No CEUs Instructor: Jill Pogach Michaels, Esq. Time: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. March 15, 2013 Maryland Code of Ethics & Predatory Lending CEU: 3 hours MD (required) & 3 hours DC (elective) Instructor: Jill Pogach Michaels, Esq. Time: 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. March 20, 2013 Maryland Legal & Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours MD (Required) & 3 hours DC (elective) Instructor: Al Monshower, Esq. Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. March 20, 2013 MREC Agency - Residential CEU: 3 hours MD (required) & 3 hours DC (elective) Instructor: Al Monshower, Esq. Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. March 21, 2013 Financing Issues/Update CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) & 3 hours VA (elective) Instructor: Michael Chelst Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. April 3, 2013 Environmental Issues CEU: 3 hours MD & DC (elective) Instructor: Vimal Kapoor Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Mold & Its Impact on Real Estate CEU: 3 hours MD & DC (elective) Instructor: Vimal Kapoor Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. April 4, 2013 DC Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) Instructor: Prabhjit Singh Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Serving the Business Needs of OUR Professionals

April 4, 2013 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) Instructor: Prabhjit Singh Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. April 5, 2013 What is RPR and How Can It Help Your Business CEU: No CEUs Instructor: William Singleton Time: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. April 5, 2013 What is RPR and How Can It Help Your Business CEU: No CEUs Instructor: William Singleton Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. * GCAAR Rockville Board Room April 10, 2013 Representing the Seller CEU: 3 hours MD (elective) Instructor: Thomas Brockett Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. April 10, 2013 Maryland Fair Housing CEU: 1.5 hours MD (required) & 1.5 hours DC (elective) Instructor: Lisa Bosse Time: 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. * GCAAR Rockville/MRIS April 11, 2013 Short Sales CEU: 3 hours DC, MD & VA (elective) Instructor: David Pryal Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. April 11, 2013 Foreclosures CEU: 3 hours DC, MD & VA (elective) Instructor: David Pryal Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. April 12, 2013 New Member Orientation CEU: No CEUs Instructor: Jill Pogach Michaels, Esq. Time: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. April 12, 2013 Maryland Code of Ethics & Predatory Lending CEU: 3 hours MD (required) & DC (elective) Instructor: Jill Pogach Michaels, Esq. Time: 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.

2013 January - February


Legal Hotline By Chris Darby, Tom Muldoon and John Nalls of Counselors Title, LLC, and Pardo & Drazin, LLC, General Counsel Below are some questions answered on the GCAAR and DCAR Legal Hotlines. The answers provided here are the opinions of the authors, are for informational purposes, and are only for GCAAR members. Neither Counselors Title, LLC, nor Pardo & Drazin, LLC is providing legal advice, but rather providing a general statement of law. No lawyer/client relationship is - or will be - established as a result of the material which follows. Readers are encouraged to retain their own counsel for their specific questions. Answers may have been edited for formatting purposes. Question: My client has a tenant who entered into a 1-year lease in Montgomery County which expires next month. Tenant claims they are entitled to a two (2)-year lease under County law. Is this true? What can he do if they do not leave? Answer: Under Section 29-28(c) of the Montgomery County Code, a landlord must offer each lease for an initial term of 2 years unless the landlord has reasonable cause to offer a different initial term. However, nothing in the law precludes a landlord from negotiating a lease for a term longer or shorter than 2 years after the prospective tenant has been offered and rejected a 2- year lease term. Therefore, as long as the tenant was originally offered a 2-year lease and did not ask for 2 years, they cannot now come back and demand an additional year. If the tenant refuses to vacate the property after the lease term has expired, the landlord may file a Complaint and Summons Against Tenant Holding Over in the District Court of Maryland for Montgomery County. Question: What is the “written word” on what a month-to-month tenant’s responsibility is to vacate when the new owner wishes to occupy. Answer: District of Columbia law is very specific on the manner and proper occasion for evictions. In short, after the expiration of the term of a lease, a tenant becomes a month-to- month tenant and a landlord does not have the right to physically evict a tenant. Moreover, the tenant must be provided with Notice of the reason for eviction grounds; said reasons are limited and include only (see DC Code § 42-3505.01): 1. failure to pay rent; 2. violation of lease;

National Association of REALTORS® 2013 Code of Ethics Update This year, the National Association of REALTORS® marks another milestone – The Code of Ethics turns 100! The Code of Ethics was developed when a group of real estate visionaries realized the need to bring a level of professionalism and business integrity to an industry where none existed before. The desire to serve the public in an honorable and competent fashion led to the creation of the Rules of Conduct, which was a first from a business group, and then the adoption of the Code of Ethics on July 29, 1913. Visit the NAR website ( to view articles and videos about this living document which continues to provide guidance in ethical standards for REALTORS® since 1913. 2013 Code of Ethics Update There is one update to the 2013 Code of Ethics – Article 12, Standards of Practice 12 – 10


2013 January - February

3. illegal act; 4. landlord or owner’s personal use (including contract purchaser); 5 substantial rehabilitation, alteration, renovation, demolition (with offer back to tenant to reoccupy after completion); 6. discontinuance of use as an accommodation; and 7. conversion of the property to a cooperative or condominium. These grounds all require specific forms of Notices and timeframes (and conditions) there for. It is prudent to consult and attorney and/or the District Housing Regulation Administration (HRA) for specific questions (202-442-9505). Question: What would be the most direct route the seller and/or new buyer could use to have the tenant vacate? Answer: Probably the most common grounds for eviction in the resale situation is for immediate personal use by the owner. This can happen by either by the landlord (or authorized agent thereof) and contract purchaser providing the tenant with Notice that landlord has “in good faith contracted in writing to sell” the property and the purchaser will occupy the property personal use or waiting until after closing for the new owner to then provide the tenant with Notice to Quit for personal use and occupancy. In either case, the Notice is a 90 day notice to vacate and requires that the tenant be afforded their TOPA rights (offer and sale and right of first refusal – see GCCAR Form #1314 & 1316 and Department of Housing and Community Development Rental Accommodation Forms).

Article 12 REALTORS® shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations. REALTORS® shall ensure that their status as real estate professionals is readily apparent in their advertising, marketing, and other representations, and that the recipients of all real estate communications are, or have been, notified that those communications are from a real estate professional. (Amended 1/08) Standard of Practice 12-10 REALTORS® obligation to present a true picture in their advertising and representations to the public includes Internet content posted, and the URLs and domain names they use, and prohibits REALTORS® from: 1) engaging in deceptive or unauthorized framing of real estate brokerage websites; 2) manipulating (e.g., presenting content developed by others) listing and other content in any way that produces a deceptive or misleading result; 3) deceptively using metatags, keywords or other devices/methods to direct, drive, or divert Internet traffic; or 4) presenting content developed by others without either attribution or without permission, or 5) to otherwise mislead consumers. (Adopted 1/07, Amended 1/13) For questions, contact Yvette Robinson, Professional Standards Manager, at

Serving the Business Needs of OUR Professionals

Capital Area REALTOR®

Quiz Test Your Knowledge of Global Real Estate 1. According to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA), what percentage of the sale price must the buyer (or withholding agent) withhold and forward to the IRS within 20 days after the transaction closing of a U.S. property when purchased from a foreign seller? a. 5% b. 10% c. 15% d. 20% 2. For many Chinese, Japanese and Korean buyers, feng-shui will impact real estate decisions. If your clients practice feng-shui, which of these should you avoid? a. Homes with glass front doors b. Front doors that are aligned with back doors c. Clutter in any form d. Sharp corners e. None of the above f. All of the above 3. Which of these countries is the ONLY one that uses the metric system of measurement? a. Canada b. United States c. Liberia d. Burma/Myanmar 4, When you are entertaining Indian guests, which hand should you eat with? (The other is viewed as unclean.)

a. b. c. d.

Right hand Left hand You can eat with either hand; neither is viewed as unclean. You should never eat with your hands

5. True or False: A “notario” in South America is the same as a “notary” in the United States. 6. When working with Japanese clients, “We’ll consider it” often means a. Yes b. No 7. In many countries, foreigners are not allowed to own land, while other countries have restrictions. Which of the following statements is true? a. In Thailand, foreigners cannot own land or single-family homes, but can purchase condos in buildings that have 49 percent or less foreign ownership. b. Bulgaria and Poland allow foreigners to buy condos, but they cannot own the land under the condo. c. In Denmark, you must live in the country for five years before you can purchase property. d. All of the above

purple, as these colors are associated with funerals.

9. What is “gazumping”? a. A form of greeting in African countries b. When a seller accepts a higher offer from another buyer after accepting an oral offer from the first potential buyer c. When an unlicensed real estate agent sells a house that was initially listed with a licensed agent d. None of the above. That’s not a word. 10. True or False: In many Asian cultures, numerology can influence real estate business decisions. Numbers are considered lucky and unlucky. An address such as “44 Main Street” is considered inauspicious as the number 4 signifies death. However, an address of “88 Main Street” would be highly desirable, as the number 8 signifies growth and prosperity.


1. 10% 2. All of the above 3. Canada 4. Right hand 5. False 6. No 7. All of the above 8. True 9. B 10. True

8. True or False: When giving gifts to Brazilians, avoid gifts that are black or

GCAAR Cares Spotlight GCAAR REALTORS® Giving Back to the Community Eliminating Hunger with KINDness Montgomery County native, Jeremy Lichtenstein, has been a real estate agent for over 25 years, and is currently working as an individual agent with RE/MAX in Bethesda, MD. Jeremy has always been passionate about eliminating hunger, and regularly donated to organizations focused on relieving hunger, before he decided to start his own nonprofit, KIND (Kids In Need Distributors). KIND is dedicated to providing the basic needs of children, when they need them most. “Most Montgomery County residents are unaware that 44,000 Montgomery County students are part of the Free and Reduced Meal Program in school. . . our vision is to create a nourishing environment for all of Montgomery County’s children.” Jeremy Lichtenstein. KIND is currently feeding hundreds of children in eight different elementary schools. Every weekend, children are sent home with nutritious foods and essential hygiene items that would not otherwise be available to them. For more information about partnering with, sponsoring, or donating to KIND, contact Jeremy Lichtenstein at 301.347.4121 or

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Jeremy unloads food for distribution

2013 January - February



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