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Capital Area Realtor


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

March - April 2013

USPS: 017-467

Volume 19, Number 2

GCAAR REALTORS® Make it Work in the Low Inventory Market You’ve seen the news articles, heard the reports, and more importantly, you’re living it every day. The housing market is coming back with a vengeance – especially in the DC metro area. With the low inventory and demand from buyers for properties, what are GCAAR REALTORS® seeing and what are they doing to get the listings? By Bobette Banks

Inventory shortage

There are several reasons for the shortage in available properties. George Mason University economist Lisa Sturtevant said on the March 26 edition of WAMU Radio’s Kojo Nnamdi Show that several factors are contributing to the housing shortage, among them: people whose homes are underwater, the sequester situation in the federal government, and people simply waiting for the market to turn around. GCAAR Immediate Past President Bonnie Casper, who joined Sturtevant on the radio program, stated additional reasons for the shortage, including lifestyle changes – baby boomers want to downsize and move to transit-oriented heavy areas, but their kids also want to move to these areas, so parents are competing with them for properties. Also, people are looking for the “walkability factor,” which makes certain areas more popular than others.

View from the street

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

Peg Mancuso, a board member and 30-year agent with W.C. & A.N. Miller REALTORS®, a Long & Foster Company, describes what she’s observing. “As far as what I’ve seen, even the $800k-$1M is moving very quickly due to low inventory. Agents and I’ve even heard of buyers walking neighborhoods seeing if people are interested in selling. The higher end is moving much more slowly (above $1M), but is generating a lot of activity as far as showings are concerned.

To this point I’ve seen no evidence of the bearing of sequestration furloughs and, obviously, rates continue to be extremely low, making loans affordable. We’ve personally written 5 or 6 offers with escalations clauses that didn’t win. The other thing we’re seeing is buyers coming in all cash and doing pre-inspections so as to be able to remove as many contingencies from contracts as possible.” Darrin Davis, Principal Broker and Owner with Anacostia River Realty, says he’s also seeing competition in the more popular areas east of the river. “The inventory in Anacostia is probably at 2005- 2007 lows. We are receiving a lot of calls from both investors and owner occupants about purchasing in Historic Anacostia, but at this time only four properties are on the market. Owners realize that the inventory is low and are overpricing these homes. The highest listed property is now $400,000. I am urging my clients to consider other areas outside of the Historic District, like Barry Farms, Randle and Marshall Heights, and Deanwood.” Danai Mattison, an agent with Long & Foster, and part of NAR’s 30 Under 30 Class for 2013, says that back to basics is the order of the day for her. “I’m sending out prospecting letters, following up with past clients, and looking for move-up buyers,” she says, “but I’m also on the hunt for properties that have not yet been listed, and going through tax records to see what opportunities may be available.” continued on page 7

April is Fair Housing Month

April 2013 marks the 45th anniversary of the 1968 landmark Fair Housing Act. Each year REALTORS® recognize the significance of this event and reconfirm their commitment to upholding fair housing law as well as their commitment to offering equal professional service to all in their search for real property.

As a REALTOR®, I agree to: • Provide equal professional service without regard to the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin or sexual orientation of any prospective client, customer, or of the residents of any community. • Keep informed about fair housing law and practices, improving my clients’ and customers’ opportunities and my business.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Association 3 Ask the 4 GCAAR in the 4 Board 4 International 5 NAR Director’s 6

• • • • •

Develop advertising that indicates that everyone is welcome and no one is excluded; expanding my client’s and customer’s opportunities to see, buy, or lease property. Inform my clients and customers about their rights and responsibilities under the fair housing laws by providing brochures and other information. Document my efforts to provide professional service, which will assist me in becoming a more responsive and successful REALTOR®. Refuse to tolerate non-compliance. Learn about those who are different from me, and celebrate those differences. Take a positive approach to fair housing practices and aspire to follow the spirit as well as the letter of the law. Develop and implement fair housing practices for my firm to carry out the spirit of this declaration.

NAR Midyear 6 7 Meet Your GCAAR Staff & Committees ����������������page 8 Green 8 9 MC & DC Market 10 Public 14 Annual 16

MC Affordable Housing Summit ��������������������������page 16 Broker/Manager 17 GCAAR Cares 17 Education 19 Membership 20 20 Legal 21 22

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2013 March - April

Serving the Business Needs of OUR Professionals

Capital Area REALTOR®

Association News 2013 Board of Directors

GCAAR’s Smart Growth Magazine Features Montgomery County

President Michael McGreevy

Make sure you read the new Smart Growth magazine created by GCAAR with a grant from the National Association of REALTORS®. The magazine features some of the most significant areas of growth in Montgomery County today, along with zoning guidelines and plans for future mass transportation.

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

Areas featured include: White Flint, the Great Seneca Science Corridor, and Bethesda. GCAAR is taking a leading role in advocating for funding and support of new development that will increase the County’s tax base as well as effective transit plans to support these developments.

Treasurer Tim Knobloch

You can order copies of the magazine by calling GCAAR at (301) 590-2000, or you can view it online at:>News/Legislative>Publications.

Immediate Past President Bonnie Casper

Chief Executive Officer Michael Moran


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

The Ideal Location for Your Business Meetings GCAAR Conference Center 8757 Georgia Avenue, 6th floor Silver Spring, MD GCAAR offers conveniently located rental space for your next office meeting, full-day retreat, board meeting, or training session. GCAAR’s location has plenty of parking and an experienced facility staff who knows how to meet your business needs. With a variety of room options, GCAAR facilities can accommodate groups from as few as four to as many as 100 participants. We have audio-visual equipment, including: projection screens, podiums, and amplification, an LCD projector, Internet access and more. Centrally located for companies throughout Montgomery County and the District of Columbia, GCAAR is a short walk from Silver Spring Metro stop and convenient to downtown Silver Spring, dozens of restaurants, and other amenities.


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.

GCAAR Training Room Rental Rates*

Half Day up to 4 hrs $300/400

Executive Space

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®.

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®

Capacity Classroom Style 72 * Members/Non-members price

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® 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

Full Day up to 8 hrs $600/700

The GCAAR headquarters location offers smaller spaces ideal for transaction closings, business meetings, and training sessions. In addition to the training room, this facility features an executive boardroom and one small conference room.

Executive Space Rental Rates* Executive Board Room Small Conference Room

Half Day Up to 4 hrs $150/250 $100/200

Full Day up to 8 hrs $300/400 $200/300

Capacity Classroom Style 20 6 * Members/Non-members price

To request further information or to book a room, please contact or call 301-590-2000.

Serving the Business Needs of OUR Professionals

2013 March - April


Ask the President Michael McGreevy 2013 GCAAR President

Q. In this market of low inventory and multiple offers, I was wondering if GCAAR has a policy on how to handle multiple-offer situations. I’ve had buyers lose their offer in a bidding war for a property and felt like my buyers offer was never truly presented. What can I do to make sure an offer is presented and is not being shopped to better another offer? Michael, I could really use some help… any suggestions? A. Your question strikes a few chords with me. The first is the need to clarify, as I often find myself doing, that GCAAR does not set policy or procedures on how agents should conduct their business or business practices. Policies and procedures should come from your company and/or manager. GCAAR is your professional association that that provides tools to help facilitate your business practices. The second chord and root of your question touches on a sense or perception that I think every one of us has questioned at one time or another; “Am I being treated fairly by the other agent involved in this transaction?” Although all REALTORS® subscribe to and agree to uphold the NAR Code of Ethics, it is true that the lines can blur in a competitive environment. When this happens there is a process for adjudicating disagreements between REALTOR® members. Although many agents shy away from bringing complaints against other agents, the Professional Standards process is in place to permit our members to police each other

and work towards a greater level of professional conduct and fairer treatment of one another, and our customers and clients. GCAAR can help you with this process. For more information, please contact Yvette Robinson, Professional Standards Manager at 301-590-8774 or The final chord your question strikes with me is this, TRAINING. I can’t tell you how important it is to take full advantage of the many training opportunities offered at GCAAR. It might be a CE class, or one of the many seminars and forums offered. Being armed with the knowledge of how to handle certain situations before they arise can save you thousands of dollars and dozens of hours. Check out the Association’s course selection on the home page of our website Multiple-offer situations are not always easy to navigate. At the end of the day you must handle each situation very carefully. Because, whether you represent the seller or the buyer, you have your long-term reputation to maintain and if you ask me (which you did), that is a priceless commodity in any market!

Board Briefs The GCAAR Board of Directors met on February 1 and March 8, 2013 in our Silver Spring office.

in the


A Local Housing Bubble?

The Kojo Nnamdi Show, WAMU Radio 88.5 March 26, 2013 Is the hot real estate market an anomaly or simply a return to normal conditions? - Bonnie Casper, 2013 GCAAR Immediate Past President

Housing Market Improving in Frederick County

Gazette.Net March 15, 2013 “Montgomery County is seeing multiple offers on numerous homes these days.” “Buyers have greater confidence that the market will increase after they buy, and the investments in their homes will be positive.” - Michael McGreevy, 2013 GCAAR President

DC Condo Market Heats Up

The Board was pleased to approve the Community Service Committee plan to sponsor a Rebuilding Together project again in 2013. This year’s project will be in Montgomery County and will take place on April 27, 2013. Save the date and stay tuned for more details. Several Board members and GCAAR staff joined REALTORS® from across the State for the Annual MAR Legislative Day event in Annapolis on January 17. This year we visited with the Montgomery County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly to discuss our 2013 legislative agenda. The Board approved several revised forms from the Contract and Clause Committee including the Listing Agreement, and the Maryland Jurisdictional Addendum to the Listing Agreement. Forms are available online at

Washington Business Journal March 13, 2013 “The median price of a condo that sold in DC during February was $396,500, up 9.2 percent from a year ago.” - GCAAR Press Release

The Annual National Association of REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Expo is scheduled for May 13-18, 2013 here in Washington, DC. Save the date and go to for additional details and to register online.

GCAAR January Housing Stats

GCAAR members have already invested over $120,000 in the REALTOR® Party in 2013!

WTOP Radio February 13, 2013 “The new year began with contract activity up for condos and single family homes.” - GCAAR Press Release


At the January meeting, the Board proudly endorsed 2013 Immediate Past President Bonnie Casper for the position of Secretary of the Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR) for 2013-2014 The Board discussed several options being considered to relocate the Association’s corporate headquarters.

2013 March - April

Please join thousands of your fellow REALTORS® and support the REALTOR® Party by making your investment today! Invest online at

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Capital Area REALTOR®

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International Committee Tax Issues Event Popular with Members 64 GCAAR members attended the International Committee event on February 25 which featured the topic: Tax Issues Facing International Owners of US Real Estate with Keat Bhutani of Axxis Financial Group and Dirk McClanahan, Esq. with McClanahan Powers, PLLC. Attendees learned about taxation issues ranging from income to estate tax including information on: • • •

Foreigners buying in the US; International clients buying in the US; Taxes owed if they sell

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property environmental energy education

Keat Bhutani, Axxis Financial Group

property environmental energy education

a full sPeCTruM of serviCes 4 Home inspections for new and existing homes 4 Environmental testing for lead-based paint, mold, radon, water and septic systems 4 Home energy audits for increased energy efficiency Ask how your energy assessment can be free. Think of Alban as your Total Home Consultant. Call us anytime for the answers you need to make informed decisions about your home... now THaT’s serviCe and ConfidenCe you Can build on.

L-R, Keat Bhutani, Luba Vidgop Barg, International Committee Co-Chair, Dirk McClanahan, Hildy Pollard, International Committee Chair

Not Receiving GCAAR or DCAR E-mails?

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Contact GCAAR’s Communications Department to get plugged in again at

your Total Home Consultant 800.822.7200 • 301.662.6565 Capital Area Realtor®

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2013 March - April


NAR Director’s Report Greg Ford 2013 GCAAR President-Elect NAR Director

and Working with AMCs (Appraisal Management Companies) on May 14 from 1 – 3 p.m. This session will focus on two key topics 1) GSE short sale valuation problems, and 2) the role of AMCs in the appraisal process, and will help you: - Understand changes to GSE (i.e. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) short sale valuation and escalation processes;

April is Fair Housing Month/ NAR’s Midyear Conference The 1968 Fair Housing Act prohibited housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap. Every April, REALTORS® celebrate Fair Housing Month to reaffirm their continuing commitment to fair and equitable treatment and a professional level of service for all in their search for real property. REALTORS® are committed to fair and equitable housing. Each year in conjunction with the Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR), we promote the Fair Housing Poster Contest, where we encourage children in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade to create a poster based on a certain theme. This year’s theme was “Diversity Makes Great Neighborhoods,” and we had a number of great submissions from kids in Montgomery County. The winning posters are featured (and distributed nationally) in the MAR Fair Housing calendar and the winners are honored at a reception at the State House in Annapolis. Look for the winners in the next issue of Capital Area REALTOR®. I encourage you to attend NAR’s Midyear Conference May 13 – 18 right here in our own backyard. Midyear is a good way to learn more about the issues we face as REALTORS®, and also find out about the latest innovations in technology and tools that will help us work more effectively. One of the sessions you may want to attend is the Fannie Mae Short Sales

- Identify the role of the appraisal management company (AMC) in the appraisal process; - Improve issues related to short sale valuations in your community and work more productively with AMCs. Related information is also being presented at 9:45 a.m. on that same day at the Regulatory Issues Forum: Will Federal Regulators Shape the Future of Mortgage Finance? More info on NAR’s Midyear Conference can be found below.

2013 REALTORS® MIDYEAR MEETINGS & TRADE EXPO MAY 13 – 18 Capitol Hill Visits May 15-16 Trade Expo May 15-16 Join GCAAR at the REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo May 13-18 in Washington, DC at the Marriott Wardman Park, Omni Shoreham, and Washington Hilton hotels. Midyear provides an opportunity to hear the issues facing REALTORS® today through a wealth of resources, including special issues forums, committee meetings, and legislative activities, including visits on Capitol Hill.

Trade Expo May 15 - 16

Don’t miss the REALTORS® Midyear Trade Expo, May 15-16. Check out the latest in real estate products and services from over 100 industry-leading companies. Get info on lead generation systems, Internet prospecting solutions, MLS providers, virtual tour technology, financial services, and much more. The Trade Show will be held at the Marriott Wardman Park from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Martinis at Midyear is back on Wednesday, May 15 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., compliments of Systems Engineering, Inc. (Booth #108). For more information on the REALTORS® Midyear Meetings & Trade Expo, or to print the meetings schedule, visit:

Got a Story Idea?

You Could Have a Byline in the Next Issue of Capital Area REALTOR® If you would like to write a story for an issue of Capital Area REALTOR®, we would like to hear from you. If you think you might want to put pen to paper, send an e-mail to


2013 March - April

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Capital Area REALTOR®

What’s New with MRIS? This year, MRIS celebrates its 20th Anniversary of delivering innovative products that save time and make you the most productive agents in the country. We have a great year in store for you including some upcoming product enhancements!

A “Facelift” for Keystone

Keystone’s getting a makeover! With the “New Face of Keystone,” you will enjoy an improved user experience thanks to a more attractive design, intuitive navigation, mandatory field alerts and a noticeable reduction in the amount of clicks needed to submit listings. The new look is designed to dramatically improve the time (and clicks) it takes to enter a listing. Here’s a quick list of the top enhancements: • So Long “Save & Continue” – Instead of having to “Save & Continue” each section, you will be able to use the navigation menu on the left of the screen to move through the sections, all of which will be displayed on one page. • Easy to See Notifications – New red “alerts” will allow you to see which sections need attention and the number of fields left to complete. You can click on these alerts to quickly navigate to the section. • For Those Who Love to “Tab” – Previously unavailable in Keystone, you will be able to use keyboard functionality, including the use of the “Tab” key and other keyboard “shortcuts.” • Set Your System to Auto-Save – Keystone will now have an auto-save feature that can be set to save in intervals from 1 up to 15 minutes, or turned off completely, if desired.

A New Address for (Introducing is now! As you may have noticed, we’ve renamed the site so consumers searching for a home understand that the information is coming from MRIS, the trusted source for Real Time Local Listings™. We’ve launched an integrated advertising campaign to drive consumers to as well as to the MRIS Homes™ mobile app. Our goal is to bring more qualified (and FREE!) leads directly to you from our website and app. The advertising helps educate the public about inaccurate information found on national 3rd party sites and connects homebuyers and sellers with a real estate professional. Keep your eyes and ears open for our radio, print, TV, Metro and other ads throughout the area!

Be the First to Know with MRIS Social Media

If you haven’t joined the conversation with us on, Facebook or Twitter, you could miss out on the latest news, product sneak peeks and exclusive promotions and events! Our social channels are the best way to learn about what’s happening at MRIS on a regular basis. Don’t miss a minute! Visit us at, like MRIS on Facebook, and follow @MRIS_REal_News on Twitter to stay “in the know” with MRIS!

Low Inventory Market, continued from page 1 Working with a REALTOR® still key

“In my initial interview with buyers I ask them if they are pre-approved, and encourage them to do so as quickly as possible if they are not,” says Mattison. “I also let them know what financial options are available to them - in the District there are a number of programs for first-time homebuyers.” Through all of the scrambling to find a property, one thing is clear – working with a REALTOR® is key. “DC buyers are very sophisticated and they realize the importance of working with a REALTOR®, particularly in the multipleoffer situations that we are experiencing now, “says Mattison.

Capital Area Realtor®

“The good news about this market is that there is finally positive news coming from the media. For an agent to be successful now it’s critical to manage your client’s expectations,” says Joseph Himali, 2009 GCAAR President, current MRIS Board Member, and Principal Broker of Best Address® Real Estate, LLC. “Sellers need to understand that even in a strong market homes need to be clean, prepared for sale, easy to show and priced correctly. Buyers need to realize that it’s not easy to get a home right now,” says Himali. “For an agent to be successful, honing your real estate skills is critical. GCAAR offers excellent classes about how to navigate multiple offers, negotiate contracts and effectively sell properties. I still attend the classes to stay sharp and so should any ambitious agent,” says Himali.

Serving the Business Needs of OUR Professionals

2013 March - April


Meet Your GCAAR Committee: Property Management GCAAR’s Property Management Committee reviews the association’s current standardized property management forms, makes recommendations on revisions, and creates new property management forms as needed. Members must do 50% of their work in property management. 2013 Roster Sally Hamidi, Chair Jean Poitevien, Vice Chair Hubert Brucker Cynthia Davis Mitchell Farrah Tyler Graham Harold Huggins Richard Humrichouse Ernest Knight Tim Knobloch Lewis Laws Larry McAdoo Dawn Mixon Matthew Rogers Charles Sullivan Shahnaz Tehraniazad Andrew Turczyn Cedron Williams

Meet Your GCAAR Committee: Rookie

Green Resources GREEN COMMITTEE TAKES ON APPRAISAL ISSUES Green appraisal expert Don Briggs joined the Green Committee’s March meeting to discuss the importance of fair valuation of environmentally-conscious property features. With homeowners and the public at large becoming more aware of the importance of items such as energy-efficient appliances, REALTORS® are becoming more engaged in ways to translate these values more tangibly. Unfortunately, most MLS’ around the country are not up-to-date on making Green features easily accessible for real estate professionals. Mr. Briggs stressed the importance of making the value of eco-friendly features more mainstream. In fact, he was one of the first involved in a nationwide project to “Green the MLS” and was integral in creating NAR’s Green MLS toolkit. Green Committee members were able to share their personal experiences and difficulties with appraisals of Green features with the goal of educating the entire real estate community on such issues. The Committee looks forward to working with Mr. Briggs as he gears up to make Green practices standard throughout the country.

A GREENER MRIS GCAAR’s Green Committee continues to tackle making the MRIS easier for environmentally-savvy REALTORS®. The Committee is pleased to report that MRIS has welcomed their initial recommendations which include highlighting Green features, including hover fields with descriptions of each Green field, and including a glossary with fuller definitions of Green fields. Now the Green Committee is working on formulating an updated set of specific Green fields in Matrix and Keystone. Members are organizing their expertise to determine which format would be the most helpful for REALTORS® who want to fully utilize and market the different Green features homes have to offer. Please send any input or ideas to

Simple Improvements for a More Eco-Friendly Home

GCAAR’s Rookie Committee promotes REALTOR® advancement by providing networking opportunities, fostering discussion, and stimulating the open interchange of ideas on issues important to new members of the profession including duties, responsibilities, and challenges.

Many homeowners are looking to make more eco-friendly home improvements, however, such projects are often mistakenly assumed to be extremely costly. Below are some cost-effective ways to make homes greener that are also budget conscious.

* Upgrade appliances. A simple project like upgrading older appliances, such as a washer and dryer, to newer, more efficient models can give a home a fresh look while reducing energy consumption.

* Add insulation. In many instances insulation can now be added or upgraded to a home without any major reconstruction or demolition, reducing the costs considerably.

* Install high-efficiency water fixtures. Few consider how much water they L-R, Tina Del Casale, Chair; Hakeema Jones, Staff Liaison; Bob Moses, Co-Chair 2013 Roster Tina Del Casale, Chair Robert Moses, Vice Chair Katelyn Archer Briana Ayala Larry Calvert Alfredo Duque Lucia Eastep Gregory Flynn Steven Friedman Mary Illes


2013 March - April

Angela Jones Ernest Knight Misook Lee Jill Michaels Wesley Mosser Long Nguyen Kathleen Rollins William Rozek Jason Sherman

consume over the course of a day, but the figures are eye-opening. For example, older shower heads might be using as much as 50 gallons of water during a 10-minute shower. Today’s high-efficiency low-flow showerheads can provide a strong shower stream while reducing water and energy consumption. Homeowners can also install high-efficiency toilets that use as little as 1.3 gallons of water per flush (compared to older models that consumed as many as 5 gallons per flush).

* Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats present

another affordable way to improve a home and benefit the environment. Temperatures can be adjusted room-by-room, and the programmable thermostat allows homeowners to control their heating and cooling while they’re out of the house, ensuring they’re not paying to heat or cool an empty house and wasting energy in doing so.

A few minor and affordable changes may be all it takes to improve a home and benefit the environment at the same time. Source:

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Capital Area REALTOR®

Technology How Can You Maximize Your Time on


How can you maximize your Pinterest activities without spending a ton of time on it? Along with scheduling your pins, one of the most effective but underutilized strategies to get more exposure from Pinterest is by using group boards. www.

What Are Pinterest’s Group Boards?

added as followers to a group board you are part of. The increased exposure and visibility you get through group boards will increase your follower growth at a faster rate.

A group board works like a regular Pinterest board. The only difference is that along with the board creator, other people are also allowed to pin. In order to distinguish a group board from a regular one you need to look out for the group icon at the top of a board when you are browsing someone’s page.

#2. Exponentially increase the number of repins The more followers you have the more likely they (and their followers) are to see your content, repin your pins and click through to your website. This means more traffic to your site and potentially more subscribers, customers and clients. #3. Put your pinning virtually on autopilot Certainly at the start Pinterest can be time-consuming, but managed well, you could soon have a team of people perpetuating your content for you across their networks. #4. Increase engagement and create brand ambassadors Your customers may already be liking, commenting, and sharing your content with their followers on Pinterest. But inviting them to pin to your brand’s group board will get them more engaged and involved in your online conversation.


This     snapshot of Jeff Bullas’ Pinterest page clearly shows that the board on the    left, “For the Home,” is one of Jeff ’s own, while the two other boards   have     contributors.

It will also elevate them to the role of brand ambassadors, who their followers are more likely to take note of.

Key Benefits of Using Group Boards

Read more at:

Group boards are not only a great way to organize ideas and bring people together, but they can also have real tangible benefits for your brand and business.

Jeff Bullas is a speaker, consultant, and an internationally recognized marketing blogger who presents keynote speeches and participates on expert panels on digital marketing including social media.

#1. Dramatically boost your followers If users select to “follow all” of any contributor’s boards, then they will be

Making a Difference Counts!

Good Neighbor Award Nominations Due May 20

Reverse Mortgages Topic of Women’s Council of REALTORS® Breakfast The Greater Capital Area chapter of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® (GCA WCR) discussed reverse mortgages at their monthly meeting on March 20 at the Norbeck Country Club. Trena Kirk, of M&T Bank, who specializes in Reverse for Purchase mortgages, provided an informative session over breakfast. Arelis A. Pérez, Long & Foster College Park Office REALTOR® and Prince George’s chapter WCR member, added a REALTOR® perspective based on her successful use of reverse mortgages in the past. Dalene Pivetta, M&T Bank mortgage lender and GCA WCR local affiliate member gave an update on the upcoming FHA changes. Monthly meetings are held at the Norbeck Country Club in Rockville on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. For information regarding membership and programs, please contact Gwen Henderson at

Capital Area Realtor®

The National Association of REALTORS® recognizes REALTORS® who dedicate themselves to volunteer service through REALTOR® REALTOR® MAGAZINE’S Magazine’s Good Neighbor GOOD NEIGHBOR AWARDS Awards, which is currently accepting applications through May 20, 2013. The award recognizes REALTORS® who devote themselves to community service, making an exceptional impact on their communities through volunteer work. Activities may involve affordable housing educational programs, youth-related activities, or anything else that makes a community a better place to live. Last year’s Good Neighbor Award winners contributed a combined total of more than 8,000 hours to their causes. Each winner will be recognized at the 2013 REALTORS Conference & Expo in San Francisco this November and will receive a $10,000 grant for his or her charity. Winners will also receive travel expenses to the conference and national and local media exposure for their cause. In addition to the winners, five honorable mentions will each receive a $2,500 grant. For more information or to send in a nomination, go to

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2013 March - April


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

For the first two months of 2013, the Maryland housing market has been continuing to grow steadily. So far, property sales total 6,775 units, and they are up 6.8% from the first two months of 2012. The average price of $263,895 has risen 2.5% from the comparable 2012 figure; and, the median price ($223,757) is up 3.7%. This is consistent with what is happening in the national housing market. For the month of February, 3,368 home sales rose 3.1% from a year ago. Statewide, the February average home price came in at $265,063 -- over 6% above a year before. Correspondingly, the median price of $224,048 was up 5.6%. On the supply side, the overall statewide inventory included 21,298 properties, equating to a 6.3 months supply at the February sales rate.

Montgomery County Sales Market

In Montgomery County, the February unit sales volume came in at 558 properties, up 10.5% from a year ago. The sold dollar volume totaled $235,137,356 and bounced up almost 19% from a year before. The average sold price was $421,393 – rising almost 8%; and, the median price of $347,000 jumped 10% from a year ago. Properties turned over faster. Average days on the market totaled 62, and were 34% below those of the year before. Furthermore, the ratio of sales price to original listing price was 95.7%, up 3.5% from last year. Active listings totaled 1,496 properties, but this level declined 36% from that of February 2012.

While sales have been holding their own so far, single-family prices have slipped. Year to date, the average sales price was $505,020, and the median was $410,500. In 2012, the average single-family home sold for $529,026 and the median priced property cost $425,000. Doing the math, through February average and median prices are respectively down 4.5% and 3.4% from 2012. Of course, we should see them rise for the spring and summer markets.

February Single-Family Homes The February settlement pace was solid, but new sales have definitely slowed since January. February year-to-date contracts (1,294) were up by only one unit from a year before; and new contracts for the month (733) increased by only 1.2%. However, year-to-date single-family settlements (822) rose 5%; and monthly settlements (400) bumped up almost 6% from a year before.

February Condominiums and Cooperatives Through February there were 481 condo/coop contracts -- an increase of 3.4% from a year ago. However, new contracts for the month (252) declined by 3.4% from a year before. On the bright side for the month, year-to-date settlements (284) were up 5.6%. And, 163 new monthly settlements jumped 26% from February 2012.

Continuing a trend, the listings volume was much lower compared to 2012. Total single-family active listings of 1,239 properties were 34% below last February. However, the inventory is up from January and comparable to that at the end of December. Nevertheless, 828 monthly new listings were only five units above the level a year ago. At the February contracts pace, there was only about a 1.7 months supply of properties.


2013 March - April

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The supply problem still looms large. February condo/coop inventory continued to stay below corresponding 2012 levels. More specifically, total actives through February (355) were 33% below last year’s comparable level. On the other hand, new listings rose 2% above last year’s level. The market is so tight that at the February contracts pace, there was only a 1.4-months supply of properties.

The District’s single-family inventory also dropped significantly compared to a year before. February active listings totaled only 539 properties. This was 36% below those in February 2012. Similarly, new single-family listings for the month (357) slipped almost 2% from a year before.

For all of 2012, the average and median sales prices were $250,738 and $208,225, respectively. And, both were 20% below the 2008 highs of $312,720 and $260,000. Thus far, through February, the average price of $223,766 was down almost 11% from 2012. And, the median price of $194,000 was nearly 7% below the 2012 median. Since it is still early in the buying season, we should expect these prices and sales volumes to rise with the spring and summer markets.

Home prices also have started out lower than in 2012. Last year, singlefamily average prices jumped 11% compared to the average for 2011. Furthermore, the median price bounced up18%. But this year, through February, the average single-family home cost $636,160 with the median at $485,000. These prices are down 3% and 8.5%, respectively, from the 2012 yearly average and median. However, they should rise as the selling season gets going.

Washington, dC Sales Market

The District’s February unit sales pace was up substantially. It totaled 481 properties, rising 16% from a year ago. And, the sold dollar volume was $261,143,270 – jumping 26% from the previous year. The average sale price was $542,917, up over 8%; and the median price was $432,500, a 9% increase from last February. The average sales price to original listing price ratio was 98%, up 3 percentage points from a year before. This February, 983 total actives were down 38% from a year ago, but the 696 new listings in February declined only 2% from February 2012. However, there will likely continue to be tight inventory in 2013. February Single-Family Homes The Washington, DC single-family sales market has been on a slower track compared to last year. Year-to-date contracts were up only 1.8% (618) with February single-family contracts (313) rising only 2.3%, just a bit better than a year before. Similarly, year-to-date settlements (484) edged up only 1.7%. Nevertheless, new settlements in February (250) slipped almost 1% from the same period in 2012.

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continued on page 12

2013 March - April


MC & DC Market Reports, continued from page 11

February Condominiums and Cooperatives So far, the Washington, DC condominium and cooperative market has been strong in both unit sales and price appreciation. Year-to-date February contracts (558) were up 15% and settlements (450) jumped 37% from a year ago. However, sales for the month of February were more modest. Contracts (289) rose only 2% over February 2012. On the other hand, settlements of 232 properties vaulted 43% from a year before.

Housing Industry Production January (most recent data at writing) was a good month for new home construction. Total privately owned starts of 890,000 units (seasonally adjusted and annualized rate, or saar) were up almost 24% above the level of January 2012. Builders are continuing to be optimistic about the business. Also, total privately owned housing permits (925,000 saar) were up 35% from January 2012. And, single-family permits (584,000 saar) were 29% higher than in the previous January. Of course, we are starting from low levels in late 2011 and early 2012, so these rates of increase will decline as we move through the year. New residential home sales for January totaled 437,000 units (saar). This was 29% above the estimate for January 2012. As with our local markets, the national new home inventory was tight with only 150,000 properties, or a 4.1 months supply. Accordingly, prices were moving up in January. The average price of $286,300 jumped almost 8% from a year before; but, the $226,400 median rose only 2%.

Inventory is again incredibly low relative to the same period in 2012. This year, so far, January logged the lowest level at just 465 actives – down 43% from a year ago. There was some improvement by February to a total of 498 listings, but they were still 39% below last February’s inventory. Nevertheless, new listings of 360 units were up over 3% from February 2012. At the current contracts pace, there was only a 1.7 months supply of properties.

So far through February, condo/coop prices averaged $427,947 and they are down less than 1% from the 2012 average. Not surprisingly, lower priced units have seen more appreciation. Through February, the median price of $396,500 rose over 4% compared to the $380,000 figure for 2012. The highest proportion of sales (23%) was concentrated in the $300,000 to $399,000 price category, with 43% of properties sold in the $200,000 to $399,000 range.

For all of 2012, existing home resales hit their highest point in five years. A total of 4.66 million existing homes (single-family and condo/coops) were sold, up 9.4% from 2011. This January, a rate of 4.92 million (saar) were sold, up 9.1% from a year before. But, the inventory at the end of January totaled only 1.74 million properties, down 25% from a year ago. At the actual (unadjusted and non-annualized) sales rate, it amounted to a 6-months supply of properties. This figure is considered normal historically, but the sales rate is relatively low. The 2012 December inventory represented a 4.9 months supply; so, some of the market tightness has been lessening. January single-family home sales were up less than one percent (4.34 million, saar) from December, but were 8.5% above the pace of January 2012. Moreover, the single-family median price ($174,100) jumped almost 13% and the average ($221,800) was up 10% from last January. Existing condo/ coop sales (580,000 saar) rose almost 2% from December, but jumped almost 14% from January 2012. And, the national condo/coop median price came in at $169,600 -- up 9% from a year before. The average condo/coop price ($217,100) rose over 8% from a year before. Both measures were down about $10,000 from their December levels. Economic Growth and Jobs The Bureau of Economic Analysis final 2012 real GDP estimate showed an increase of 2.2% for the full year. The fourth quarter is now estimated to have grown by a positive 0.1%, not a negative 0.1% as first reported about a month ago. The third quarter growth rate was 3.1% -- quite a good number. In general, the economy has been hovering around a 2% to 2.5% average real growth rate over the past couple of years. Stronger housing markets have contributed to economic growth. These are pretty good numbers and show that the economy seems to be on a stable growth track. This is good news and is helping to push the stock market up. Just recently, many economic forecasters and bankers are upping their estimates for 2013 growth to as high as 3%. Optimism is catching on even among the dismal scientists! The February jobs report indicated that nonfarm payroll employment increased by 236,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate edged down to 7.7%. It was around 8% in mid-2012. Jobs increased in professional and business services, construction, and health care. This rate of new job growth still disappoints, but we did exceed the benchmark 200,000 jobs needed each month to lower the unemployment rate significantly. The major problem was that the number of long-term unemployed was unchanged at 4.8 million, and part-time workers looking for full-time jobs totaled about 8 million. There were also 885,000 discouraged workers who had dropped out of the labor force and, therefore, are not counted in the unemployment rate. Nevertheless, the overall direction is positive, but it will take time for the long-term and forced part-timers to get jobs. Monetary Policy, the Debt, Interest Rates and Inflation The Fed seems to be sticking with its policy of buying government securities until the unemployment rate gets close to 6.5%, as long as the inflation rate stays around 2.5%. This policy will continue to be good for housing and the


2013 March - April

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Capital Area REALTOR®

Fed has publicly acknowledged that housing needs to be stimulated and has helped the jobs picture. The housing market has strengthened and the recent “beige book” reports from Federal Reserve districts point to a pick-up in homebuilding and construction jobs. What this means for real estate is that we should continue to see low interest rates for at least another year, unless something very bad happens with inflation and/or the international situation.

2.3%; but, apparel prices bumped 2.4%. Medical care services rose 3.9%, while medical care commodities were up only 0.8% from February 2012. Energy commodities edged up 3.1% -- gasoline was up 3.3% and fuel oil bumped 2.3% from last February. Energy services (electricity and natural gas) increased 0.9%. In general, annualized inflation seems to be staying around 2%, and is continuing on a relatively “flat” trend.

On March 1, the $88 billion government budget cuts under the “Budget Sequestration” kicked-in and White House tours were suspended. However, other impacts are expected. A study by the Wells Fargo Securities Economics Group analyzed the percentage of state and local GDP that was due to federal spending. Based on 2010 data, it reported that Federal nondefense spending was 10% of each of the GDPs of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Also, total Federal spending was as much as 19.8% of the GDP for each district/state. The sequester will affect discretionary spending as well as defense spending. Social security, Medicaid, and Medicare will not be affected. According to their analysis, this metro area will be one of the most heavily hit in the country.

The Bottom Line The year 2012 showed dramatic improvement in real estate markets. However, 2013 has started out at a cautious pace. Real estate sales and prices in Washington, DC and Montgomery County, as well as other surrounding areas, greatly improved in 2012 but so far they are a mixed bag. Inventory has been a real problem, with many owners staying put due to economic uncertainty or concerned with getting a top price. The year is young, and the spring buying season is just beginning so there is time to induce more supply.

Currently, the House and Senate are working on two continuing resolutions to fund the government. The Republican version (in the House) would keep the sequester cuts but allow more flexibility for allocating them. The Democratic version (in the Senate) would have fewer cuts, but work for more revenue to fund the current budget. Indeed, the President and Democrats want more funds for education assistance and national infrastructure programs in whatever budget is produced. The President is meeting with groups of Republicans and Democrats trying to bridge the differences. However, the Democrats still want no cuts in entitlement programs but higher taxes on the rich. And, the Republicans want cuts in entitlements and no more taxes on anybody. It will be very difficult to get both sides together from these two polar positions. What is most likely is that the sequester cuts will continue in their current form, albeit with some changes in how they impact discretionary programs. There will likely be some minor progress controlling entitlement spending by using the chained CPI index, which generally computes a lower inflation rate than the currently used CPI. However, even if the Republicans are successful in obtaining some cuts or better ‘targeting’ of some programs, the future entitlement costs are staggering. There will be deficits for decades. The current issue is really about ‘stabilizing’ the rate of growth of the deficit relative to the growth of the economy. That way it can’t outgrow the productivity of the country. The inevitable outcome is that virtually all but the bottom fifth of the income distribution will be paying more in various personal taxes, sales taxes, fees and user charges. And, as they age, they will receive less in real future benefits.

The White House and Congress are working on a continuing resolution that will allow adjustment of some of the sequester mandates, but budget cuts will remain, especially related to military programs. These would likely affect surrounding areas in Virginia, the District, and Montgomery County. These cuts could affect local housing markets. We had a pretty good year in 2012 and hopefully 2013 will be as solid.

YPN Brings the Hip and Cool to Bethesda It was a hip crowd at Bethesda’s 4935 Bar and Kitchen on March 13 as GCAAR’s Your Professional Network (YPN) hosted their first happy hour event of 2013. YPN Chair Colin Johnson encouraged others to join YPN and participate in upcoming events. Guests mixed and mingled amid the plush seating and hip ambiance. Thanks to our sponsors, MRIS and Sandy Spring Bank.

Mortgage Interest Rates The Freddie Mac survey for the second week of March showed that average mortgage interest rates are still low. But, they have been creeping up recently due to the stronger economy. In those results, the 30-year fixedrate mortgage averaged 3.63%, while 1-year adjustables (ARMs) averaged 2.64%. Fifteen-year loans came in at 2.79% and 5/1-yr and ARMs were very affordable at 2.61%. At the beginning of the year the 30-year fixed rate was about 30 basis points lower, although 1-year ARMs were only 7 basis points lower. While the Fed plans to continue its policy of buying mortgage securities and long-term Treasuries through 2013, if the jobs market continues to improve, it might slow down or curtail these purchases by the   end of the year.   Consumer Prices and Energy Costs   The February Consumer Price Index increased by only 2% over the past year. During this period there were increases in gasoline, electricity, natural gas and fuel oil. When food and energy costs are taken out of the February index, the annualized “core” inflation still was only 2%. Examining the key components of the February index, over the previous year: food prices edged up 1.6%; housing shelter costs (mostly rents) rose

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GCAAR Board Member Mynor Herrera talking shop.

YPN Chair Colin Johnson chats up a guest.

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Cool layout makes for a fun evening.

2013 March - April


Public Policy REAL Advocacy for REALTORS® Check out GCAAR’s bi-monthly Legislative and Public Policy Report at for a full list of federal, state, and local legislation being reviewed by the Government Affairs Department.


For additional information or to submit comments, email

Maryland General Assembly

On Capitol Hill

The 2013 General Assembly session ended on April 8, 2013. You can view all of the Bills reviewed by MAR’s Legislative Committee at MAR’s Government Affairs news section at

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

2013 Legislative and Regulatory Priorities • Homeownership and real estate investment tax policies Continued focus on reducing the federal deficit has kept tax reform on top of the Congressional agenda. This debate places a variety of real estate tax laws such as the Mortgage Interest Deduction under increased scrutiny. • Credit and lending policies Overly stringent lending standards have continued to limit the availability of affordable mortgage financing for credit worthy consumers. Although the number of delinquencies and foreclosures has been reduced, they remain a significant concern. Federal policymakers are weighing a number of proposals aimed at creating healthier housing and mortgage markets.

Montgomery County

“Politically Speaking” with Councilmember Nancy Floreen Councilmember Nancy Floreen was GCAAR’s “Politically Speaking Series” guest in February. Councilmember Floreen served as Council President in 2010 and currently chairs the Council’s Planning, Housing, and Economic Development (PHED) Committee. She gave attendees insights into the activities of the PHED Committee, including their review of the County’s Draft Housing Policy and Zoning Ordinance Rewrite. She also discussed the new accessory apartment legislation that went into effect recently.


2013 March - April

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 5-13, Property Tax Credit—Accessibility Features (Pending) Would provide a property tax credit for an accessibility feature installed on an existing residence. GCAAR submitted testimony in support of this legislation. Bill 41-12, Streets and Roads—Roadside Trees—Protections (Pending) Would require a permit and payment into a roadside tree replacement fund for certain activities affecting roadside trees. Bill 37–12, Housing - Capital Improvements Program - Affordable Housing Assessment (Enacted) Will 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 maintain, establish and maximize tree canopy, as well as provide for mitigation when tree canopy is lost and disturbed.

• Business operations Protecting the business operations of our members is always a priority for NAR. • Commercial More than $1.2 trillion in commercial real estate loans will come due over the next few years, and many of these deals will have trouble getting financing. NAR supports consideration of legislation and regulations to protect and enhance the flow of capital to commercial real estate.

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project Planners continue working on a BRT network to improve accessibility and mobility throughout Montgomery County. The project aims to be an innovative bus transit service with dedicated lanes that runs in an efficient and timely manner. Plans for the technologically advanced buses center around mitigating the County’s congestion problems and lessening the environmental impact of standard travel. The Montgomery County Planning Board is set approve a draft of the project in the Summer of the 2013, with a public hearing in mid-May. You can find additional details at http://www.

Zoning Text Amendment 12-18, Exemptions— Pre-1928 Resubdivisions (Enacted) An amendment to provide an exemption from current zoning standards for pre-1928 property that resubdivide. L-R, Peg Mancuso, Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Floreen, Elley Kott

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Zoning Text Amendment 12-16, One Family Dwelling, Pre-1928 Lots (Enacted) Allows the construction or reconstruction of

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District Legislation

a one-family dwelling located on any size lot recorded before 1928.

For the most up-to-date information on District legislation, including hearing dates, visit

Subdivision Regulation Amendment 1204, Minor Subdivisions—Ownership lots (Enacted) Clarifies the provisions for ownership lots in the minor subdivision process and generally amends the provisions for ownership lots. Subdivision Regulation Amendment 12-03, Minor Subdivisions—Part of a Lot (Enacted) 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

DCAR Speaker Series DCAR’s March Speaker Series featured Eric Goulet, Mayor Vincent Gray’s Budget Director and Deputy Chief of Staff. Mr. Goulet gave a special briefing on the 2014 budget cycle and addressed the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Finance’s top priorities for 2013 such as economic development and affordable housing. He listened to REALTOR® concerns about the District’s high recordation and transfer tax rate, as well as gave attendees insight into balancing a budget with competing expenditure and revenue interests.

REAL PROPERTY / HOMEOWNERS B20-19, “Real Property Tax Sale Notice Amendment Act of 2013” (Pending) To increase the notice requirements before the sale of a real property for delinquent taxes. DCAR’s April Speaker Series featured Councilmember Jack Evans. Councilmember Evans serves as Chair of the Council’s Committee on Finance and Revenue, which oversees the District’s finances and tax policy. He also serves on two standing Council committees - Economic Development and Public Safety and the Judiciary. Councilmember Evans discussed real estate related legislation currently before the Council, including bills affecting property taxes. Members were also able to ask questions on fiscal responsibility, ethics in government, and his plans for economic vitality in the DC. Stay tuned for future DCAR Speaker Series events!

District Issues DC Tax Revision Commission DCAR continues to actively follow the DC Tax Revision Commission. The Tax Commission is charged with preparing comprehensive recommendations to the Council and the Mayor regarding the District’s overall tax structure. The Commission is now beginning to review property taxes and will be specifically taking up recordation and transfer taxes early this summer. DCAR is asking members to submit feedback on possible ways to reduce recordation and transfer taxes, as well as any other general comments regarding property taxes. Additional information can be found at Mayor Gray Launches Business Regulatory Reform Task Force A new Business Regulatory Reform Task Force has been established by Mayor Gray to seek ways to make DC more business-friendly. The Task Force will identify existing laws and regulations that otherwise might impede the progress of a business. Additionally, it will also make necessary recommendations, including proposed legislation to eliminate any inconsistent regulations administered by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

Eric Goulet, Mayor Vincent Gray’s Budget Director

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B20-22, “Residential Real Property Tax Relief Act of 2013” (Pending) Would lower the cap on real property assessment increased from 10% to 5% and 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) Would modify property tax delinquency and sale procedures to provide a more equitable and transparent process, expand pre-sale notice requirements, and permit homeowners to enter into installment agreements with the Office of Tax and Revenue to avoid tax sales. Overall, it would aim to minimize costs associated with tax sales. B20-24, “Major Real Property Assessment and Appeals Schedule and Revision Act of 2013” (Pending) Would provide extended assessment notice and first level appeal dates for large-valued real properties in order to result in increased accuracy. B20-26, “Long-time Homeowner Incentive and Economic Diversity Act of 2013” (Pending) Would freeze 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) Would defer for one year any delinquent real property tax owed as a result of an erroneous or improper homestead deduction 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. DCAR is in support of this legislation.

continued on page 16

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2013 March - April


Public Policy, continued from page 15

B20-31, “District of Columbia Fire and Casualty Amendment Act of 2013� (Pending) Would require homeowners insurance companies to clearly state that homeowner’s insurance does not cover all risks, to list the additional optional coverage available to the homeowner, and notify applicants that homeowner’s insurance does not cover losses from flood. DCAR is in support of this legislation. B20-66, “Homeowner Protection Amendment Act of 2013� (Pending) To provide full recovery for a homeowner harmed by the substandard work performed by a previous owner. DCAR is opposed to this legislation. B20-124, “Income Based Homeownership Tax Abatement Amendment Act of 2013� (Pending) Would increase the income based eligibility requirements for first time homebuyers in the District of Columbia. BUSINESS / EMPLOYMENT B20-36, “Temporary and Small Business Entrepreneurship Amendment Act of 2013� (Pending) Would require the creation of a temporary business license, the establishment of an expedited temporary certificate of occupancy, as well as 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. DCAR is in support of this legislation.

all leases for residential rental units and set civil penalties for failure by landlords to provide the Bill of Rights to tenants when the lease is first presented.

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.

B20-74, “Residential Omnibus Amendment Act of 2013� (Pending) Would clarify 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, 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 ensure that any lease requirement regarding the tenant’s notice of an intent to vacate is clear. It also would prohibit housing provider from unreasonably withholding consent where the lease permits or does not prohibit subletting or lease assignment and provide tenants with damages when a landlord places or causes to be placed a prohibited provision in a lease in bad faith.

RENTALS The DCAR Public Policy Committee has formed a Sub-Committee to specifically analyze legislation related to rental properties. B20-52, “Rent Control Voluntary Agreement Procedure Amendment Act of 2013� (Pending) Would ensure 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 and 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. B20-58, “Tenant Bill of Rights Act of 2013� (Pending) Would require the Chief Tenant Advocate to produce a Tenant Bill of Rights to accompany



Bill 20-77, “Rental Housing Consumer Protection Act of 2013� (Pending) Would permit a tenant to bring a claim against a housing provider under the District Consumer Protection Procedures Act.

Direct Deposit Authorization Form

Please Complete and Return This Form To Your Employer. Start Saving Now for the 22 Annual Affordable Housing Summit Employer Information Affordable Housing 2013: Annual Dues County Annual Affordable Housing ( )Montgomery nd

Adapting Old ToolsEmployee ~ Utilizing New Tools ID (if applicable) Summit May 10 • 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. friday, May 10, 2013

Employer Name Phone Number Your annual dues – they come every year at the G tOGEtHER fOR AffORdAbLE HOuSING

same time but somehow manage to sneak up when you’re least expecting them. Address

City Zip Affordable Housing GCAAR is proudNORtH to support the State 22nd Annual Summit on May 10, from 8:00 bEtHESdA MARRIOtt CONfERENCE CENtER a..m. – 3:00 p.m. at Marinelli the Bethesda GCAAR is a Platinum Sponsor of the event. 5701 Road,North North Marriott. Bethesda, Maryland

t decent, safe and affordable housing for all Americans is an inalienable right and not a privilege. numerous affordable housing issues have been addressed and solved through collaborative efforts by ng Conference of Montgomery County, Maryland (AHCMC) and its housing partners over the past C’s existence. However, Montgomery County still needs more affordable housing units especially for ndividuals, families and seniors. We know the current economic environment has been difficult for many e exacerbating the affordable housing crisis. Yet, we are proud that AHCMC continues to be successful ncial support of donors in the public, private, corporate and nonprofit sectors of Montgomery County Name n. Please join us in our efforts. If you can make a donation to help support our 2013 educational, outreach tact Lise Tracey, our executive director, at 301-520-1587 or

An Annual Dues Savings Account is a great place Your Information for you to stash some extra cash when you have it – and forget about it. Consider this account “untouchable� until dues time comes around. This( year’s theme is Affordable Housing 2013: Adopting Old Tools – Utilizing New Tools, ) Number guest speakers guest speakers andPhone will highlight HUD, Maryland, and Montgomery County programs that have created a rebirth in local and regional affordable housing since the housing bubble collapse. Guest AIRS: Ben Cardin,Dedicate U.S. Senator an • Chris Van Hollen, U.S. House of Representatives • speakers Chris Van elected percentage of each Address City include CongressmenState Zip Hollen and Elijah Cummings, U.S. House of Paul Sarbanes, former U.S. Senator Representatives; County Executive Ike Leggett, and Keynote Speaker Dr. Michael Stegman commission check and deposit it immediately. CO-CHAIRS: Barbara Goldberg Goldman, Quorum, LLC • $60 a month will Setting aside an average of just the Department of the Treasury. I authorize (name depositor) to automatically deposit funds intofrom the account below. This authorization shall remain in place until Norman Dreyfuss, IDI-MD, Inc. • IDIofGroup Companies cover of your local, state andornational dues I havemost submitted a new authorization, until this authorization is changed or revoked by me in writing. for the year. The account Affordable Housing Conference of Montgomery County, Maryland (AHCMC) and Check your desired direct deposit option. Be sure to include your number and ABA/Routing Number. You

VICE CHAIR: Ralph Bennett, Bennett Frank McCarthy Architects

OARd Of dIRECtORS: Rosie Allen Herring • Tom Bozzuto, The Bozzuto Group • should alsoDHCA attach a voided Lawrence Cager, Montgomery County • Kathryn Clay, PNC check Bank • to this form from your yland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission • Conrad Egan, Affordable Housing Institute • ozzuto Construction • Mynor Herrera, GCAAR • Charlie Maier, & Warner Public Relations • Account % toMaier Credit Union Checking Deposit County DHCA • Sally Roman, Housing Commissioner • Stacy Spann, Housing Opportunities Commission • r, Capital One • Kelly Vaughn, Maryland DHCD • Susan Krimer Yancy, Housing Opportunities Commission

For more information, visit the REALTORSÂŽ Federal Credit Union at Account # ExECutIVE dIRECtOR : Lise Tracey

newHon.Chris Credit Union account. believe its housing partners safe, and affordable for all Americans is Van Hollen, Ike Leggett that decent, Dr. Michael A. Stegman Hon. Elijah housing Cummings U.S. House of Representatives Montgomery County Executive

U.S. Dept. of the Treasury House of Representatives an inalienable right and not a privilege. Numerous U.S. affordable housing issues have been addresses and solved through collaborative efforts by AHCMC and its partners over the 055080431 Made possible by the support of past 22 years.

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COuNSEL: Kenneth B. Tecler • ACCOuNtING COuNSEL: Sheldon Kronzek, C.P.A.


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GCAAR Cares Spotlight 2013 GCAAR Broker/Manager Forums

Save The Dates! May 8

Comparative Difference Between the Regional Contract and the MAR Contract


Jill Michaels, Esq.


12 p.m.


GCAAR Silver Spring Office 8757 Georgia Ave, Suite 600, Silver Spring, MD

June 5

The Most Common Complaints Received by the Real Estate Commission


Kathy Connelly, Maryland Real Estate Commission Alton Duncanson, District of Columbia Real Estate

Commission Time:

12 p.m.


GCAAR Silver Spring Office 8757 Georgia Ave, Suite 600, Silver Spring, MD

Sept. 18

Avoiding Litigation


Chris Darby, Esq.


12 p.m.


GCAAR Silver Spring Office 8757 Georgia Ave, Suite 600, Silver Spring, MD

October 16 The Most Common Mistakes Made by Agents that Delay Settlement and How to Avoid Them Speaker:

Randy Rothstein, Esq.


12 p.m.


GCAAR Silver Spring Office 8757 Georgia Ave, Suite 600, Silver Spring, MD

December 4 Risk Management for Brokers Speaker:

Harry Yazbek


12 p.m.


GCAAR Silver Spring Office 8757 Georgia Ave, Suite 600, Silver Spring, MD

Tell Us What You’re Doing in the Community! The GCAAR Cares Community Service Committee needs your support for our 2013 Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR) Scrapbook! We will feature your photos and stories in this year’s 2012-2013 scrapbook, but we need your help! The winning associations will receive the following cash contribution to the charity of their choice: First Place--$10,000; 1st Honorable Mention --$5,000. Send an email to Amy Ritsko-Warren at with “Scrapbook” in the subject line. Attach your photos (brochures, post cards, etc.), with captions and stories.

Deadline for submissions is May 31! ALL community service is acceptable! (Example: volunteering at shelters, hospitals, schools, religious organizations, scouts, boards and commissions, Habitat for Humanity, symphony, choirs, drama groups, health fairs, community days, fraternal groups, Rebuilding Together®, and more!)

Help us win the $10,000 grand prize to continue our work in the community!!

Lunch will be served! Cost: FREE!! Register online at

Capital Area Realtor®

Serving the Business Needs of OUR Professionals

2013 March - April



2013 March - April

Serving the Business Needs of OUR Professionals

Capital Area REALTOR®

May - June 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. May 1, 2013 ABCs of Rentals CEU: 3 hours MD & DC (Elective) Instructor: Tom Lynch Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. May 1, 2013 Rental Property Management CEU: 3 hours MD, DC & VA (Elective) Instructor: Tom Lynch Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. May 2, 2013 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) Instructor: Counselors Title Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. May 2, 2013 DC Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) Instructor: Counselors Title Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. May 3, 2013 New Member Orientation CEU: No CEUs Instructor: Jill Michaels Time: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. May 3, 2013 Maryland Code of Ethics & Predatory Lending CEU: 3 hours MD (Required) & 3 hours DC (Elective) Instructor: Jill Michaels Time: 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. May 6, 2013 Military CRS Class CEU: No CEUs Instructor: Gee Dunsten Time: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. May 8, 2013 Broker Manager Forum: Comparative Difference Between the Regional Contract and the MAR Contract CEU: No CEUs Instructor: Jill Michaels Time: 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. May 8, 2013 Maryland Fair Housing CEU: 1.5 hours MD (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: David Pryal Time: 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. May 10, 2013 Reverse Mortgages CEU: 1.5 hours MD & DC (Elective) Instructor: Eric Rittmeyer Time: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. * GCAAR Rockville Board Room

Capital Area Realtor®

May 10, 2013 Working with Investors CEU: 3 hours MD (Elective) Instructor: Jill Michaels Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. * GCAAR Rockville Board Room May 13, 2013 What is RPR and How Can It Help Your Business CEU: No CEUs Instructor: Win Singleton Time: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. May 13, 2013 What is RPR and How Can It Help Your Business CEU: No CEUs Instructor: Win Singleton Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. * GCAAR Rockville Board Room May 20, 2013 Regional Sales Contract Update CEU: 3 hours MD, VA & DC (Elective) Instructor: Greg Flynn Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. * GCAAR Rockville/MRIS May 20, 2013 Contract Basics CEU: 3 hours MD, VA & DC (Elective) Instructor: Greg Flynn Time: 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. May 22, 2013 Broker Supervision CEU: 3 hours MD (Required for Brokers/Elective for agents) & 3 hours DC (Elective) Instructor: Al Monshower Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. May 22, 2013 DC Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) Instructor: Counselors Title Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. *NAR Building/2nd Floor May 22, 2013 Maryland Legal & Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours MD (Required) & 3 hours DC (Elective) Instructor: Al Monshower Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. May 22, 2013 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) Instructor: Counselors Title Time: 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. *DC Location May 23, 2013 MREC Agency - Residential CEU: 3 hours MD (Required) & 3 hours DC

Serving the Business Needs of OUR Professionals

(Elective) Instructor: Jacqueline Talpa Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. May 23, 2013 Maryland Code of Ethics & Predatory Lending CEU: 3 hours MD (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: Jacqueline Talpa Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. May 30, 2013 Understanding Credit Reports & How to Improve Your Credit CEU: 3 hours MD (Elective) Instructor: Michael Chelst Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. May 30, 2013 Financing Issues/Update CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) & 3 hours MD & VA (Elective) Instructor: Michael Chelst Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. May 31, 2013 Buyer Beware: Foreclosed & Neglected Properties CEU: 3 hours MD, DC & VA (Elective) Instructor: Vimal Kapoor Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. May 31, 2013 Red Flags in Property Inspections CEU: 3 hours MD & DC (Elective) Instructor: Vimal Kapoor Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. June 3, 2013 Property Conditions Disclosure CEU: 3 hours MD (Required – fulfills Legal/ Legislative Requirement) & DC (Elective) Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. * GCAAR Rockville/MRIS June 3, 2013 Serving the First Time Homebuyer CEU: 3 hours MD & DC (Elective) Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. * GCAAR Rockville/MRIS June 3, 2013 Montgomery County Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours MD & DC (Elective) Instructor: Meredith Weisel Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. June 5, 2013 Maryland Code of Ethics & Predatory Lending CEU: 3 hours MD (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: John Gilbert Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. * GCAAR Rockville/MRIS

2013 March - April


Membership Corner SentriCard Replacements

We would like to remind all GCAAR members that the SentriCard® owner must be present in order to purchase or pick up a replacement SentriCard.

Lockbox Replacements

If you are replacing a defective lockbox, and sending someone to pick up the replacement, please send written authorization for that individual to pick up the lockbox on your behalf. This documentation must include the lockbox serial number, the name of the individual picking up the replacement box, and the owner’s signature. Please be reminded that the owner of the lockbox, cannot send their SentriCard® with the individual picking up the lockbox. Once the owner of the lockbox receives the lockbox, they can take ownership of the lockbox and test it.

GCAAR Rockville Office Open Most Saturdays

Our Rockville office is now open on most Saturdays for limited hours to service you. Please check our website for hours of operation.

WARNING: Don’t Give Your SentriCard® to Others

We’d like to take the opportunity to remind all of our members of SentriLock’s policy regarding sharing SentriCards®. SentriLock’s system only allows one SentriCard® per agent for security reasons. If a customer service representative becomes aware of an “Invalid Cardholder” during the verification process, that SentriCard® will be terminated. This policy has been implemented as a security feature.

NAR Benefits

The National Association of REALTORS® offers many REALTOR® benefits including: -Save up to 20% off of Lenovo’s award winning ThinkPad®, Notebooks, IdeaPad Multimedia notebooks, desktops, and accessories. To inquire or purchase Lenovo products, please call 1-800-426-7235 Ext. 4827, or visit their website at

Car Rentals

NAR membership entitles members to special car rental rates with Avis, Budget, and Hertz. *Save up to 25% off car rentals with Avis. *Save up to 20% off car rentals with Budget. *Save up to 25% off car rentals with Hertz. For more information, please call 1-800-654-2200. To get the discount information for each of these companies, go to and type Travel and Automotive in the Search window.

Get Continuing Education Credits Through “GCAAR on the Go” “GCAAR on the Go” is an opportunity for our members, whether they are a brokerage or company or a group of independent agents, to offer an approved continuing education (CE) class to their agents at their office without the expense of sending them to another location to take the class. How “GCAAR on the Go” works: You (brokerage/agents) set up a discussion with the Education Department about what class(es) you might like to offer and when you were thinking of offering them (dates, times, etc.) and then the fun begins! GCAAR will do all of the legwork – booking an instructor, producing the handouts, having the certificates and reporting sheets available, reporting attendance to the different real estate commissions, and staffing the class (handling registration and sign-in, opening announcements, and stamp out at the end of class). You identify a space to have the class and provide GCAAR with the address of the location, secure the necessary AV equipment (screen, projector, flipchart – if you do not have a projector GCAAR should be able to supply one), provide any refreshments, and give GCAAR a list of all of the registered agents no later than 48 hours before the start of the class. That’s it. Currently, the cost per class is $750, regardless of the number of registrants for the class. Please note: The class must be open to outside agents and GCAAR will publicize the class to the general membership. For more information, contact Mark Glazer at 301-590-8787 or


2013 March - April

Serving the Business Needs of OUR Professionals

Thank You 2013 RPAC Investors!

Golden “R” Bonnie Casper GCAAR Carole Maclure Dale Ross

Crystal “R” Fred Kendrick Jill Michaels

Sterling “R” Koki Adasi Briana Ayala Douglas Carter James Coley, Jr. Thomas Daley Suzanne Des Marais Brandon Green Harold Huggins Adrian Hunnings Ellen Katz Tim Knobloch Dana Landry Alana Lasover Peg Mancuso Michael McGreevy Bo Menkiti Michael Moran Shelly Murray Frank Pietranton, Jr. Randy Rothstein Brenda Small Frank Snodgrass Christopher Suranna 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 Ricki Gerger Sally Hamidi Mynor Herrera

William 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 Dominic Turano Kirsten Williams

As of April 4, 2013

Capital Area REALTOR®

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: In Maryland, may I pay a referral fee to past clients for referring new real estate clients to me from whom I earn a commission? Answer: No. Section 17-604 of the Business Occupations and Professions Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland provides that: § 17-604. Paying compensation (a) In general. -- Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, a real estate broker, an associate real estate broker, or a real estate salesperson may not pay compensation, in any form, for the provision of real estate brokerage services to any person who is not licensed under this title. (b) Exceptions. -- This section does not prohibit the payment of compensation to: (1) an individual: (i) who is licensed in another state; and (ii) who meets the requirements of § 17-513 of this; (2) a professional service corporation formed under § 17-512 of this title; or (3) a limited liability company formed under § 17-512 of this title. Section §17–513 provides that an individual licensed by this State may divide a fee that is earned on a real estate transaction in this State with an individual licensed to provide real estate brokerage services in another state if the other state allows a fee that is earned on a real estate transaction in that state to be divided with an individual licensed by this State. Question: I represent a seller wherein a potential buyer voided the contract under the Financing Contingency due to a low appraisal. Is my seller required to disclose the previous appraisal to subsequent buyers? Answer: No. Section 10-702 of the Real Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland requires that a seller provide a written property condition disclosure statement listing all defects, including latent defects, or information of which seller has actual knowledge as to certain systems in the property or a written disclaimer making no representations (other than as to latent defects which must always be disclosed). In addition, a seller must disclose any material facts of which they have knowledge. Real estate licensees must also disclose “a material fact that the licensee knows or should know and that relates to the property with which the licensee deals” (See Section 17-322(4) of the Business and Occupations Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland) and “shall avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property” (See Article 2 of the NAR Code of Ethics). A prior appraisal by a previous buyer is not a fact but instead an opinion as to value expressed by a (presumably) licensed appraisal retained by either the buyer or his or her lender and thus does not require disclosure. Question: I have a client who has a condominium unit that I am putting on the market and they also own a parking space. They want to know if they can sell the parking space separately. Answer: It all depends upon how the parking space was created and any restrictions of use and alienability contained in the condominium

Capital Area Realtor®

declaration. Many parking spaces are limited common elements, however, it is common in the District of Columbia to have parking spaces that are legally separate parcels or units. Often times the later type is referred to as “separately taxed” or “separately deeded” and these parking spaces will have their own lot numbers and, subsequently, their own tax bills. Unlike limited common element parking spaces, the separately taxed parking spaces often have more freedom as it relates to their transferability, in that they are not assigned to any particular condominium unit. However, that is not always the case and restrictions on ownership and transfer may apply. In either case, when the condominium is created the developer will file a condominium declaration (and any subsequent amendments thereto – “Declaration”) in which the rights and restrictions as they relate the “units”, the use and transfer thereof, are addressed. So, the Declaration is the place to look. Question: Can a tenant waive their right of first refusal so long as they have received the offer of sale? On Form B it talks about how the tenants cannot waive their right of first refusal but they CAN waive other rights. I don’t have it in front of me right now, but am I misreading it? Answer: All tenant’s rights questions must be evaluated on their own facts and merits. The Rental Housing Conversion and Sale Act of 1980 (TOPA) provides for the ability of tenants to transfer and dispose of their rights as follows: § 42-3404.06. Exercise or assignment of rights. The tenant may exercise rights under this subchapter in conjunction with a third party or by assigning or selling those rights to any party, whether private or governmental. The exercise, assignment, or sale of tenant rights may be for any consideration which the tenant, in the tenant’s sole discretion, finds acceptable. Such an exercise, assignment, or sale may occur at any time in the process provided in this subchapter and may be structured in any way the tenant, in the tenant’s sole discretion, finds acceptable. Accordingly, the TOPA Notices (Form B) state that tenants “…are prohibited from waiving your right to receive the Offer of Sale. However, upon receipt of this Offer of Sale, you may waive any of your other tenant’s rights….” This would certainly lead a reasonable person to believe that a waiver of the right of first refusal is an option after a proper offer of sale has been provided. However, TOPA is the source of a great deal of litigation and is generally problematic for title insurers. Title insurers often take exception to tenant’s right in owner’s title insurance policies and in order to not except for TOPA the insurers will want to be very comfortable knowing that the tenant will not be making a claim related to the improper disposition of their rights. As such, while the law might allow for a waiver that will likely be problematic in insuring the title. The TOPA Affidavit (GCAAR Form 1316) was developed as a mechanism to help facilitate this process. The affidavit states, in part, that the tenant has received both the offer of sale and right of first refusal (both Forms B&C or Form A) and has chosen not to exercise. By its terms, it requires that tenant(s) receive both rights – not just the offer of sale. In any tenanted property in the District of Columbia, there is no substitute for getting legal advice and guidance throughout the process so as to make sure all parties are informed as to the potential issues that can arise and to allow for a smooth closing. continued on page 22

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2013 March - April


Quiz Who Comes to Open Houses? Spring is in the air and that means more open houses! On the heels of Nationwide Open House Weekend, test your knowledge of open houses. Q.1 What percentage of buyers used an open house as a source in their home search process in 2012? 20% 30% 45% 60% Q.2 Which group of buyers is more likely to find their homes from an open house? First-time buyers Repeat buyers Q.3 Which age group is most likely to find a home through an open house? 18-24 25-44 45-64 Q.4 Buyers in which region of the U.S. are most likely to find a home through an open house? West Midwest South Northeast

Q.5 True or False: Buyers of new homes are more likely to use open houses than buyers of previously owned homes. Q.6 True or False: Single buyers are more likely than married couples and unmarried couples to walk through open houses. Q.7 Which group is most likely to use open houses in the U.S.? Buyers whose primary language is English Buyers who use a language other than English in the home Q.8 True or False: Buyers who were not born in the U.S. are more likely to use open houses than those who were.


1. 45% 2. Repeat buyers 3. 45 – 64 4. South

5. True 6. False 7. Buyers who use a language other than English in the home 8. True

Legal Hotline, continued from page 21 Question: I have a client with a tenant that is unsure of the amount of interest she needs to give the tenant on the tenant’s security deposit (is there a certain percentage rate that she needs to use), and how do you calculate the interest (i.e. when does it start – for the exact lease term or as of the date you received the check for the deposit from the tenant or as of the date that the deposit check was actually cashed by the landlord or some other time).

308.4 All monies held by an owner on February 20, 1976 for security deposits or other payments covered by this section shall be paid into an escrow account within thirty (30) days.

Answer: The regulations regarding the amounts allowed to be collected, required interest and the handling of the security deposits are covered by regulations in the District of Columbia and can be found in the Housing Title of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations – 14 DCMR §308 et seq.:

308.6 For each security deposit or other payment covered by this section, the owner shall clearly state in the lease or agreement or on the receipt for the deposit or other payment the terms and conditions under which the payment was made.



308.1 For purposes of this chapter, the term “security deposit” shall mean all monies paid to the owner by the tenant as a deposit or other payment made as security for performance of the tenant’s obligations in a lease or rental of the property. 308.2 On or after February 20, 1976, any security deposit or other payment required by an owner as security for performance of the tenant’s obligations in a lease or rental of a dwelling unit shall not exceed an amount equivalent to the first full month’s rent charged that tenant for the dwelling unit, and shall be charged only once by the owner to the tenant. 308.3 All monies paid to an owner by tenants for security deposits or other payment made as security for performance of the tenant’s obligations shall be deposited by the owner in an interest bearing escrow account established and held in trust in a financial institution in the District of Columbia insured by a federal or state agency for the sole purposes of holding such deposits or payments.


2013 March - April

308.5 The owner of more than one residential building may establish one (1) escrow account for holding security deposits or other payments by the tenants of those buildings.

308.7 The housing provider shall post in the lobby of the building and rental office at the end of each calendar year, the following information: Where the tenants’ security deposits are held and what the prevailing rate was for each 6-month period over the past year. At the end of a tenant’s tenancy, the housing provider shall list for the tenant the interest rate for each 6-month period during the tenancy. 308.8 The provisions of this section shall not be applicable to Federal or District of Columbia agencies’ dwelling units leased in the District of Columbia or to units for which rents are Federally subsidized. SOURCE: The Housing Regulations of the District of Columbia, 5G DCRR § 2908, Commissioners’ Order 55-1503 (August 11, 1955); as amended by: section 3 of the Security Deposit Act, D.C. Law 1-48, 22 DCR 2823 (November 28, 1975); and section 2 of the Adjustment of Interest Rates Paid on Rental Security Deposits Amendment Act of 1992, D.C. Law 9-212, §§ 2908.1(b) and 2908.5, 40 DCR 2204 (March 17, 1993), incorporating by reference the text of D.C.

Serving the Business Needs of OUR Professionals

Capital Area REALTOR®

Capital Area Realtor®

Serving the Business Needs of OUR Professionals

2013 March - April



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Capital Area REALTOR® March/April 2013  

Capital Area REALTOR® March - April 2013 issue

Capital Area REALTOR® March/April 2013  

Capital Area REALTOR® March - April 2013 issue