Capital Area REALTOR® - March/April 2014

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CapitAl Area


Official publication for the Greater Capital Area Assocation of Realtors®

march/april 2014

Come on in!

Welcome to GCAAR’S new home - page 6

Affiliate Spotlight: Bill Rozek - p. 5

Meet the Staff - p. 6

GCAAR Cares - p. 13

DCAR’s Speaker Series - p. 26

Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014



CapitAl Area


march/april 2014


in every issue


GCAAR Happenings


Ask the President


Affiliate Spotlight


Board Briefs


Welcome Home! GCAAR Moves to New Headquarters


GCAAR in the News


Membership Corner: What’s Your Membership Worth?


Green Resources




Build Your Business With Newly-Constructed Home Sales




2014 GCAAR Broker/Manager Forums


Housing Statistics


April is Fair Housing Month!


NAR Director’s Report


Meet Your GCAAR Committees




Public Policy


Build Your Business with Newly-Constructed Home Sales


Legal Hotline


Education Schedule

page 14

Capital Area REALTOR® (USPS 017-467) is published five times a year by the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®, 15201 Diamondback Drive, Suite 100, Rockville, MD 20850. Periodicals postage paid at Silver Spring, MD. Member subscriptions account for $10 of each member’s annual dues. Annual subscriptions are available to non-members for $25. Subscription inquiries may be sent to Capital Area REALTOR® at the above address. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Capital Area REALTOR®, ATTN: GCAAR, 15201 Diamondback Drive, Suite 100, Rockville, MD 20850. The Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® makes no warranties and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained herein. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the officers, directors, or staff of the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®. The Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® accepts submissions of articles and photographs and the items become the property of the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®. The publisher reserves the right of full editorial authority and to decline publication of any article not deemed proper. Deadline for submissions, including camera-ready advertising, is the first of the month prior to publication. Reprint with permission only. Reprints may be obtained by contacting the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® at 301.590.2000; via fax at 301.590.2248; or send an e-mail to REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies and may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its Code of Ethics.


Copyright© 2014 by the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®.

Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014

All rights reserved.

15201 Diamondback Drive, Suite 100 • Rockville MD 20850 Phone: 301.590.2000 • Fax: 301.590.2248 • Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter@GCAARNow Follow us on LinkedIn/in/GCAAR Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014


board of directors

ask the president

board briefs New Look for Capital Area REALTOR® Magazine

Q: Help! I’m a new agent and I am completely overwhelmed by the Greg Ford President

Suzanne Des Marais President-Elect

length and detail in the Regional Sales Contract. On top of the contract itself I’m struggling to learn what all of the jurisdictional addendums and disclosures are for. If I’m having trouble understanding it, how could my clients possibly understand it? Why did GCAAR make the contract so long?

The Board and the Communications Committee are pleased to present the Capital Area REALTOR® in a new and improved magazine format. The new look is the result of months of work by the committee and staff. We hope you like it!

-Rookie agent in DC

A: Thanks for your question. You are not alone in your concern and

frustration with the length and number of documents required to purchase and sell property in our area. We would all prefer to have shorter, more concise contracts to use, and less legal language to explain to our clients.


Tim Knobloch TREASURER



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

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

Capital Area REALTOR® Magazine


Bobette Banks MANAGING Editor

Arlene Braithwaite Advertising Representative

Deborah Bell ASSOCIATE Editor

Lisa Cadigan, Cadigan Creative Design & Layout

Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014

The contract and addendums are so long because the state, city, and local governments have all passed a significant amount of legislation over the past few decades to make the real estate transaction as safe and risk-free as possible. This is often the biggest investment in our clients’ financial lives and it’s important they know, to the greatest extent possible, what they are getting. The most consistent way to do that is to require information be disclosed in standard forms and contracts. GCAAR’s Contract and Clause Committee meets monthly to review and update these forms as legal requirements and standard practices change. They work diligently to make the language as clear and concise as possible while still properly covering the issues that need to be covered. To help you learn the Regional Sales Contract backwards and forwards, GCAAR offers a free contract review every Wednesday (except the last Wednesday of the month) from 1 -2 p.m. Space is limited, so register at to attend.

Q: In my career as a REALTOR® I have never had health insurance. Is there a REALTOR® health insurance plan I can purchase to get covered?

-Veteran agent in Potomac

A: The National Association of REALTORS® has been focusing on

health insurance for its members for many years. With the Affordable Care Act, you can now get covered through the federal government insurance exchange at As a REALTOR®, you can also get coverage through the REALTOR® Insurance Marketplace. Available through the REALTOR Benefits ® Program, the marketplace offers NAR members a private exchange on which you can compare plans and purchase your coverage. Learn more about your options at

Community Service The Community Service Committee and the Board will sponsor a Rebuilding Together® project again this year in DC. The work date is April 26, 2014. This is a great way to give something back to the community and it’s a lot of fun! The committee reported receiving over 100 submissions from Montgomery County elementary school students for the Maryland Association of REALTORS® 2015 Affordable Housing Calendar.

REALTOR® Party 2014 is an election year in Maryland and the District of Columbia and your Associations are working hard to protect and promote the interests of members and homeowners.

The Political and Campaign Affairs Committee is busy interviewing candidates for Montgomery County Executive and the County Council. We invite you to join your fellow members for a debate between the candidates for County Executive on April 24 at the GCAAR headquarters on Diamondback Drive. Watch your email for further details on this and other county campaign activities! The District of Columbia and Maryland State Associations are also interviewing State and City candidates, and endorsements could be announced in the coming weeks. Congratulations to the over 2,100 members who have collectively invested in excess of $135,000 in the REALTOR® Party in 2014. RPAC is your political E&O insurance…Make your investment online today at Contact accounting at 301-5908781 or email with questions.

Professional Standards The Board approved adopting the National Association of REALTORS®’ maximum penalty for a violation of the Code of Ethics from $5,000 to a new maximum of $15,000. The Board is also considering streamlining the review process for violations of the Sentrilock Rules and Regulations, particularly those involving the improper use of the keycard. The Board reminds all members that it is strictly prohibited to loan your keycard to another person, even if that person is also a GCAAR member and user of the electronic key system. Violations of this rule could result in suspension of keycard privileges and fines up to $15,000.

The GCAAR Board of Directors met in January at the Silver Spring office and in March at the Association’s new office in Rockville. The Board finalized the 2014 Operating Plan at the January meeting. The Operating Plan and the 2013-2015 Strategic Plan are available for review in the members section of

Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014


GCAAR happenings CAAR Committee Mixer Committee members mixed and mingled at the Firelake Grill in DC on February 19 as they kicked off the year chatting about ways to enhance programs, activities, and resources.

Affiliate Spotlight Bill Rozek

Embrace Home Loans

David Bediz, Events Committee Co-Chair; Bill Rozek, Events Committee Chair; and Greg Ford, 2014 GCAAR President.

Chair of GCAAR Events Committee (year 2) Education Committee member, Non-CE Subcommittee member How long have you been an affiliate with GCAAR? 6 years

What are some of the events you support? REALTOR® Fest, Bowling, and New Agent Events

Why do you continue to support GCAAR as an affiliate? It’s a way to give back to the organization that supports Embrace, and I enjoy it.

What would you say to people who are considering becoming an affiliate? Jean Poitevien, Property Management Committee Chair, with Yvette Robinson, Staff Liaison.

You’re doing business with people; you’re new to the association, so it’s good to be involved. Even if you’ve been in the organization for a while, it’s good to volunteer. We earn our livelihood through this business, so I feel that it’s important to donate your most precious asset, which is time.

Why do you think being a member of GCAAR is important?

Claire Buchner, Mark Butterfield, Samantha Damato, Betty Pelzer-Sharper. GCAAR Happenings, continued page 21

GCAAR is the perfect way to make sure we’re all doing the right thing…we live in such a compliant world with more and more regulations…being a member of GCAAR helps you stay informed and abreast of the rules and regulations regarding our industry. Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014


welcome home!

Those who enter through the new reception area will be warmly greeted by Jordan Hahn.

GCAAR Moves Into New Headquarters

It’s official!

The Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® (GCAAR) has moved into its new association headquarters at 15201 Diamondback Drive, Suite 100, Rockville, MD.

The Education and Events team coordinates classes and member events in the expansive new classroom space.

Mark Glazer, Director of Programs

The new 15,000-square foot headquarters is located on the first floor of the building GCAAR purchased in mid-2013. The move gave the association the opportunity to add member-friendly features not previously available, including free parking for all members and visitors, the latest technology for training and meeting rooms, and expanded areas for serving members. “As a real estate association, we believe it’s important for us to own our building,” said 2014 GCAAR President Greg Ford. “Because we also have tenants in the building, we will be reaping the benefits of rental income which is a huge plus for our Association. This building demonstrates the commitment we have to our members to be fiscally responsible so we can maintain a strong financial position for years to come.”

Renada Johnson and Gail Holcombe, Education Coordinators

At the helm, making sure GCAAR keeps members first, is Mike Moran, Chief Executive Officer.

Sandy Hargis, Executive Services Coordinator, keeps everyone in line with a smiling face.

In addition to a 100+ seat classroom, the new space includes a flexible space that can serve as a committee meeting room, 40-seat training room, or two small conference rooms. Two other small conference rooms and a board room are also part of the space. Newly-redesigned member service areas include a REALTOR® store, increased privacy at transaction counters, and full access to vending machines.

The new building also features small conference and training rooms, and a large kitchen and pantry. continued, page 8

The suite is fully wired with monitors in all meeting and classroom spaces, wireless connectivity for members, and improved audio in the classroom. Owning the building gives GCAAR increased flexibility to serve members on evenings and weekends, allowing for store hours and class offerings during non-traditional business hours that may better fit member schedules.

Hakeema Jones, Events Manager


Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014

Located in the heart of the Great Seneca Science Corridor, GCAAR’s new headquarters is in close proximity to the Rio and Kentlands shopping centers, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, and the Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland Shady Grove campuses.

Bobette Banks, Director of Communications, and Deborah Bell, Communications Manager, make sure members are in the know.

Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014


welcome home!

membership corner

GCAAR Moves Into New Headquarters Advocacy

Members can browse the store, take care of all things SentriLock®, pay dues, and more…all while having a cup of coffee or tea in the light-filled membership area. Need assistance in Professional Standards? Yvette Robinson, Professional Standards Manager, is the one you’ll need to talk to.

Now more than ever, the survival of your business and the American real estate industry are dependent on regulations and legislation that are changing on local, state, and national levels. The REALTOR® associations are your voice in this arena, promoting and protecting private property rights and the right to own, use, and transfer property. We promote the benefits of home ownership to the public and support affordable and fair housing initiatives.

Member Services • Professional Development – designation courses such as GRI, CRS®, BPOR and ABR®, a multitude of credit and non-credit enrichment opportunities, and state and national Leadership Academies help you differentiate yourself from the competition. • Mediation and Arbitration Services – save you time and legal fees.

Sabine Alexander, Member Services

Jacqueline Morgan, Membership Manager

• Networking - expand your connections through education and association events, and tap into social media outlets that help broaden your business.

JoAnne Joseph, Member Services

• REALTORS® Federal Credit Union – personal and professional financial resources for members and their families. • Committee and Community Service Opportunities – Getting involved with GCAAR and the community is a great way to hone your leadership skills, build your network, and market yourself and your business.

Not pictured: Holly Blackett, Digital Communications Specialist


? H T R WO $

member r u o y What’s


ZipForm (per ye ar) Legal Hotline (Based on 2 hrs . per year @$125/ hr.) MRIS Discount (per

$175 $250

year) $476 Education/CE D iscount (Based on 15 hrs . of CE per year) $125

Total Value of just these ben efits


• Publications – find out what’s happening in the real estate industry at all levels through REALTOR® Magazine, Maryland REALTOR® magazine, and GCAAR’s own Capital Area REALTOR®. FREE and unlimited access to the latest tools via realtor. org,,, and

Charnita Gorman, Junior Accountant Sue Jeannotte, Chief Financial Officer Mike Lee, Building Services Manager Don Maclure, Building Services

Business Resources

Katie Maclure, Senior Accountant Amy Ritsko-Warren, Project Strategist

• Contracts and ZipForm® – free downloadable and writable forms and contracts. • SentriLock – secured electronic lockbox system available only to REALTORS®. The Government Affairs/Public Policy Department makes sure that REALTOR® issues are kept at the forefront: Katalin Peter, Government Affairs Staff Attorney; Ed Krauze, GCAAR VP Public Policy, CEO, DCAR; and Daniel Wise, DCAR Communications Coordinator.


Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014

• Legal Hotline – free service providing answers for questions on real estate matters. • REALTOR® Discounts and Benefits – from NAR, MAR, DCAR, and GCAAR partners for products and services you use most. Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014


green resources

GCAAR in the news

Greening Education for GCAAR Ward 8: Will Real Estate Heat Up on the East Side of the River?

WAMU 88.5 Metro Connection March 28, 2014 Darrin Davis, GCAAR Member, featured

Landlords of the Manor

The Wall Street Journal March 20, 2014 “It’s very difficult to sell something with a tenant.” [He says having a legal rental unit in the home can boost the sale price and help the owner finance the property, but the trade-off can mean less privacy.] Tom Daley, GCAAR Board Member

Dreams (and Loans) Fulfilled

The Washington Post Express February 19, 2014 “You need a lot of patience…you have to have the time to commit to taking the classes, and then you have to find a house within your means in Washington, D.C., which can sometimes be challenging.” Bonnie Roberts-Burke, 2014 DCAR President, GCAAR Member

CJ Davis & Ron Mangas, Jr. Named to the 2014 Class of 30 Under 30 Congratulations to GCAAR members CJ Davis from Long & Foster’s Silver Spring/Downtown office and Ron Mangas, Jr. from TTR Sotheby’s International Realty’s Georgetown office for being named to REALTOR® Magazine’s Class of 30 Under 30 for 2014. In determining who makes the 30 Under 30 list, REALTOR® Magazine staff looks for candidates who are successful in the real estate business and have demonstrated skill, success, creativity, and leadership in their careers. Look for CJ, Ron, and the rest of the 30 Under 30 Class of 2014 in the May/June issue of REALTOR® Magazine.


t’s going to be an exciting year for Green initiatives—GCAAR’s Education Committee now includes a Green Subcommittee! The group has a number of action items on the docket for 2014, including:

Brokerage Discount Programs for Green Products.

Greening the MLS.

Green Classes. Under the umbrella of the Education Committee, the GCAAR Green Subcommittee will work on developing a Green CE class.

Last year, the group submitted Green search fields for a new iteration of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), and this year will work on implementation. Our goal is to make it easier for listing agents to market Green properties and more efficient for buyers to find Green homes. This will feed into the Green Subcommittee’s long-term goal to educate appraisers, so homeowners’ investments are properly reflected in market value.

We are working on identifying how brokerages might partner with outside companies to offer more Green business products, as well as educating agents on products to help Green their business.

If you’re interested in more information about Green real estate or have suggestions for the Green Subcommittee, please contact Mark Glazer at

Going GREEN 101: Energy Saving Tips As REALTORS®, you may be faced with clients interested in saving money on their utility bills. GCAAR’s Education Green Subcommittee has found a great resource in the University of Maryland’s “Go Green” initiative, where they feature a list of top 10 energy- and money- saving tips. 1. Switch to Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) 2. Install a programmable thermostat 3. Wrap and turn temperature down on your hot water heater 4. Install low-flow showerheads 5. Turn off appliances and use power strips 6. Wash laundry in cold water and line dry your clothes 7. Increase refrigerator efficiency by cleaning your refrigerator coils 8. Maintain your heating system by having it regulatory serviced 9. Insulate and air seal your home 10. Educate your family and neighbors

Visit for a variety of tools and resources to help build more sustainable communities for your livelihood as REALTORS®.


Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014

Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014



By Kristen Hernandez, RPR® Blog 5 Reasons Why You Should Use an RPR® Report at Your Next Listing Presentation

What is Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®)? Whether in your office, or on the go, RPR provides easy access to detailed property and market information, leaving you at the center of the transaction... right where you belong.

Who is it for? • Only available to REALTORS® • No third party or public access • Included in yearly NAR dues, RPR® does not cost REALTORS® any extra money

What does it offer? • Comprehensive data, powerful analytics, and dynamic reports • Easy access to detailed property and market information • Tools for agents, brokers, commercial, appraisers, associations and multiple listing services (MLS).

You know that old saying, “You only have one chance to make a first impression”? Well, it couldn’t be more true than when describing a listing presentation appointment. You must show up prepared. You need to stand out from all the other agents the sellers are interviewing. You must prove your local market expertise. Without a doubt, you know you’re the best REALTOR® for the job, but you must convince the sellers. You need a comprehensive, yet easy-to-understand report. You want something impressive, something to make you stand out. Enter Realtors Property Resource® (RPR), NAR’s national parcel-centric database containing over 160 million properties. As a member benefit exclusively for REALTORS®, not only does RPR has all the data you need, but in a format sure to impress even the most picky client. Consider this: 1. An RPR Seller’s Report can be quickly run on over 160 million properties in the country and includes data such as mortgage information, distressed information, tax assessment history, historical photos, and more. 2. An RPR Seller’s Report shows detailed market activity over time, showing your clients exactly what is going on in their neighborhood. Do your sellers live in an area with many distressed properties? Are homes selling quickly with multiple offers? Charts, graphs and detailed market information are automatically included in the RPR Seller’s Report. 3. An RPR Seller’s Report features a customized comp analysis. You choose the properties. Use your expertise to adjust the comps accordingly. The result: comps are displayed side-by-side for easy analysis. 4. Has the seller done any home improvements? Make sure they know just how that $55,000 remodeled kitchen in 2011 is worth today. Or perhaps they are considering doing a quick bathroom remodel before the home is listed. Show them exactly what spending $7,500 will return in list price. Do they have the largest lot on the block? Your refined property value is included in your RPR Seller’s Report.

Tap into RPR® resources at: realtors-property-resource

5. Your RPR Seller’s Report can be displayed on your laptop, an iPad or printed out for display at your appointment. You can even quickly email your client a copy before you leave! The best part? It’s branded with your name, company and photo, so they know who to contact. Creating an RPR Seller’s Report doesn’t take much time at all. In fact, many ‘RPR All Stars’ brag about how quickly they have created reports that their clients thought they spent hours creating!

Realtors Property Resource® Help Desk (877) 977-7576


Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014

So the next time you book a listing appointment, login to RPR, search for the property, conduct your analysis and create an RPR Seller’s Report. And don’t forget to take that listing agreement with you…you’re going to need it.


grant recipient spotlight Calvary Women’s Services: $1000 Grant Recipient Calvary Women’s Services provides transitional and permanent housing and comprehensive support services for women who are homeless in Washington, DC. Calvary believes that the most effective way to move women out of homelessness and poverty is by engaging them in individualized, skill-building services that are provided by a committed and caring staff. Services include personalized case management, life skills and education opportunities, job training, health and wellness services, on-site therapy, and daily addiction recovery meetings. Through our programs and services, we carry out our mission to offer “a safe, caring place for tonight; support, hope, and change for tomorrow.” Impact of GCAAR Cares Grant: Calvary Women’s Services is currently developing an outdoor community space to be used by residents in our programs, as well as staff and volunteers. A recent grant from GCAAR Cares has directly supported this project, providing the funds to purchase an outdoor storage shed. Executive Director, Kristine Thompson, describes the importance of this project: “For many of our clients, there is little access to green space. Our goal is to create an outdoor area to be used for a range of activities, including gardening and therapy. This will support women as they work towards their goals of good health and independence.”

Testimony: The outdoor community space and garden at Calvary will be closely linked to our Nutrition Education Program. Anna, a recent participant, reflected, “I know how to read food labels now, and I’m eating less sugar. I learned how to make healthy foods, step by step. I’m making better choices than I did before.” Calvary is looking forward to incorporating home grown herbs and produce into this program!

Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014


Build Your Business with

Newly-Constructed Home Sales

by Michele Lerner


Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014

Educating your clients You can help your clients understand the differences between buying new and buying a resale as long you understand this yourself. “I try to give my clients an idea of the quality they’ll find with various builders,” says Bob Myers, a REALTOR® with Re/ Max Realty Services in Rockville, who says about 10% of his transactions are for newly-built homes. Murtagh suggests that REALTORS® learn as much as they can about the new home construction process by taking a class or tagging along with a REALTOR® experienced in that side of real estate. Courses are available from the National Association of REALTORS®, GCAAR, and the National Association of Home Builders. Boesch recommends visiting model homes yourself to learn about options, standard features and incentive programs. She suggests asking neighbors who have bought homes in the community or in others by a particular builder about their experience. “It’s important that your buyers understand that what they see in the model home could cost $30,000 to $50,000 more than the base price of the home,” says Boesch. “I always ask for the options price list right away so I can show the buyers how much the features they want will cost.” Boesch says buyers may not understand that the sales consultant onsite represents the builder. A REALTOR® can find out about future development plans and help buyers choose the right lot and floorplan for their needs, and recommend third-party inspections.

Earning your commission “Most builders are good about paying your commission as long as you follow their protocol,” says Myers. “You must be at the first visit your buyer makes to a model home so that you can demonstrate

you’re the procuring cause for that buyer to be at that development. You need to register your client, too.” Myers says some builders pay the commission as a percent of the base price of a home while others pay it as a percent of the full price including options. “When you first meet with a client you should have them sign the buyer-agent agreement and explain representation to them,” says Boesch. “Your buyers may just decide to go to a model home to look at the décor or to get ideas, but then they could get interested in buying the home. The buyers need to know that they must let the sales representative know immediately that they are represented by an agent when they sign in.” To provide stellar customer service, it may be time to educate yourself about the opportunities for newly-built homes in Maryland and DC.

sa Cadigan

often come to you armed with information from the Internet and a preconceived notion of what they want to buy. While some of those buyers are determined to buy a newly-built home and others are committed to finding a resale with lived-in charm, most are open to a home of any age as long as it fits their priorities and budget. Your role is to educate your clients about their options and to help them see the value in different properties, including new construction homes. Anh Boesch, a REALTOR® with Real Living At Home in Chevy Chase, Md., says about 20% of her sales are new homes. “I work with a lot of first-time buyers and over time their expectations for what they can buy change,” says Boesch. “A lot of them think they want a resale home, but when they find out that a four-bedroom home with a nice yard and a two-car garage that fits their $500,000 budget will need an expensive new kitchen, they start to look at new homes that are move-in ready. Practical buyers who don’t want to stretch their budget too thin are willing to look at Clarksburg and the Villages of Urbana where there are lots of new construction options.” Eric Murtagh, a REALTOR® with Evers & Co. Real Estate in Washington, DC, says his business is about equally split between new home developments in infill locations and resales. “DC offers a diverse area of new home offerings from large tracts of development in the outer areas of Montgomery County and other counties to condos in the city and close-in suburbs to single-family home infill developments in lower Montgomery County and in Upper Northwest DC,” says Murtagh. “REALTORS® can get a lot of information on these developments on builder websites and through the New Homes Guide.” Murtagh says working with infill development in the city and lower Montgomery County requires solid networking with other REALTORS® and builders. “We often sell things that are still in the planning stage through old school communication,” says Murtagh. “Other REALTORS® seek us out because their clients can’t always find what they want. We can match up a lot and builder or customize a place that’s under construction. We also look for land for builders. We take a

“boots on the ground” approach to this to find opportunities for development.” To be informed about upcoming developments, Boesch suggests that REALTORS® check with local planning departments and stay up-to-date on social media and “coming soon” signs.

Photos © Li

you already know ® As a REALTOR ,that homebuyers

Top Tips to Sell New-Construction Homes 1. Find new communities at and and by searching on builder websites. 2. Check out the planning department sites for information about future development, keep your eyes open for road signs about upcoming developments and stay current on social media sites. 3. Sign up for email updates from builders in your area about new models, promotions, and available lots. 4. Learn about how homes are built and get tips for selling new homes at or by enrolling in a course through the National Association of Home Builders ( or through the National Association of REALTORS® ( 5. Visit new-home communities before you take a client and make sure you know the standard features and options in various models. Ask for a price list for options. 6. Learn about builder reputations by asking previous buyers about their experience and asking knowledgeable REALTORS® for advice. 7. Register your client and be at their first visit to a new community in order to earn your commission. 8. Learn about energy efficiency in homes through continuing education classes. 9. Recommend that you and your clients attend the pre-drywall inspection so they know what’s behind the walls of their new home. 10. Educate your buyers about the pros and cons of buying a new home vs. a resale and the advantages and disadvantages of using a builder’s preferred financing company.

Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014


housing statistics

by Fred Flick, PhD, Consultant/Housing Economist

MONTGOMERY COUNTY & DC Montgomery County Sales Market For the month of February, the combined – single-family and condo/coop – sales market did pretty well overall. The total unit sales volume came in at 542 properties, down almost 3% from a year ago. However, the monthly sold dollar volume totaled $257,536,170, jumping almost 10% from a year before. The average sold price came in at $475,159 – edging up almost 13%; and, the median price of $375,000 rose just over 8% from a year ago. Properties sold in February turned over a bit more quickly than a year ago. Average days on the market totaled 60 – 2 fewer days than in the previous February. However, it was less of a seller’s market this February -- the ratio of average sales price to average original listing price was 94.8%, down about a percentage from last year. The inventory was in better shape, however. February active listings totaled 1,807 properties, and this level was 22% above that of February 2012. The picture becomes a bit more complicated when we look at single-family versus condo/coop and February versus the year-to-date performance.

As one might expect, February inventory substantially exceeded the levels of the first quarter of 2013. February condo/coop active listings (427) came in 20% above the previous February, and were higher than in the first three months of the year. However, monthly new listings (239) slipped about 7% below the 2012 February monthly figure. At the monthly contracts pace, there was less than a 2-month supply of properties. It is still very early in the year, so supply has plenty of time to catch up.

The year began with price performance off a bit from last year. Year-end, the average sales price was $573,281, and the median was $460,000. Through February, the average and median prices were $553,757 and $435,500. They are down 3.4% and 5.3%, respectively, from the 2013 prices.

Sellers seemed to be in the drivers seat. The average sales price to average original listing price ratio came in at 95.7%, down less than a percent. And, inventory was up only slightly. February inventory totaled 984 actives and that figure was up less than 1% from a year ago. Below, we provide data for single-family and condo/coops, and for February and year-to-date February.

February Single-Family Homes

As with Montgomery County, the Washington, DC single-family sales market has had a mixed performance so far in 2014. Yearto-date settlements (510) rose a bit over 5%, but February new settlements (245) slipped 2% from the same month in 2013. Contracts performance also was weaker. February year-to-date contracts (595) declined almost 4% and monthly single-family contracts (303) slipped 3% from a year before.

February Single-Family Homes

For the first two months of 2014, year-to-date settlements were the same as a year ago, but contracts declined significantly over those of 2013. The 822 February year-to-date single-family settlements equaled those of the same period in 2013, but year-to-date contracts (1,116) dropped almost 14% from a year before. And, the monthly figures were down from last year. February settlements (391) were 2% below a year before, and new contracts for the month (622) fell 15%.

Similar to the single-family market, the 2014 condo/coop market also has shown negative price appreciation. For all of 2013, the average price of $269,950 was up almost 7.7% from 2012; and, the median price of $220,000 was 5.6% higher. However, through February, the average price of $263,243 had slipped 2.5% and the median of $214,750 declined 2.4% from the 2013 figures. At least there is room for improvement this spring.

February Condominiums and Cooperatives

The month of February was a bit disappointing for settlements and contracts on condominiums and cooperatives. Through February, there were 314 condo/coop settled sales – up over 10% from a year ago. But, for the month, settlements were down 8% to only 150 units. February contracts also showed declines. Yearto-date contracts (427) dropped 11% from last February; and, the 224 new monthly contracts also slipped 11%.

Furthermore, the District’s February single-family inventory was significantly below the levels of a year ago. February total active listings totaled 456 properties—down 15% from a year ago. And, new single-family listings for the month (312) dropped almost 13% from a year before. At the February sales rate, there was only a 1.5-month supply of homes. ... continued, page 18

On the other hand, the trend of inventory has been upward. At the end of 2013, total single-family active listings came in at 1,330 homes. By February, there were 1,425 total actives and these were 15% above the level of a year before. However, the 795 property listings for February were 4% below those of February 2013. Consequently, at the February contracts pace, there was only about a 2.3 months supply of properties.


Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014

Washington, DC Sales Market This February, the District of Columbia combined unit sales pace was solid compared to a year before. It totaled 495 properties, rising about 3% from a year ago. And, the sold dollar volume was $298,120,515 – jumping 14% from the previous February. The average sold price came in at $602,264, jumping 11%; and the median sold price was $467,500 rising 8%. Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014


housing statistics Prices ended 2013 on a very high note. The average single-family home cost $711,905 with a median price of $599,900 and logged appreciation rates of 8.6% and 13.2%, respectively. So far, 2014 is moving at a much slower pace. Through February, the average price of $712, 966 was up way less than 1% and the $559,700 median dropped by almost 7%. Obviously, there is lots of room for improvement this spring.

($188,900) rose over 10% and the average ($237,200) moved up 8.5% from a year ago. In the existing condo/coop market, sales units (570,000 saar) were unchanged from December, but only 1.8% above January 2013. Nevertheless, the national condo/coop median price came in at $188,700 – bouncing up 13% from a year before. And, the average price ($239,300) jumped 11%.

Economic Growth and Jobs

Condos and coops experienced very good appreciation rates in 2013. Then, prices averaged $454,600, the median was $408,500 and they were up 5.9% and 7.5% from their respective 2012 figures. So far, this year has started on the soft side. Through February, while the average price of $461,312 was up 1.5%, the $390,000 median slipped 4.5% from 2013. Again, there is plenty time for improvement with spring almost upon us.

February Condominiums and Cooperatives

The good news is that the DC condominium and cooperative market is doing much better than the single-family market. Yearto-date February settlements (462) rose almost 3% and contracts (571) were up 2% from a year ago. Moreover, monthly settlements of 249 properties jumped over 7% from a year before and February contracts (307) bumped 6% from a year before.

National Resale Market

However, the supply of listings is thin. Since September, condo/ coop inventory has been declining, and it is down for the first two months of this year as well. Nevertheless, through February, 524 total actives actually were 5% above those of the previous February. And, the 361 new listings for February were above the level of a year ago, but by less than 1%. At the February contracts pace, there was only a 1.7-month supply of properties.


Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014

Nationwide, total existing home resales in January (most recent available) totaled 4.62 million units at a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate (saar). The monthly figure slipped 5% below December and was also 5% below the rate for January 2013. The January median price of $188,900 jumped almost 11% from a year before with the $237,500 average rising almost 9%. At the end of January, there was a 1.9-million unit inventory (saar), which represented about a 5-month supply of homes. That inventory was up 2.2% from December, and over 7% above the January 2013 stock. For the single-family resales market, January sales (4.05 million, saar) declined 5.8% from December and were 6% below the pace of January 2013. However, the single-family median price

The Bureau of Economic Analysis’ second estimate of fourth quarter real GDP growth (the economic growth rate less the inflation rate) came in at a weak 2.4%. Many forecasters had estimated that the fourth quarter rate would be about 4%. Overall, 2013 had a real growth rate of only 1.9% -- lower than the 2.8% for 2012 and only slightly better than the 1.8% pace of 2011. However, with 4.1% for the 2013 third quarter and 2.4% for the fourth, it is hoped that 2014 will see a larger growth spurt. Unfortunately, so far, the weather is not cooperating and most economists are ‘tapering’ back their forecasts. With China’s growth rate slowing, Europe just starting to get back on its feet, and Brazil showing weakness, the U.S. will have to grow largely on its own. Furthermore, it is not quite clear what will happen in Eastern Europe with the recent situation in the Ukraine. Still most economists are bullish on U.S. growth, business profits, and the economy.

market is maintaining new highs on the S&P index. So far, mortgage rates have been decreasing, but likely will rise a bit as the market heats up and ‘tapering’ continues. However, there are not likely to be large spikes in rates, so it will be a good year for real estate. The Fed is still holding short-term interest rates near zero and has promised not to move away from that position until jobs and growth improve. Eventually, there will be a pull-back in stock and bond prices, but nobody knows when or how much.

The Bottom Line The 2014 real estate markets have started a bit weaker than 2013 finished. That is to be expected, given the winter weather. Nevertheless, the combined February performance was pretty good. However, it is not reasonable to expect a second act of 2013 any time soon, especially with mortgage interest rates expected to rise this year. Low inventory continues to be a problem, but that will improve over the year. This likely will be a slightly slower year, but there will be plenty of money to be made. Just manage your buyers’ and sellers’ expectations.

The good news is that the most recent jobs report has had a positive major impact on the outlook for the economy and consumer confidence. Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 175,000 jobs (200,000 are good) in February. Economists generally feel the bad weather in February was a major negative factor, and that had the climate been more clement, the numbers would have been even better. The household survey for the unemployment rate came in with a slightly higher 6.7% rate. However, this was due primarily to an increased labor force, as job seekers became more optimistic about finding a job. Analysts also believe that the cold weather kept the first quarter GDP growth rate down by as much as 1% point; however, they expect that growth will be shifted to raise the second quarter rate by over 1% due to pent-up demand.

Monetary Policy, Interest Rates, and Inflation So far, the Fed appears likely to continue to cut monthly purchases of U.S. Treasury securities and mortgage bonds. At this point, it is expecting the economy to get stronger as recent labor reports have indicated. They have also publicly said they will continue to put pressure on short-term interest rates into 2015. While some investors have expected the stock and bond markets to fall with the ‘tapering,’ that has not happened based on theory. Other factors seem to be affecting both stocks and bonds, as the stock Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014


GCAAR happenings CAAR

YPN St. Paddy’s Day Event

GCAAR members gathered at Roof in Bethesda for the YPN networking event on March 12. Nearly $200 was collected for Children’s Hospital.


2014 GCAAR Broker/Manager Forums Broker/Manager Forums are an excellent way for brokers to stay abreast of the issues facing the real estate industry. Join us each month at noon for informative discussions and a wealth of resources. Lunch is free but registration is required. Notices are sent to brokers via email.

May 7: “The Most Common Mistakes Made by Agents That Delay Settlement and How to Avoid Them” Speaker: Chris Darby, Esq., Counselor’s Title

June 18: “The Most Common Complaints Received by the Real Estate Commission”

Speakers: Kathy Connelly, Maryland Real Estate Commission Alton Duncanson, District of Columbia Real Estate Commission All forums are held at 15201 Diamondback Drive, Suite, 100, Rockville, MD. Noon - 2:00 p.m.


Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014

Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014



meet your GCAAR committees

director’s report Suzanne Des Marais 2014 GCAAR President-Elect, NAR Director NAR Midyear Meetings Get New Name and Focus

Good Neighbor Awards Applications Due May 16

Realtor Party ®

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has changed the name of its Midyear Legislative Meetings to the REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo. NAR President Steve Brown says the new name reflects REALTORS® growing advocacy presence at the federal, state and local levels. NAR’s May meetings are extremely informative and an excellent way to reach out to your representatives. I encourage you to attend this event, and be sure to attend the Region 3 Meeting and Reception on Friday, May 16. Region 3 includes the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia.

NAR 2015 Committee Selection Process Is Open – Ends May 23 The selection process to be part of a NAR Committee for 2015 opened on March 11. If you’re interested, you’ll need to complete an Expertise Profile so that NAR has a detailed resource when it selects committee, work group, and presidential advisory group appointments or when seeking members for other volunteer opportunities. You will be able to indicate the level of participation with which you feel comfortable when completing the profile form. Completing an Expertise Profile is not synonymous with submitting a committee recommendation. If you wish to serve on a committee, you must still submit an online recommendation during NAR’s recommendation period which ends on May 23.


GOOD NEIGHBOR AWARDS If you, or someone you know, are doing great work serving the community, REALTOR® Magazine wants to hear about it! The Good Neighbor Awards recognize REALTORS® for extraordinary accomplishments in community service. Good Neighbor Award winners receive $10,000 grants for their charities, as well as national and local publicity for their cause. Winners also will be flown to the National Association of REALTORS®’ annual conference in New Orleans, where they will receive their award in front of thousands of fellow REALTORS®. Past winners all report that their charity benefited from additional donations and volunteers as a result of the exposure. Nominations must be received by

Friday, May 16, 2014.

GCAAR Property Management Committee

GCAAR Events Committee

The Property Management Committee reviews the association’s current property management and rental forms making recommendation on revisions, and also creates new forms as needed (determined by market conditions and changing regulations). 51 percent of their real estate work must be in rentals. The committee meets monthly.

The Events Committee solicits and secures sponsors for GCAAR’s annual education summit and trade show, plans self-funding networking and other member events, and also plans and executes international events through its International subcommittee. The committee meets monthly.

2014 Roster

William Rozek, Chair David Bediz, Vice Chair Thomas Allotta Claire Buchner Constance Davis Sara Demb Goldstein Asmeret Demeter-Medhane Mary DeRose Joe Detrick Edward Giles Zulekha Jennings-Rahman Emiliana Lobos-Kirker, GRI Pushpa Mittal Yella Reddy Michael Schimmel Christopher Suranna Brian Willingham

Jean Poitevien, Chair Lewis Laws, Vice Chair San Luisa Mosaid-Barnes Thomas Bateman Hubert Brucker Cynthia Davis Mitchell Farrah Sally Hamidi, GRI F. William Howell Harold Huggins, CCIM, CPM, CRB, CRS, GRI Richard Humrichouse Tim Knobloch, CRS, GRI Zacchaeus Odebo Matthew Rogers Charles Sullivan, ABR, CRS, GRI Shahnaz Tehraniazad Gordon Young

2014 Roster

Scan the QR code to access the Good Neighbor Awards entry form. The deadline is May 16, 2014

The timeline for the recommendation process and the online application can be found at

L-R: Sandy Hargis and Yvette Robinson, Co-Staff Liaisons; Lewis Laws, Vice Chair Not pictured, Jean Poitevien, Chair.


Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014

L- R: Bill Rozek, Events Committee Chair; Hakeema Jones, Staff Liaison; David Bediz, Co-Chair Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014


April is Fair Housing Month!

RPAC Thank You RPAC Investors Platinum “R” ( $10,000)

Capital Club ($250-$999)


Briana Ayala

Golden “R” ($5,000)

Wendy Banner

Bonnie Casper Carole Maclure Dale Ross

Frederic Bates David Bediz Elizabeth Blakeslee Jan Brito

Crystal “R” ($2500) Jamie Coley Jill Pogach Michaels Michael Moran Randy Rothstein Christopher Suranna Holly Worthington

Sterling “R” ($1,000)

Thomas Brockett Nathan Carnes Thomas Castagnola Lori Connor Christopher Darby Anthony DeVol Samuel Dweck Jeffrey Ganz Andrea Gaus Dorie Glass

Koki Adasi

Scott Goldberg

Charles Burger

Jacqueline Grenning

Thomas Daley

Sally Hamidi

Suzanne Des Marais

Gwen Henderson

James Downing

Colin Johnson

Greg Ford

Ellen Katz

Harold Huggins

Anthony Mancuso

Adrian Hunnings

Kevin McDuffie

Angela Jones

Dennis Melby

Tim Knobloch

Thomas Muldoon

Justin Levitch

Vittorio Muzzatti

Peg Mancuso

Allan Prigal

Shelly Murray

Bonnie Roberts-Burke

Frank Pietranton, Jr.

R. Bradley Runyan

Leigh Reed

Susan Sanford

Jason Sherman

Marie Shannon

Jennifer Smira

P. Joy Siegel

Announcing the New REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo Brand The National Association of REALTORS® is pleased to announce that the Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo is renamed the REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo. This event will be held May 12-17, 2014 in Washington, DC, with the REALTOR® Party Trade Expo being held on May 14-15. More than 8,000 REALTORS® and REALTOR® Association staff are expected to attend.

Frank Snodgrass Patrick Weed Edward Wood

(as of March 19, 2014)


Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014

Realtor Party ®

Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014


public policy Montgomery County

District of Columbia

Councilmember Nancy Floreen Eric Goulet Speaks at DCAR DC Budget Director and Deputy Speaks at GCAAR

GCAAR continued its “Politically Speaking Series” on March 19 with Councilmember Nancy Floreen (D - At-large) briefing the Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Public Policy Committee and GCAAR Board members on Floreen (left) with GCAAR Public Policy the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite. Chair, Elley Kott. She discussed how the changes will simplify and streamline the zoning process for both residential and commercial development. All current buildings will be grandfathered and legal under the new regulations. Residential homeowners will now be able to search online by address to see the current zoning of their property at

Chief of Staff, Eric Goulet, paid DCAR a visit in February to discuss the District’s financial well-being and outlook. DC’s handling of sequestration and the federal government shutdown were covered in great detail.

Mr. Goulet candidly answered questions and reassured attendees that the District’s budget plan is in good hands.

GCAAR understands the importance of affordable housing and supports practical approaches to maintaining housing choices for all County residents.


Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014

The “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act” repeals the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) authority to increase premium rates at time of sale or new flood map, and refunds the excessive premium to those who bought a property before FEMA warned them of the rate increase. The bill limits increases to 18% annually on newer properties and 25% for some older ones. It adds a small assessment on policies until everyone is paying full cost for flood insurance.

DCAR CEO Ed Krauze, 2014 DCAR President-Elect Ed Wood, DCAR President Bonnie Roberts-Burke, NAR VP of Political Programs Scott Reiter, and NAR Political Representatives Shannon Burke, Karl Eckhart, and Chris Gosselin.

bring together REALTORS® and government officials who directly affect the real estate business. All upcoming DCAR Speaker Series can be found at


to EVERYONE who took the time to respond to NAR’s multiple Calls For Action! Without your efforts, flood insurance rates could have sky rocketed leaving millions of homeowners uninsured.

zoning corner

DC Mayor’s Budget Director and Deputy Chief of Staff Eric Goulet, 2014 DCAR President Bonnie Roberts-Burke, and 2013 DCAR Past President Ed Downs.

Affordable Housing Remains a Top Priority

A new property tax credit proposal for senior citizens of limited income would double the amount of each year’s property tax credit. The credit would increase from 25% to 50% of the State and County Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit awarded in that year. The legislation is expected to move forward this spring.

After months of advocacy, NAR Calls For Action and federal government agency engagement, Congress passed legislation that will keep flood insurance affordable for homeowners across the country.

DCAR’s Speaker Series aims to

Floreen served as Council President in 2010 and currently chairs the Council’s Planning, Housing, and Economic Development (PHED) Committee.

The County’s 2015 Capital Improvement Budget continues key investments made to provide more housing choices for residents of low and moderate means. Housing developers may also see more incentives encouraging building a wider-range of affordable housing units, including those with two or three bedrooms.

Flood Insurance Passes

“The city is in good financial health today,” Goulet said. “When I walked in on my first day on the job, the City was facing a $322 million gap between the base-line budget and its revenue. Today the gap between the base-line budget and revenue is only two million dollars.”

Attendees also asked questions on the role REALTORS® can play in the legislative process. Floreen expressed her appreciation for the hard work REALTORS® invest in their communities and her willingness to continue working with GCAAR.

GCAAR is proud to have a solid working relationship with the Montgomery County Council. We encourage all members to voice their ideas on any legislative or public policy issue with our Government staff at

on the Hill

NAR’s Government Affairs Team Briefs DC REALTORS®

DCAR’s March Speaker Series featured NAR staff for a “Federal Issues Briefing.” Topics included the passing of NAR supported flood insurance legislation (more on page 27), possible comprehensive tax code reform ideas (including real estate related provisions), and the secondary mortgage market. The team highlighted NAR’s perseverance which helped move flood insurance legislation forward. They also touched on the Senate Banking Committee’s suggestion to “wind down” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. NAR supports the continuation of the two entities to ensure the housing market’s recovery stays on track. The team applauded DC’s representative Eleanor Holmes Norton for her fierce defense of the real estate business in the District.

Montgomery County Passes Ordinance Rewrite After years of research, public hearings, and review, the Montgomery County Council approved the first major update to the County Zoning Ordinance since 1978. The changes are aimed at providing clarity and greater flexibility for development. GCAAR submitted testimony on key issues including: • Increasing public benefit points for developers that provide more affordable housing units • Protecting the character of residential neighborhoods while encouraging transit-oriented and mixed-use development • Giving property owners flexibility in applying for reasonable zoning exceptions The rewrite is expected to become effective October 30, 2014 after the Council approves an amended zoning map. GCAAR is working with Council staff on resource materials detailing how the changes will directly affect REALTORS® — keep an eye out!

Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014


Simplify Your Showings Online new product included in your MRIS subscription with Benefits of ShowingTime include: ShowingTime! Have you tried • Receive and confirm requests immediately

M R I S ’s n e w Showing Time for the MLS product yet? This convenient online showing management tool is included in your core MRIS subscription, meaning there is no additional fee to use MRIS ShowingTime. The ‘Schedule a Showing’ button next to your listings makes it easy to get showings… other agents can just point, click, and show.

• Reduce your phone calls and phone tag

Listing Agents:

• Schedule multiple showings for clients with the ShowingCart™ Tour function

With ShowingTime for the MLS, listing agents can turn on the ‘Schedule a Showing’ button next to their listings. This button makes a listing more attractive because other agents know appointments will be confirmed quickly. Just click on the Showings icon from the Keystone Homepage to enter showing information for a listing, and that information is then accessible to showing/buyer agents in Matrix and on the MRIShomes™ app. ShowingTime for the MLS has three showing appointment types that the listing agent can select from: • View Instructions Only - the showing agent views the listing instructions immediately without having to contact the listing agent to setup an appointment • Courtesy Call or Go and Show - the showing agent schedules an appointment that will be immediately confirmed with no action required by the listing agent • Appointment Required - the showing agent schedules an appointment that must be confirmed by the listing agent and/or any of the designated listing contacts

Showing Agents: For showing agents, you can browse listings and click the ‘Schedule a Showing’ button in Matrix or the MRIShomes mobile app. Showing agents can use ShowingTime to make showing requests by selecting dates and times from a shared calendar. Showing requests are then delivered to the listing agent, owner/occupant, and/or another contact determined by the listing agent/broker for notification and/or confirmation. The ShowingCart™ feature can also be used to schedule several showings at a time. Once you put them in the Cart, you can print out a map for your Buyer’s Tour and be on your way.


Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014

• Block out times a listing is not available to be shown

• Give agents 24/7 access to request showings on your listings • Access helpful feedback tools, such as surveys and reports • Send feedback requests automatically to showing agents

• Integrate with Appointment Center services, such as Centralized Showing Service (CSS) Video tutorials, class registration and quick reference guides are available at Start simplifying your showings today! Please note: Use of ShowingTime for the MLS is optional, meaning you can choose to turn on ShowingTime for your listings. Functionality in Matrix will also remain unchanged. Even if a listing agent turns on ShowingTime for his or her listings, the showing instruction fields will remain on Matrix displays and reports.

legal hotline


education schedule

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

Question: My client owns a 4-unit building that

he is thinking about converting into condominiums. He is unfamiliar with the process, but is specifically concerned about the condominium conversion fee. How do we know if he will be subject to it?

Answer: DC Law has established a fee of 5% of the sales price,

to be paid into escrow at the time of the sale of the units, for each condominium unit (or proportionate value of the cooperative) on an owner who converts a housing accommodation (including vacant buildings). There are exemptions from the fee contained in the law (D.C. Code § 42-3402.04 (b)). In creating the condominium, you will need to file for an exemption, if applicable. The attorney preparing the condominium documents will be able to assist in the application for exemption.

Question: I have a listing where the tenant has recently vacated. She is the only one on the lease and she and her boyfriend are looking for a place with more space. To whom do I need to send Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) notices? Answer:

The individual on the lease is certainly entitled to her TOPA rights, and so might her boyfriend. DC Law has a rather broad definition of “tenant”. Offers of Sale (and rights of first refusal) under TOPA must be sent individually to each tenant. The definition of a tenant in D.C. Code §42-3401(17) is the following: Tenant means a tenant, subtenant, lessee, sub lessee, or other person entitled to the possession, occupancy or benefits of a rental unit within a housing accommodation. The facts relating to the living relationship here, as well as any assent of the owner to allow the boyfriend to occupy the property, may very well make the boyfriend a tenant as well. This is a perfect example of why every TOPA case needs to be addressed on its individual merits, and as early as possible, so as to ensure compliance with the law.


Question: I need your help to interpret Clause

24 of the MC Lease where it says notices are to be given 60 days before the lease expires, but 30 days for single-family rental property. Are leased townhouses, which are attached to a block of few other townhouses, considered single-family rental property, per interpretation of Clause 24?

Answer: Section 29-1 of the Montgomery County Code defines a Single-Family Dwelling Unit as follows: “Dwelling unit, single-family: A dwelling unit that has at least one direct entrance from the outside for the exclusive use of its occupants. A single-family dwelling unit may be detached from other dwelling units or share a side or rear wall with another dwelling unit.” Therefore, a townhouse would be considered a single-family rental property for purposes of the notice clause. Question:

What is a “subagent” in regard to the Broker giving commission? Is a subagent a licensed agent? If not, is it best to NOT agree to pay a subagent, and have the payment only go to a licensed agent?

Answer: Subagency refers to the relationship between the listing

broker/agent and another broker/agent who brings the buyer to purchase the property. In subagency, the agent bringing the buyer is actually working for the seller as a subagent of the listing broker. This is important, as the agent working with the buyer actually owes fiduciary duties to the seller, not the buyer. Subagency occurs when the agent does not have a buyer-broker agreement in place with the buyer. So while a subagent is licensed, the question of whether to pay a subagent is a good one. The problem with subagency is the fact that the listing broker/agent and their seller clients are held responsible for the actions, errors and omissions of the subagent. Does the seller want a third party, who they likely do not know, representing them? It’s a discussion you should have with the seller. The reason to pay a subagent is so you do not eliminate anyone from showing the property.

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.


Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014

May 7, 2014 Financing Issues/Update CEU: 3 hours DC (Required); MD & VA (Elective) Instructor: James Semeyn Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. *NAR Building/3rd Floor

May 2, 2014 Financing Issues/ Update CEU: 3 hours DC (Required), MD & VA (Elective) Instructor: James Semeyn Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. May 2, 2014 Maryland Code of Ethics & Predatory Lending CEU: 3 hours MD (Required), DC (Elective) Instructor: Counselors Title Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. * NAR Building/3rd Floor May 1, 2014 Veterans Administration (VA) Financing CEU: 3 hours MD & DC (Elective) Instructor: James Semeyn Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. May 1, 2014 Maryland Fair Housing CEU: 1.5 hours MD (Required), DC (Elective) Instructor: Counselors Title Time: 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

May 7, 2014 Broker Manager Forum: The Most Common Mistakes that Agents Make that Delay Settlement and How to Avoid Them CEU: No CE Instructor: Counselors Title Time: 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. May 7, 2014 Non-Conforming Financing CEU: 3 hours MD, DC & VA (Elective) Instructor: James Semeyn Time: 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. May 8, 2014 Maryland Code of Ethics & Predatory Lending CEU: 3 hours MD (Required) & 3 hours DC (Elective) Instructor: Jill Michaels Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. May 8, 2014 New Member Orientation CEU: No CE Instructor: Jill Michaels Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. May 15, 2014 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) Instructor: Suzanne Feinstein Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 a.m.

May 5, 2014 RPR Basics CEU: No CE Instructor: Jacqueline Talpa Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

May 15, 2014 Regional Sales Contract Update CEU: 3 hours MD, DC & VA (Elective) Instructor: Greg Flynn Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

May 5, 2014 RPR Advanced CEU: No CE Instructor: Win Singleton Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

May 16, 2014 Contracts, Settlement Procedures & Disclosures CEU: 3 hours MD & DC (Elective) Instructor: Chad Older Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

May 16, 2014 Working with Investors CEU: 1.5 hours MD & DC (Elective) Instructor: Chad Older Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. May 19, 2014 Virginia Fair Housing CEU: 2 hours VA (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: George Glekas Time: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. May 21, 2014 2011-2013 Maryland Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours MD (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: Greg Flynn Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. May 21, 2014 Contract Basics CEU: 3 hours MD, DC & VA (Elective) Instructor: Greg Flynn Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. May 22, 2014 Maryland Code of Ethics & Predatory Lending CEU: 3 hours MD (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: Al Monshower Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. May 22, 2014 MREC Agency - Residential CEU: 3 hours MD (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: Jacqueline Talpa Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. * NAR Building/3rd Floor May 22, 2014 Maryland Fair Housing CEU: 1.5 hours MD (Required), DC (Elective) Instructor: Al Monshower Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. May 22, 2014 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) Instructor: Jacqueline Talpa Time: 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. * NAR Building/3rd Floor May 28, 2014 Home Inspections CEU: 3 hours MD, DC & VA (Elective) Instructor: Vimal Kapoor Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

continued, page 32 Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014


education schedule May 28, 2014 Home Innovations & Trends CEU: 3 hours MD, DC & VA (Elective) Instructor: Vimal Kapoor Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. May 29,2014 Working with Buyers CEU: 3 hours MD, DC & VA (Elective) Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. May 29, 2014 Representing the Seller CEU: 3 hours MD, DC & VA (Elective) Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

June 4, 2014 Maryland Code of Ethics & Predatory Lending CEU: 3 hours MD (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: Ned Rich Time: 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. * NAR Building/3rd Floor June 5, 2014 Veterans Administration (VA) Financing CEU: 3 hours MD & DC (Elective) Instructor: James Semeyn Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. June 5, 2014 DC Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) Instructor: Counselors Title Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. *NAR Building/3rd Floor June 5, 2014 Non-Conforming Financing CEU: 3 hours MD, DC & VA (Elective) Instructor: James Semeyn Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

June 2, 2014 Financing Issues/Update CEU: 3 hours DC (Required), MD & VA (Elective) Instructor: Jamica Browne Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. June 4, 2014 DC Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) Instructor: Jacqueline Talpa Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. June 4, 2014 Rental Property Management CEU: 3 hours MD & DC (Elective) Instructor: Jean Poitevien Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. * NAR Building/3rd Floor June 4, 2014 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) Instructor: Jacqueline Talpa Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.


Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014

June 5, 2014 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (Required) Instructor: Counselors Title Time: 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. *NAR Building/3rd Floor June 6, 2014 Virginia Fair Housing CEU: 2 hours VA (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: George Glekas Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. June 6, 2014 Maryland Fair Housing CEU: 1.5 hours MD (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: George Glekas Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. June 9, 2014 Mortgage Basics CEU: 3 hours MD, DC & VA (Elective) Instructor: Debbie Benkert Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

June 9, 2014 FHA Financing CEU: 3 hours MD, DC & VA (Elective) Instructor: Debbie Benkert Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. June 11, 2014 2011-2013 Maryland Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours MD (Required) & 3 hours DC (Elective) Instructor: Counselors Title Time: 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. * NAR Building/3rd Floor June 11, 2014 Transaction Red Flags CEU: 1.5 hours MD & DC (Elective) Instructor: Barbara Maloney Time: 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.

Ask us...

How our clients receive an average of $4,074 in savings* on their home purchase when they use a Prudential PenFed Realty agent and Prudential PenFed Realty’s affiliates. It didn’t come from the commission.

June 12, 2014 MREC Agency - Residential CEU: 3 hours MD (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: Al Monshower Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. June 12, 2014 MREC Required Supervision CEU: 3 hours MD (Required for brokers; Elective for agents) & DC (Elective) Instructor: Al Monshower Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. June 13, 2014 Virginia Mandatory Contracts Class CEU: 2 hours VA (Required) Instructor: George Glekas Time: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. June 13, 2014 Virginia Mandatory Agency CEU: 1 hour VA (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: George Glekas Time: 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. June 13, 2014 Virginia Legal Update CEU; 1 hour VA (Required) & DC (Elective) Instructor: George Glekas Time: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Ranked Highest Overall Satisfaction† For First-Time and Repeat Home Buyers and First-Time Home Sellers among National Full Service Real Estate Firms. Regional Vice President: Judy Rudat, | Terri Bracciale, *Savings are based on the discounts received by PenFed Realty’s clients for using PenFed Realty’s mortgage and title affiliates as compared to purchasing the settlement services from PenFed Realty’s mortgage and title affiliates without retaining the services of PenFed Realty. † Prudential Real Estate received the highest numerical score among full-service real estate firms for first-time and repeat home buyers and first-time home sellers in the proprietary J.D. Power 2013 Home Buyer/Seller Study. SM Study based on 4,371 total evaluations measuring 5 firms and measures opinions of individuals who have sold a home in the last 12 months. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed April-June 2013. Your experiences may vary. Visit © 2014 BRER Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated broker member of BRER Affiliates, LLC. Prudential,the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are registered service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Used under license with no other affiliation with Prudential. Equal Housing Opportunity. Prudential-PenFed Realty is an independently owned and operated member of BRER Affiliates, LLC. PenFed Membership is not required to conduct business with Prudential-PenFed Realty. We are proud to be an equal employment opportunity employer: m/f/v/d.

Capital Area REALTOR® • Mar/Apr 2014


The Power of There’s a lot of power in this one little character. It can do much more than join two things. It can create magic. More than 45 years ago it created Long & Foster and started us on the path to becoming the nation’s largest independent real estate company. Now we’d like to put the power of & to work for you — by giving you the right combination of support

& independence you need to succeed. While some companies offer you this or that, we give you this & that —



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