Capital Area REALTOR® Winter 2015

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Official publication for the Greater Capital Area Assocation of REALTORS®

winter 2015


Each property is promoted on

Coldwell Banker is the


most visited real estate brand online 2.



Buyers from


countries visited last year 1.


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2016 Board Installed - p. 6

GCAAR Cares - Year in Review - p. 8

winter 2015

Affiliate of the Year - p. 10


Public Policy – p. 16

in every issue


Association News


Ask the President


Don’t Let This Happen To You


Affiliate Spotlight


GCAAR Installs 2016 Board of Directors


GCAAR Cares - Year in Review


Affiliate of the Year


Message from the Green Subcommittee


Legal Hotline


NAR Director’s Report


GCAAR in the News


Public Policy



19 RPAC 20

Housing Statistics




Education Schedule

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

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

Copyright© 2015 by the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®. All rights reserved.

Follow us on Instagram/GCAAR

board of directors

ask the president Q: Why doesn’t GCAAR keep my credit card information on file for dues billing?

A: Thanks for your question! It’s one we get a lot around billing time. The reason we don’t keep your credit card information on file is Peg Mancuso PRESIDENT-ELECT

Suzanne Des Marais PRESIDENT

for the security of your card number and the accuracy of its information. We want to ensure the safety of your credit card information to the best of our ability. As soon as your card is run and cleared, we delete the number from our records, making it impossible to be hacked from our system. The second reason is one of accuracy. Unlike MRIS, GCAAR bills members just one time a year. Credit cards typically expire every two – four years. If we kept credit card information on file, 25 – 50% of it would be inaccurate every year, which would delay the processing of your membership renewal.

Q: I saw the emails about voting for the Board of Directors, but I Jamie Coley SECRETARY

Tim Knobloch TREASURER



directors Koki Adasi David Bediz Thom Brockett Roger Carp Tom Daley Jacque Grenning

William “Bill” Hounshell Vicky Lobos-Kirker Danai Mattison Sky Hildy Pollard Frank Snodgrass Pat Weed

Capital Area REALTOR® Magazine Bobette Banks MANAGING EDITOR




don’t really understand what the Directors do. Can you fill me in?

A: Your Board of Directors is here as your voice for everything that GCAAR does, including the services, benefits, and advocacy efforts the

association provides. We meet every six weeks or so to discuss and vote on issues that require association funds, policy changes, and professional standards cases. As an overall mission, we are tasked with setting the strategic direction of the association, and the basic guidelines for how it will be fulfilled. We set the budget for the association, monitor and approve actions of committees, and consider state and national level REALTOR® association initiatives. At times we initiate new programs or offerings that don’t fall under the auspices of an existing committee and take on long-term decisions, such as the purchase of our building in 2013.

association news Gwen Henderson Installed As Maryland Women’s Council of REALTORS® President GCAAR member Gwen Henderson was installed as President of the Maryland Chapter of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® (WCR) on October 19 at the Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR) headquarters in Annapolis. Gwen was the 2013 - 2014 President of the Greater Capital Area Chapter of WCR. She is also a past GCAAR Board member and served on the GCAAR Cares committee for several years. Former National Women’s Council of REALTORS® 2013 President Anita Davis, Greater Baltimore Chapter, installed Gwen.

Maryland WCR Officers: L-R: 2016 Treasurer, Kim Bogris, Greater Baltimore Chapter; 2016 Treasurer, Bernie Flax, Coastal Delmarva Business Resource Group; 2016 President-Elect, Christina Carroll, Anne Arundel Chapter; 2016 President, Gwen Henderson, Greater Capital Area Chapter.

Newly-installed Maryland WCR President Gwen Henderson.

2016 Greater Capital Area WCR Officers L-R: President, Jackie Bennett; President-Elect, Elois Wiggins; Immediate Past President, Gwen Henderson; Secretary, Holly Buchanan; Ways & Means Chair, Maria Rodriguez; Vice President of Membership, Linda Kibunja.

L-R: GCAAR COO Bill Highsmith; Anita Davis, Greater Baltimore Chapter WCR; GCAAR CEO Mike Moran; MAR CEO Chuck Kasky; 2016 Greater Capital Area WCR President Jackie Bennett; 2016 Greater Capital Area President-Elect Elois Wiggins; MD WCR President Gwen Henderson.

GCAAR happenings YPN Closes Out the Year Sharing Top Producers “Secrets” and Giving Back GCAAR’s Young Professional Network (YPN) closed out the year with two very successful events. The ever popular “Dirty Little Secrets” professional development event was held October 14 at the District Architecture Center and attracted over 100 attendees who got to hear top producers share their secrets of success. Tips ranged from investing in yourself as a brand, to how to build your network. On December 3, YPN held its last event of the year - its first annual Tacky Sweater Happy Hour at Paladar at the North Bethesda Market. The event benefited Martha’s Table and brought colleagues together for a fun event to kick off the holiday season.



Tacky sweater contest winner Trang Bui shows off her winning outfit.

GCAAR Board Member David Bediz shares tips for success.

L-R: YPN Chair Rob Rothstein with Koki Adasi, Trang Bui, Melissa Lango, CJ Rader, and Harrison Beacher

L-R:Trent Hemminger, Compass, Bill Moody, Washington Fine Properties; and Brad Rozansky (with mic), Long & Foster.

Lessons Learned During an Submitted By Joy Liberti, Chair 2015 Professional Standards Committee Inconsistent Market

Don’t Let This Happen to You!

Present a True Picture in All Advertising

the sign must change as well.

Property signs are considered advertising and must be in conformity with the guidelines of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Code of Ethics. It’s OK to put up a “sold” sign, but make sure that it presents a true picture of the status of the property. If that status changes,

In the following instance, REALTOR® A was charged with a violation of Article 12 of the Code of Ethics: Duties to Clients and Customers ARTICLE 12 “REALTORS® shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations…” Case #12-5: True Picture in Use of “Sold” Sign REALTOR® A, the listing broker, was charged by REALTOR® B with giving a false picture in his advertising by putting up a “sold” sign on a property that had not been sold. REALTOR® A was notified of the complaint and of the date of a hearing on it scheduled before a Hearing Panel of his Board’s Professional Standards Committee. Undisputed testimony offered during the hearing revealed that REALTOR® A was an exclusive agent, offering Client C’s home for sale. An offer to buy was obtained from Prospect D and a counter proposal by Client C was accepted. An earnest money deposit was made, and a date for settlement was agreed upon. At that point, REALTOR® A put up his “sold” sign. Several days later, Prospect D received an unexpected notice from his employer that he was to be transferred to another city. Prospect D immediately contacted REALTOR® A and Client C about his predicament. In an amicable discussion it was agreed that everyone had acted in good faith;



that the property was readily marketable; that the earnest money deposit would be refunded; and that REALTOR® A would put the property on the market again. A week later, when REALTOR® B was showing a number of houses to a prospective buyer, they drove by Client C’s property, and the prospect casually said that she didn’t understand the “sold” sign, since she had been taken to the house that morning by REALTOR® A. REALTOR® B contended that a “sold” sign is a measure of a REALTOR’S® advertising, and that it cannot give a true picture if it is put up prior to the settlement and actual transfer of ownership. The Hearing Panel’s decision agreed with REALTOR® B’s contention that the use of a “sold” sign constitutes advertising by a REALTOR® but did not agree that a “sold” sign could be put up only after the actual settlement and transfer of ownership. The decision indicated that after the client’s acceptance of a bona fide offer, REALTOR® A could consider that he had brought about a sale and would not be in violation of the requirement to give a “true picture” by putting up a “sold” sign. However, once it was clear that the sale had fallen through, the “sold” sign should have been immediately removed since allowing the sign to remain in place no longer provided a “true picture.” REALTOR® A was found by the panel to have violated Article 12. Remember, REALTORS® found in violation of the Code of Ethics can receive letters of warning or reprimand; fines; required attendance at educational sessions; probation and suspension. Don’t Let This Happen To You!

for more information:

Visit the Code of Ethics section at

and print a stylish color poster of the 2015 NAR Code of Ethics (PDF) suitable for framing and hanging in your office.

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Capitol Title has had an active membership since GCAAR’s inception. Before that, we had been affiliate members with WDCAR (now DCAR) since the 1980s.

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How long have you been an Affiliate with GCAAR?


What are some of the events you sponsor?

We have sponsored awards events over the years, networking events, happy hours, and we always are involved with the annual REALTOR® Fest education event.

Why do you continue to support GCAAR as an Affiliate?

Maryland Association of REALTORS® Regional Roundtable February 4 We want to hear from you!

Tell us about the issues that you are facing in your local market and how MAR can help.

February 4, 2016 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. (lunch will be provided)

Greenbelt Marriott 6400 Ivy Lane Greenbelt, MD 20770

We support GCAAR so that we can be aware of and involved in things happening in our industry. We also think it’s important to be a good resource for real estate agents and to help them stay on top of the ever-evolving contract and keep them aware of changes in real estate law that may impact their business. We also think it’s important to give back to the community that has helped grow and support Capitol Title over our many years in business. It is also a great avenue for networking with other real estate professionals.

What would you say to people who are considering becoming an Affiliate?

We constantly try to get people to become members of GCAAR, especially those starting out. It’s the best way to get involved, hear about events, learn about legislative changes, meet others in your industry, make things happen, and it even helps with business development.

2016 MAR President

Bonnie Casper


All Howard, GCAAR, Prince George’s County, and Southern Maryland members are invited to attend.

RSVP to Tracy Powelson ( by Wednesday, January 27, 2016



association news Peg Mancuso Installed as 2016 GCAAR President The Lakewood Country Club was the location for this year’s Annual Meeting, Holiday Party, and Installation of the 2016 officers and Board members on December 1, and provided an elegant and festive backdrop as Peg Mancuso was installed as 2016 GCAAR President.

Awards were given to the 2015 Affiliate of the Year Robert W. Moses, Rookie of the Year Phil Dickson, and REALTOR® of the Year Jamie Coley. Attendees included Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR) President-Elect Shelly Murray, New MAR CEO Chuck Kasky, Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen, GCAAR and MCAR past presidents, and a host of attendees from fellow Associations.

2008 GCAAR President Dennis Melby installed 2016 GCAAR President Peg Mancuso.

Affiliate of the Year Robert W. Moses

Rookie of the Year Phil Dickson

REALTOR® of the Year Jamie Coley


Koki Adasi

Thom Brockett

Roger Carp

Brandon Green

Jacque Greening

Susann Haskins

Bill Hounshell

Danai Mattison Sky

Hildy Pollard

Jason Sherman

Frank Snodgrass

Pat Weed

10 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR • Winter 2015 ®


Jamie Coley accepting his award for REALTOR‰ of the Year from CEO Mike Moran.


Peg with son Tony.

Peg with Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen.

GCAAR members donated winter clothing items to support Interfaith Works’ Clothing Center.

Fellow board members Tom Daley (left) and Pat Weed celebrate Jamie’s award with him.

Peg with W.C. & A.N. Miller President Michael Seay.

Our New Officers: President: Peg Mancuso, President-Elect: Jamie Coley, Immediate Past President: Suzanne Des Marais, Secretary: Tom Daley, and Treasurer: Tim Knobloch

T HA N K YO U GCAAR thanks Suzanne Des Marais for her leadership and vision as 2015 GCAAR President.

We appreciate your service.



association news 2015 GCAAR AFFILIATE OF THE YEAR Robert W. Moses, Home Team Title GCAAR is pleased to announce Robert (Bob) Moses as its 2015 Affiliate of the Year. Bob is a founding member of the law firm of Moses & Aiken LLC and the President of Home Team Title. Home Team Title is licensed to handle real estate settlements in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia. Bob has practiced law for over 36 years and has specialized in real estate law for over 33 years, both in private practice and as general counsel to a commercial developer. He practices law in both Maryland and the District of Columbia. Bob is very active in GCAAR and serves as Vice Chairman of the Education Committee. He regularly teaches numerous CE and non-CE courses for REALTORS®, including Battle of the Contracts, DC and Maryland Legislative Update, and Foreclosures and Short Sales, among many others. He has testified before the Planning Board, County Council and the Montgomery County Delegation to the Maryland State General Assembly. He also is active in community service, serving as Past President of the Brownstones at Park Potomac Community and North Bethesda Congress of Citizens Associations.

Bob receives award from GCAAR CEO Mike Moran.

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


Mary McGuire Dale Ross

” 12 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR • Winter 2015 ®

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Covers up to $2,500 to pay for training and getting your license, insurance, and memberships to associations.* Available in these areas: District of Columbia, Northern VA, Richmond, VA, Maryland, Florida panhandle, Clarksville TN, Wichita KS, Dallas and San Antonio TX.

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Visit and click on the Real Heroes Image to complete the online form or call 410-384-9857.

*A two-year commitment is required for the “up to $2,500 funds.” Funds must be returned if the recipient does not remain an active PenFed Realty sales associate for two years or if the recipient is not the PenFed Realty sales associate of record for two closings within the first two years of beginning the Real Heroes Program. Recipient will not be responsible for returning any funds received if recipient or recipient’s spouse is deployed to an area where PenFed Realty does not have a real estate brokerage within 30 miles. Terms and conditions apply. Equal Opportunity Employer: m/f/v/d. ©2015 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.

association news Did You Know?


A Message from the Green Subcommittee The Green Subcommittee has worked with MRIS the last few years to add nearly 100 “green” fields into Keystone and Matrix. Selling agents can now more easily search for green properties, and listing agents can more easily market them. With DC being one of the greenest cities in the country, over time, homeowners and their agents will finally be able to better track the value of eco-friendly investments...and find the homes with the most environmental and energy efficient features!

Street #


Street Name:


Unit: #



Tax ID:

Listing Date:

Expiration Date:

Amenities: 2 Attached Master Bathrooms Attic - Access Only Attached Master Bathroom Attic - Finished Attic - Floored Attic - Partially Finished Attic - Stairs Fixed Attic - Stairs Pull Down Attic - Storage Only Attic - Walk-in Automatic Garage Door Opener Bathroom(s) - Ceramic Tile Bathroom(s) - Dual Entry Bathroom(s) - Quarter Bathroom(s) - Rough In Bedroom - Entry Level Bidet Built-in Bookcases Built-in China Cabinet Chair Railing Closet - Master Bedroom Walk-in Closet(s) - Cedar Closet(s) - Water Closets - Walk-in Countertop(s) - Ceramic Countertop(s) - Corian Countertop(s) - Granite Countertop(s) - PaperStone Countertop(s) - Recycled Content Crown Molding Countertop(s) - Silestone Drapes / Curtains Drapery Rods Elevator Fireplace Equipment Fireplace Glass Doors Fireplace Gas Insert Fireplace Heatilator Fireplace Mantel(s)


Since the introduction of these fields in July, agent views of the green definitions have topped 32,000, and there has been a 247% increase in green-certified listings. Additionally, agents are increasingly specifically seeking out listings with green verifications. If you work with a listing that is “green,” please be sure to utilize the new pick-list options to more accurately represent the property you’re selling! As MRIS and the Green Subcommittee monitors agent use of the new green fields, the hope is that there will be a constant increase in adoption. To that end, in January, GCAAR agents will receive an email from the GCAAR Green Subcommittee that includes a brief survey about agent experiences with the new fields, in an effort to increase participation, and improve the system.

Eco-Friendly / Green Fields / Pick List Options Fee Simple Sale

Fireplace Screen Flue for Stove Furniture Conveys High Efficiency Toilet(s) Hot Tub Inside Home Warranty Indoor Pool Laundry Chute Lawn Mower / Tractor Master Bathroom - Separate Tub Master Bathroom - Separate Shower Master Bedroom - Full Bathroom Master Bedroom - Half Bathroom Master Bedroom(s) - Multiple Recycling Area - Off Site Recycling Area - On Site Sauna Shades / Blinds Solar Tubes - ENERGY STAR Solar Tubes Stair - Curved Staircase - Double / Dual Steam Shower Sump Pump Tagged Items Excluded Tub - 2 or More Person Tub - Soaking Vanities - Double Vanities - Separate Wainscoting Wall / Wall Carpeting Washer / Dryer Hookup Water Closet(s) WaterSense Labeled Fixture(s) WaterSense Labeled Toilet(s) Wet Bar / Bar Whirlpool Jets Wood Floors Wood Stove Insert

PLEASE BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THE SURVEY IN LATE JANUARY 2016! The Green Subcommittee and MRIS would be grateful for your feedback through the survey.

green resources GREENING EDUCATION FOR GCAAR Look for this label The WaterSense label can be found on products for the home, including: • Bathroom sink faucets and accessories • New homes • Showerheads • Toilets • Weather-based Irrigation Controllers

Since its introduction in 2006, the WaterSense program has helped save consumers virtually nine billion dollars and has conserved nearly half a trillion gallons of water. More and more products with the WaterSense label debut every year—over 8,000 in 2012 alone—and that means there are plenty of ways to make WaterSense work for you.



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



My buyer wants to void the contract under the home inspection? What needs to be provided to the seller?

ANSWER: The home inspection is structured to allow the buyer to

unilaterally void the contract. Since the buyer has that right contractually, and does not need authorization from the seller to do so, the buyer just needs to send a notice to the seller instructing that the contract is void. However, it is in the best interest of the parties, and likely a requirement of the escrow agent holding the earnest money deposit, for a release of the contract to be signed by the parties with instructions as to disbursement of the earnest money deposit.



Is “hard money” financing considered Cash or Conventional? Does an offer that is “not contingent on financing” imply that the Buyer will purchase the property even if the “hard money” financing is not available?

ANSWER: Hard money financing is neither a conventional loan

nor cash. A “hard money” loan is typically issued by a private investor or company. Interest rates are typically higher than conventional loans because of the higher risk taken by the lender. Typically borrowers use hard money loans when they would/could not qualify for a conventional loan. If there is no financing contingency, the buyer must purchase the property whether or not they qualify for a loan, hard money or otherwise. If they were unable to secure a loan, they would need to purchase the property with cash.



Is the builder of a new home in Montgomery County required by law to give a one-year warranty on all appliances and major systems (HVAC)? If yes, what form should that warranty take?

ANSWER: The required warranty in Montgomery County on most

appliances is for one year but the warranty on HVAC system and most major systems is two years. With respect to the form that the warranty should take, the law only requires that the warranty be provided and thus, as a practical matter, the warranty is only as good as the builder behind it. Many builders will purchase a commercial warranty to supplement those required by statute, and this is an area into which a new home buyer should always inquire. Below are the “1-2-10” warranty regulations in Montgomery County:


standards. The warranty on the following list of items extends only for one year: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) (vii) (viii) (ix) (x) (xi) (xii) (xiii) (xiv) (xv) (xvi)

smoke detector fire alarms fire extinguisher garage door opener intercom security systems garbage disposal water softener refrigerator freezer trash compactor dishwasher clothes washer clothes dryer ice maker stoves/ranges

b. Two-year warranty: the new home must be free from any defect in the electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, ventilation, and mechanical systems. (i) Electrical System: Includes but is not necessarily limited to: all wiring, electrical boxes, circuit boards, switches, outlets, overload protector devices, and connections up to the public utility connections. (ii) Plumbing System: Includes but is not necessarily limited to: gas supply lines and fittings, water supply, waste and vent pipes and their fittings, septic tanks and their drain fields, water, gas and sewer service piping and their extension to the property line which tie into a public utility connection or on-site well and/or sewage disposal system, valves, faucets, fixtures and trim fittings, pumps, water heater and sprinkler systems. (iii) Heating, Ventilating, Cooling and Mechanical Systems: includes but is not necessarily limited to the following: duct work, steam, water, and refrigerant lines, registers, convectors, radiation elements, dampers, boiler, heat pump, thermostat, furnace, air conditioning equipment, exhaust fans, oil tanks and fittings, air handling equipment and air purifiers. c. Ten-year warranty: the new home must be free from any major structural defect. The answers provided here are the opinions of the authors, are for infor-

31C.00.01.04 Warranty Coverage and Standards

mational purposes, and are only for GCAAR members. Neither Counselors

4.5 The warranty required by these regulations is as follows:

Title, LLC, nor Pardo & Drazin, LLC is providing legal advice, but rather

a. One-year warranty: the new home must be free from any defect in materials or workmanship as defined in minimum performance

providing a general statement of law. No lawyer/client relationship is – or will be – established as a result of this material. Readers are encouraged to retain their own counsel for their specific questions. Answers may



have been edited for formatting purposes.


director’s report Suzanne Des Marais, 2015 GCAAR President, NAR Director Your National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Board of Directors held its annual meeting in November at the convention in San Diego. The GCAAR contingent was honored to represent you and are so pleased to share with you a new member benefit, advocacy campaigns, and updates from the many different arms of your national association.

2016. traffic is at record levels and videos with spokesperson Elizabeth Banks have proven very popular. MLSs are now required to provide non-confidential pending sale listing data in feeds for display at the discretion of MLS participants. Process & Policy Changes — The board adopted a policy statement that underscores the importance of complying with the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to protect REALTORS® and MLSs from copyright infringement liability.

National Partnership with zipLogix® — GCAAR’s plethora of member benefits has included zipForms for years. Now REALTORS® from across the country will reap the benefits from a partnership between NAR and zipLogix® for access to electronic forms libraries and transaction management platform at no additional cost. The way GCAAR members access zipForms will not change.

NAR’s processes for handling contested applications for local association name or jurisdiction changes will be streamlined through improved use of technology such as online video conferencing. Professional Standards — In online ads, members may now disclose the name of a REALTOR®’s firm via a link to a display with the required information.

Consumer Advertising Campaign — NAR’s millennial-focused advertising campaign, “Get REALTOR®,” is currently in production. The social media campaign kicked-off in November and television spots will begin airing in February 2016.

Changes Grievance Committee procedures included: Review of a complaint within 45 days of receiving it, rather than “in a timely fashion.”

Advocacy — The Call for Action (CFA) on guarantee fees was the most successful in NAR’s history, with almost 19% of members nationwide responding. The CFA asks members of Congress not to use funds generated from the guarantee fees for federal initiatives that aren’t related to housing.

Complainants are not required to prove their case when initially filing an arbitration request. An arbitration request may not be dismissed for lack of evidence if the arbitration request is otherwise arbitrable, filed in a timely manner, and meets the criteria described in the manual.

NAR will support the development by Congress of a private market for flood insurance as an option for home owners who lack access to affordable coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program. NAR will also support reauthorizing, building on, and improving the government-run program, not phasing out or replacing it.

NAR will authorize MLSs to sanction non-member participants involved in an arbitration who fail to pay an award to the prevailing party, or deposit a like amount with the association. Other Approved Actions — A resolution in support of a federal Basic Allowance for Housing that aims to ensure that members of the military who do not live on military facilities receive a fair amount of money to cover their housing expenses.

More than 30% of NAR members contributed to RPAC, totaling $30 million in 2015, a 10% increase over 2014. $2.8 million has been dedicated to an online public issue ad campaign to support 38 members of Congress who have supported NAR’s priorities on federal issues.

Technology — With partner UpStreamRE, RPR® is creating a single platform for uploading and managing listing data which will undergo testing next year in selected markets. The .REALTOR top-level domain is one of the ten fastestgrowing in the history of the Internet. NAR will launch the .realestate domain in 2016. Move Inc., which operates®, plans to put advertising support behind its new RealRatings service in the first quarter of




$450,000 in grants was awarded to three REALTOR® associations for political advocacy activities.

$282,000 in legal assistance in two cases. One case involves enforcing association arbitration awards, while the other concerns the protection of MLS listing data. Recognitions — Distinguished Service Awards given to Cynthia Shelton of Orlando, Fla., and Jean Crosby of Rockford, Ill.

William R. Magel Award of Excellence for Association Executives went to Diane Ruggiero, CEO of the Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORS® Clifford Niersbach, NAR associate general counsel for Board Policy & Programs was honored along with longtime REALTORS® Ebby Halliday and Donald Henry Mason, both of Texas, who passed away in 2015.

GCAAR in the news

Maryland 8th Congressional District Candidate Forum Coverage

Montgomery Council Mandates Radon Test for Home Sales The Washington Post November 17, 2015 — GCAAR mentioned

Maryland District 8 Congressional Candidates on Their Experience (Video) MontgomeryCommunityMedia October 2, 2015

Montgomery County Council Approves Radon Testing Bill Bethesda Magazine November 17, 2015 — GCAAR mentioned County Council Debates Controversial Radon Bill November 3, 2015 — GCAAR featured Montgomery Co. Considers Controversial Bill Requiring Home Sellers to Test for Radon The Washington Post October 30, 2015 — GCAAR mentioned

Kathleen Matthews Pulls Ahead in Fundraising for Maryland Congressional Seat The Washington Post October 15, 2015 — GCAAR debate pics featured Median Price of a Home Climbs in DC, Montgomery County WTOP Radio October 13, 2015 — Suzanne Des Marais, 2015 GCAAR President quoted

District 8 Congressional Candidates on Governor Hogan (Video) MontgomeryCommunityMedia October 2, 2015 Kathleen Matthews Says Bill Marriott Wants to Keep HQ in Montgomery County (Video) MontgomeryCommunityMedia October 2, 2015 Candidates for Congress Talk Metro Safety at GCAAR Forum (Video) MontgomeryCommunityMedia October 1, 2015 Find Out How Congressional Candidates Would Spend a Blank Check (Video) MontgomeryCommunityMedia October 1, 2015 First District 8 Congressional Debate Features Some Sniping Bethesda Magazine October 1, 2015 Maryland 8th Congressional District Candidate Forum Set for Oct. 1 MontgomeryCommunityMedia September 29, 2015 — GCAAR featured

Bethesda Intelligence Campus Opens; O’Malley Gets Little Support; Local Home Market Showing Good Signs Bethesda Magazine October 13, 2015 — GCAAR September housing stats featured Median Price of a Home Climbs in D.C., Montgomery County WTOP Radio October 13, 2015 — Suzanne Des Marais, 2015 GCAAR President featured

Matthews Touts Support From Women While Raskin Gets Warren Wing Endorsement Bethesda Magazine September 28, 2015 — GCAAR mentioned

New GCAAR Sales Contract Highlights Todd Laborwit Real Estate Radio Show October 10, 2015 — Suzanne Des Marais, 2015 GCAAR President featured

The Weather is Cooling, But the DC Market Isn’t The Washington Post September 25, 2015 — Donna Evers, GCAAR member quoted CAPITAL AREA REALTOR® • Winter 2015


public policy Montgomery County GCAAR Hosts Maryland 8th Congressional District Debate GCAAR hosted an 8th Congressional District of Maryland Debate and Forum on October 1. The participating candidates were State Delegates Kumar Barve and Ana Sol-Gutierrez, Kathleen Matthews, State Senator Jamie Raskin, William Jawando, and David Anderson. The forum was moderated by Sonya Burke from Montgomery County Media and included a mix of GCAAR member questions as well as those prepared by the moderator. GCAAR received considerable media coverage on the event from Montgomery Community Media, Bethesda Magazine, and The Washington Post.

Montgomery Council Approves Mandatory Radon Testing On November 17, by a vote of 9-0, the Montgomery County Council approved a bill that requires sellers in the county to test for radon or allow buyers to test. The bill applies only to owners of single-family homes that are not part of a condominium or cooperative community. GCAAR maintained a position of vehement opposition to mandatory testing on grounds that it will lead to confusion in the housing market and costly litigation. Once it became clear that the bill would pass, we continued our advocacy efforts to make the legislation more manageable for REALTORS® by offering amendments and the smallest possible amount of additional language. We succeeded in winning the following amendments: • The effective date of the legislation was changed to Oct. 1, 2016 in order to coincide with the release date of GCAAR’s standard forms. • Rather than have the Council legislate additional requirements, the implementation will be handled through GCAAR’s own contract and forms. • A list of property types exempted from testing include those sold through foreclosure, transfer to a trust, and those to be demolished. (See details of exemptions in sidebar on next page)

2015 GCAAR Board member Tom Daley, Secretary Jamie Coley, and President-Elect Peg Mancuso get ready for debate.

Radon Awareness Beyond Point-of-Sale Throughout the process, GCAAR maintained that since the Council views radon as a county-wide problem, a broader approach should be undertaken to address it. GCAAR values the importance of ALL homeowners having a clear understanding of how to conduct a test properly, and ensuring the results are an accurate representation of radon levels. To that end, GCAAR received commitment from the Council that Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will conduct a broad public ALL Homeowner Educational Initiative on radon to include: • The process for proper testing • The development of a more sophisticated website

L-R: Delegate Kumar Barve, State Senator Jamie Raskin, Will Jawando, David Anderson, Kathleen Matthews, and State Delegate Ana Sol-Gutierrez.



• The production of educational resource materials

• The establishment of “Radon Awareness Month” with free or reduced-cost radon test kits for all county homeowners

We will continue to maintain an open line of communication with the Department of Environmental Protection as the education and public outreach components are developed.

The following single-family sales are exempt from mandatory radon testing: • Homes currently exempt from transfer tax, under Md. Tax-Property Code Section 13-207 • Homes sold by a lender, or affiliate or subsidiary of a lender, that acquired the home by foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure • Sheriff’s sale, tax sale, or sale by foreclosure, partition, or by a court-appointed trustee • Transfer by a fiduciary in the course of the administration of a decedent’s estate, guardianship, conservatorship, or trust • Transfer of a home to be converted by a buyer into a use other than residential or to be demolished

public policy District of Columbia DCAR Advocacy Day a Great Success! November 5 was DCAR’s second annual Advocacy Day, and REALTORS® from across the city came to the Wilson Building to discuss big issues directly with Councilmembers and staff. Discussions on lowering recordation and transfer taxes, TOPA (Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act), affordable housing, and economic development filled the city government offices that day, giving members the opportunity to engage face-to-face with District officials. There was a great deal of support for legislation lowering recordation taxes for first-time buyers, and a commitment by the Council to consider modernizing antiquated provisions of TOPA. DCAR will continue to move these initiatives forward. Don’t forget to let your Councilmembers know about these two important proposals when you see them!

Legislation to Lower First-Time Homebuyer Recordation Taxes Reintroduced DCAR’s advocacy efforts continue to make waves in DC’s government and real estate community! The “First-Time Homebuyer Tax Benefit Amendment Act of 2015” has been reintroduced and would cut the recordation tax rate from 1.45% to 0.725% for first-time buyers in the District. If passed, this legislation would be a giant step toward making home ownership a reality for many in the District, which currently has some of the lowest homeownership rates in the country. Reducing the recordation tax rate will leave a positive impact for years to come!

DCAR Speaker Series: Learning more about Rats and Lead Gerard Brown, DC’s Department of Health’s (DOH’s) Rodent

L- R, Pierre Erville, 2015 DCAR President Ed Wood, and Cindy Wheeler.

2015 DCAR President Ed Wood (right) with Gerald Brown.

and Vector Control Program Manager, visited with REALTORS® on October 8 and illuminated DC’s dark alleys with very practical and necessary information on rodent control. Here’s what you need to know: • DOH’s rodent and vector control only deals with rats and rodents outside the home. • DC residents who request it will receive prompt service and follow-up to make sure the job was completed. • DC DOH rodent control services can be reached by dialing 311 or visiting The second speaker series in October was all about lead. Pierre Erville, Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE’s) Lead & Healthy Housing Director, and Cindy Wheeler, the EPA’s National Program Chemicals Division, discussed the importance of spotting the causes of lead poisoning, regulations concerning renovations, and lead remediation. Exposure to harmful lead is most commonly found in the following conditions: • Non-intact (peeling/flaking) paint • Dust particles generated by friction or impact • Dust particles generated by renovation work • Lead-contaminated bare soil

For comprehensive information on local DC lead laws, visit or ?




By Olsy Sorokina

10 Top Social Media Tools In the September/October issue of the magazine we talked about the Top 10 Social Media Tools essential for social media management of your brand. We put the first five tools in that issue; here are the remaining five.


6. SOCIALBRO Identifying the influencers in your network is important, but what about the rest of your follower base? Where do they live? What languages do they speak? SocialBro is the perfect social media tool to help you find out more about your social media audience, and help you identify potential customers outside of your network. Another part of your network you shouldn’t ignore is your competitors. Getting the skinny on what the competing brand is up to can take a lot of sleuthing, and SocialBro saves you time by running an analysis between your brand’s account and up to two competing accounts using the “Accounts comparison tool.”

7. YOUTUBE ANALYTICS Whether your brand has a dedicated video team to create promotional videos or a Snapchat Stories campaign to tease the latest product launch, it’s important not to leave out the biggest video-sharing network from your social media strategy. The YouTube Analytics tool offers a detailed breakdown of engagement with your brand’s video content. You have the option to view analytics for individual videos, or the overall channel statistics. Channel data includes an overview of subscriber activity, a breakdown of geographic locations of the view, sharing analytics, and many more. Individual video data includes insights on discovery to determine which source brought you the most traffic, as well as keywords that led to the video.

8. ICONOSQUARE FOR INSTAGRAM Instagram has contributed to the social media success of many businesses, with many discovering original uses for the popular image-sharing app. Instagram’s native mobile app makes it easy to manage the account on the go, but if you are managing more than one account, tracking vital statistics and likes across several accounts can take up a lot of time. To help address this issue, you can use an Instagram client such as Iconosquare for Instagram. This tool helps you set up multiple feeds, as well as track followers, likes, and comments on your photos.

9. ZENDESK An essential part of your brand’s social media presence is the ability to interact with your customers in real time. Zendesk helps consolidate and manage all help requests in one place, including those coming from social media channels—the app creates “twickets” from Twitter and tickets from Facebook posts. Those tickets can then be given a title and a priority level, and then assigned to a group or an individual member of the support team.


Hopefully, interaction with your customers on social media doesn’t only revolve around problem-solving. Give your social media followers more reasons to follow you on social media as opposed to other channels—reward them with a contest or a social media-exclusive campaign. Don’t know where to start when organizing a social media campaign? As with most things, there’s an app for that: Hootsuite Campaigns, the newest Hootsuite product. This social media tool guides its users through several steps to successful creation of contests, user-generated galleries, and sweepstakes.

Olsy Sorokina writes about social media strategy, and keeps a keen eye on the latest news in the world of social.



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housing statistics MONTGOMERY COUNTY & DC Montgomery County Sales Market For the month of October, the combined (single-family and condo/coop) unit sales market continued a solid performance compared to October of 2014. The total closed sales volume came in at about 935 properties -- up 5.3% from a year before, but down 7.6% from the previous month of September. The average sold price was $463,643 -- down 5% from a year before. However, the median sold price of $389,000 edged up 0.4% from a year ago. Although unit sales were up, properties turned over more slowly than a year ago. Average days on the market totaled 64, up 7 days from the previous October.

October Single-Family Homes

Over the first ten months of 2015, Montgomery County single-family year-to-date settlements and contracts have been up over 10% from a year ago. October year-to-date single-family settlements (7,870) were 12% over the same period in 2014; and, year-to-date contracts (8,487) jumped over 13% from a year before. The October monthly results were somewhat less impressive. Settlements (697) rose 3.9% compared to a year before, and new contracts for the month (843) moved up 6.3%.

the average and median prices were $570,112 and $455,000, respectively. These are both down about 1.1% from 2014; and, it is looking like the best we might make is zero appreciation for the year. However, unit sales have been solid so we’re making it up in volume.

October Condominiums and Cooperatives Since we are coming to the end of the selling season, October inventory has slipped a bit from a year before. At the end of this October, 2,642 active property listings were down 2% from those of a year ago. For the month, 1,133 new listings were up 1.5% from October 2014. At the October contracts pace, there was just a bit over a 3.1-months supply of active listings. This is about half of normal average supplies; so, there is still a long-term shortage of supply. Although the unit sales pace has been up, we are seeing price slippage from last year. In 2014, the average sales price was $576,205 and the median was $460,000. Through this October,



The condominium and cooperative market continues to perform well this year. For the first ten months, there were 2,382 settled sales, and these were up over 9% from a year ago. October settlements came in at 242-units, up 12.6% from last October. The performance of contracts has been good as well. October year-to-date contracts (2,538) jumped over 10% from a year before. And, the 264 new October contracts rose 5.6% from October 2014. From an inventory perspective, October condo/coop total actives continue to substantially exceed the levels of 2014. Condo/coop active listings (730) came in 13% above the level of a year before. And, monthly new listings (353) increased over 8% from the 2014 figure. In general, the months supply stats have improved

by Fred Flick, PhD, Consultant/Housing Economist

Washington, DC Sales Market The District of Columbia’s October combined unit sales pace was up significantly compared to a year before. Total closed sales came in at about 644 units, rising over 13% from October a year ago. The average sold price was $657,556 -- up 6.2%; and, the median sold price of $514,000 rose 2.8% from October 2014. Properties turned over just a bit faster than this month in 2014. The average days on the market figure came in at 34, down from 35 days last October.

October Single-Family Homes slightly since the end of the summer. At the October contracts pace there was almost a 2.8-months supply of properties. It was around 2.5 months for most of the year, but levels are still below historical averages. has responded well compared to previous years, but levels are still below historical averages.

The early 2015 condo/coop market experienced some declining price appreciation rates, but average prices have been rising since the spring. Through October, the year-to-date average price of $275,457 rose 3.4%; but the $220,000 median slipped by about 1.4% from 2014. In 2014, the yearly average price of $266,285 was down about 1.4% from that of 2013; but the median price of $223,000 rose 1.4%. This fall, higher priced units seem to be selling a bit better than the more typical units.

The October year-to-date figures were up single-digits for both single-family contracts and settlements. October year-to-date settlements (3,489) rose by 2.6%, but monthly new settlements (351) declined 2.5% from a year before. The performance of year-to-date contracts was better. October year-to-date contracts (3,837) rose by 5.6% from a year before. Moreover, monthly single-family contracts (470) jumped 8.5%.

Year-to-date inventory supply was somewhat above the level of a year before, rising during the summer. October active listings totaled 757 properties— up 3%. However, new single-family listings for the month (606) jumped 14% from a year before. The supply has continued to be amazingly tight, but there has been improvement this year. For several months, the pace was only about 1.2 months supply. However, for October there was a 1.6-months supply. The District of Columbia’s solid price performance for single-family homes has continued; however, the appreciation of the average priced property is lessening a bit. For 2014, the average DC single-family home cost $750,771 with the median price at $620,250. This yielded appreciation rates of 5.5% and 3.4%, respectively, above 2013 prices. However, through this October, the average price of $786,453 has risen 4.75%, while the $660,000 median has moved up 6.4% from the 2014 figure. Although buyers may be focusing on more “middle market” CAPITAL AREA REALTOR® • Winter 2015


housing statistics

units, still these are incredible rates of increase give our low inflation environment.

October Condominiums and Cooperatives

The District of Columbia condominium and cooperative market has shown a slightly positive unit sales trend into the fall. Year-to-date October settlements (3,322) edged up 1.7% and year-to-date contracts (3,571) rose 4.1% from a year ago. However, October settlements (295) plunged 23% from a year before; and, monthly contracts (359) slipped less than 1% compared to last October. After August, the supply of active listings grew quickly so that the inventory is still up significantly from a year before. Through October, the 765 actives were 9.4% above October 2014. And, for the month of October, there were 527 new listings, and they were up 12.6% from a year ago. Nevertheless, at the October contracts pace, there was only a 2.1-months supply of properties. On the bright side for sellers, this shortage of supply seems to be contributing to recent price appreciation. With tight supply, DC condos and coops have experienced solid positive appreciation rates. Through October, prices continue to show upward movement, although the more expensive units’



prices are rising at a slower rate. The year-to-date October average of $489,424 rose 2%; and, the $435,000 median rose 4.8% from the 2014 figures. In 2014, annual average and median prices were up 5.5% and 1.6% from their respective 2013 figures. So, we have seen some lessening in the average price appreciation rate, but the median has picked up the slack.

National Resale Market

The national resales market has showed solid performance throughout the year. Total existing home resales in October were 5.36 million units at a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate (SAAR). While the monthly figure slipped 3.4% below September, it was 3.9% above the rate for October 2014. Also, the October median price of $219,600 increased 5.8% from a year before; the $262,800 average rose 3.4%. From the supply side, the market is still struggling with inventory shortages. At the end of October there was a 2.14-million unit inventory (SAAR), which represented a 4.8-months supply of homes. This inventory was down from the May high of 2.28 million and September level of 2.19 million homes. All in all, the inventory level was down almost 5% from a year ago. And, the months supply estimates were almost 8% below a year ago. Nevertheless, at the national level, the October inventory was higher than figures earlier in the year. For the single-family resales market, October sales (4.75 million,

A brighter spot in October was the payroll employment report, which showed that total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 271,000 jobs. Also, the household survey for the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.0%. The areas where new jobs were created include: professional and business services, health care, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and construction.

(SAAR) slipped 3.7% from the level of September, but were 4.6% above the pace of October 2014. Moreover, the single-family median price ($221,200) was up 6.3% and the average ($263,700) rose 3.7% from a year ago. In the existing condo/coop market, sales units (610,000 saar) slipped 1.6% both from the September and October 2014 figures. The national condo/coop median price came in at $207,100 – edging up 1.6% from a year before. The average price of $255,900 increased 1.7%. Recent data from the Federal Reserve show that homeowners’ equity as a share of real estate values is almost at the point that it was before the housing recession started. However, Americans are not tapping it as much, as mortgage debts are now averaging only about 68% of home values. Lenders have been more conservative and buyers are not taking as much equity out. Predictably, the number of households that own homes has not moved much since the housing bubble. However, there are some metro areas where prices are moving up and 13% of metro areas are close to their peak prices just before the bubble burst. Accordingly, some analysts feel that homeowners who have seen their equity rise may be likely to increase spending on home improvements and renovations in the near future.

Economic Growth and Jobs

The Bureau of Economic Analysis’ final estimate of second quarter 2015 real growth (economic growth rate minus the inflation rate) was revised upward to 3.9 percent – that is, significantly higher than the initial estimate (2.3%) and much better than the first quarter rate (0.6%). However, the first or “advance” estimate of third quarter growth was a weak 1.5%. At the end of November a second estimate will be released. This most recent second quarter number shows the economy is strong enough for the Fed to raise interest rates. However, most analysts still think our annual growth rate will still hit only about 2.3% this year. While growth in the Eurozone should improve, slow growth in China along with its debt and real estate bubbles, may slow us down. The numbers at the end of November will play an important role in the December Fed decision on whether to raise the Fed Funds and discount window rates.

This unemployment rate is now at a level where many economists consider the economy at “full employment” and some are fearful that further declines in unemployment may set off wage inflation. This would support the case for starting to change short-term rate policy in December.

Monetary Policy, Interest Rates and Inflation

The Fed punted on interest rate hikes in its last meeting; but, it looks likely that they will finally raise short-term bank-to-bank lending rates at the December meeting. Even with the terrorist strikes in Paris and turmoil in the Middle East, they eventually have to start trying to normalize the interest rate structure. Many analysts are concerned that the almost 7-year period of very low rates has forced many investors and consumers to invest in riskier assets than they should at this stage in their life. With the lack of good returns (only 2% to 3%) on long-term treasuries, many people (and investment funds) have invested in stocks and riskier corporate and emerging market debt. If there is a large recession in Asia, many of these assets could default, and people could lose a significant portion of their long-term wealth. Consumer price inflation continues to be low and much below the Fed’s target value of 2%. The total consumer price index (all items) for October was up only 0.2% over the past year. This was mostly due to large declines in energy prices. But, when food and energy prices are subtracted out, the residual “core” consumer inflation was only 1.9% over the past year. This number is getting close to the Fed target, however they will also look at the personal consumption deflator index. For this measure, the September figure for “core” prices was up only 1.3%, so it still is likely that core inflation is significantly lower than 2%. Job growth and retail sales will also play into their decision and if they seem good, the Fed will likely raise rates. The third week of November, the Freddie Mac national surveys put the 30-year fixed conforming mortgage rate at 3.97% (up from 3.75% in the first week of March). The 15-year fixed averaged 3.18%, the 5/1-year ARM came in at 2.98% and the 1-Year ARM was 2.64%. Since it is looking likely that the Fed will move to increase short-term rates by 25 basis points at its December meeting, eventually there could be some increases in ARM rates, but probably not much. Some of it may be already “baked-in”, as the market has been expecting a rate rise for months.

continued on page 29



RBI SmartCharts ProTM Frequently-Used Features In May, GCAAR began offering RBI SmartCharts ProTM as a free member benefit - taking the lead in providing the industry’s best tool for market stats to you, our members. Here are some of the most frequently-used features of SmartCharts to help you win more listings, close more buyers, and get more referrals as the local market expert. 1 - DASHBOARD Upon logging in to SmartCharts ProTM, you are taken to the landing page for the Mid-Atlantic region. Agents tell us these dashboards are the easiest way to impress clients who want to know at-a-glance information about a neighborhood without getting overloaded with details.

How to Use Price Category

How to Use the Dashboard

At the very top of the page are a row of icons that look like gauges on a car’s dashboard. Each one includes info for some of the most commonly asked questions about real estate trends—average sales prices, new listings, days on market, etc. To scroll through the different topics click the arrow on the right.

2 - PRICE CATEGORY Since prices are on everybody’s mind, you can stand out from the online price estimates by showing clients how many listings and closed sales there are by price category. This helps your clients get a realistic picture about price range if they are looking to buy or potential asking price if they are trying to sell. Visit for video tutorials, training guides and more.



After you have narrowed down the location, go to the Charts tab. That takes you to a chart with the closed sales. On the right hand side select the drop down menu that says List Price and choose the price ranges you want to know about. The graph will then redraw itself with the number of closed sales in that price range for the time period selected. You can look at other data besides closed sales, such as new listings or Days On Market, just by going to the drop down menu at the top.

3 - COMPARING LOCATIONS Another common question from clients is how their neighborhood compares to one nearby, or how several of their desired neighborhoods compare to each other. SmartCharts ProTM makes it easy to show them in one graph how one locale fares over others.

How to Compare Locations

Just click on the Charts tab and you’ll be taken to the page that gives you both current and historical information in the same place. Note: you can choose the time frame you want. Look for the green button that says Compare Locations. Type the name of the neighborhood or zip code in the text box below the green button and it should start to auto-fill the name. Select the one you want and click the green button to add it to the graph.

4 - REPORTS These are helpful handouts for open houses or to take to listing presentations if you want the sellers to have something tangible to walk away with. There are several choices for these one-page reports depending how much of a macro or micro perspective you want to provide.

WANT TO LEARN MORE? Attend one of RBI’s upcoming webinars. Visit their website for dates and times: 5 - HOW TO CREATE A ONE-PAGE REPORT Start by going to the Reports tab where you are presented with the choice for Detailed Reports or Local Market Insights. The former compares the most recent data to the same time period a year ago, while the latter compares for last month, last year, and the five year average. Select the time frame you want to cover and press Go. You instantly receive an easy-to-read one page presentation of all the main data points relevant to most interactions with your clients.

You instantly receive an easy-to-read one page presentation of all the main data points relevant to most interactions with your clients. •

GCAAR membership includes free access to Smart Charts ProTM (a $270 value).

SmartCharts ProTM is an invaluable tool that provides a wealth of MLS information in an easy-to-use format that automatically creates graphs, charts, and one page reports.

All the information provided in SmartCharts ProTM can be used for PowerPoint presentations, websites, or printed materials, and all of your social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more!



GCAAR members who do more than five transactions a year use SmartCharts ProTM on a weekly basis to build and grow their business. CAPITAL AREA REALTOR® • November/December 2015



CAPITAL AREA REALTOR • September/October 2015 ®

education schedule January 13, 2016 MREC Required Supervision CEU: 3 hours MD (required for Brokers) and DC (elective) Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

January 22, 2016 Financing in a New World CEU: 2 hours MD, DC and VA (elective) Instructor: Brian Haug Time: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

January 13, 2016 Maryland Fair Housing CEU: 1.5 hours MD (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

January 27, 2016 Navigating the Estate and Gift Taxes CEU: 2 hours MD and DC (elective) Instructor: Craig Strent Time: 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

January 6, 2016 Maryland Legal & Legislative Update CEU: 3 hours MD (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Al Monshower Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

January 14, 2016 New Member Orientation CEU: No CE Instructor: Cammie Reed Time: 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

January 27, 2016 Understanding the Housing, Finance & Mortgage Markets CEU: 2 hours MD and DC (elective) Instructor: Craig Strent Time: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

January 6, 2016 Maryland Code of Ethics and Predatory Lending CEU: 3 hours MD (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Al Monshower Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

January 14, 2016 Maryland Code of Ethics and Predatory Lending CEU: 3 hours MD (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Jill Michaels Time: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

January 7, 2016 Serving the First-Time Homebuyer CEU: 3 hours MD, DC and VA (elective) Instructor: Dana Hollish Hill Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

January 20, 2016 VA Financing CEU: 3 hours MD and DC (elective) Instructor: Brian Willingham Time: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

January 7, 2016 Representing the Seller CEU; 3 hours MD, DC and VA (elective) Instructor: Sandra Stewart Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

January 21, 2016 Contract Basics CEU: 3 hours MD and DC (elective) Instructor: Joy Siegel Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

January 11, 2016 DC Fair Housing CEU: 3 hours DC (required) Instructor: Counselors Title Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

January 22, 2016 Real Estate Tax Update CEU: 1.5 hours MD and DC (elective) Instructor: Kevin Matthews Time: 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

January 13, 2016 MREC Agency - Residential CEU: 3 hours MD (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Thom Brockett Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

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

January 22, 2016 Comparison of GCAAR & MAR Contracts CEU: 1.5 hours MD (elective) Instructor: Jill Michaels Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

February 4, 2016 Anatomy of a House CEU: 3 hours MD, DC and VA (elective) Instructor: Vimal Kapoor Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. February 4, 2016 Home Innovations and Trends CEU: 3 hours MD, DC and VA (elective) Instructor: Vimal Kapoor Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. February 10, 2016 MREC Agency - Residential CEU: 3 hours MD (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Al Monshower Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. continued, p. 28 CAPITAL AREA REALTOR • Winter 2015 ®


Housing Statistics . . . continued from page 23

education schedule

The Bottom Line Year-to-date, Montgomery County and the District of Columbia sales still are up solidly, but prices have slipped a bit in the Montgomery County single-family market. The District’s market has performed well in the single-family segment and in condos and coops. Lack of inventory still remains a problem locally as well as nationwide. The issue of the debt ceiling and sequester seems to have gone by the wayside, as Congress and the President worked out a deal. There aren’t likely to be any big cuts in local Federal expenditures. Some slight rises in interest rates seem like the only government policy factors that might affecting housing. However, prices do seem to be peaking and we could see flatter sales units and prices in 2016. At this point, the U.S. economy still should grow at about a 2.3% rate through 2015. And, since there is little inflation pressure, interest rates will rise at a slow rate in 2016. However, it is virtually assured that interest rates will go up in 2016, especially if the Fed punts in December. But, the possibility of a more general world-wide recession due to a slump in China, will keep the lid on inflation and interest rates.

February 17, 2016 Virginia Mandatory Agency CEU: 1 hour VA (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Mary Chieppa Time: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. February 17, 2016 Virginia Legal Update CEU: 1 hour VA (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Mary Chieppa Time: 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. February 10, 2016 MREC Required Supervision CEU: 3 hours MD (required for Brokers) and DC (elective) Instructor: Al Monshower Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

February 17, 2016 Virginia Fair Housing CEU: 2 hours VA (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Mary Chieppa Time: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

February 17, 2016 Virginia Ethics CEU: 3 hours VA (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Mary Chieppa Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

February 18, 2016 New Member Orientation CEU: No CE Instructor: TBD Time: 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

February 17, 2016 Virginia Mandatory Contract Review CEU: 1 hour VA (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Mary Chieppa Time: 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

February 18, 2016 Maryland Code of Ethics and Predatory Lending CEU: 3 hours MD (required) and DC (elective) Instructor: Jill Michaels Time: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

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

Capital Area REALTOR® Statement of Ownership (Required by USPS)



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