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Online Newsletter
March 2012

In This Issue

Save the MID - Progress
Rally in Annapolis - We Made a Difference
Despite the rain, HCAR did their part to help save the MID!

On Wednesday, February 29, amidst a torrential downpour, about 40 HCAR members and affiliates rallied in Annapolis with other REALTORS® and Marylanders concerned with homeownership to urge the General Assembly to protect Maryland's MID. Our own Jim Skirven took control of the microphone and, even through the pouring rain, rallied the crowd to an excited roar!


View entire album here >

And, according to wbaltv.com, it looks like we made a difference!

"Key legislators confirmed to 11 News that they are likely to keep the deductions in tact.
REALTORS® rallied in Annapolis, where not even a hard, steady rain could wash away the frustration."

View baltv.com slideshow here >

Thank you to everyone who showed up on this important day for this important cause!

HCAR President David Vane Testifying February 29
Doing everything he can to protect this important tax benefit!

HCAR President David Vane testifying before the Senate Budget and
Taxation Committee this Wednesday, February 29.

You can still do your part!

If you haven't already done so, please Contact your state legislator today to help save the MID. Get this message out there to family, friends and neighbors! Together we can make a difference!

Learn more, and watch the Save the Mid Video!

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Board of Directors Meeting

Monday, March 5
9:00 am - 12 noon

Our Board of Directors meets once a month to discuss a variety of relevant topics and issues. If you have any questions or would like to submit a topic for Board discussion, Click here.

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Last Chance to Get Mardi Gras Tickets!
Only a Few Tickets Remain - Get them before they sell out!

Tuesday Evening, March 6
5 to 9 pm at Looney's Pub

8180 Maple Lawn Boulevard,
Maple Lawn (Fulton), MD 20759
Members Only Event

Don't miss this chance for networking with new friends and old, in a fun and festive environment. Join over 150 Howard County real estate professionals for the best Mardi Gras celebration north of New Orleans!

Tickets will sell out by Monday!
Hurry and get yours today!

Register now >

George Mason Mortgage    Silo Point    Home First Title Group    Lakeside Title Company
Weichert REALTORS® - New Colony    Capitol Title Insurance    First Home Mortgage
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage    Title Rite Services    Pinnacle Settlement Services
Franklin American Mortgage    Perry Moving & Storage    Lakeview Title Company
New Penn Financial

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March CEU Offerings


MREC Agency - Commercial
3.0 hours Agency - Commercial (Category H)
Tuesday, March 6
9:00 am - 12 noon
Register Here >
Howard County Fair Housing
3.0 hours Fair Housing (Category C)
Wednesday, March 14
9:00 am - 12 noon
Register Here >
MREC Agency - Residential
3.0 hours Agency - Residential (Category H)
Wednesday, March 21
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Register Here >
Renovation Financing
3.0 hours Professional Enhancement (Category F)
Thursday, March 22
9:00 am - 12 noon
Register Here >

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CRS 206: Technologies to Advance Your Business
Tuesday & Wednesday, March 20 & 21, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Presented by MAR

The CRS 206 Course will assist you in getting a grip on the right technology and tools to advance your business. You will learn specific ways for your company to streamline how you handle contacts and follow-ups, as well as how to market yourself via the internet, and enhance and develop your presentations.

Details and Registration >

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REALTOR® Emeritus Honor - Applications Due March 30
REALTOR Emeritus application Have you been a REALTOR® for 40 or more years?
If so, you can have your NAR dues waived starting this November!

Anyone who has held membership in the National Association as a REALTOR®, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, or a combination of both, for a cumulative period of 40 years in one or more Associations of REALTORS®, is eligible for REALTOR® Emeritus status.

How do I submit an application?
Complete a short online application in hcar.org Members Only by Friday, March 30, 2012. HCAR will provide the appropriate confirmations, and submit it to NAR.

In short: If you've been a REALTOR® for 40 or more years, apply by March 30 in order to have your annual NAR dues waived, beginning this November!

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Howard County Home Sales Reports

Did you know that county home sales information is posted online at www.hcar.org/statistics? Home sales reports for the previous month are typically available by the 6th day of every month. Check out the Market Details report for sales volume, days on market, types of financing used, listings inventory, sales price versus listing price statistics, and more.

Make www.hcar.org your home page, and you'll see a link appear under Real Estate News early each month when the new reports are released.

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FHA Condo Financing Crisis
What HCAR is Doing to Help
Recent changes in the FHA financing rules have adversely impacted the sales of condominium units. This has resulted in a plunge of condo sales and prices across the U.S., and its impact is now being felt in Howard County. HCAR is looking for answers that will assist Howard County in taking on this issue.

Some potential solutions include:

  • An education campaign on the FHA financing rules and their effects; for buyers, owners, condominium associations, and state and federal legislators.
  • Establishing a local condominium registry.
  • Requiring condominium associations to collect dues in advance, which can be used as a credit to the unit owner.

Read the February 21 Howard County Housing Commission Executive Director's Report Here >

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Maryland Election News
Important Upcoming Dates

Maryland Primary Election - Voter Registration Deadline
Tuesday, March 13

Statistics show that only 70% of Americans who are eligible to vote are registered voters. Your vote holds our leaders responsible for the decisions they make and sends a message on the issues important to you. Don't be part of the 30% statistic. Let your voice be heard and make a difference.

Maryland Primary Election - Early Voting
Saturday - Thursday, March 24 - 29

Open 10 am to 8 pm except for Sunday, March 25.
Open 12 noon to 6 pm on Sunday, March 25.

Maryland Primary Election - Absentee Ballot Application Deadline
Tuesday, March 27

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Mark Your Calendars!
NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo

Meetings:   May 14 - 19
Capitol Hill Visits:   May 16 - 17
Trade Expo:   May 16 - 17

Come together and take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy, and the association. Join fellow REALTORS® for a variety of meetings and events including: special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, and the industry trade show.

Midyear registration is FREE to REALTOR® members.
For more information, to plan your Midyear Schedule, and to register, click here.

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May 17 - REALTOR® Rally in DC!
Rally at the Capitol to Advance Home Ownership

HCAR President David Vane with NAR President Mo Veissi at NAR Meeting to Drum Up Support to Protect Home Ownership!

Join Us for the Rally to Protect the American Dream

Thursday, May 17
9:30 am - 11:00 am
Location: Washington, DC

REALTORS® will rally in the shadows of the Nation's Capitol during the Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo to advance home ownership and real property issues. NAR President Moe Veissi is asking for 15,000 REALTORS® to participate.

Let's make sure Congress knows we're here and engaged. Come and be counted in Washington. ~Moe Veissi

We will announce further details, as they are confirmed.

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Also on www.hcar.org
2012 Code of Ethics, and Email White Listing Tip

The 2012 Code of Ethics is now available at www.hcar.org/ethics, with a few updates from 2011. REALTOR® members are bound to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice in fulfilling their duties to clients and customers, to the public, and to other REALTORS®. Our Code of Ethics is one of the many factors setting us apart, and allows the public to have high confidence that the REALTOR® they hire will protect and promote their interests. REALTORS® pledge to that. See Article 1.

Please take this opportunity to review the recent updates to the Code of Ethics, and the entire Code of Ethics. It's good business!

Other Membership Resources at www.hcar.org - Have you visited the Members Only section lately? You'll find the latest contract forms, explanations of legal changes and MREC advisories, a directory of HOA contacts, an online form to keep your contact information current, and more. A new addition is Email Update and White List Instructions. Is someone in your office not receiving this monthly email? If so, please ask them to white list us!

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NAR - Government Affairs Issue Brief
2012 Federal Public Policy Priorities

As a follow-up to the 2012 REALTOR® Party Policy and Advocacy Conference, NAR has released its Federal Public Policy Priorities - a detailed list of the most important issues on the Agenda for 2012 - including Taxation, Real Estate Finance, Property Insurance, and Appraisal and Commercial Issues.

For more information on Federal Issues being tracked by NAR click here.

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Join MRIS trainers at the HCAR Office for FREE hands-on training.

The New Keystone Homepage
In this demonstration of the new Keystone Homepage that is coming out soon, you will see how to edit your listings with just a few clicks, make price adjustments on the fly, pre-schedule changes to your listings, customize what information you want to see for every listing and so much more.
Thursday, March 15 • 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Customize Matrix to Fit Your Business
Personalize Matrix to create easier navigation to better assist your advanced skills. These advanced features enable you to work more efficiently and productively.
Wednesday, March 28 • 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Maximize Your Productivity with MRIS
This class introduces the often overlooked tools and features available as an MRIS customer benefit that are designed to save you time and money.
Wednesday, March 28 • 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

To register, go to www.mris.com/training, and click on the name of a course you wish to attend. You will then see the login to register. For MRIS training questions or inquiries, please email training@mris.net.

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Learn and Make a Difference - Volunteer!

HCAR committees are already in high gear for 2012, planning and delivering high-value events and community service. With Mardi Gras and Spring Fling already upon us and RENO Day being planned, proposed legislative changes we do NOT want to become law, and so many exciting things happening in the real estate community . . . we invite you to join in!

By being involved, you will learn more about the REALTOR® education process, legislative influence and successful event organization. You'll also meet and gain valuable relationships with knowledgeable and enthusiastic REALTOR® and Affiliate members.

Sign up for a committee using our online volunteer form! (Login required.)
You'll be connected with our 2011 - 2012 Committee Leadership.

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Missed the Deadline for 2012 HCAR Membership Dues?
Don't Miss Out - Come on Back!

Keep It Current To those members who missed out on the dues renewal deadline, get your membership reinstated today at www.hcar.org >

Reinstating your membership today will ensure that you:

  • Will have SentriLock access;
  • Will not miss out on any of the informative and important classes we offer (such as required CEU and free MRIS classes); and,
  • Will be able to attend our exciting Members Only upcoming events, including Spring Fling and RENO Day.

Thank you to the large majority of members who renewed on time for 2012. We appreciate your being a contributing part of Howard County Association of REALTORS®, and saving late fee expenses for yourself and your Association.

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Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
- Theodore Roosevelt    


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