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Online Newsletter
July 2012

In This Issue

July 4 Independence Day Holiday ~ HCAR Office Will Be Closed
Enjoy the peace your valor won. Let independence be our boast, ever mindful what it cost; Ever grateful for the prize, let its altar reach the skies!
~Joseph Hopkinson    
Have a Safe and Happy Fourth of July!

2012 - 2013 HCAR Leadership Application is Now Available

HCAR Director and Officer Application
Deadline to Apply is Friday, August 3

HCAR Board of Directors

We are looking for both experienced and emerging leaders.
HCAR Members who want to join our dynamic Board of Directors to continue the Howard County
traditions of innovation, professionalism, and service to its members and community.

The Nominating Committee is seeking applicants
for two Officer and five Director positions on the 2012 - 2013 Board of Directors,
for the membership year beginning November 1, 2012.

President-Elect see duties >
Secretary see duties >
Five Director Positions see duties >

Apply Online >

Questions? Please contact our Nominating Committee Chair Jim Skirven at
410.313.9900 or jimskirven@hcar.org for more information.

Thank you for your consideration!

The deadline for Candidate Applications is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, August 3.
Don't miss out!

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Contract and Listing Forms Update

In June 2012, the Howard County Association of REALTORS® (HCAR) Forms Committee completed a two year + mission to review, revise, and recommend forms to be published by HCAR. As a result, there were changes to the following forms:

Notification of Dual Agency Within a Team
Form 1201 - Howard County Addendum to MAR Residential Contract of Sale
Form 1202 - Columbia Covenant Compliance Addendum
Form 1203 - Columbia Village Association Compliance Letter Request
Form 1204 - Jurisdictional Addendum to the Regional Contract

These forms are available in the www.HCAR.org Members Only Forms page (login required). We've also included an HCAR Forms Review and Practice Tips, which gives a brief overview of each form - whether it is a new form or it has been revised (if revised, changes have been noted) - and practice tips regarding the use of the form.

In addition, the following three forms were also updated on June 1, to comply with the increased recordation fee for non-resident sellers:

Listing Agreement - Residential Exclusive Right to Sell
Listing Agreement - Unimproved Land Exclusive Right to Sell
Transfer Tax Addendum - Maryland Non-Resident Seller

Don't risk a delayed or stalled settlement due to outdated listing or contract forms. Check the Member Forms page often to make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of important sales contracts, listing agreements, and member forms.

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Victory! Congress Extends Flood Insurance for Five Years
On Friday, June 29th, the Senate and House passed the Flood Insurance Reform Act as a part of H.R. 4348, the Surface Transportation Conference Report. The President will sign the measure within a few days. This successful result is directly related to the ongoing REALTOR® campaigns, including the final push at the May 2012 Midyear Legislative Meetings.

Congress had been extending the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for a few months at a time since 2008. Twice this led to shutdowns, including one that stalled over 40,000 sales in June 2010. This 5-year re-authorization will bring certainty to real estate transactions in over 21,000 communities nationwide where flood insurance is required for a mortgage. The bill ensures the NFIP will continue long-term for millions of businesses and homeowners, as well as ensuring that taxpayers will spend less on federal assistance for flood disasters over the long run. NAR will continue to monitor the legislation as it is implemented. Thank you to all our HCAR members who have responded to Calls to Action, contacted their legislators, or participated in Legislative meetings and rallies in support of the NFIP and other homeownership-friendly legislation.

Click here to read the latest Legislative Updates >

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MAR Leadership Academy -
Applications Due August 1

The annual MAR Leadership Academy is a rare opportunity for training in organizational leadership and communications. Apply now for the upcoming October 4, 2012 through August 16, 2013 session. Applicants must be available for an interview on August 7 or 16.

Hurry! Applications are due Wednesday, August 1.
Details and application >
Leadership Academy brochure >

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NAR Quadrennial Ethics Compliance - Deadline is December 31, 2012

All REALTOR® members must complete and verify a 2.5 hour NAR Code of Ethics training requirement by December 31, 2012 or else lose Key and all other NAR, MAR, and HCAR privileges, but there are several ways to meet the requirement.

Option 1. Have you completed the 3 CE Ethics course at HCAR, between January 1, 2009 and now?

  • If so, you have also met the NAR Code of Ethics training requirement.
  • HCAR will make a list available soon, of all members who are verified as having completed Ethics training at HCAR for the current NAR quadrennial time period of January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2012.

Option 2. Have you registered for the August 2 Ethics training offered by HCAR?

  • Register for the August 2 or November 1 Ethics training at HCAR.org. Register as soon as possible! These classes will rapidly fill up.

Option 3. Register for the FREE online Ethics course offered by NAR.

  • Click here to register today, and complete the course at your pace. Please do not wait long! The online site will get busier, and most likely slow, as we come even closer to December 31.
  • Please note that the online Ethics course offered by NAR is a non-CE course. It meets the NAR requirement, but does not meet the MREC required 3 CE Ethics training for Maryland license renewal.

Option 4. Have you completed an approved 3 CE Ethics course through another authorized training provider?

  • Please upload your Certificate of Completion to www.HCAR.org Members Only. This is the preferred method, so we have an electronic copy as part of your membership records and can readily verify your compliance.
  • You can also fax the certificate to 410.715.1489, or mail the certificate to us at the following address:

    5501 Twin Knolls Road, Suite 111
    Columbia, MD 21045

Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter. If you have any questions, please contact HCAR staff via email at staff@hcar.org.

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August CEU Offerings


3.0 hours Required Ethics (Category D)
Thursday, August 2
10:30 am - 4:00 pm
Register Here >
Register here if you are not a Rookie REALTOR®!
3.0 hours Required Ethics (Category D)
Thursday, August 2
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Register Here >
Renovation Financing
3.0 hours Professional Enhancement (Category F)
August 22
9:00 am - 12 noon
Register Here >

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SentriLock Tips


The GENI or GENII (silver) REALTOR® lockbox has an internal lithium battery. The batteries in GENI lockboxes last between 2 to 3 years, depending upon climate, storage and use. The batteries in GENII/NXT/NXT Wireless lockboxes last up to 6 years, depending upon climate, storage and use.

Lockbox Battery Preservation Tips >
Changing the Battery in a GENI/GENII Lockbox >
Changing the Battery in an NXT/NXT Wireless Lockbox >

Power Paddle

The power paddle provides a temporary power source to the NXT and NXT Wireless (blue) series lockboxes. If the internal batteries in the lockbox are dead, you will need a temporary power source to allow you to open the key compartment and replace the internal lockbox batteries.

How to Use a Power Paddle >

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

The Need-to-Knows of Matrix
Settings, searches, contacts or emails. This is the best place to start and learn about the multiple functions Matrix offers.
Thursday, July 12 • 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

MRIS: 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.
Thursday, July 12 • 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

MRIS: Computer Basics for the Real Estate Agent
This class is designed for MRIS customers who have never used a computer or have very limited knowledge of basic computer functions. Our goal is to give you a solid foundation of computers by teaching you common terminology, basic skills like using a mouse, keyboard and how to access core MRIS products such as Matrix. Once you have understood these basics, you will have a clear understanding on which to build your future knowledge of MRIS and skill with computers.
Thursday, July 26 • 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

MRIS: Kick Off Your Career with MRIS
Get in the real estate game faster with this introduction to all the various products and topics available with your MRIS subscription.
Thursday, July 26 • 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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2012 MAR Annual Conference & Tradeshow
September 10 - 12    Ocean City, Maryland
Register by July 15th and Save $80

Member (by July 15) $195
Rookies in the business for 4 years or fewer save an extra $50

(for pre-registered, three-day registrants only).

Come Ride the Wave with your fellow REALTORS® at the Maryland Association of REALTORS® Conference and Expo in Ocean City. Take part in an exciting schedule packed with great events including the Cocktail Party & Recognition Banquet Installation and Industry Awards, and three days of CE classes taught by seasoned and sought-after instructors.

More Value    National Speakers    Networking    Exciting Tradeshow

Conference Homepage       Registration

Hotel Information       Schedule (PDF)

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Important Information for REALTORS® from MREC
The Maryland Real Estate Commission (MREC) has recently published The Spring 2012 Commission Check, which contains useful topics and practice issues that come up frequently for real estate professionals. Be sure to read the article Who Can "Sit" at an Open House, which covers specific duties that another broker's agent or unlicensed person can perform in connection with an open house.

Some additional subjects covered are:

Stay up-to-date and informed by reading The Commission Check >

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Sympathy to Denise Merson and Family

HCAR extends deepest sympathy to Denise Merson upon the passing of her husband, Phillip Jeffrey "Jeff" Merson. Denise is currently a Regional Manager with Sage Title Group in Westminster, Maryland. Prior to that she was a settlement officer with Fountainhead Title Group in Columbia for several years.

All are welcome to a celebration service which will be held this Friday, July 6 at 5 p.m. at Uniontown Bible Church, 4272 Watson Lane, Union Bridge, MD 21791. Visitation and internment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, P.O. Box 4527, New York, NY 10163.

Please keep Denise and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

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Board of Directors Meeting

Next Meeting: Monday, August 6
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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Save the Dates!

HCAR Annual Meeting and 2013 Officers & Directors Installation Luncheon
Thursday, October 18, 2012    11:30 am - 2:30 pm    Turf Valley Resort

NAR REALTORS® Conference & Expo
November 9 - 12, 2012    Orlando, FL

Register by August 15 to join us in Orlando and save!
Also book your hotel in advance for best selection.

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Howard County Asks Residents to Conserve Water
The repair of a major water delivery main in Baltimore City, slated to begin July 3 and taking approximately 2-3 weeks to complete, may result in a possible water supply shortfall in the coming weeks. During this time, Howard County residents may experience low water pressure and possible water outages.

The County is asking residents, as a first step, to shift noncritical water use (clothes and dish washing) to morning hours if possible, and to minimize the use of washing machine and dish washing machine by only washing full loads, minimize car washing, take short showers and not top off pools.

For more information and/or questions regarding the water main repair and water conservation efforts, please contact the County's Department of Public Works, Bureau of Utilities at 410.313.4900.

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