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How to Shop Online for a Home

Posted on January 31, 2017 by James Florence

If you’re like most home buyers nowadays, you probably started your search online, but what you found may have raised more questions than answers. This is because consumer-oriented portals (i.e. real estate websites like Trulia and Zillow) operate in very different ways and, consequently, can produce very different results. By gaining an understanding of how listings are published online, you’ll be able to avoid common pitfalls and shop for properties with greater accuracy and efficiency. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Real Estate Tips
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Maximizing Your Credit Score for a Home Purchase

Posted on November 03, 2016 by James Florence

If you’re planning to purchase a home in the near future, you’ll need to address your credit score beforehand. A credit score is a three-digit number ranging from 350 to 850 (with 850 being the best) that lenders use to evaluate an individual’s capacity to repay a loan. Consequently, your credit score will play a central role in determining the kind of home loan and interest rate you get approved for—and whether you can get approved at all. That’s why it’s important to be proactive about maximizing your credit score long before you apply for a home loan. Here are some tips on how to do so:

Find out your credit score. Many people assume they have good credit, Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Real Estate Tips
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Industry Organization Spotlight: National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)

Posted on July 28, 2016 by James Florence

Realtor_logoThe National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is the United States’ largest trade association, consisting of more than one million members that include residential and commercial brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors, and other real estate professionals. All members are identified as REALTORS, a registered designation that signifies their commitment to the association’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. NAR’s key priorities include promoting the success and professional development of its members; conducting research and exchanging information; and advocating on the behalf of its industry, its members, and American property owners.

Professional Development
NAR and its affiliated institutes, societies, and councils offer an extensive array of programs and services to help its members enhance their professional skills and knowledge. Read more

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Video: Practical Guidelines for Selling Your Home

Posted on June 09, 2016 by James Florence

Earlier this week, we posted an article that shed light on some common myths about buying and selling real estate. One of these myths regarded how long sellers should wait before accepting offers on their homes. To learn more about this subject, watch this informative video by Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Marc Guay of Coldwell Banker.

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Diamond Certified Experts: Dispelling Real Estate Myths

Posted on June 07, 2016 by James Florence

To the uninitiated, the real estate industry can be complex and confusing, which is why it’s common for first-time buyers and sellers to have ill-founded notions or unrealistic expectations. So, we asked five Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to set the record straight about some prevalent real estate myths. Read more

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Posted in: Real Estate, Diamond Certified Experts, Real Estate Tips
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Frequently Asked Questions about Real Estate Agents

Posted on April 21, 2016 by Jennifer Chan

Ready to dive into the deep waters of Bay Area real estate? Your first (and possibly most important) step is finding a guide, helpmate, champion and problem-solver: your real estate agent. Not sure where to start? Read on…

What does a real estate agent do?
What is the difference between a real estate agent, a Realtor® and a real estate broker?
Do I need a real estate agent?
How do I find a real estate agent?
How does a real estate agent get paid?
What are some of the qualities I should look for in a real estate agent? Read more

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Posted in: Uncategorized, Home Tips, Home Improvement, Real Estate Tips
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Savvy Consumer Tip: Rental Scammers Are Taking Advantage of a Tight Housing Market

Posted on April 01, 2016 by Chris Bjorklund

People scrambling to find apartments and rental houses often pay for rental listings. Sadly, some of them find that the lists they buy are worthless. One man paid more than $200 for a list of homes to rent, and when he visited three of the addresses, he discovered they were occupied. Applying for a refund was equally frustrating. The agency said the agreement he signed allowed them to take up to 90 days to issue a refund. Three months later, their phone was disconnected and the company disappeared with his money.

Another common scam is to require people who respond to a phony rental ad to pay for a credit report. The con artists collect a commission or simply keep the fee. Read more

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