The spring market is right just about here and if you’re planning to buy or sell your home, you need to have the right people on your team. A key team player will be your real estate agent.
Of course it is the duty of the agent to get the best buyer or seller at the most appropriate price. But, what makes a good agent? What are the characteristics a buyer or seller should look for when choosing an agent to represent them?
Well, after careful consideration and some research, they can be narrowed down into 5 general characteristics:
- Good Character. First and foremost, you want someone who’s honest, patient, professional, straightforward and has integrity. You want someone who’s fair to all parties. If your agent isn’t fair to the party on the other side, chances are he/she won’t be fair with you if given the opportunity.
- Good Communication skills. You also want someone who communicates well and often. Better to have too much information, then not enough. And, you agent also needs to be accessible and responsive. Sure, everyone needs to have a life, but during crucial moments when offers are on the table, you want to make sure you can get in touch with your agent.You also want your agent to listen to what you say and understand your needs. No one wants to take time to go see a property with one bedroom when you’re looking for a place with three!You’re also looking for accuracy and attention to detail. No one wants to get important documents with errors. This just wastes everyone’s time.
- Passionate. You want your agent to be passionate about what he or she is doing. An agent who really has a passion for real estate will seek to know as much about it as he can and be on top of his game. He will know the market inside and out with information such as inventory, pricing, absorption rate, market cycle and buyer demand.
- Well connected and resourceful. You want an agent who knows how to get things done. She should have good list of people in her back pocket that she can call in a pinch when something needs to get done.
- An excellent negotiator. At the end of the day, you need someone who’s going to utilize all the characteristics above to close the deal.
That sums it up. Now, you may not be able to know for sure if the agent you’re about to meet or hire will satisfy all the characteristics above, but do your research, ask around and, above all, trust your instincts!
Most people agree that having an estate plan is something they should do, but never get around to actually doing. As we begin a new year filled with hope for the future, what better time to think about setting up your estate plan? Along with the promise of all that a new year brings, the new legislation enacted by Congress effective January 1, 2011 increases the threshold amount for the Federal estate tax to $5,000,000 and decreases the Federal estate tax to 35%. This is terrific news and should give people an incentive to implement an estate plan.
In order to help you get started, here are three tips to get you from thinking about an estate plan to having an estate plan.
- Make a list of all your assets and debts. This includes items such as your home, car, jewelry and artwork, as well as your financial assets such as investment accounts, IRA assets, bank accounts and life insurance policies. You should list whether you own the asset individually or with another person. On a separate piece of paper, list all your obligations, such as mortgages and auto loans.
- Review the beneficiary designations on all accounts and life insurance policies. Any asset that allows you to designate beneficiaries will pass automatically upon your death. It is imperative that those individuals listed are current and reflect your wishes. Many people forget to update these. If you are unsure who you have listed as a beneficiary, contact the customer service department of the company holding the account or life insurance policy. You can also contact your bank to change your savings and checking accounts to a “payable on death” account.
- Meet with your advisors. If you have a financial advisor, schedule an appointment with him/her to map out a plan for your financial future. Contact an Estate Planning attorney to discuss what documents are appropriate for your unique situation. In order to maximize protection of your assets and to ensure that your wishes are carried out, you’ll want to have a Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will, HIPAA Authorization, Will and possibly a Revocable Living Trust. An Estate Planning attorney will also be able to help you with items 1 and 2 in this list so you don’t have to do everything on your own.
Once you’ve taken care of these items, you’ll feel much better knowing that your assets are protected and will be distributed according to your specific wishes.
If you have any questions about Estate Planning, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Posted by Robert L. Vitale, Esq.
As you probably know, refinance mortgage rates have never been this low before in the history of the United States housing market. Many of our clients are now considering refinancing.
What you may not know is that YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE the attorney who closes your refinance loan with most lenders.
If you don’t choose an attorney, your lender will choose one for you.
Remember that along with the potential benefits to refinancing, there are also costs. Your home may be your most valuable financial asset, so you want to be careful when choosing a lender or broker and specific mortgage terms.
Let us reward your loyalty, streamline the process and greatly reduce your frustration.
Here are the benefits of working with us again:
- Pay less. Some lenders use their own settlement companies that could cost you almost double.
- Lender’s Title Insurance Policy: 40 % discount (reissue rate!).
- Less work = Less frustration. We already have your title insurance policy and your property information.
- Less Delay. We have previously searched your property’s records to ensure that you are the rightful owner and have checked for liens. If there is a prior title issue that arises, we have the backup title information to resolve the problem.
- We will accommodate you. With three convenient locations in the South End, Back Bay and Provincetown, where we do the closing IS YOUR CHOICE.
- YOU KNOW US and the high level of quality service we provide.
- WE KNOW YOU. If you haven’t already chosen a lender we can also help you find the best refinance deal with the lender that is right for you.
So, when you’re asked to select a qualified attorney, closing agent, or title company, choose David Marshall Datz, P.C. We sincerely appreciate your business and thank you for your continued loyalty.
Give us a call at 617-357-9333 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to working with you again soon.
After many months of working on our what our new web presense will be, we finally decided to throw out the old static website designs of the last decade and move into the ever-changing blog space. This will help us focus on our clients by giving them the most up to date information regarding real estate and estate planning law. Feel free to come back and visit us again soon.