How much is $100 worth to you? If you’re 8 years old and get $10 from your grandma on your birthday, $100 dollars would probably seem like winning the lottery. On the other hand, if you have three kids, $100 … Continue reading

With so many Real Estate Agents to choose from, how do you know which one’s for you?

Buying or selling a home can be exciting, but it can also come with its own mix of fear, anxiety and consternation as it means you are entering a new life chapter.

Selecting the right real estate agent for you is one of the first key steps to consider when making a move.

While friends, family and co-workers are a great source of referral for real estate agents, their home buying or selling needs may be different from yours.  Using the internet is a good way to research various real estate agents, but consider it a starting point for your search for that right real estate agent who truly represents your interests.

Consider the following intangibles:

  • Is the real estate agent’s personality compatible with yours?
  • Do you sense that they are honest and trustworthy?
  • Does the real estate agent have a clear understanding of your objectives and needs?
  • Do they have a list of past clients that you can call to obtain their opinion?
  • Are you the real estate agent’s focus or are they?

Then do your due diligence and make sure that the following key elements are in fact in place!

Licensing – While a real estate agent must pass certain tests to be licensed by the State, don’t forget to confirm that their license is valid and in good standing.  Have they had any complaints filed against them?

National Association of Realtors® – Not all real estate agents can call themselves Realtors® unless they actually are a member in good standing of this association and agree to be bound by their “code of ethics”  which provides another layer of protection for you as a consumer.

Education and specialization – Continuing education is crucial for a real state agent and taking added courses in areas that they wish to “specialize” in is a plus to you the consumer.  Such specialized areas of real estate might include, short sales/foreclosures, senior housing, investors, etc.

Local knowledge – A good real estate agent will have local information available for you at their fingertips, including housing trends, number of houses on the market vs. the percent sold, sales price trends, local crime rate stats, school and shopping information and a list of professionals they do business with that will help make your real estate transaction as seamless as possible.

Experience – While a certain amount of experience is important, it should be only one of the points you consider.  There are certainly experienced real estate agents out there who have become lazy and complacent after years of selling real estate and newer real estate agents who are highly motivated and on top of things with their eagerness to earn your business.

While the above list is not all-inclusive, please feel free to reach out to me if you are thinking of buying or selling and I’d be happy to provide you with 3 to 4 real estate agents that I think may be a good match for you to begin interviewing to find that right real estate agent who you can relate to and who will understand and assist you with your real estate needs.



To buy a house is probably one of the largest and most complex financial expenditure that a person can make. Because it requires huge amount of money, most buyers do not own enough amount to fully pay for the house … Continue reading



The fixed rate mortgage: Fixed rate mortgage is among the commonly used type of mortgage. Many prefer this because the interest rate is predetermined and it remains the same throughout the life of the mortgage. This makes it predictable. Thus, … Continue reading


What is a credit score?

All credit active people have a profile. This is a summary of your history with every credit provider you’ve ever dealt with, and serves as a record of how well you’ve managed your accounts like loan repayments, overdue debts, how often you’ve asked for credit and the kinds of loans or credit you’ve applied for, and the frequency of your applications.

How it works?

Credit reporting providers summarize your profile into something called a credit score. The score is between 300 to 850, where the higher the number, the more likely you are to be able to repay a loan. Lenders look at your credit profile and score to find out about your credit history and behavior, and assess if you are able to take on a new loan. This information reassures lenders that you’re good at paying money back to those you’ve borrowed from.

A good score not only makes you more likely to get approval on your home loan application – but it also means you’ll qualify for a better interest rate. Of course, the other side of the coin is that if you have a poor score, you will be less likely to qualify for any new loans. This protects the lender and those with low scores from taking out additional loans and overextending themselves and getting into more debt. In short, you’ll need to have a good credit score rating for your home loan application to be approved.

It’s therefore a good idea to first find out what your credit score is before applying for a loan, and to give yourself time to improve it before approaching a lender.

How to improve your score?

Improving your credit score starts with looking at your current financial situation and ways to improve it. Getting into a good credit position before you apply for a loan can help increase the likelihood of you getting approved.

You can improve your score by:

  • lowering your credit card limits
  • consolidating multiple personal loans and/or credit cards
  • limiting your credit enquiries
  • paying your rent and bills on time
  • paying your mortgage and other loans on time
  • paying your credit card off in full each month

To avoid any surprises, be prepared and know your credit score.

Written by Lisa S. Brought to you by EzineArticles.