How to Find and Keep a Real Estate Agent You’ll Love

In some ways, the buyer-real estate agent relationship is similar to a romantic one. In either situation, the relationship’s success or failure depends a lot on picking the “right” partner from the beginning. Chemistry and communications also play an important role.

Here’s how you can find the best real estate agent “match” and nurture that relationship to achieve your goal: buying your dream home.

Do your homework

Today, buyers start researching properties online well before they contact an agent. This early research period should also be the time to have your feelers out for a good agent. In fact, the best time to connect with an agent is when you’ve got some knowledge of your local market but need more input, a second opinion and a professional’s guidance.

Asking friends, family and coworkers for referrals can be helpful for finding an agent. Posting what you’re looking for in an agent on social media might also help lead you to the best real estate “mate.”

Take it slowly

Would you introduce to your parents someone you’ve only had one or two dates with? Probably not. Before getting serious with a potential mate, you’d get to know them, learn about their history and understand your compatibility.

It’s not too different in the real estate agent-buyer relationship. Buying a home is an extremely emotional time. Your real estate agent will be front and center with you through ups, downs and trying times. Through the buying process, your agent might learn a lot about your personal life as well as your finances. For these reasons, take the time to ensure you have the best person by your side. If you rush into a relationship with the wrong agent, you’ll regret it later.

Pay attention to chemistry

An agent could come highly recommended and be thoroughly experienced. But with any relationship, chemistry (or lack of it) comes into play. When you first talk to an agent, ask yourself: Is this someone you’d want to spend time with? Does the agent “get” you? Will you feel comfortable sharing your financial and other personal information with him? If you answer “no,” keep looking for someone you click with.

Avoid the blame game

In today’s often-competitive real estate markets, it’s extremely unlikely you’ll get the first or even the third home you try to buy. This may cause buyers to get stressed out or upset after losing in a bidding situation or when faced with a seller who’s just “not that into you.”

Unfortunately, buyers sometimes take out their anger and frustration with the market on their real estate agent. But don’t assume that the fact your bid wasn’t accepted is your agent’s fault. The agent can’t control the seller or the seller’s agent any more than you can. Pick the best agent for your needs; trust your agent to do the job; treat the agent as you’d want to be treated; and chalk up a losing bid to experience.

Practice patience

As with romantic relationships, there may be times when your agent tries your patience. Maybe you’ve been looking for a month now and still haven’t found your dream place. Whatever the situation, keep in mind that buying the right home shouldn’t be rushed. Give the process, and your agent, time. On the other hand, if your agent seems to be neglecting you, speak up.

Communicate clearly

This is probably the most important step to any successful relationship: maintaining open, honest communications. With your real estate agent, be upfront from the start about how you like to work and what you might expect from them. Express concerns you have along the way. Above all, give the agent constructive feedback that will help him succeed.

In most cases, you’ll be spending a lot of time with your agent during the home buying process. So choose wisely. Picking the wrong agent can add to the stress, frustration and uncertainty of buying a home. On the other hand, choosing the right agent can make the process significantly easier and more successful.

By Brendon DeSimonePublished February 21, 2014Zillow

IT’S THE PRICE THAT SELLS A HOME

Location affects the value of a home, but it’s price that sells a home.

Oceanfront, mountainside, or penthouse, the most desirable location in the world won’t sell at the wrong price.

Every property has a potential buyer, but like rock, paper, scissors, it’s sometimes hard to know which factor is going to win the showdown.

A good location will sell at a fair price. A bad location will sell at a fair price, too. It just won’t be as a high as it would be for a good location.

A home in good condition will sell for a fair price. A home in poor condition will also sell at a fair price. Again, it won’t be as high as a comparable home in better condition.

But neither location or condition will sell any house. Only one thing does that – price.

So if you’re a seller waiting for that “special buyer” who will appreciate your faded pink and black bathroom tile, your vintage orange shag carpet and is willing to help you put your kids through college because of your real estate prowess, you’re going to have a long wait.

So if your home is represented by an agent, and it’s been on the market for a long time, chances are it’s your own fault.

Maybe you didn’t listen to your agent when he said you’re pricing your home above the market. Maybe you got mad at the first few folks who looked at your home and didn’t make offers.

When the showings stopped completely, maybe you accused your agent of not doing a good enough job.

You put the blame on everyone except where it belongs – on you. It’s not about you, what you want, or how much you need for your retirement.

It’s about the price.

a Look at Tennessee Taxes

The Bottom Line

MIXED TAX PICTURE

The Volunteer State has no broad-based income tax, though the state does levy a 6% tax on stock dividends and interest income from bonds and other investments. But be prepared to fork over some substantial sales taxes in Tennessee. It has one of the highest combined sales-tax rates in the nation, at an average of 9.44%, according to the Tax Foundation. Real estate is assessed at 25% of market value, and there are some property tax relief programs
Read more at http://www.kiplinger.com/tool/retirement/T055-S001-state-by-state-guide-to-taxes-on-retirees/index.php?map=&state_id=43&state=Tennessee#ZtXH8bZ11qGDPBvl.99

State Sales Tax

7% on tangible property (prescription drugs are exempt); 5% on food and food ingredients. Prepared food, dietary supplements, candy, alcoholic beverages and tobacco are taxed at 7%. Counties and cities may add another 1.5% to 2.75% to either rate.

Income Tax Range

There’s no state income tax, so salaries, wages, Social Security benefits, IRA distributions and pension income are not taxed. But Tennessee does tax dividends and interest at 6%. The first $1,250 in taxable income for individuals ($2,500 for joint filers) is exempt.

See Kiplinger.com’s Retiree Tax Map to learn how Tennessee taxes Social Security income and other forms of retirement income.

Social Security

Social Security benefits are not taxed.

Exemptions for Other Retirement Income

As of 2013, taxpayers older than 65 with total annual income of $33,000 or less ($59,000 for joint filers) are exempt from the tax on dividends and interest.

Property Taxes

Property taxes are assessed and collected by the local governments. The county commission and city governing bodies determine local property tax rates.

The assessed value of a property is based on 25% of its fair market value. Depending on the location of the residence, homeowners are subject to property taxes from the city only, the city and county, or the city, county and a special school/fire district.

Median property tax on the state’s median home value of $137,300 is $933, according to the Tax Foundation.

Tax breaks for seniors: Tennessee does not have a homestead exemption. However, there is a property tax relief program to reimburse income-eligible seniors age 65 or older, the disabled and veterans for taxes paid on their primary residence. The tax relief for 2013 is calculated based on up to $25,000 of the appraised fair market value of the homeowner’s residence if the owner’s combined income for 2012 is not more than $39,540.

Inheritance and
Estate Taxes

Tennessee’s estate tax (which the state calls an inheritance tax, but which actually taxes property instead of heirs) ranges from 5.5% to 9.5% based on the amount of the value of the property that exceeds the annual exemption. Spouses are exempt. Legislation passed in 2012 will phase out the inheritance tax as of January 1, 2016. The inheritance tax exemption threshold is $1.25 million in 2013, $2 million in 2014 and $5 million in 2015. The legislature has also repealed the state gift tax retroactive to January 1, 2012.

Read more at http://www.kiplinger.com/tool/retirement/T055-S001-state-by-state-guide-to-taxes-on-retirees/index.php?map=&state_id=43&state=Tennessee#ZtXH8bZ11qGDPBvl.99

Personal Realtor Services

Personal or Concierge Realtor?

A personal concierge service runs on the most basic of premises. People want things done and want someone to do it for them. but don’t have the time to do them. But they’re happy to pay someone to take care of their business efficiently and with a touch of class. Why not let that someone be you?

Although personal concierge services are a fairly recent development, the number of real estate agents who answer the consumer demand are few and far between.

Concierge real estate services is my niche. I chose to run my business in a personal manner. My professional expertise is for YOU! I will meet with you every time we have paperwork to be completed, staging your house, meet with professional photographer to have photos made, etc.

Taking care of all that “stuff” requires time and organization.

YOUwill work strictly with me.

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4th of July

As Americans, we need to reconnect to our heritage As Americans, we need to reconnect to our heritage, channel the wisdom of the Founding Fathers, and rediscover the meaning behind our country’s creation. And we need to do it every year.

The point of observing the Fourth of July: To help us remember why this country was founded, and to help us transmit that collective memory to the next generation.

Before America was a nation, it was a dream – a dream shared by many people, from many nations, over many generations. In this new world, where you came from didn’t matter; what mattered was where you were headed.

As more and more people settled, they started to see themselves as new people – Americans.

They felt blessed: The land was spacious. The opportunities limitless.

FREEDOM

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDANCE

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA

Today, 4th of July, 2013, in the Nashville area ALL activities were cancelled due to storms.

Happy Birthday to my son, Grant….born on the 4th of July!

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