Category: Realtor Education

28 Aug 2013

Does My Credit Affect My Insurance Prices?

credit scoreTo the typical consumer, insurance rates and credit score probably seem completely unrelated.  Who would think that the price you pay to insure your home, autos, and personal property would be directly related to your credit?

As a 30-year veteran of the insurance industry, I’ve personally seen the ebbs and flows of the business. It’s been interesting to observe how insurance companies choose their individual philosophies on how to succeed and take care of their clients, but also how they figure out the cost of that service and product.

In the last decade, the relationship between credit scoring and insurance pricing has come to the forefront of the industry. And as with any controversy, you have people on both sides of the topic.

Despite personal opinions, the simple truth is that most insurance companies and actuaries have found mathematical links between the credit score and insurance pricing. Because of this information, companies can better determine the profitability of a risk and an insured client’s likelihood to file a claim.

26 Aug 2013

The Homeownership Rollback

sunFrom 2000 to 2007, it is very safe to say that it was our national policy to increase the rate of homeownership as much as possible. We all know that a society that nurtures homeownership increases pride and wealth. The solace of old age and sweat equity all feed into a better, more sustainable economy locally and nationally.

But we learned a valuable lesson from this. While widespread homeownership is a lofty goal, it has a ceiling which cannot be crossed.

Unfortunately, owning a home where you can afford the principal, interest, taxes and insurance, but cannot pay for repairs and maintenance spells trouble – which we have seen during the recent recession. Wholesale price reductions and market instability have pushed the percentage of homeownership down to the low 60 percent range. The fallout means a huge rental market of people trying to clean up their damaged credit.

23 Aug 2013

Home Staging Secrets

staging“All the world’s a stage” – and so is your home when it’s on the market. It’s important that you present your property in a way that helps buyers visualize themselves at home – in your home.

To give your home that “wow” factor and distinguish it from the competition:

1. Get rid of clutter.

Most of us have it, but when you’re trying to sell a home, clutter can distract buyers from what you really want them to notice.

Pare down your belongings and remove personal items, such as photos, children’s artwork and vacation souvenirs. You’ll enhance your home visually, and make the space look bigger. But don’t hide your clutter in the closet: You want to show off your storage space.

2. Every room needs a purpose.

Buyers will be distracted by a room that appears to have no function other than to collect junk.

Repurpose unused space to add value. A comfortable armchair and lamp can be used in a small space to create a cozy reading nook. Or drape fabric and add cushions and create a yoga room.

3. Use wall color to make rooms look bigger.

Using the same wall color in adjacent rooms will create an easy flow and make the entire space look bigger.

16 Aug 2013

A Wealth of Tools at Your Fingertips

TateToolsBuying and selling a home isn’t only about location; it’s also about awareness. You may have an ideal property in a prime location, but buyers need to know about it, including where it is and how fabulous it looks on the inside and out. If you’re the one looking to buy, you want to know immediately when a suitable property comes on the market.

Enter, the Carolinas’ No. 1 real estate website. Here, you’ll find a wealth of tools for connecting people with the right property. The site even offers home tours, all from the comfort of one’s chair.

Some of the great services available on

Community Profile links area attributes and local schools to a property, providing buyers with neighborhood-specific data including cost of living, population, housing inventory and local test scores.

Tate Tour gives buyers an easy-to-view slideshow presentation with up to 21 photographs. A virtual tour also offers instant exposure to interior and exterior views of a home.

12 Aug 2013

Who’s the Boss?

200171445-001If you’ve often thought of running your own business; if controlling your destiny has always been your dream; if you long for freedom to make choices – then a career in real estate may be your perfect fit.

A recent Forbes article, “The 4 Ways to Become Your Own Boss – Which One Fits You?” lists real estate agent in the very first category, Agent/Representative:

– If you feel your strengths are in sales and a willingness to take care of your customers, consider becoming an agent for an existing brand. You can build your own business without having to wear all the hats. The cost of entry is relatively low and your income can grow quickly and usually without limit, especially if you have the persistence and resilience to keep at it.

– Insurance agents, real estate agents, and even direct selling representatives find freedom in being able to focus on sales and customer service, while the parent company provides R&D, product development, marketing, training and much of the back office support. A network of agents provides support, companionship, mentoring and encouragement.


7 Aug 2013

A Coat of Many Colors

interior paintIf you had only a small amount – say $50 or $100 – to invest in improving your home, how would you spend it?

By and large, experts agree that a fresh coat of paint is one of the quickest, easiest and least expensive ways to spruce up a room. In just a day or two, you can transform a space and create a mood simply by painting the walls.

Think of paint on walls as a backdrop for your home’s color palate. It’s kind of like an artist’s canvas; it sets the stage for furnishings and accessories that reflect your unique tastes and preferences. Light or white paint adds brightness and makes small rooms and spaces appear larger. Brightly colored paint can add energy to a living space, while pastels can add a calming, serene touch to a bedroom or other quiet space. An accent wall can make a room pop.

2 Aug 2013

Understanding Easements

EasementsDid you know that postal carriers may walk onto your property because of what’s known as an easement?

An easement is a common legal term you may come across when buying or selling property. It involves the rights you and others have regarding access to your home. There are also different types of easements.

The most common type is called the right of way, which details how people may pass through an area.

A typical example involves a pathway for people to reach a common area, such as a playground or fish pond. In addition to mail carriers, water meter readers and delivery people are other examples of those who have the right to step on your property by easement. This right of way also allows for workers to construct or make repairs on utility or sewer lines on your property.

31 Jul 2013

Building Permits Can Protect Homeowners

building permitHave you been thinking about a remodeling project or considering significant upgrades to your home? If so, don’t forget to check into which building permits you’ll need.

Generally, permits are required for the installation, extension, alteration or general repair of electrical, mechanical or plumbing systems. The cost of each permit will depend on the scope of the project and can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

3 Oct 2012


tug of warSounds fun to me! For over 15 years now, the Allen Tate Companies have been gathering to play together and at the same time raise big money for public education. Our team pays to play, and our sponsors pay to be able to reach our Realtor® audience.

“You see, the perception of the quality of the school house at the end of the street has a direct relation to property values.”

The money we have raised (over $1.7 million) since inception goes to the organizations in our footprint dedicated to reform, teacher recognition, principal leadership training, grants for great ideas, WakeEd, MeckEd, Communities in Schools and more.  We fund organizations that are chartered to make a difference!

30 Mar 2012

Top Brokers Gather for Training and Educational Opportunities

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® is the largest network of top independent local and regional brand-name brokerage firms in the residential sector of real estate. The 600 firms affiliated with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® are represented by 5,000 offices and 150,000 associates in more than 30 countries worldwide. Each year Leading RE hosts a conference for top brokers to gather for training and education.

This year the convention was held in sunny Orlando, Florida.  The week-long conference featured speakers from within the real estate industry and beyond. They addressed a broad range of topics relating to real estate management, technology, marketing and business development.

The opening speaker was Dr. Michio Kaku, a famed futurist, physicist and best selling author. Other speakers included Michael Staver, chief learning officer of LeadingRE’s new online learning community, Institute 2.0, and Institute faculty members; Steve Harney and Matthew Ferrara, leading business coaches and consultants.