By Charlie Brown

Appraisals are part of the majority of real estate transactions because it determines the market value of the property. The location of the property and the features of the building contribute to its value that requires a good understanding by trained experts to determine its value. The process of ascertaining the value of real estate is what real estate appraisals are all about. For any kind of real estate transactions, from mortgage loans to divorce and estate settlements and even for taxation, the appraisal reports drawn by professional real estate appraisers form the benchmark for valuation of the property.

Become an appraiser

You can become a real estate appraiser by acquiring a license for which you must pass the real estate appraisal exam conducted by the Appraisal Qualifications Board (AQB) across the United States. It requires good preparation to pass the exam, and you can avail online guidance from websites like that help to prepare for the test. This and other similar online resources conduct practice tests in line with the latest AQB exam standards and prepare students who want to pursue a professional career as an appraiser of real estate. On completing licensing coursework together with specified internship hours, appraisers receive a license from the state to start their professional career.

The need for appraisal

Since it is imperative to determine and establish the market value of a property, appraisals have become almost an integral part of the home buying process. (more…)

By Charlie Brown

The safest way of finding a good home is by hiring a competent realtor. There are so many things you can fail to see but the agent’s experienced eye will notice immediately. That is unless you have the misfortune to land an unscrupulous soul looking to make a quick sale.

While looking for one, you might want to consider speaking to quite a number so that you have a feel for different agents. Fortunately, it is easy to sense a deceitful agent who is only interested in making a sale. Avoid the quick smooth talkers who will barely allow you to ask a question.

The following are some of the traits you look for in a good estate agent.

1. Knowledge about houses and architecture 

Seeing as you may not have the first idea about what nooks and crannies need checking out, an agent who is knowledgeable will be a great asset. An agent who displays knowledge obviously has an interest in the industry and can be trusted to give good advice.

2. Personality

No one wants to deal with a person who can barely engage beyond the official business. Even that one happens with clinical precision. A pleasant, friendly person is easier to deal with, especially if you are going to spend a whole day inspecting houses and you have questions.

3. They must pay attention to the smallest of details.

Again, you are no expert at architectural strengths and weaknesses. You do not want to buy a house that will go Humpty Dumpty on you in less than a year of moving in. Also, they should be able to grasp the details of your needs and talk about those.

4. They should be honest.

You should check them out before you meet them face to face. Look out for scandals and complaints.  (more…)

By Charlie Brown

When you get involved in an accident, there are many things that run through your mind immediately after. Among them are the worries of who was in the wrong and how this accident will impact your life in the near future and especially your car insurance rates.

Did you know that insurance premiums go up when you are found at fault in an accident scene? Did you also know that it is the work of the insurance adjusters to investigate the accident? The accident calls for everyone involved to remain calm until the maze of what happened is slowly unraveled. Do not be quick to throw words around because the same words can be used against you.

Here are a few important points to consider at the accident scene

1. At the scene of the accident – Immediately you get involved in an auto accident, there is confusion and even more as people quickly place blame on one of the drivers. It is important to not admit or discuss the fault of the accident at the scene, especially with the crowd of people gathering. Simply record the facts you can remember before the accident for the right person to investigate. Take photos immediately and obtain the contact information of the driver you are involved in the accident with plus any witness who may be there. If the other driver is accusing you, do not engage with them in any way but simply exchange information and ask them to allow the insurance company to handle the situation. Remember to call the police if there are any injuries or much damage has been done at the scene. The police will come to make a report and issue traffic violations but will not determine who is at fault. The police report will help you get more evidence during the investigation of the accident.

2. How does the insurance company determine fault? After the accident has happened, call your insurance company immediately. (more…)

By Charlie Brown

Finding the right kind of attorney to represent you in case of an accident is a wise move. You will discover that there are millions of lawyers out here representing different kinds of clients who face different situations every day.

Get a personal accident attorney who will be with you from the time you are involved in the accident to the end of the lawsuit. When looking for this kind of attorney, it is wise to focus only on finding a reliable expert.

Look for reviews from others or better still, get a recommendation from someone you know. A great way to find an outstanding attorney is by conducting a detailed search of the qualities of a legal representative before even hiring them.

Selecting the best accident attorney

1. Look for the one who is experienced – Experience is the number one factor that you should put into consideration. Find a lawyer who will be comfortable handling your case and confirm that they will appear in court if the need arises. Before you find an accident lawyer, it is good to ensure they have handled cases like these before without much difficulty. Ensure that the expert you chose will fight for you to get the best deal.

2. Is the lawyer available for you? The availability of the attorney is very crucial and should be well factored in before making any decision. A lawyer who is always available stands a better chance of helping you win your case if they can comprehend it correctly. For an attorney to understand the requirements of a case, they have to dedicate a huge fraction of their time to the case. No matter how big the caseload is for the attorney to go through, they should always ensure they don’t miss your hearing. Missing a case can be risky, especially if the case is in its trial stages. You need to be sure that the lawyer you choose will give your case the attention it deserves. (more…)