Start Your Career in Real Estate in 6 Steps

Start Your Career in Real Estate in 6 Steps

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If you are just starting out or looking to transition into a fast-paced, rewarding career path, have you considered becoming a real estate agent? Real estate agents assist individuals and families find the perfect home and/or sell their current house. To become a real estate agent, one must follow a specific path in order to meet all of the required certifications and licensing.

Step 1: Understand the Requirements in Your State

Each state in the United States of America has different rules and regulations for becoming a licensed real estate agent. In order to get started on your new career, reach out to the Tennessee Real Estate Commission to learn more about the necessary steps for licensing.

Step 2: Enroll in Pre-License Courses and Seminars

In order to begin the licensing process, the state of Tennessee requires interested individuals to participate in a pre-license educational unit. These classes will provide you with the knowledge you need to understand the real estate industry and pass your real estate exam with flying colors.

Step 3: Take Your Test and Get Ready for Post-Licensing Courses

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The pre-licensing courses should have prepared you for your real estate exam. This exam will determine whether or not you are ready to take the next step in your real estate career.

 

Upon completing and passing your exam, you have more learning to do! Post-licensing classes are in place to ensure that you retain all the necessary information for a lucrative career in real estate. Between your pre- and post-licensing you will learn about:

 

  • State real estate regulations
  • The home buying and selling process
  • Real estate principles
  • All real estate laws
  • And more

Step 4: Apply to be a PARKS Agent

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At PARKS, we are always looking for eager, new professionals to join our team across the greater Middle Tennessee area.

 

We boast 11 offices around Middle Tennessee and have been named the #1 Residential Real Estate Firm in Middle Tennessee by sales volume. New PARKS employees are thoroughly trained and given an abundance of tools designed to help them succeed. Some of these tools include:

 

  • Dotloop — a web-based real estate transaction management service
  • Print advertising in various local newspapers at the best rates available
  • Corporate relocation department
  • Customizable agent websites
  • Free Agent Branded App with Augmented Reality for iPad, iPhone & Android phones — Exclusive to Bob Parks Realty

Step 5: Apply to the Tennessee Real Estate Commission for Your License

In order to begin your career and receive your license, you need to send your certification, evidence of E&O coverage, and all required documents and funds. Your PARKS office and team can answer any questions you may have about this process.

Step 6: Enjoy Your Successful Career as a PARKS Real Estate Agent!

Once you understand the ins and outs of life as a real estate agent, you can get started helping our community through your solid real estate skills.

 

Is a Career in Real Estate Right For You?

It takes a special type of person to be an accomplished real estate agent. Think you have what it takes? A great real estate agent has the following characteristics and traits:

 

  • Is an honest and respectful individual
  • Cares about the client and will do everything to assist him or her
  • Is a reliable individual
  • Boasts elite attention to detail skills
  • Engaging, outgoing personality

 

Interested in a brand new career as a real estate agent at PARKS? Get started today by visiting our website.

 

 

 

 

Everything Homebuyers Need to Know and More About the TRID Changes

Everything Homebuyers Need to Know and More About the TRID Changes

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Did you know that on October 3rd, 2015, the closing process will significantly change for the first time in many years? The TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules will go into effect on October 3rd, and drastically change the mortgage disclosure experience.

 

Here at PARKS, we want our homebuyers to be fully informed and aware of the changes taking place as these changes may affect your current home buying process.

Why The Change?

Some homeowners and home buying prospects might tell you that the mortgage disclosure and closing process is a bit complicated. The new changes, also known as the “Know Before You Own” rule, is being put into place to make the entire process easier to understand. The new documents and processes will streamline the experience and provide future homeowners with everything they need to know about the costs involved with closing on their new home.

 

Your PARKS agent is fully aware of the soon-to-be changes and will help you through the entire process.

Document Changes

For the past 30 years, the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and the Truth in Lending (TIL) forms were used in the closing process. With the instituted changes, home buyers will receive a 3-page Loan Estimate form (LE) that outlines all loan information including the estimated cash to close.

 

In addition, a 5-page document known as the Closing Disclosure (CD) form will be used in

place of the HUD-1 Settlement Statement.

What do these document changes mean for you? Fewer forms to fill out and review! Previously, the documents piled up and became more of a hassle than a benefit. The document changes outlined in the TRID rules are put in place to assist in the entire process.

What Homebuyers Need to Know

The home buying process, specifically with regards to mortgage disclosures, will change once October 3rd rolls around. The top changes include the following “need to know” bits of information:

  • The Lender is now responsible for preparing and delivering the Loan Estimate (LE) and Closing Disclosure (CD) forms to the consumer.
  • The borrowers now have a 3-day holding period upon receiving the CD form to review and understand the costs involved, term, and more. The CD must be delivered at least 3 days prior to the scheduled closing date in order to align with the TRID changes. The CD form delivery is left up to the discretion of the lender.  Each lender will be able to decide how to deliver the CD either by mail, electronic or hand delivery.
  • The CD form is confidential to the consumer, and unless otherwise agreed upon, will not be seen by the realtor prior to closing day.
  • If changes to the Closing Disclosure form need to be made, this will require action from the Lender and also activate additional holding and review periods. Changes can include adjustments to the annual percentage rate, prepayment penalty additions, or other alterations to the document.

Tips and Recommendations for the TRID Changes

First, make sure you are 100% familiar with the new process and the home buying process in general. The PARKS team is here to walk you through the experience and explain areas you might not understand.

 

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) also suggests that Final Walk-Throughs be completed at least seven (7) days prior to the closing day. This action will avoid the occurrence of last minute delays, changes, or questions.

 

To cut down the amount of time necessary in the review period, it is recommended that you have the Closing Disclosure form hand delivered to you. With this in mind, remember that any changes you make to the document can push back the closing date and process.

 

All of the TRID changes are expected to add an average of 15 more days to the closing period. Be sure you are prepared for that time length of time and have everything prepared.

Ask Your PARKS Agent About the Upcoming Changes

Do you have any questions or concerns about the upcoming TRID changes? Your PARKS agent is there for everything you need throughout the buying process, which includes elaborating on the entire home buying procedure — step by step!

 

Should you have any concerns regarding the changes to the TRID rules, simply contact your PARKS agent and you’ll be on your way to a brand new home in no time!

 

 

 

5 Tips for Making Your New Home Safe and Kid Friendly

Make your home kid friendly with these 5 tips from PARKS.

5 Tips for Making Your New Home Safe and Kid Friendly

Moving into a brand new home is a thrilling time for you and your family. Upon moving into your new home, all your children will want to do is run around, find their new room, and explore their new living space. However, one of the first thoughts on your mind will be, “How can I make this new home safe for my children?”

 

Follow these guidelines from PARKS to ensure that your new home is kid friendly and safe.

1) Lay Down the Law

There is a significant chance that your new home has a completely different floor plan and layout than your previous house. Naturally, your children will want to explore the new space. These adventures can potentially lead your children somewhere dangerous such as an attic, the electricity, HVAC system, and other areas.

Make your home kid friendly with these 5 tips from PARKS.

 

During the first few days in your new home, show your children which areas are out of bounds. Explain to them why they are not allowed in these areas and the consequences that will arise if they are found there. Remember, these rules are in place for your child’s safety so don’t feel bad implementing them!

2) Keep All Valuables Hidden and Far Out of Reach

From tiny, swallowable jewelry to dangerous tools, you need to keep all valuables and harmful items far out of your child’s reach. Make sure your new home is furnished with sturdy shelving that can hold and retain all of your items, whether valuable or dangerous. You can also leave these items in rooms and areas that you have clearly marked as “out of bounds” for your kids.

 

This rule also applies to hazardous materials such as certain cleaning supplies, bleach, motor oil, alcohol, specific medicines, and more. If you keep these items in an open area, consider buying a safe with a strong lock to keep your children and store these materials properly.

3) Use Safe Furniture Choices

As much as that sharp, jagged decoration for your living room might look absolutely stunning, it’s definitely not your smartest choice when it comes to having a kid friendly home. Instead, opt for softer materials, rounded corners, and install the furniture bumpers where applicable.

Use these 5 tips to make your new home safe for kids.

If you do your research, you can find furniture options that are both stylish and safe for your home — especially for a nursery or child’s room.

4) Install Trusted Baby Gates

When your child is around the crawling/walking stages of their life, you need to install trusted and sturdy baby gates around stairs or other areas of your new home. The last thing you want is to deal with an injury and a new home at the same time.

 

You can use these gates as an added safety component to your home until you are confident that your children are capable of navigating the stairs properly and carefully.

5) Avoid Glass Out In the Open

From picture frames, to furniture, to kitchen ware, glass is everywhere in a home. A curious child may find these items and decide to play with them or discover what they are, only for the glass item to come crashing down and cause an accident.

Use these quick 5 tips to make your home kid friendly

Avoid this situation at all costs by keeping glass items far out of reach. Try opting for different decor styles, specifically ones that cannot pose a threat to your child.

 

What other safety tips would you add for a kid friendly house?

 

 

 

6 Home Maintenance Tasks for September

6 Home Maintenance Tasks for September

Guess what? The autumn weather is on its way! Whether you’re a fan of the crisp fall weather or not, the season is almost upon us. The changing of the seasons means it’s once again time to take care of your Middle Tennessee home. Remember to schedule time between football games and the last of the backyard barbecues for these September home maintenance tasks.

Start Saving on Your Monthly Energy Bills

For some, the introduction of colder weather signals the switch to indoor heating. While it may be all too tempting to turn on your heating system during September, it’s in your best interest to put on a sweatshirt instead. The switch from cool air to warm air requires your HVAC system to work harder. If you’re looking to save money throughout the year, wait a bit before turning the heat on.

 

Also, start identifying other ways you can save money on your monthly energy bills. Ideas can include:

  • Limiting the amount of electricity used throughout the house.
  • Replacing old windows that allow air to leak outside.
  • Space out your use of the laundry machines and dish washer.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to regulate your home temperature.

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What do you do each fall to reduce your monthly energy bills?

Check On Your HVAC System

With energy bills and heating in mind, are you 100% sure that your HVAC system is working properly? If it’s old, broken, or simply worn out, you could actually be losing money by having your heating system work far too hard. Be sure to spend time this September to thoroughly inspect your HVAC system.

 

It is in your best interest to schedule a routine inspection with your local HVAC technician. The greater Middle Tennessee area has numerous trustworthy heating and cooling technicians to choose from, so schedule your HVAC appointment today!

Inspect Your Fireplace and Chimney

When the cool fall weather finally arrives in a few weeks, you’ll want to immediately cozy up to your fireplace. But before you do, thoroughly clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney. The last thing you want to happen is an accidental emergency due to an unclean fireplace and chimney space.

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Remember to clear any flammable material far away from your fireplace. The last thing you want is for your treasured family pictures or items to catch fire accidentally! If you are not comfortable inspecting your fireplace and chimney on your own, contact your local specialist and book an inspection and cleaning appointment this September.

Say “See You Later!” to Your Pool

As much as it may pain you to close the pool for the year, it must be done. Luckily, Middle Tennessee has a few weeks of pool weather left! During the month of September, try to gather all of the chemicals and materials you will need to effectively and efficiently close up your pool when the cold weather swoops in.

 

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By having all of your materials close by, you’ll be able to quickly close up your pool and get on with all of your autumn activities!

Fall Landscaping Tasks

Just like you have to water your lawn during the scorching hot summer months, you need to take good care of your landscaping and yard throughout the month of September and into the fall. Common fall landscaping tasks include:

  • Trimming back all tree limbs and bushes for safety and aesthetics.
  • Mowing your lawn and raking any leaves, twigs, or other natural debris.
  • Fertilizing your lawn and garden.
  • Removing any sign of weeds, dead plants or foliage, and other unwanted items.
  • Planting any fall plants you want for your garden.

 

However, with school starting back up and sports seasons in gear, you might not have time to take care of your lawn. Fortunately, Middle Tennessee is full of high quality landscaping teams. Make your fall lawn care appointment before the local companies get booked up!

Routine Roof Inspection

No matter how old or how sturdy your roof may be, it is always in your best interest to check for damage in the month of September (and any month throughout the year). You should look for the following signs of damage and areas in need of repair:

  • Missing shingles
  • Leaky gutters (remember to clean them out!)
  • Obvious patches of tears, holes, or splitting
  • Stains
  • Signs of decay
Fixing damaged roof shingles. A section was blown off after a storm with high winds causing a potential leak.

Fixing damaged roof shingles. A section was blown off after a storm with high winds causing a potential leak.

Once you’ve completed these home maintenance tasks, you’re off to enjoy the rest of September!

 

 

 

Tips for Hosting a Fun, Flawless Labor Day Party

Tips for Hosting a Fun, Flawless Labor Day Party

Labor Day is a public holiday in the United States of America honoring the American labor movement and contributions our workers have made to the well-being and strength of our country as a whole. This holiday is celebrated annually on the first Monday of each September.

 

Labor Day Weekend is just around the corner. In fact, it’s this weekend. If you’re hosting a party for friends, families, coworkers, and neighbors at any point this weekend, be sure to use these party planning tips to your advantage.

 

Invite Your Guests Ahead of Time

Some of us have flexible schedules while others need to adhere to a strict daily timeline. In order to give your guests enough time to rearrange their schedules if need be, remember to invite your family members, friends, and other guests at least a week in advance. The more time to plan, the better!

 

If your house can only hold a certain number of people, send out invitations far in advance with a specific RSVP date. This RSVP date will allow you to stick to your guest count while having enough time to meticulously plan your party!

 

Need invitation inspiration? Check out these Labor Day invitation ideas from Purple Trail.

 

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Plan a Menu

While hot dogs and hamburgers are always a safe option for a Labor Day party, you could still liven up the party with festive foods! Try any of these tasty recipes for your event:

 

 

Don’t forget to ask your friends and family members to bring over appetizers, side salads, chips and dip, desserts — whatever you need them to! After all, the more food the better at a Labor Day party.

 

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Prepare Your House for Fun

Regardless if the majority of the party will take place outside, it’s still in your best interest to prepare your home for the day of the party. This includes tasks such as:

 

  • Cleaning common areas including bathrooms, the dining area, kitchens, living rooms, game rooms, and more.
  • Making sure your deck/patio/outdoor area is organized and clean.
  • Checking on the pool chemical levels, if applicable.
  • Creating ample space in your refrigerator and freezer for the big party.
  • Mowing the lawn and prepping the garden.
  • Any home maintenance tasks you’ve been putting off (you don’t want your HVAC system to go down in the middle of a party!)

 

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Now don’t forget about Middle Tennessee’s sporadic weather tendencies! You’ll want to have a back up plan, just in case the skies open up during your party. Your backup plan should include the following items:

 

  • Previously prepared food and a barbecue backup plan, just in case grilling outside is not an option.
  • Anchor down tablecloths and outdoor tents, if in use.
  • Clear plenty of space in your home for guests, in the case that the party moves inside.

 

No matter the situation, it’s advantageous to always have a party back-up plan!

Have Games and Activities Available for Guests and Their Children

Aside from food, entertaining your guests is a top priority. Have a wide assortment of backyard games and activities available for guests of all ages. Children might prefer to swim in the pool, play a board game, or throw a ball around the backyard with the other kids. Adults, on the other hand, might prefer activities such as backyard volleyball, bocce ball, a corn hole tournament, and relaxing in the pool.

 

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No matter the weather or the time of day, make sure your guests have plenty to do at your Labor Day party. You can also ask guests to bring their favorite outdoor game or activity to spice up the fun.

 

Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy Your Party

Once you’ve cleaned your home, invited your guests, and prepared a drool-worthy menu, it’s time to sit back, relax, and have a blast at your Labor Day party!

 

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Have any additional tips for Labor Day party planners? Comment below.