March 2017

Whether you're buying or selling a home, a good real estate agent can be an invaluable asset to help ensure you have a successful experience. So what should you look for?

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Learn more about Preferred Rewards — a program that includes special benefits for new Bank of America mortgages and home equity lines of credit for those who qualify.

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The final installment of our three-part "Get out of debt" series offers four helpful strategies for quickly paying off credit card debt.

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What to look for in a good real estate agent

Whether you're buying or selling a home, a good real estate agent is key. Here are three questions designed to help you find an agent who's right for you:

Is the agent easily accessible? Good communication is a top priority when looking for a real estate agent. You want an agent who is available and easy to reach — whether by phone, text or email. And if you leave a message, you want to hear back from them promptly. If you are dealing with an agent who is never available when you call, or who takes forever to return your messages, it's time to look for a new agent.

How long has the agent been in business, and how well do they know your area? Look for someone who has good "market presence" and can demonstrate up-to-date knowledge of the area and homes in your price range. You may also want to ask about the types of properties they've sold in the past year — are they similar to what you're looking for or to what you're selling? How long were those homes on the market, and what did they end up selling for?

If you're selling, how would the agent plan to market your home? Make sure your agent can organize and host open houses effectively. Ask them if they have a listing package and whether aerial photography could be an option for marketing your home.

For more information, contact me.

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Get more rewards with your everyday banking — including home loans

The Bank of America Preferred Rewards program lets you enjoy real benefits and rewards on your Bank of America® banking and Merrill Edge® investment accounts. And as your qualifying balances grow, so do your benefits.

As a Preferred Rewards client, you can enjoy:

  • Special benefits on a new Bank of America mortgage and home equity line of credit, based upon your eligible balances at the time of application
  • A 25%–75% rewards bonus on eligible Bank of America credit cards
  • Extra interest on a Rewards Money Market Savings account
  • No fees on select everyday banking services, such as standard check orders, stop payments and more

To qualify for Preferred Rewards, you need an eligible Bank of America personal checking account and a three-month average combined balance of $20,000 in qualifying Bank of America deposit accounts and/or Merrill Edge® and Merrill Lynch® investment accounts. There's no fee to enroll or participate. To learn more and find out if you qualify, visit the Preferred Rewards website.

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Better Money Habits®: Pay off debt — fast

If you're one of the many Americans carrying a balance on your credit card each month, there's good news. With a few simple changes to your everyday spending and budgeting, you could make a big difference in how much time it takes to pay off your debt.

One of the easiest ways is simply to go beyond the minimum payment on your credit card balance each month. By increasing the amount you pay, you can bring down your debt faster and save yourself a lot of money in interest.

To learn more, read "4 strategies to pay off credit card debt fast" on our new and improved Better Money Habits website.

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