Coastal Georgia:
The GOOGLE ACADEMY for
REAL ESTATE & Small Business
How to MASTER Your Digital World
presented by John Adams and his Google Tech Team
Admission $59 per person.

Tuesday, September 1st, 1 pm to 4 pm
Best Western Plus, Brunswick Inn and Suites
Off Golden Isles Parkway, just North of I-95
Click Here to Register for Brunswick, Tuesday September 1st

Wednesday, Sept 2nd, 10 am to 1 pm
Oglethorpe Inn & Suites
7110 Hodgson Memorial, Savannah, GA 31406
Click Here to Register for Savannah, Wednesday September 2

Google offers a full suite of tools for real estate professionals and small
businesses that let you reach prospects in your target areas at all stages of their
home search – while they’re looking for properties, checking out locations, and
selecting an agent or broker. It’s how you reach more sellers, attract more
buyers, and sell more homes.
.
This entertaining class will blow you away with new technology and give a true
competitive edge over the competition. Remember to bring your digital devices
regardless of operating system ­ Google is just as powerful on an iPhone or iPad
as an Android or Windows based device!
.
This course has been approved by the Georgia Real Estate Commission for 3 hours of Continuing Education Credit.  Presented by Institute for Real Estate Policy, Accredited School Code: 900026; Course code: 63600

Here is the COURSE OUTLINE:

The Google Academy

This fast-moving workshop is designed to help real estate and business professionals be more productive and get more done using available tech tools and a typical desktop, notebook or tablet computer and/or smart phone. The program stresses practical uses and implementation of tools to save time and money while reaching more buyers and sellers in the decision-making process.

Learn to use the best features of the Internet.

Module 1: ​Google Tools & Apps for Maximum Productivity

The free tools and apps available from Google combine to create a remarkably
comprehensive and sophisticated replacement for expensive software like Microsoft
Office. Best of all, it is cross-platform (iPad & Android) and in the cloud. This module will
highlight the collaborative and communication tools and how they can help you engage
more consumers, convert more leads, and list & sell more homes.

Module 2: ​Internet Tools to Boost Visibility and Save You Time & Money

The Internet offers a treasure trove of free solutions to give you an edge over the
competition. Examples include YouTube, Cloud Storage, Mind Mapping, YouSendIt,
DropBox, Online Banking & Investment, Video Calling, Skype, Audio Editing,
FreeConferenceCall.com, PDF creating and editing, Free Fax, and much, much more.
This module is designed to present the cream of the digital crop.

Module 3: ​Grow Your Business with Video & Social Media

By the end of 2016, as much as 75% of all internet traffic will be video. Email starts
fights, and I will demonstrate how. I believe that all buyers and sellers are demanding
video, but that most of us either don’t know how (or are too scared) to give it to them.
You will learn how truly easy YouTube is and how video mail can help build your
business. We’ll also cover Social Media – LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ & Twitter –  and
see how these sources can explode your business.

To be successful in this business,  you’ve GOT to KEEP THE SAW SHARP!
GOOGLE ACADEMY will GIVE YOU THE EDGE!

This course has been approved by the Georgia Real Estate Commission for 3 hours of Continuing Education
Credit. Presented by Institute for Real Estate Policy, Accredited School Code: 900026; Course code: 63600

Home Selling–Building Confidence Through Disclosure

AJC 2015 AUG 09 John Adams Real Estate Column

BUILDING CONFIDENCE THROUGH DISCLOSURE:
Your Home Info Package
by John Adams

Home buyers today are suspicious. And they have ample reason to be suspicious. To date, this will be the largest single financial transaction they’ve ever undertaken.

They are worried that you, the seller, are hiding something from them.

They worry that your lot is smaller than you say it is or that there are fewer square feet in the house than you say there are. They worry that you are charging them more then the house is worth.

They worry that the physical structure of the house is near collapse. And they worry that the roof, furnace, plumbing and electrical systems are all unsafe and will need total replacement within six months. (That would explain why you are selling in the first place!)

They worry that your utility bills will be sky high, that your property tax bill will bankrupt them next year, and they worry that the house is uninsurable because it was constructed directly on top of an active volcano.

They worry that they won’t qualify for the loan they need, and they worry that won’t be able to pay for repairs needed in the next couple years, and that they will lose the house to foreclosure.

And if you think I’m wrong, you’ve never worked with a home buyer. And yes, I have – many times.

All of the above are valid concerns that the buyer will have concerning every house they see, and they will want to see plenty.

What I am about to suggest won’t make the wrong house right, but it can give your house a competitive edge over another house if the buyer is choosing between two different homes and they want to make sure they make the right decision.

If you want to build confidence in the mind (and heart) of your prospective buyer, provide them with the following items, in writing, in the form of a “home buyer’s information package.”

1.  The top page should be a one page flier with a color photo of the house, preferably showing flowers in bloom, and listing the features of your house along with your contact information.

2.  Next is a photocopy of the survey that was performed when the house was built. If you can’t find one, call the county planning department and see if they can shoot you a copy of the county subdivision survey showing boundaries and corners.

3.  Next, let’s solve the value dilemma. Once your house looks its best, go ahead and pay for a professional appraisal. Yes, it will cost you maybe five hundred bucks, but then you can say to the prospect “We didn’t know what the house was worth, so we had it appraised. We just didn’t think it was fair to ask more than the house is worth. And we’ve decided to not accept less.”

How can anyone be more fair than that?  And if the appraisal comes back lower than you expected, you can tear it up and seek another appraiser. After a while, if they are all the same, you’ll come to learn what the house is truly worth.

4.  Now as to condition. Once your home looks good inside and out, hire a  home inspector. Make sure you hire one that will deliver to you a comprehensive checklist IN WRITING, so you can add it to your information package.

It the inspector finds anything that needs repair, go ahead and have it done, then attach receipts to show that the repairs have been completed.

Then you can honestly say: We didn’t really know what might be wrong with the house, so we had it inspected. We wanted to get the house in first-rate condition before we put it on the market. Here are the things the inspector said needed to be done, and we have done all of them. Include a statement from the inspector that all the repairs have been completed satisfactorily.

5.  Next in your package are photocopies of your property tax bill, your last twelve utilities bills, so the buyer has some idea of what the utility bills will be.

6.  Also, your buyer is worried that there may not be any happy residents in this neighborhood, so make sure you include a copy of the monthly newsletter. And if there is not one, start one.

7.  Concerning the loan, your buyer is worried about two numbers. The first ios typical down payment, and the second is a fear of high monthly payments. So ask your local mortgage lender for a LENDER’s PRO FORMA worksheet showing a typical down payment and a breakout of the loan payment showing projected principal, interest, taxes and insurance if they buy at appraised price.

8  Last, but not least, provide them with a copy of the declaration page of the Home Buyers Warranty you are buying for them. Then you can honestly say : “we wanted to make sure nothing needed a repair in the first year, and now you’ll be covered.”

I recommend binding all of these items into a three ring binder and giving each prospect a copy as they walk in the front door.

The primary purpose of going to all this trouble is to set the buyer’s mind at ease, and make them less suspicious of you and more confident in the wisdom of buying your house, as opposed to another one.

As I mentioned, the disclosure of all this information won’t make the wrong house the right choice, but it can tip the scales slightly in your favor.

In many home selling decisions, that’s all it takes to make a sale!

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Native-born Atlantan John Adams is a real estate broker, investor, and author. He answers real estate questions every Sunday at 3 pm on WGKA-am(920). He welcomes your comments at Money99.com, where you will find an expanded version of this column.

8 Power Moves to Market Your Home: Week 4 – Market Value: The Price is Right

AJC column for 05-JUL-2015
By John Adams
Week 4: Market Value: The Price Is Right

Pricing your home to sell is critically important. Start too high, and you’ll waste the summer selling season. Start too low, and you’re leaving money on the table. So, how can you know what your home is really worth?

Guestimating the value of a house is always difficult, and in a market like this, it’s even more challenging. But there are clues all around us. Realtors, resales, and research can all point toward a fair market value. If all else fails, you can still call an appraiser.

Before we start pulling numbers, let’s talk about Fair Market Value, often called FMV.

FMV is that price which a well informed buyer would be willing to pay and at which you would be willing to sell, assuming you had normal motivation to act. Some appraisers have dropped the word “fair” entirely, believing it to be irrelevant.

The real problem is that FMV can (and often does) change on a daily basis, and rarely moves in a straight line. One day it might be up, the next day it might be down. It simply depends on the market conditions and comparable sales that exist on that particular day. Market Value is a moving target.

The best we can hope to accomplish is to determine what a property might sell for on a particular day. And we can do that by looking at recent sales of similar homes as near to the subject home as possible.

Here are three quick ways you can get a good idea of what your house might be worth. I recommend that we explore three sources of comparable sales data:

* REALTORS

Real estate professionals have free access to a complete computerized database of recent home sales, both those that were listed with agent and those that were sold by owner.

Often for the price of lunch, you can convince a real estate agent to print out a COMPETITIVE MARKET ANALYSIS, better known as a CMA, and give you a copy.

The CMA will show details of your home like age, square footage, and bed-bath count, then compare that to similar homes that have sold in the past 12 months nearby. This information can be extremely helpful in estimating value, but does not go into the same depth as a full appraisal.

* RESALES

Lots of owners make a habit of viewing homes in their neighborhood that go up for sale, then finding out what those homes eventually sell for. Remember, the selling price is NOT confidential, and the agent who listed the property can and will tell you the closing price after the sale occurs.

By following sales activity and comparing home features like age and bed-bath count, you can get a pretty good idea of what your home might bring on the open market.

And finally, we can look at what I call

* RESEARCH

When it come to value, please ignore both tax valuations and internet estimates.

Your tax assessment aims to be an actual value number, but the tax assessor probably hasn’t been inside your house since the day it was built, and maybe not even then. Tax assessments are notorious for being way off base, and are simply not worth considering.

And in my opinion, the online estimates are even worse. Typically, they ignore improvements that may have been done to the house since it was built. My advice is to totally ignore online estimators.

Instead, to really nail down a true market value, you can hire a licensed appraiser to do the research and come up with a solid number.

Appraisers go far beyond just a CMA or a “guess-timate.”

Based on their experience and their advanced training, an appraiser will examine and measure your property carefully, then apply three different metrics to the property.

First, what would it cost to build the house back if it burned to the ground?. That is called the replacement approach to value. This exercise is particularly helpful in estimating the value of unique or special-purpose properties, such as a church sanctuary.

Second, what is the current value of the income stream which the house might generate as rental property? This involves using a capitalization rate in an attempt to compare one form of investment to another, and is best suited for income properties such as apartment complexes.

The third question will prove to be the most helpful for us, and it is this: what are comparable homes selling for in your subdivision?

The appraiser then devises a compilation based on all those numbers, and comes up with an “estimate of value” for that particular day. It might be worth more (or less) tomorrow, but on that day, the estimated value was this many dollars.

Unfortunately, a professional appraisal will cost you several hundred dollars, and might take a couple of weeks to get back, and you’re still left with just an estimate. However, there is no more accurate method available, so an appraisal may be your best bet.

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