georgia: What Just Happened? - 03/27/15 05:03 AM
Last Friday something happened to me that doesn't happen very often. I didn't get the listing.
I can't remember the last time I made a listing presentation and lost. Frankly, sometimes I get them and I don't even try that hard! If I have an appointment, I usually just assume I have a new listing.
This time I was dealing with a widowed senior. She is a charming but starchey lady, so I ironed my shirt and shaved. I was once told that half the job is won when you show up on time, and look and smell as good as … (4 comments)

georgia: Another Shot at Real Estate Agents - 03/01/15 07:55 AM
I just read an article in "Consumer Reports" that was very disappointing to me. For a magazine that is supposed to rely on credibility to attract readers, this article was all bad advice and hyperbole.
It encourages sellers to spend thousands of dollars getting a home ready to sell, promising they will get their money back and a 20% additional profit! While I agree that their suggestion to paint the front door, and possibly some rooms, and clean out the clutter are fine, they go on about how much money sellers will get back by remodeling bathrooms! That's just bad advice, … (6 comments)

georgia: Is Your Broker Ethical? - 02/25/15 05:08 AM
I have a broker's license, but I don't expect I'll ever be a managing broker, simply because I no longer have the patience to listen to people who would rather whine than work. Surely that does not apply to the majority of agents, but to the ones it does apply, I just don't have time anymore.
The other thing that would cause me consternation is competing against my own agents. Were I in that position, I would probably give away transactions just to make sure that the other agents were being treated fairly. Fortunately, I work in an environment where the … (3 comments)

georgia: Property Tax – A Balanced Assessment - 02/23/15 04:32 AM

In Pickens County, Georgia we have heated subject that recycles itself from time to time regarding our lack of school tax exemption for senior tax payers. In fact, most counties in Georgia do not have the exemption.
Before I begin, I will state that I am a senior. I hate taxes. I do not belong to any group seeking or attacking an education exemption on property taxes for seniors. I hope that when you read this you will appreciate the balance of facts. I don’t blame anyone for trying to save money.
When my kids were in … (1 comments)

georgia: Pickens County Real Estate Wrap 2014 - 01/15/15 05:43 AM

Here is a brief overview of the 2014 year end numbers in Pickens County compared to a year earlier.
While there are still naysayers on the return of the real estate market, I think most would agree that sales and activity are much better than a couple of years ago. There are a lot more statistics available than most people care to see, so just focus on these for now:
Also consider that the months of inventory based on sales in December was 7.9, compared to 15.5 months last year. The rule of thumb is that … (0 comments)

georgia: "But I Stayed at a Holiday Inn ..." - 12/19/14 05:47 AM
I am negotiating a contract on a commercial lot.
I've had this listed for a long time, but I know the owner, and the market has been slow, so we just keep trying. I got an offer last week from a well respected company. Oddly, I got another offer almost immediately. That usually sets off my radar, and in the end it was an agent trying to parachute on a tip he should not have even known about. At any rate, it started a small bidding war.
In the end we got full price after two increases, and felt like we … (0 comments)

georgia: You Are Looking, Not Inspecting! - 11/30/14 05:10 AM
Yesterday, one of my clients was visiting his vacant house that I have listed. I was just there a few days ago. In the meantime, a prospective buyer apparently decided to turn on the HVAC to see if it works. It was set to keep the house at a chilly 50 degrees during Thanksgiving week when we are having occasional hard freezes, not sweltering weather.
Here are a couple of tips for those who are touring homes:
1. Read the disclosure. If the HVAC has a problem that is not noted, you would not have to repair it. That is the … (4 comments)

georgia: "Yer' Not From Here, Are Ye'" - 11/18/14 05:04 AM
Being from Indiana, my accent is almost non-existent. Therefore, since Atlanta is also a melting pot, I don't hear this as often as some, and most people in Georgia assume I am from Atlanta. I do have some country stuff working, but I don't try to make it work, it's just there.
I've seen agents from New York and Boston do well in the south, because they don't try to say y'all. It isn't you-all. They just dive in with their Bronx accent, and take a lot of ribbing about talking "funny", but they take care of business.
Then I've seen … (2 comments)

georgia: "So This Is the Kitchen?" - 10/30/14 04:15 AM
I have a philosophy about being a Realtor® ... NO ONE EVER SOLD A HOUSE.
But Ron, you say, I just sold a house last week. I can show you where MLS has it's status as sold, so you're wrong.
Let me ask you, did you sell it, or did you set the stage for someone to become interested in buying it? We as Realtors® are marketers, not salesmen. The old days when agents were the gatekeepers to what was for sale are long gone. In those days, people walked into the office looking for a home, so the agent would … (7 comments)

georgia: “Buckhead Agent Blues” - 10/03/14 05:02 AM

If you owned a home in Miami, would you call an agent from Atlanta to list it for sale? If you answered yes to this question, you can stop reading this and go to the classifieds or something. If you’re still reading I assume you would not hire an agent from Atlanta to list a home in Florida. Why would you? They probably are no smarter, they probably can’t speak Spanish, which may be important in that area, and they probably don’t know the local market. Right?
Now let’s say you own a home in Talking Rock, and … (3 comments)

georgia: You Do Want to Sell, Right? - 08/01/14 04:00 AM
Showing homes yesterday, I ran across a listing my clients wanted to see. The owner has had a homemade sign on the highway since the Korean War, so he obviously needs some help here.
I called about showing. The agent, who is excellent, told me it would probably be fine but she would check. She further explained that they would insist on being present for the showing, and not only would they not become invisible, they would follow us around on a guided tour with narration. She further said we would probably get stuck listening to them talk, so she suggested … (28 comments)

georgia: Disclosure Is Your Buddy - 07/13/14 04:13 AM

So often when I am doing the paperwork for a listing, the seller complains about filling out the disclosure statement. They whine because they are selling the property “as is”, so why do they have to disclose anything, which is the opposite of the point of disclosure. They ask me to fill out the form and let them sign it, which means if they don’t tell me the facts correctly, I’m the one in trouble because I filled it out. Or they reluctantly agree to fill it out and send it to me, and then somehow just forget to … (3 comments)

georgia: Pricing Your Home to Sell - 06/30/14 05:13 AM

As a Realtor®, telling a seller the price he wants to hear may get his listing, but it won’t sell the home. We’ve all heard that real estate is all about location, location, location. It’s really all about price and condition first, and then somewhere location enters the mix. To sell homes, you need traffic coming to the property, and nothing kills traffic worse than overpricing. Correct pricing depends largely on the absorption rate in the area where the home is located.
The overall absorption rate is published on several sites available to agents. Here is a simplified … (0 comments)

georgia: Am I Just Wrong On This? - 06/18/14 04:29 AM
When I was president of the Board of Realtors® we decided to do a community project, and the suggestion was to give school supplies to the school children in the area. We solicited donations and paid for supplies not donated, using a suggested list provided by the school for each child. We then paid several hundred dollars to provide individual "pencil bags" with holes so they could be clipped in a binder, and we had our logo imprinted so folks might appreciate the gesture. We also had volunteers spend several hours sorting supplies and filling each bag.
After the second year, … (5 comments)

georgia: I'm Just Too Busy - 06/16/14 03:53 AM
I recently had a listing, which happened to be one of those old homes that eventually morphs into a commercial application because of location. I was approached by a prospect to view the property. He immediately liked it, and wanted his wife to see it. She also liked it, as did the daughter and her boyfriend. By now a couple of weeks and three showings have gone by.
He told me he was very busy at work, but was really interested in the property. He also decided that he had checked me out, and rather than work with another agent, he … (3 comments)

georgia: It's 'Mater Time! - 05/21/14 03:46 AM
I grew up in Indiana, on a farm. We had a huge garden, and at the ripe age of 15, I hated that thing! My mother would tell me to pick a bushel basket of green beans, when I'd much rather be in town with some cute girls at the pool. Do you have any idea how long it takes to pick a bushel of green beans?
The other thing is that my refined taste for hot dogs, chocolate ice cream, and onion rings did not reflect an appreciation for home grown tomatoes as an alternative.
I overcame that illness, and … (3 comments)

georgia: Disclosure Statements - 05/06/14 05:26 AM
I know, they taught you in real estate school that you had to have a disclosure statement to complete the transaction. You really don't.
Commercial transactions don't even have a disclosure form. They use due diligence periods the way they should be used. An inspector will turn up deficiencies that don't exist. They are certainly more detailed than a homeowner who can't change his own air filters will provide. The purpose of due diligence periods is to cut down on paperwork. Now we have a due diligence period AND a finance contingency. I suppose I can understand that it provides less … (2 comments)

georgia: They Walk Among Us ... - 05/01/14 05:16 AM
Last week, I had a showing on a listing that is priced at $178,000. When I asked for feedback I was told the "prospect" was only qualified for $68,000! But the agent didn't know that until after spending all day showing them homes they can't buy. Then she asked if my people might consider coming down that far??? This is an experienced agent and former broker, mind you. Do you just like meeting new people and riding around in the rain?
Then there was the requested window of 1 PM to 3 PM to show a home. Kind of a wide … (2 comments)

georgia: Grace and Dignity - 04/26/14 05:22 AM
It's been several years since the real estate business in our area was brisk, but even before that I noticed what I thought was a disturbing trend. Agents were being increasingly rude to each other and even the public in a couple of cases. I even remember one agent who told her client, when he asked why the house wasn't selling, to go to an extremely warm place because he caused her discomfort in a southerly area of her anatomy ... or something like that ...
Then we went through the long period when agents would strut in with buyers, preening … (1 comments)

georgia: Use All the Tools - 04/03/14 05:04 AM
It is surprising how many agents do not include all the information for a listing.
The most common failure is to leave the tax identification number as "0". I can only guess that they want to make it harder to find out who the owner is when the property expires. Why not try a little harder to sell it rather than have it expire? Anyone who knows how to dig into tax records can find who the owner is with maps or addresses anyway.
Our MLS lets us include 25 photos. The public real estate sites often rank listings by the … (1 comments)

Ron Barnes, "Most agents claim they're #1 - I THINK YOU'RE #1! (Associate Broker at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Georgia Properties) Rainmaker large

Ron Barnes

"Most agents claim they're #1 - I THINK YOU'RE #1!

Jasper, GA

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Associate Broker at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Georgia Properties

Address: P.O. Box 1503, Jasper, GA , 30143

Mobile: (678) 520-6648

Fax: (678) 672-2990

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