Now days, it seems like whenever someone has a question and it takes longer than one second to answer, you will automatically hear someone or your inner voice say, “Google It!” Google can and should be used by current or potential home-owners. Of course, we’ve all probably used Google for one thing or an other. If you’re trying to find out information about a person, you “Google” them (romantic dates, professionals, actors, friends, etc). The day of this recording the simple question is asked, “I wonder how hot it is today?” It was a beautiful day, as are most days in San Diego, and was curious about the weather. So naturally, I suggested to my friend that we Google it. But how does a home-owner or a potential home-owner leverage Google?
I suggest that during your educational or researching stage, home-owners or potential home-owners use Google in four ways:
- Research the neighborhoods: anyone with access to Google Maps (free to any internet subscriber), can literally go up and down the streets of any neighborhood without having to drive by or leave the comforts of your home. You can check out your potential neighbors or community members, and find out if there are any hoarders in your potential neighborhood. In addition, you can see what the other homes in the area look like and really get a good feel for the neighborhood.
- Use Google as part of your inspection stage. This includes doing what many people are doing now days and that’s making sure no sexual predators or offenders are living next door. This also includes using Megan’s Law which is a tool that I always encourages my clients to use when shopping for a home. Case in point: one of my most recent transaction fell out of escrow because the buyer found out by using Google and Megan’s Law that indeed there was a sexual offender that was living next door. The client had young children and it was a deciding factor in regards to moving forward with the purchase of the property.
- Checking out crime statistics. You can look at crime reports to really find out what’s going on in the area. Crime can’t hide from Google no matter what time of day it occurs. After “Google-ing” the property address of a property one of her buyer was making an offer, they discovered that a fatal accident had taken place directly in front of the property. With this information, I was able to create some leverage for her buyer when negotiating with the bank (short-sale situation).
- For individuals looking to sell their property, Google can be used to check on the sales activity in the surround area. What is selling? What are the comparable properties going for in your neighborhood (a.k.a. “comps”)? As a listing agent, I set up a “Google Alert” for each one of my properties to make sure that the property’s marketing strategy is working properly and to make sure there aren’t any “scammers” or false advertisement (i.e. fake craigslists ads) regarding the property.
If you would like more information about how to leverage Google, please feel free to reach out to me, Amber Anderson or David A. Moya.