The Charleston Coast From Our View...
“Healthy buyer demand and constrained supply continue to be the story for much of the country. Nationally, showing activity in July remained substantially higher than a year before and multiple offer situations are a frequent experience in many markets. With the inventory of homes for sale still constrained, a competitive market for buyers shows little sign of waning…Despite this significant economic impact, home buyers remain extremely resilient. With mortgage rates remaining near record-low levels and home purchase mortgage applications up from a year ago, high buyer activity is expected to continue into the late summer and early fall market.”
~ Charleston Trident Association of Realtors® (CTAR)
Market Statistics by Area:
Closed Sales +31.6% | Median Sales Price +9.5% | Months Supply -45.2%
- Downtown Charleston
- Upper Charleston Peninsula
- Upper Mount Pleasant
- Lower Mount Pleasant
- Daniel Island
- Folly Beach
- Isle of Palms/Wild Dunes
- Sullivan’s Island
- Kiawah Island
- Seabrook Island
- James Island
- West Ashley
- Johns Island
- North Charleston
- Goose Creek
🌴 1126 Ocean Forest Lane, Seabrook Island 🌴
5 bedrooms, 5 full & 2 half baths | 4,960 sq ft | Offered at $3,200,000
Set back from the beach with commanding ocean views of Kiawah and Seabrook Islands, this superbly renovated home features over 3,000 sq ft of covered porches, a three stop elevator, fabulous elevated pool, spa, and travertine sunning deck, rooftop terrace, and community boardwalk through the dunes directly to the beach.
For more information, visit: bit.ly/1126OceanForestLn
Dunes in the Wild
Say hello to the cutest baby loggerhead hatchling! 🐢🌊 Dewees’ second sea turtle nest of the summer hatched a little over 3 weeks ago, and this little cutie was caught on 📷 at sunrise by our very own Judy Fairchild!
Charleston Coast Vacations
We pride ourselves in providing more than properties. We want to provide an incredible experience from start to finish, and that begins in the planning process. Check out our FREE Destination Guide for local tips about activities and attractions to fill your itinerary! 👉 bit.ly/chs-destination-guide.
One of the services I provide to my sellers is a Comparative Market Analysis, or “CMA” – free of charge, of course. This is a giant step beyond just looking at comparable properties (comps) that sold in the last year. Comps are necessary to be sure, however they do not tell the whole story or prepare sellers for what they should expect in the selling process.
I want my clients to have a realistic expectation of how many days they might likely be on the market, and how the existing inventory of similar homes will affect their pricing strategy. Many sellers want to start with a higher price and see if they can get any takers. I believe it is smarter to see what the market is “telling us” about the average, percentage of asking price sellers typically receive, and then price wisely from the start to avoid becoming stale or missing actual buyers at the right price. Price per square foot can be a useful tool, but only if the data is informed about condition – it’s another way to “listen” to what the market is saying. Depending upon how many comps are used, one outlier can distort the square foot price significantly. It’s also important to think about how many showings sellers might anticipate before receiving an offer.
Friends are always asking me “how’s the market?” as if Mt. Pleasant, Seabrook, Wagener Terrace, and Hollywood are all alike. It’s important to stay up to date on local news and understand what factors, besides a new roof or remodeled kitchen, might be affecting pricing and sales. I like to start with a big picture explanation of housing in the region, and then focus on a more granular analysis to make sure my clients have the whole picture.
In preparing a CMA, I start by determining their particular market. As I noted, the Charleston market is large and widely varied. It’s important to understand the idiosyncrasies of particular neighborhoods and when and where mere proximity does and doesn’t work. If I compare homes in Carolina Bay or another more homogeneous, larger subdivision, I can use just that neighborhood to determine pricing. Sometimes it makes sense to set a physical radius from a major employer or school and use that to determine their specific market. In other more rural areas, using a 10 – mile radius might capture a horse farm, house on the water with a dock, and older ranch homes from the ‘60s and ‘70’s. This is not a true “market” for my seller’s 6 – year-old home on a .25acre lot.
Finally, there are uncontrollable factors that affect pricing. Brand new construction with gleaming features throughout can be adversely affected by the next door neighbor’s hot mess in the back yard. If your Hampton Park home faces the park, real value can also be added that cannot be easily quantified. Establishing the market is certainly not an exact science, it requires experience, and it requires discernment.
New construction neighborhoods can be very appealing. You get to choose your floors and cabinets and they often have great design studios with lots of choices for light fixtures and counter tops; but, the one thing they don’t have is your back. When you sit down with a site agent you must always remember that they have the interests of the seller as their top priority. That’s why it is so important to have a Buyer’s Agent representing you. Think of it this way, the site agent wants to make sure that his or her client is protected against any potential harm. When you put all your trust in that agent you become the second most important client. New home builders are not actively working to harm you, but protecting you is not their first priority.
1. First and foremost, remember that this representation costs you nothing. Sellers pay the buyer’s agent’s commission, but that buyer’s agent works directly for you.
2. It’s not always a good idea to just “stop in” to check out a new home community. Make sure you have a signed agreement with a buyer’s agent before you visit. Site agents log you in and will note if you are working with an agent. If you don’t hire an agent before you go you could lose the opportunity to have your own representation.
3. South Carolina has an eight-page contract for the purchase of an existing home designed to protect consumers. Often there are addendums and disclosures so you are looking at 15+ pages of contracts. I know them in detail and use them every day, but your typical home buyer does not. In new construction the contracts are often 25+-pages of details you may or may not have ever considered. They are written by the builder’s attorneys and are designed to protect their interests. It’s important to have someone advise you who understands the implications of what you are signing.
4. New home builders don’t typically negotiate price. They have sold 22 Magnolia floor plans in that neighborhood at $375,000 and that is the price they expect. The only real negotiation is on the lot you choose and premium lots have a premium price. A good buyer’s agent can help you find the places where they do have some wiggle room such as the selections. I convinced one builder to throw in the upgraded refrigerator and exchange carpet on the stairs for wood treads for my new construction client. In addition, I have been in thousands of homes and can help with selections to know what is on trend (and more importantly what’s no longer trending and why) and help identify punch list items you might not notice.
5. Builders also frequently offer enticing incentives like money for closing costs to make sure buyers use their preferred lender. Why not, it’s easier for them in the long run. Loans are actually products with lots of options to meet many different goals. Their preferred lender may not have the product that best meets your particular needs. Once again, you are not their number one priority in that relationship either, you are the second most important client. I have a fantastic team of lenders, real estate attorneys, home inspectors and more who will have your needs as their only priority.
6. Follow up is critical. I have a system for follow up that keeps me on top of my transactions. It’s my job. You probably have a great method for doing your job well, but you may not be as attuned to the timing of real estate transactions to stay on top of everything. Buyers are busy with their own jobs and lives, and packing to move. Let a professional handle the calls, reminders, headaches, and deadlines, and let the builder pay him or her to do it!