The Charleston Coast From Our View...
Consider these situations…
A couple who had just one rule when we started looking – no flood insurance – bought a charming house on a lagoon.
I helped a single guy who wanted a fixer upper out in the country with acreage who ended up buying a new construction townhome in West Ashley. He loves it.
My clients who absolutely wanted a water view ended up looking at a carriage house on Rutledge that looks down a narrow driveway with a view of the other side of the street.
Another client, with plans to move to Chapel Hill, sold his home in West Ashley and purchased a townhouse in Mt. Pleasant instead.
My point is that sometimes things change and it’s important to be receptive to suggestions that might be outside the box. Seeing property online using search criteria is immensely efficient, but charm of place or sense of spaciousness can be misleading. Working with an experienced agent can often bridge what seems like an insurmountable gap.
It can also sometimes be difficult to understand a neighborhood until you are there to experience it, and help change minds in the process. People who are unfamiliar with an area may have preconceived ideas about neighborhoods they have never explored. Realtors often know about hidden gems and unique opportunities. Before ruling out a home that is close to a busy road on a map, you might find that it is positioned perfectly to reduce sound if the garage serves as a buffer on the side with traffic. Getting inside the home can also tell you if you hear road noise or not.
There are just some things that must be seen in person. When showing a home, I will point out where there is evidence that it has been well-maintained. I look for loose baseboards and trim. If these have been neglected, it makes me wonder what other systems and day-to-day repairs have been ignored. In addition to trim and minor repairs, I always look at the return vents and heating and air conditioning vents.
If these are dirty (and it won’t likely show up in photos) it tells me that the owners have not taken care to replace filters regularly or have the HVAC serviced and maintained. That can be a big-ticket item down the road. These are the kinds of things that might make a “perfect” house on paper, less than perfect.
While it is important to prioritize needs and wishes, never say never, especially in the diverse and ever-changing Charleston real estate market.
If you believe that sticking a sign in the yard and throwing some pictures from your phone on the internet is sufficient to get the job done selling your home, then by all means that’s what you should do. After all, isn’t that what real estate agents do? You are correct of course, that’s what some agents do. If you want the best advantage to sell your home quickly and for top dollar however, think about what a great agent can do for you before you decide to list your home as FSBO.
With Zillow and Realtor.com, you can certainly look up what nearby home sales have shown. Importantly however, you can’t see what the net has been because those sites do not take into consideration closing costs and other details that may reduce net proceeds. You also do not have access to the kinds of details an experienced Realtor® has in order to perform a detailed market analysis. Days on the market, current inventory rates, and transaction histories all factor into a professional Comparative Market Analysis.
In the digital age, not as many buyers are driving around neighborhoods they like to find a house. More often, they sit in their pajamas at 10:30 at night and “like” stuff online. The National Association of Realtors ® reports that only 10% of buyers find their homes via yard signs, and only 1% of buyers find them through newspaper ads.
Will you hire a professional, architectural photographer and professional stager to make sure you grab eyeballs on the internet? Hundreds of Facebook friends can’t hurt, but your cousin in Denver may not be in the market in Mt. Pleasant. dunes properties have a team of people (largely millennials) helping me with social media strategies, and is on top of the latest technology. We are spread across a number of platforms with sophisticated methods for driving business and capturing data. As an agent, I have too many balls in the air to spend hours studying this ever-changing marketplace, and as a homeowner you likely have other priorities as well.
Do you know how to qualify a buyer before you invite them to your home? Can you take time off from work to meet a stranger from Craigslist? Have you thought about techniques to protect yourself if a situation seems dicey? Are you trained to know how to keep a stranger from casing your home? Agents are trained in situations like these, allowing for easy showings and more free time for you.
I’ve worked with real estate agents who have submitted old versions of contracts, neglected to submit the HOA Addendum, and had no idea about the new flood insurance disclosure required at the first of this year.
As a homeowner, it may be even more difficult to navigate the sea of paperwork involved in a real estate transaction and protect yourself at the same time. The sales agreement alone is eight pages (10 pt type) of legalese. Ask yourself if you are prepared to face the potential legal repercussions if you neglect a mandatory disclosure.
According to the National Association of Realtors® the average FSBO home sold for $208,700, while the average agent-assisted sale was $235,000 – more than making up a typical commission and then some. Since over 80% of all FSBOs eventually choose to sell their homes with an agent, what not make your life easier? These are only a few reasons to work with a great agent. Call me if you are still not convinced, because I have a few more.
Real Estate Update from 2020 CTAR President, Bobette Fisher:
“We had a lot of interest and activity from buyers prior to the onset of the COVID-19 crisis in our community. The strong activity in March positions us well for the inevitable impact of the global pandemic on our market” said 2020 CTAR President Bobette Fisher. “While we don’t yet know what that impact will look like, real estate has been classified as an essential service, and while it is far from business as usual right now, we are able to serve clients from a more virtual position and help keep at least this segment of the economy moving in a safe and positive way” she said. “One of the most immediate impacts is on our already low level of inventory, as some homeowners have taken their homes off the market temporarily, out of concern for their health and safety” said Fisher. “Charleston is in a somewhat unique position in that we continue to see buyer interest and demand in our market even as we progress through this highly unusual situation. I anticipate a strong return for our market, post-pandemic but we likely have several challenging months ahead.”
Closed Sales +4.4% | Median Sales Price +10.8% | Months Supply -29.3%
Market Statistics by Area
- 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
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Charleston Coast Vacations
Giveaway alert! Charleston Coast Vacations and dunes properties are proud to give away three future vacations to deserving healthcare workers! If someone you know and love is fighting on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, nominate them for a well-deserved break. Email their story to firstname.lastname@example.org. Vacation winners will be chosen on May 15.