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1400 Palm Boulevard Ste. M
Isle of Palms, SC 29451

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31 Center Street
Folly Beach, SC 29439

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Dunes Downtown

11 Fulton Street
Charleston, SC 29401

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Kiawah Seabrook Office

1887 Andell Bluff Boulevard
Johns Island, SC 29455

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835 Coleman Blvd Ste. 200
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

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Tag: Tips for Sellers

Short Seller Beware

These are crazy times. Seems we have fallen down the rabbit hole, and many of the old rules of real estate no longer apply. Unfortunately, most of us know by now what a short sale is.  For those that don’t know, consider yourselves lucky.  For many sellers facing the harsh reality of our economy, the decision to sell is no longer entirely theirs. Those of us you trust to complete the complicated short sale transaction have discovered a new animal preying on these misfortunes.
Sellers are presented with an offer which falls (usually) well below your mortgage(s). You may be tired, resigned and inclined to accept the offer, but now we must add to the contract “contingent upon third party approval”. In other words, we must now submit this “agreement to sell” to our lender(s) for their approval. Now you wait (usually months) for an answer.  Anything can happen; yes, no, maybe, try again or no answer at all.
In the mean time, your property has been marked in our MLS system as “active contingent”. This tells all agents a contract has been signed and a contingency is waiting to be solved. In the past, only the buyer was seeking loan approval but now the seller is waiting for lender approval also. Once tagged “AC” future buyers and real estate agents may be more inclined to seek other properties instead of mixing it up with an existing “buyer”. It’s not like there are no other properties for sale.
But what if the buyer of your property knows how to work the system? What if that buyer knows where to look in the public records for upcoming foreclosures and wishes to keep other buyers away? Simply make an offer, and hope the seller is resigned to sell at any price to avoid foreclosure. This buyer may know the lender can not respond in a timely manner.  So they sit back with the property tied up. Then show up at the court house sale. Everyone loses (the lender, the agent, the seller) except the buyer. Seller (and agents) beware.
Word to the wise, always seek the advice of an attorney specializing in foreclosure law when presented an offer to purchase on a short sale. Have your attorney contact the lender to slow the foreclosure process until an answer can be secured from your lender.

-Randy Walker

Short Sale…no thanks. Just show me a motivated seller.

Everybody wants a deal, and now is the time.  Don’t believe it’s the time to buy Real Estate yet?  I disagree.

I must admit as a Realtor I may sound somewhat biased, but I practice what I preach.  I’m a Buyer myself.  I’ve purchased 3 homes myself in the last 2 years and tried for a fourth just last week losing out on a home that had 6 offers on it within days of coming on the market.  Are you thinking that must have been a good deal?  It was.  1600 square foot ranch home on James Island in a great neighborhood (mine in fact).  List price…$99,000.  Not a short sale.  Not bank owned.  It was an estate sale being executed by an attorney.  Motivated Seller.

I avoid short sales. When I hear short sale,  I think headaches and heartbreak for almost everyone involved.  You can find a deal that way.  And if you really love a property in a short sale situation, I would definitely attempt to purchase it via short sale first.  But in my experience, you still may be paying more than you need to… but that’s a conversation for another day.

Motivated Sellers come in all forms and I do my homework to find them.  I watch bank owned and estate sales.  I watch for multiple reductions in a short period of time.  I watch for major reductions.  But these are not the only telling factors.  People need to sell for all kinds of reasons…job transfer, loss of job, marriage, divorce, kids, up-sizing, downsizing, graduation, retirement, travel, health reasons and yes, financial reasons.  These motivating factors happen in any market.

Here are some examples of the motivated sellers I’ve found for my buyer clients in the last 6 months:

Downtown Charleston – 1025 sq ft house with 2 off street parking spots and a yard. 1 block from Marion Square and steps off Calhoun .
Purchased for $190,000 – Tax appraisal valued the land alone at $228,000. Bank owned multiple offer situation.
(Link to listing – 2912368)

Folly Beach – Full .24 acre street to street lot with main house of 1500 sq ft and two 1 bedroom cottages on same property. 3 blocks to the beach.
Purchased for $360,000 – 3rd lowest residential purchase on Folly Beach in the last 3 years. Estate sale multiple offer situation.
(Link to listing – 2902489)

Mariners Cay – 2 bedroom, 2-story condo with views overlooking Folly River and the Marina
Purchased for $215,000 – Lowest priced purchase in Mariners Cay the last 5 years. Motivated out of town Seller.
(Link to listing – 2906274)

James Island – 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1528 sq ft ranch home in Lighthouse Point
Purchased for $120,000 – Bank owned property multiple offer situation.
(Link to Listing – 2828792)

West Ashley – 2 bedroom, 1 bath single family home in Parkwood Estates
Purchased for $101,000 – Bank owned property multiple offer situation.
(Link to Listing – 2921950)

There ARE deals out there.  When they are this good, they don’t last more than a few days and sometimes they are under contract in hours. I can notify my clients within minutes of them coming on the market.   I’m not a salesman. I present my clients with the facts, the comparable sales and they decide for themselves. The Charleston area is full of deals, and I can help find them.  Feel free to call or contact me with questions.

-Eric Peth

cell: 843.252.7800

Virtual Staging

There are a lot of vacant properties currently on the market, and modern technology is affording a way for these houses to look like “homes”…. without a stitch of actual furniture!  It’s called virtual staging, and although it’s been around for a while, it is gaining in popularity. There are many companies who have combined the talents of software developers with those of professional stagers to  develop this unique service. Here’s how it works.  Photographs of actual furniture and decor are added to photos of your vacant rooms to create realistic, albeit virtual, images of a fully staged home for a fraction of the cost of traditional staging.

An article this month is Realtor magazine explains, “Cynthia Temple, a sales associate with First Weber Group Inc. in Middleton, Wis., used the service to create staged images of a vacant condo. Turnaround time: less than one week. Cost: less than $225. ‘The images are stunningly realistic,’ Temple says. ‘It’s hard to believe they’re computer-generated.’

The company also provides its customers with high-resolution 8-by-10-inch images, which the Bells recommend leaving in each room of the house.

Before virtual staging, Temple’s condo listing had been on the market for more than two months without a showing. Within days of uploading the new photos, she says, traffic increased significantly and she quickly had six showings.”

This is just another way that cutting edge computer technology is enhancing the real estate industry and making the process easier and more affordable for buyers and sellers.  For more details about virtual staging and for some recommendations of companies who specialize in the service, read the full article in October’s Realtor Magazine.