We polled home buyers and found out the most important things they wanted to know from their Real Estate agent to help them when vying for homes for sale in Charleston SC. But these tips are useful anywhere!
- Have you discovered that perfect home only to find out that is under contract or already sold? Many popular online services gather data from various sources that many times are poorly maintained. Internet shoppers find out after wasting time and energy getting emotionally charged towards a home for sale in Charleston SC only to find out that the home is already sold. Our member Agents have the most up-to-date MLS listing data (updated daily). Not only is this information more reliable than the “big box” national sources we can set up a Listing manager account utilizing special tools that can target the search parameters set exactly for you and sent to you daily so you “never miss that perfect home that has just come on the market.
- Do your homework before making an offer. Better than that, let one of our experienced agents do it for you! Opening offers and what to pay often have nothing to do with asking price. We can help you understand the sales trends of similar homes in the neighborhood. Look at prices on similar homes in the last three months. Do homes in this area sale for near asking or have many been reduced off the asking price 5%, 10% or even more? Have there been recent forecloses in the area? What are the local inventories? For more information see our post on: National Trends and The Charleston Real Estate Market here.
- Let your RebatesOnReal Estate member Agent negotiate and do the discovery with the seller agent. Often, even though the Sellers agent is supposed to be working for the seller, our agents will glean important information in the “pre-offer” conversations. Unpublished information such as need to sell, job factors, even the lack of marital bliss might help tailor our offer to buy. Agent to agent conversations can be helpful so as a buyer let your agent work some magic.
- Get pre-approved before you make the offer/s if at all possible. RebatesOnRealEstate can recommend a reliable source early in the process and this will save you time plus place you in a better position when it does come time to make an offer. Sellers and the sellers agent will consider the offer stronger if you are pre-approved. Given competing offers a faster close time and your certainty of financing will out weigh even a slightly higher offer for the same home for sale. Don’t confuse pre-approval with pre-qualifying. Pre-qualifying doesn’t mean you can get the loan but that if your information provided is correct you “might”. Pre-approvals are based on your actual verified financial conditions and usually carry a commitment based on that up to a certain amount. Pre-approvals tell the seller “they can buy and buy now!”
- Watch out for those pesky points vs rates! When choosing a mortgage, you usually must pay upfront fees called points or you may be offered the the option of paying additional points for a lower interest rate. If you plan to stay in your Charleston Home for a very long, say three to five years or more, it may be a better deal to pay extra up front in points because the lower interest rate can save you money in the long run. But, many times this is not the case in a particular buyers situation. Your RebatesOnRealEstate member agent can help guide you to a Mortgage banker that can understand your complete situation and help advise you toward the best solution for home financing. But, just keep aware of those up-front fees and if you have questions ask your agent or attorney.
- Schools are important – even if you don’t have school age children. Our retired population is growing here in Charleston, but remember: When it comes time to sell, you’ll don’t want to discover that strong school districts are a top priority for many home buyers and now you cannot sell your home for the best value.
- Hire a home inspector. Most lenders will require it along with the documentation on your loan anyway. You should hire a home inspector experienced in doing home surveys in the area where you are buying. A home inspector’s job is be diligent and to point out problems and potential problems that you may not be able to see as an untrained home shopper. These repairs could be costly down the road and if discovered don’t always mean you don’t purchase the home but allow you the opportunity to have your agent re-negotiate the repairs and or price reduction as needed.Our local member agents have knowledge to guide you through this process and help you select an appropriate home inspector and negotiate repairs if needed.
- Stay within your budget! Owning a beautiful home can be a great investment and the local area is an exciting place to live. But don’t get caught up emotionally. Stick to your budget when making your decision to buy Charleston Real Estate. A good rule of thumb is you can buy home where the price is about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. A agents have special training and can help guide you and recommend lenders willing to help you gain a better understanding of how your income, debts, and expenses affect what you can afford. But once you determine your target, be patient and stick to it!
Do you have an interest in learning more about the Charleston Real Estate market? Check out this publication from HUD: http://www.huduser.org/portal/publications/pdf//Charleston_Comp.pdf …or, Take a little break and discover a little more about Charleson, SC: