In Charleston, South Carolina, home values increased 4 percent over the 30 day period from March 2014 to April 2014. The previous 12 months, values increased 10 percent. This is great news for Charleston home sellers, but it means that there are more ready, willing and able buyers than there are homes for sale in certain neighborhoods. Buyers determined to be the new homeowners of a favorite Charleston home will have to strategize carefully to make their offer stand out.
It goes without saying that offers on competitive properties in most cases right now need to be at or around full price. But how does a buyer become #1 when there are multiple offers, all at full price, or above? There are certain tactics that will keep serious buyers in the running.
Select a Real Estate Agent with a Track Record
Use the services of an established real estate agent in the community. An agent with a good reputation and status in the community will provide better odds for an offer to be taken seriously.
Get Pre-approved and Have Documents at the Ready
Make absolute sure to get pre-approved by a lender that has the stamp of approval of the agent. Have a copy of the pre-approval statement to submit with the offer. Otherwise the homeowner can easily go with another offer since they are more prepared to expedite the sale.
No contingencies on the sale or close of escrow of a home that is sold. If the new home in Charleston is really important, then the old home must be sold and closed, even if interim housing has to be arranged. Sellers of homes with multiple offers will not consider contingent offers under any circumstances.
Be Prepared to Respond Quickly to Counter-Offer
In most cases, listing agents and sellers of homes who enjoy multiple offers will sort the offers depending on how many there are. There will be the offers that will be countered, and those that will be flat out rejected. Offers with contingencies will be placed in the rejection pile. Commonly, qualified offers are all countered with the same terms. In this scenario, the first buyers to deliver an accepted counter offer have the best chance. Determined buyers have been known to wait outside the subject property while their agent is presenting the offer.
Additional Ways to Sweeten the Offer
If the offer is strong enough to be respected with a counter, it is time for the agent to use his or her outstanding communication skills to discover special accommodations that can seal a deal. A skilled agent will ask probing questions about other things the seller really wants or needs; such as permission to return later to harvest fruit from a prized tree, or extended occupancy to save the sellers the inconvenience of an additional move. Increasing the earnest money deposit using down payment funds will demonstrate commitment without actually costing any more money.
If there are 5 qualified offers on a home for sale, only one can be accepted. Buyers are well advised to make their highest and best offer on special listings. If someone else’s offer is accepted, another beautiful home in the right neighborhood will be available on day soon and the front line experience will pay off.
For more information on buying a home in Charleston, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.