The buzz is still abounding. Charleston’s housing market is HOT. The inventory is low throughout the Lowcountry and the demand is not slowing. After all, for a whopping ninth year in a row, Charleston, South Carolina, has been voted the best city in America by Travel + Leisure readers.
So if the market is still on fire why would you need a realtor to help sell your house? They are just flying off the market at a billion dollars over asking prices right? …Well, not exactly. There are hours and hours of behind the scenes work on behalf of the seller’s agent that you don’t see. There are many advantages to having a real estate agent represent your Charleston home.
Why is a Selling Agent important when selling your home? Let’s break it down: Competitive Pricing. Effective Marketing. Qualified & Consistent Traffic. Successful & Legal Negotiations.
Pricing. One of the most useful tools a Seller’s agent has is up to date market info in your local area and neighborhood. The greater Charleston area is vast, there are major differences from one street to the next, county to county and neighborhood to neighborhood. These ‘comps’ and reports majorly determine what the best competitive price for your home is. In addition to the bottom line asking price a seller’s real estate agent can give the most accurate advice on repairs and updates needed to best compete with today’s market for your specific bracket (home value, county, neighborhood, home type, etc).
Marketing. A seller’s real estate agent has the ins and outs for where your home will be best seen. They have access to mailing lists, promotional materials, stagers, photographers and videographers (huge must in today’s market) at their finger tips. Most importantly? They have the contacts! Most sales come from a cooperative sale- meaning one seller agent and one buyer agent work together on the deal. The National Association of Realtors studies show that “82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts from previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts”.
Traffic. Buyer’s agents typically shy away from presenting or showing clients homes for sale by owner (FSBO). From a real estate agent stand point MOST homes for sale by owner aren’t staged well, priced too high and are not flexible or easily reachable to schedule showings. These homes also pose more risk when it comes to agreements and contracts since they are not backed by an agent.
For sale by owner homes do not get listed on the MLS (multiple listing service) used by agents nationwide. In order for you to get on the MLS lists you have to pay a licensed real estate agent to list your property. For Sale by Owner properties are also less likely to have showings from QUALIFIED buyers. When a buyer is working with an agent you can be assured they are qualified to purchase your home when they see it.
Now this isn’t to say that a good agent won’t show you a house in Charleston, SC thats FSBO BUT from a seller’s standpoint you’re probably going to have less eyes on your home straight out of the gate.
Making the Deal. Have you ever read a sellers agreement front to back? It’s not for the faint of heart. Try drafting one. This legally binding contract is incredibly important for a seller. A seller’s agreement outlines every term of the sale of your home, ultimately protecting YOU. Your selling agent will draft this agreement for you to be legally acceptable and cover your every interest in the sale. Your real estate agent will also accept, read, present and EXPLAIN any offers that come in. No fine print to figure out. No confusing paperwork to weed through. No risk.
So why attempt to sell solo? If your reasoning is ‘the market is hot’ and you want to ‘make more money’ I urge you to rethink selling your Charleston home as for sale by owner. In order to get the best offer on your home an agent is needed, it’s that simple. A typical real estate agent makes 5-6% commission on a sale. In the larger picture that’s not much in cost in order to get your home seen by actual potential buyers, sell quickly and for the true worth of your home and to avoid having to negotiate deals and figure out paperwork.