Charleston Buyer's Guide
Welcome to the leading Charleston web site where you can get extensive information to help you find a perfect home for your family. Over the years we have found the following process to be the best approach in working through all the options to make a great decision.
Good News - Our services are FREE to our buyer clients in the great majority of cases. In South Carolina the Seller typically pays the real estate commission. As a Prestige client purchasing a home you will typically receive the full benefit of of our expertise, market knowledge and negotiating skills at no cost to you!
1. Get Pre-qualified
With the changes in lending as a result of the recent banking crisis, securing financing has become somewhat more challenging. Before you start looking for a home, it is important to know how large a mortgage you can qualify for. We have worked with many Charleston mortgage providers and over time come to appreciate three excellent professionals who have received high marks from our clients. If you would like to get pre-approved, please complete this form, We will put you in touch with the ideal lender for your needs.
2. Study Charleston
Before you begin looking at homes, become familiar with the neighborhoods and communities. You will find an extensive listing of the more popular Charleston communities in our Communities Guide. If schools are important, study our School Guide. Call and talk with our agents to get inside scoop on the best neighborhoods for your needs. Once you have identified the neighborhoods that fit your family's needs, ask one of our agents to drive you through the communities pointing out the amenities and characteristics of each neighborhood. Charleston is unusual in the very distinctive lifestyles offered by different neighborhoods. You can live at the beach, in a golf course community, in a southern village with grand oak trees. Our agents will be very helpful in sharing insights into the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Trap - Try not to fall in love with a home first. It is best to figure out where you want to live and then look at homes. Location is extremely important as a fit for your lifestyle, commute, schools, etc. Almost every community has a great selection of homes. Find your ideal neighborhood first.
3. Research Homes
You have identified the communities and neighborhoods you want to seriously consider, now it is time to find the perfect home. Our web site is set up to make it easy for you to power search just like realtors do for homes you want to see. Each community lists all available homes. You can select homes on the beach, with water views, golf course views, with pools, on small or large lots, etc. You can even find foreclosures and short sales. As you find homes it is a good idea to email them to one of our agents who can give you the scoop on the home - days on market, pricing history, if it is a distressed sale and lots of other important info.
Best of all, on our site you can sign up for Power Search and save the homes you like and even create your favorite search such as homes on Daniel island between $600,000-$800,000 on the golf course. When you visit the site, click on your saved searches and you are off and running. We also have software that allows us to send you new listings every day that match your search criteria as they come out - sign up for daily real estate reports.
Of course, the top priority is finding a great home for your family. It is also important to realize that you are about to buy what is for most families the most important investment the family will make. Selection of your agent from the 3,500 agents in Charleston is an important decision. A few suggestions:
It is best to hire an agent who has been in the business for at least 3 years. If they have worked hard they have seen almost every situation.
Hire A Full Time Agent
A high percentage of agents are part timers just doing a deal or two each year to supplement the family's income. A small percentage of agents are dedicated professionals who look at this as their career. Find one of these.
Tip - Ask the agents you interview to provide you with a report from the MLS showing their sales for the last year. This will tell you where they concentrate their effort, how hard they work and how qualified they are to handle your needs for this important work.
A professional agent will have information that will be very helpful to you about a wide range of topics schools, traffic, road noise, demographics, lifestyle of neighborhoods, quality of construction, country club memberships, golf, fishing, etc.
Negotiating Skills Are Critical
You find your home and now you are ready to make an offer. Your agent becomes your representative in negotiating the price, closing details, items in the home to convey, repairs needed from the home inspection, etc. A good agent can save you a ton of money and make it a wonderful experience! An unskilled agent can cost you lots of money or even blow the deal and lose your dream house.
We have very talented agents available to help you - check our Prestige agents bios. If you would like to be contacted by an agent, please complete the Buyer's Agent Request Form below.*
*Your information will never be shared with any third party.