Intelligent Home Buying
Whether you are an experienced buyer, considering your first purchase or perhaps an international buyer, it is our privilege to help you with your search. Here you will gain important insights 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.
Our services are FREE to our buyer clients in the great majority of cases. In South Carolina, homeowners (sellers) typically pay the real estate commission. As a client purchasing a home, you will normally receive the full benefit of our expertise, market knowledge, and negotiating skills at no cost to you!
1. Get Pre-qualified
Before you start looking for a home, it is essential to know how large a mortgage you can qualify for. This is important for two reasons. First, you will be able to focus your search on homes you can buy. Second, when you find a home you love, you can make a compelling offer. Homeowners and their agents want to know they are considering an offer from a qualified buyer. We will be happy to put you in touch with lenders ideal for your needs.
This mortgage calculator might be helpful to you.
2. Study Charleston Communities
Before you begin looking at homes, become familiar with the neighborhoods and communities in the Charleston area. You will find an extensive display of the more popular Charleston area neighborhoods in our Communities Guide.
There are so many options that it can be overwhelming. We are happy to chat with you and give you suggestions for communities that might be a perfect fit for your family's unique needs. Please feel free to give us a call. We are here to help.
If schools are important for your family needs, study our School Guide. Often, we can introduce you to other Prestige clients whose children attend the schools you are researching to gain insights into their children's experiences.
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 unique characteristics of each area.
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 setting with grand oak trees and many more options. Also, we suggest that you search by Charleston lifestyles on our home page. Our agents will be very helpful in sharing insights into the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Tip - 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 crucial as a fit for your lifestyle, commute, schools, and the potential return on investment. Almost every community has a great selection of homes. Find your ideal neighborhood first.
3. Research Homes
You have identified the communities you want to consider, and now it is time to find the perfect home. Our web site designed to make it easy for you to power search just like realtors do for homes you want to see. Each subdivision or neighborhood 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. As you find homes, it is a good idea to email them to us, and we 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.
Never miss a new listing and save time. You can sign up for saved searches identifying properties with your ideal features (i.e., single-family 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. You will receive these New Listing Reports as listings come on the market.
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 significant investment the family will make. The selection of your agent from the over 5,000 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 three 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 report will tell you where they concentrate their effort, how hard they work, and how qualified they are to handle your needs for this vital 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, the lifestyle of neighborhoods, quality of construction, country club memberships, golf, fishing, etc. We cannot emphasize enough how valuable a highly experienced agent's knowledge can be in saving you money and assuring a successful purchase. We suggest that you set your standards very high in selecting an agent.
Negotiating Skills Are Critical
When you find your dream home, your agent becomes your representative in negotiating the price, closing details, items in the home to convey, repairs needed from the home inspection, etc. The right agent can save you a ton of money and make the entire process a wonderful experience! An unskilled agent can cost you lots of money or even blow the deal and lose your dream house. When you interview candidate agents, discuss their experience and strategies that will be used to negotiate on your behalf.
We have very talented agents available to help you. If you would like to be contacted by an agent, please complete the Buyer's Agent Request Form below.