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FAQ

FAQs for Buyers and Sellers


BUYERS:

Should I talk to a lender before looking at homes?

Yes! Before looking at homes, you’ll want to speak with your preferred lender or bank for a pre-approval letter. Talking with a bank before looking at homes can help you understand exactly how much you can afford.

I own a home, should I purchase another before selling my own?

The answer is different for everyone’s circumstances! Selling before buying is the most common way buyers purchase their next home as the proceeds from the sale is usually required to buy a new one. Even with the the cash on hand for the down payment, it is much harder to qualify for a new mortgage while carrying debt on the existing home. Talking with your lender will help clarify this question.

Do I need a Realtor when buying a home?

When buying a home, it’s strongly recommended you use a Realtor. A Realtor keeps your best interests in mind and helps navigate the home buying process. Attempting to buy a home without a Realtor can really make the home buying process more difficult.

Who pays the Realtor fees when buying a home?

When using a buyer agent, the fees and commissions are paid by the seller.

What are the average utility bills?

Average utility bills will differ at each home but can easily obtained from the listing agent. There are many additional costs to consider and utility bills are certainly a cost to consider!

How many homes should I look at before making an offer?

There is no specific number of homes to consider before making an offer. Whether we look at 1 home or 25, we’ll help you make the best decision!

How much should I offer a seller?

When buying a home, you are the only one who can determine how much you should offer a seller. We recommend you ask for your Realtors advice and thoughts, but ultimately you are the only person who can determine how much you should offer.

What is earnest money and how much should we offer?

The earnest money deposit is frequently referred to as the ‘good faith deposit’. The primary purpose of this deposit is to show a seller you are serious about purchasing their home.  The amount that is deposited is subtracted from the final figure that a buyer pays at the closing table.  In most cases, the larger the deposit, the stronger a purchase offer looks to a seller.

How long does the seller have to respond to my offer?

There is no standard answer to this question. A purchase offer will usually have a deadline to respond of either 12 or 24 hours.

What if my offer is rejected?

When a purchase offer is submitted to the seller there are generally four possible responses.  The first is an accepted offer, the second is a counter offer, the third is a rejected offer, and the final is an offer that is not responded to.  If your offer is rejected, meaning the seller says no and doesn’t counter, you have the right to place another offer.

What happens during the home inspection?

During the home inspection, an inspector will check the house for any issues. There are home inspection findings that are more common than others, however, no two homes are the same so it’s a great idea to get the home inspected.

What is due diligence and repair procedure?

The due diligence period is often 10 business days and gives buyers the unilateral right of cancellation for any reason during that time period. The repair procedure illustrates the buyers right to inspect the subject property and deadline to submit a repair addendum. This section also defines “Seller Paid Repairs,” as the costs of all repairs necessary to make the roof free of leaks, address environmental concerns, and to make all the following systems operable: heating, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, water supply & water waste.

Can we ask the seller to repair items on the home inspection?

Absolutely! After discussing the home inspection with your Realtor, we will devise a strategy of either having the homeowner repair the items or offer a credit in lieu of repair that will be due at closing.

What is flood insurance?

Flood insurance is a specific insurance that protects the home from flooding. Most homes in the Charleston-area will require flood insurance and covers a variety of items such as personal items, appliances, electrical and plumbing systems, and more. To read more about what flood insurance covers, you can read more here.

Do I need a home warranty?

It’s up to your discretion if you’d like to obtain a home warranty. We can easily write this into the offer for a home.

Do I need to perform a final walk-through before closing?

As a buyer, you have the option to perform a final walk-through prior to closing. Is it required? No. Is it recommended? Absolutely! When doing a final walk-through a few things you should check is that furnace is working, the toilets are flushing properly, and there is hot water.

When is the closing date?

When buying a home, the excitement level is high! It’s important to understand that the closing date in the purchase offer is a target and not a guarantee.  Before you hire the movers and take time off from work, know that the closing date in the contract isn’t necessarily the date you will own your new home. Your lender and closing attorney will have a more accurate closing date for your new home.

We’ve closed on our home, now what?

Celebrate! Congratulations on purchasing your home! This is an exciting time filled with new beginnings and memories. Take your time to unpack and if you ever have any questions, your Realtor is also available to assist.


SELLERS:

How does the market look right now?

The market is always changing but because we’re local, we know the local market of Daniel Island like the back of our hand! From days on market to the newest listings and closures, we can discuss them all.

Do I need a Realtor to sell my home?

When selling a home, it’s strongly recommended you use a Realtor. A Realtor keeps your best interests in mind and helps navigate the home selling process. Attempting to sell a home without a Realtor can really make the process more difficult.

When should I sell my home?

The best time to sell is when you’re ready. There are advantages to selling in every season, and we’ll help guide you to decide when it’s right to place your home on the market.

How do I get my ready home to sell?

We firmly believe in staging and professionally photographing your home. We’ll work with you each step of the way, from arranging appointments to answering questions, so that it’s a smooth listing process.

What paperwork do I need to complete?

Your agent will go over the listing paperwork with you but generally you’ll need to complete an Exclusive Right to Sell contract, lockbox agreement, and South Carolina Agency Agreement.

What happens during the home inspection?

During the home inspection, an inspector will check the house for any issues. There are home inspection findings that are more common than others, however, no two homes are the same so it’s a great idea to get the home inspected.

Is there additional paperwork you’ll need?

We prefer to have more than less when it comes to paperwork! We’ll have you complete information about showings, specifics about your home, and send us any copies you have of your plat, surveys, floorplans, and other specific details about your home.

How do you determine price?

We will conduct a Competitive Market Analysis report which will help us determine a fair market value for your home.

When is the closing date?

When selling a home, the excitement level is high! It’s important to understand that the closing date in the offer is a target and not a guarantee.  Before you hire the movers and take time off from work, know that the closing date in the contract isn’t necessarily the date you will sell your home. Your lender and closing attorney will have a more accurate closing date for your new home.

Should I be present during showings or inspections?

It’s preferred that the seller leaves during a showing and inspection. This is a time for a buyer to begin bonding with your home and envision their new life here.

We’ve closed on our home, now what?

Celebrate! Congratulations on selling your home! This is an exciting time filled with new beginnings and memories. Take your time to unpack and if you ever have any questions, your Realtor is also available to assist.

I own a home, should I purchase another before selling my own?

The answer is different for everyone’s circumstances! Selling before buying is the most common way buyers purchase their next home as the proceeds from the sale is usually required to buy a new one. Even with the the cash on hand for the down payment, it is much harder to qualify for a new mortgage while carrying debt on the existing home. Talking with your lender will help clarify this question.

Who pays the Realtor fees when buying a home?

When using a listing agent, the fees and commissions are paid by the seller.

How long is a real estate contract?

Real estate contracts can vary but we usually have contracts that last as short as three months or as long as a year. Most of our contracts are for six months.

How will you market my home?

We market your home through a variety of avenues including, but not limited to, e-blasts, social media, printed advertisements, digital advertisements, networking, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and many more!

Will you host an open house?

Typically we believe that a strong digital presence and networking is the best way to help market your home. However, we are more than happy discussing hosting an open house!

What is due diligence and repair procedure?

The due diligence period is often 10 business days and gives buyers the unilateral right of cancellation for any reason during that time period. The repair procedure illustrates the buyers right to inspect the subject property and deadline to submit a repair addendum. This section also defines “Seller Paid Repairs,” as the costs of all repairs necessary to make the roof free of leaks, address environmental concerns, and to make all the following systems operable: heating, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, water supply & water waste.

Should we do any work before listing?

Any home can use a good sprucing up before listing! We highly recommend painting the interior a neutral color, fix minor issues by a licensed electrician or plumber, and fresh up landscaping.

How do I prepare for showings?

We use a service called ShowingTime which will alert you whenever an agent has requested a showing of your home. You can easily decline, accept, or suggest a different time all from your phone! Once a showing has been accepted, simply turn on all lights and lamps, open curtains, and turn on light music to really wow your potential buyer!

How do we respond to offers?

It’s always necessary to respond to an offer, even if it’s low! Once an offered as been submitted, we’ll discuss its merits and decide how to respond through a counteroffer. Then the fun part of negotiations begin!

What happens if my home doesn’t appraise?

It’s possible for a home to not appraise. In this situation, we will discuss how to combat this issue so the closing can proceed.