The Lowcountry Real Estate News


June 21, 2023

3 Easy Tips To Sell Your Home Fast


Here are three tips to help you sell your home as soon as possible.


Do you need to sell your house as soon as possible? Maybe you need to relocate for a new job soon, or perhaps you just don’t want to draw out the hassle of a home sale. Whatever your reason is, you don’t need to worry. I have tons of experience helping homeowners sell their properties quickly. Here are three things I’ve learned that will help you sell as soon as possible without sacrificing your final sales price:


1. Prepare your home before putting it on the market. The better your home looks, the more interest you’ll generate. Clean, declutter, and depersonalize before listing your home. That means you’ll need to put away your family photos and pack everything into boxes. I also recommend hiring a professional cleaner. They’ll be able to do the job faster and better than even the most motivated amateur. Once your home is in tip-top shape, buyers will be more likely to put in good offers sooner.


"If you offer the right incentives, many buyers will be willing to close quickly, even at a higher price."


2. Take care of any small repairs upfront. One of the most common issues that stalls a home sale is negotiations over minor repairs. If you want to avoid a drawn-out conversation with your buyer and their agent, take care of any issues before you list your house. Faulty light sockets, old door handles, and other minor problems should be addressed upfront. This way, the inspection and negotiation period can go as smoothly as possible.


3. Offer incentives to buyers. If you want to sell fast while maintaining a high asking price, incentives are a great strategy to do it. Consider offering to pay your buyer’s closing costs, giving a repair credit, or including necessary appliances. Another popular incentive you can offer is a 2-1 buydown. This loan product reduces your buyer’s interest rate for the first two years of their loan for an upfront cost. If you offer the right incentives, many buyers will be willing to close quickly, even at a higher price.


A good agent should be able to help you implement these selling strategies and more to secure a quick sale. If you have questions about these points or anything else, just call or email me. I am always happy to help!

Posted in Selling your home
June 1, 2023

Pricing Your Home Right the First Time: 3 Tips


Getting the right price for your home comes down to these three tips.


The real estate market is an ever-changing thing. One day, prices are up, and the very next day, everything has reversed on you. Over the last few years especially, with turbulent markets and economic confusion, the real estate market has become increasingly dynamic. In this era of constant fluctuation, how will you know how much your home is worth? There are three things that you need to know:


1. Use the right tools. Online estimators are a great way to get a very rough estimate of where your home’s value is likely to sit. These are best accessed directly through your preferred real estate agent’s website. While they aren’t perfect, these tools can give you a general idea of your home’s value.


"The real estate market has become increasingly dynamic."


2. Use more recent comps. In the past, it was common to use comparative home sales from the prior six months. Now, more than ever, it’s important to use comps that are as recent as possible. In 2022, we saw mortgage interest rates double in six months, and home sales prices responded accordingly, which means that six-month-old comps just didn’t cut it. A trained, experienced, and skilled real estate agent like me will know what comps to draw from when determining the right price for your home.


3. Work with the right agent. No matter how well you do your homework, nothing beats working with a professional. I have the experience and training to know how to price your home right the first time. I know what amenities and upgrades that can net you the best dollar-for-dollar return and how to beat out the competition with the right marketing plan.


If you have any questions about this topic or real estate in general, don’t hesitate to call or email me. I would be delighted to serve as your resource for all of your real estate needs.

Posted in Selling your home
Jan. 18, 2023

The Reason Why a Great Agent Makes a Difference

You don’t just need an agent. You need a trusted, experienced agent.


Do you actually need to use a real estate agent for your transaction? I don't get this question very often because over 90% of people that list their homes usually use an agent. Some buyers want to look on their own, but in our area, they really do need an agent to access properties because almost all of our properties are behind gates here. But the answer would be no; you don't have to hire an agent. What you should do, though, is you should hire a professional, experienced agent.


And you might ask why? What's the difference? I'll tell you that you want representation in the market that you're buying and selling in. Real estate markets are rarely stagnant. They shift all the time. So when you hear talk of a shift, that's pretty normal. You just need to understand what sort of shift is happening and how you can prepare and use that to your advantage. This is where a seasoned, experienced Realtor will come in and be able to guide you through these shifting markets. They know the pulse of the market, and they will protect you through what is considered most people's largest financial transaction in their lives. Why is this important? To be blunt, it’s because you don't know what you don't know.


"Over 90% of people that list their homes usually use an agent."


Each area has specifics, and it's common only to that area. A trusted, seasoned, experienced Realtor will guide you through those. They will point out all the nuances and the different construction techniques. In the Lowcountry here, we have termites, we have humidity, we have wood rot, we have different sorts of composite lumber and stucco, and we also have some plumbing that is outdated. That's not just in South Carolina; that's also throughout the southeast. If your Realtor doesn't know or understand what's going on with properties of a certain age and what to look for, you could be facing a large repair bill down the road that you weren't prepared for. That's really where it's important to turn to a trusted real estate advisor who is going to use their depth of experience to guide you.


At the end of the day, getting the two parties to close is what's most important in a transaction. Your Realtor can save you thousands of dollars with their skill set, so who you partner with matters when it comes to real estate. Thank you so much. Remember to reach out, call or text me, or feel free to drop me a line at my email.

Nov. 22, 2022

Should You Buy Now or Wait for a Dip?

If you’ve been waiting out the market to buy, you might want to reconsider.


Should you wait for the market to go down to buy a new house? It's important to remember that many factors go into deciding an offer price, like interest rates, the state of the economy, the season of the year, etc. It's more than just about predicting when a market will soften.


First, some industry experts say that fluctuations in prices really depend on the needs and goals of a particular area. Of course, it's not just the area. It's also individuals as far as buyers and sellers. It's all about time and money. 


Second, the market changes quickly. As you can see, from 2020 to 2022, we had wild ups and downs in the market with pricing, and it has been tough to keep up. The market changes quickly. Many are convinced that you buy when the timing is right for you and your family. 

"It's more than just about predicting when a market will soften."


Third, when speaking with my lender partners, they say it's important to keep a pulse on the market. Right now, what I'm hearing from many of them is that interest rates are expected to drop to about 5%. That's what they're going to trend toward within the next 18 months.


Now, that being said, if you want to buy now, there are different programs out there and different strategies that we can consider, like a 2-1 buydown. If you're not familiar with that program, get with your agent. Call me or email me; I’d love to explain how they work and discuss your situation. 

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 2, 2022

4 Tips for Living in Your For-Sale Home

Four ways to help make selling your home simpler and more efficient.


How can you continue to live in your house once you put it on the market? Your home has always been your sanctuary, your one true personal space, but now it’s listed for sale and will soon get a ton of foot traffic. This can get very stressful and make it difficult to continue living your normal life in your house, especially if you have young children. So here are four tips to help you continue living your life in your for-sale home and keep things a bit less hectic:


1. Start packing now. Packing and storing boxes in the basement or garage is completely acceptable. We want to open up as much space as possible; we’re emphasizing floor space and square footage, so the larger it feels, the more money you’ll get. 

2. Sell, donate, or throw it away. While you’re packing, try to get rid of things you don’t need. Sometimes, you have to be a little brutal; let’s face it—most of us have stuff laying around we don’t really use anymore. My recommendation is if you haven’t touched an item in a year and it’s not an heirloom or memory, it’s time to part with it. Try to at least donate items that are still in decent condition.

"Packing and storing boxes in the basement or garage is completely acceptable. "


3. Get squeaky clean. A clean, cared-for house can net you $5,000 to $10,000 more for your sale. Shoot for five-star hotel perfection when cleaning, and focus particularly on bathrooms, the kitchen, windows, and floors. If you don’t like to clean or simply don’t have the time, we have some fantastic cleaning companies we’d love to put you in touch with. Just reach out to us for more information. 


4. Maintain privacy and safety. Buyers are going to be looking through closets and other areas people wouldn’t typically see. Ensure there’s nothing valuable or personal anywhere that they could find. If you’re unsure about an item, be on the safe side and lock it away somewhere secure (this includes medications).


If you’d like to dig deeper into the tips above or have any questions about real estate in general, please shoot me an email or give me a call. I would love to help in any way I can.

Posted in Selling your home
Sept. 21, 2022

So Your Appraisal Came in Low—What Now?

Don’t let a low home appraisal disrupt your sale. You have options.


Despite rising interest rates shrinking your potential pool of buyers, now is still a great time to sell your home. Home prices continue to increase, just not as quickly as they did over the last couple of years. Still, keep in mind that rising home values can also present a challenge for sellers.


Most buyers in today’s market are financing their home purchases with a mortgage. To be approved for a loan, lenders require buyers to have an appraiser come out to the property. This is the bank’s way of verifying the home’s value so that they know it is secure to lend the buyer money. In a rising market, the appraised value of your home could come in lower than your asking price. This doesn’t happen very often—around 8% of the time, according to a 2018 Fannie Mae report—but if it happens to you, what can you do?

First, confer with your real estate agent to make sure your home isn’t overpriced for the market. If it is, you’ll need to adjust your price to align with the current market conditions since most buyers won’t want to shell out thousands of dollars to cover the difference between the appraised value and the asking price.


If that’s not the issue, look over the comparable sales in your area. The appraiser already bases their value on comparable home sales nearby, but you might be able to find better comps to justify your asking price.

"It won’t be as difficult as it was in the past to find a buyer willing to bridge the gap."


Otherwise, you could ask your potential buyer to make up the difference. Many buyers don’t want to do this, but you have the upper hand in a seller’s market like the one we’re in now. Some may even agree to an appraisal gap guarantee, which ensures they’ll pay the difference if your appraisal is low.


If you’re motivated to sell your home, and getting more than your asking price isn’t your top priority, you could also simply lower your asking price to match the appraised value. That could entice your buyer to increase their earnest money deposit, depending on how you negotiate.


If you’ve thought about selling your home and would like to know what yours is worth, visit my website to use our online calculator. If you have any other questions about selling your home or the market in general, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I’d love to speak with you.

Posted in Market Updates
Sept. 14, 2022

Which Projects Help You Sell Your Home?

Getting Your House Ready To Sell? Work with an Agent for Expert Advice

Getting Your House Ready To Sell? Work with an Agent for Expert Advice | MyKCM

In a market that’s shifting as fast as it is today, many homeowners wonder what, if anything, needs to be renovated before they sell their house. That’s where a trusted real estate professional comes in. They can help you think through today’s market conditions and how they impact what you should – and shouldn’t – do before selling your house.

Here are some considerations a professional will guide you through.

What You Need To Know About Your Local Market

Since the supply of homes for sale has increased so much this year, today’s buyers have more options than they had last year. That may mean you’re not able to ignore some of those repairs or cosmetic updates you could have skipped in previous months. As a recent article from says:

“To stand out in the market, sellers should make their home attractive to buyers, which usually means some selective updates.”

The key word here is selective. Since it’s still a sellers’ market, focusing on a few key areas may be enough to make your house stand out from other options. And since inventory is still low overall, it’s also possible buyers may be willing to handle the renovations themselves once they move in. It all depends on buyer demand and the available inventory in your local area. For advice on what’s happening in your market and what to do to make your house show well, lean on a professional.

Not All Renovation Projects Are Equal

In addition to making sure your house makes a good first impression, you’ll also want to consider the return on your investment (ROI) for any renovations. According to the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), here are the projects that could net you the best return when you sell your house (see visual below):

Getting Your House Ready To Sell? Work with an Agent for Expert Advice | MyKCM

Again, your real estate advisor is your best resource. When your agent comes to your house for a walk-thru and consultation, they’ll use their expertise to offer any insight into what you may need to repair, replace, or refinish. They also know what other sellers are doing before listing their homes and how buyers are reacting to those upgrades to help steer you in the right direction. As Dr. Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights for NAR, explains:

“This year, the winner was hardwood flooring. Hardwood floor refinishing and putting in new wood flooring had the most significant value, . . .”

How To Draw Buyer Attention to the Upgrades You’ve Made

For any projects you’ve already completed or for those you plan to do before listing, make sure your real estate professional knows. They’re not just an advisor to help you decide where to focus your efforts, they’re also skilled at highlighting any upgrades in your listing. That way, potential buyers know about the features that may help sell them on the house.

No matter what, contact a local real estate professional for expert advice on what work needs to be done and how to make it as appealing as possible to future buyers. Every home is different, so a conversation with your agent is mission-critical to make sure you make the right moves when selling this season.

Bottom Line

In today’s shifting market, it’s important to spend your time and money wisely when you’re getting ready to move. Let’s connect to find out where to focus your efforts before you sell.

Posted in Selling your home
Sept. 9, 2022

Housing Experts Chime In- How Does The Rest of 2022 Look?

Here's What Housing Experts Forecast for the Rest of 2022

Nationally, home prices are forecast to appreciate, just at a more moderate pace than last year. Let's connect if you plan to buy or sell a home this year so you have a trusted advisor on your side.

Watch Now

Posted in News
Aug. 29, 2022

What To Know About HOAs, POAs, and Regimes

Explaining the differences between HOAs, POAs, and regimes in Low Country.


In the Low Country, what’s the difference between a homeowner association (HOA), a property owner association (POA), and a regime? Many people are confused by these terms, so today I’ll explain how they’re different. 


In our area, HOAs mean you have a home on land you own, while POAs mean you either own a home or some land. Some people only own land in our area because they belong to communities that have many amenities, but they don’t necessarily want to keep a home. These landowners may be billed with a different rate and don’t have to pay the entire POAs fee. 


"Taxes are typically 2.8 times more expensive for secondary homeowners than primary ones."



Regimes, on the other hand, are commonly called condo management fees, and can vary from property to property. They can include amenities, securities, insurance, etc. It’s critical to ask your agent what the true cost of ownership is because that tends to change often.


Another thing worth mentioning, especially if you’re an investor who wants to rent out the property, is the tax rate. In South Carolina, we have primary and secondary tax rates. The former is for people who have lived here for over six months, and the latter is for people who have lived here for less time than that. Taxes are typically 2.8 times more expensive for secondary homeowners than primary ones. 


If you need more information about this topic or have any real estate questions, call or email me. I’m here to help!

Posted in News
Aug. 12, 2022

How Buyers Can Survive Rising Interest Rates

Here are three easy methods to deal with rising interest rates.


“I want to purchase a home, but how can I deal with higher interest rates?” Many clients have reached out to ask me this question recently. In case you don’t know, the Federal Reserve recently raised rates by 75 basis points—the largest increase since 1994. Mortgage rates have already responded, and they’re likely to increase further throughout the year. Rates are still low historically, but there’s no denying that recent increases make it more difficult to purchase a home. If you’re looking to buy, what can you do? 


Fortunately, there are tons of creative ways to adjust your strategy and prepare for higher rates, and I want to share three of them with you today:


1. Improve your credit. You may think your credit score is already as good as it can be, but there is always room for improvement. Start by paying off your debt little by little. This will lower your debt-to-income ratio, which is what lenders use to determine your creditworthiness. You can also save up for a bigger down payment to improve your credit and lower your rate. The results may seem small, but even a tiny difference can add up to a huge amount over the course of a loan.


"The longer you wait, the more expensive homes will become. "



2. Lock in your mortgage rate when it makes sense. If your lender is offering you a good rate, consider locking it in. Rates are expected to continue rising to combat inflation, but you won’t have to worry about that if your rate is locked in. Just remember that it only makes sense to lock in your rate when you’re almost to closing. Most rates only stay locked in for one to two months. 


3. Pay mortgage points at closing. Also known as “discount points,” mortgage points are fees you can pay to lower your interest rate. One point typically costs 1% of your loan, so a point on a $400,000 mortgage would cost $4,000. A nice perk of mortgage points is that they might be tax-deductible. If you can deduct your mortgage interest, chances are you can deduct the cost of your mortgage points as well. 


The truth is that it is still a great time to purchase a home. When the last Fed hike this large happened in 1994, rates were close to 8%, so our current ones look great by comparison. However, most experts believe rates will increase throughout 2022. On top of that, nothing indicates that rising mortgage rates will cause home prices to drop since inventory is so scarce. The longer you wait to purchase a home, the more expensive it will be. 


If you’d like to take a look at what’s presently available on the market, you can view our multiple listing service here:


Click here to see all available homes in your area.


There are still plenty of opportunities in our market. If you have any questions about interest rates or purchasing a home, please call or email me. I am always willing to help! 

Posted in Market Updates