This week on My Greenville Home Radio, Dan is speaking with Shelby Lear, a Buyer’s Specialist on the Hamilton & Co. Team. Shelby is from the Asheville but has always loved Greenville and moved here for the proximity to lakes and overall affordability. Shelby began her career in real estate a few years ago as a transaction coordinator and joined the Hamilton & Co. team just a few months ago as a Buyer’s Agent.
Shelby’s unique background as a transaction coordinator and a recent Greenville homebuyer sets her up for success as a real estate agent. She understand the behind-the-scenes of a home transaction and knows how to help her clients win in this market. Shelby selected her own Greenville home via a FaceTime call out-of-state and she understands how important those virtual tours can be. She already has multiple contracts under her belt after only a couple months at Hamilton and Company and is passionate about helping her clients find their dream home.
Market Statistics Overview
Home Inventory – Home inventory is down 33% from last year – and we thought inventory was low last year! Shelby sees homes come on the market every weekend, but there are not many, and they are often gone the next day. Our team had a listing this weekend that had over 60 showings and 20 offers in 24 hours. If you are a buyer looking, be reactive. See a home you like? Call your agent immediately and go see it!
Most buyers like to visit a house and then go home and think or pray about it before making a decision. That’s just not possible in this market, unfortunately. Dan’s advice? “Say your prayer on the way to see the house. You won’t get that time later!”
Percentage of List Price – Right now, homes are selling for 100.1% of list price on average. This means most homes (but not all) are selling for higher than the list price. What does this mean for buyers? Buyers need to understand that in this market, the list price is really just the starting price. Offers for $15,000 under asking might have cut it a few years ago, but they won’t today. If you are a buyer, it is especially important to shop in or slightly below your budget as you will most likely pay over asking for a home.
Home Values – Home values have increased by 15% in the last year. To the potential buyers waiting on a market crash – don’t wait! Buyers are more qualified than ever and we will not see a 2008-like crash anytime soon. The buyers who were saying this same thing last year have missed out on the 15% increase in equity and now are paying more for the same house. This is especially unfortunate for those who are renting and are not gaining equity on their current home.
Interest Rates – Interest rates, while still historically low, are on the rise. Buyers should remember that low interest rates are actually a better measure of home affordability than list price! That is why it is so important to purchase a home while rates are low, even in a competitive market.
Agent Strategies to Win the Offer
Believe it or not, now is still a great time to buy a home. You just have to get rid of your old ways of thinking. Buyers should understand they will have to get creative with their contract and adjust their wish list and timeline expectations. Gone are the days of sellers paying closing costs and purchasing home warranties. Now it is all about what the seller wants.
Shelby understand the importance of getting a seller’s attention with her client’s contract. It is not always the price that wins the contract. According to Shelby, “Each blank in the contract is an opportunity to win.” Shelby reaches out to the listing agent on every offer she writes, something not all agents do. “I reach out to the listing agent to scope out the situation,” Shelby says, “I ask how long they are accepting offers, how many offers are on the table, and, most importantly, what the seller wants.” Often sellers want a shorter than usual closing period, sometimes they want a longer closing period. Is the seller’s motivation cash? Or would they rather not deal with inspections and appraisals? Every seller’s priorities are different, and understanding the seller’s preferences before writing the contract can help you win in a bidding war.
A benefit of working with a Hamilton & Co. Buyer’s Specialist like Shelby is that you have access to an entire team of agents. Our team knows how important it is to see a home immediately. If Shelby is busy showing houses and can’t take you to see a new listing, one of her colleagues can right away. That way you never miss an opportunity.
Other strategies Shelby has used include waiving contingencies, offering to purchase “as is,” and higher earnest money deposits.
Dan Hamilton is the founder of Hamilton & Co. and the lead listing agent for the team. He is the only agent in the Upstate endorsed by Shark Tank star and real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran. Additionally, Dan hosts a weekly radio show on The Answer 94.5 and 106.3 WORD giving tips and advice on real estate and is a frequent contributor for real estate on Your Carolina TV show on WSPA Channel 7.