Charleston area Realtors and home sellers continue to look for good news and are reporting the down tick in inventory as hope that things are turning around. We have to hit bottom somewhere, and we're getting very close we hope. It's anyone's guess really. Inventory finally dropped below the 10,000 mark, but why? And since inventory skyrocketed in 2007, what does it really mean that things don't seem as terrible as when inventory was above 11,000 and 20 MONTHS. 20 MONTHS OF INVENTORY. Golly that's a lot. Now it's down below 13 and that doesn't stink as bad. So yes, I'd say if we were at 20 months of inventory and now we're at 13, we've probably hit bottom as far as that goes. Average price per square foot continued to slip in September to a 5 year low of $112. So we have two very important measurements pulling in opposite directions.
What does this mean to you if you're a home seller? First, and this seems pretty obvious but you'd be surprised, you want to have absolutely THE most capable and professional agent you can find. This means taking some extra time to interview them and challenge them on what they do that actually gives them a greater chance of selling your home. If you've already listed your property, and you don't have 100% confidence in your agent, then you have some serious soul searching to do, and it's time to have a heart to heart with them.
Ask them if they have 20 buyers/week contacting them on the internet.
Ask them if they have a website on Charleston that gets 9 million pages views a year.
Ask them what is their professional experience with negotiation.
Ask yourself if you have complete confidence in this person. That doesn't mean they're the most likable, not that personality isn't important. But if you think you know better than they do how to get the price price for your home, then list it yourself using one of the many agents that will put your home on the MLS for a couple of hundred bucks. (not us) That's not to say that you can't have any opinions. It's just that if you've bought and sold a few houses in your history, that experience is totally irrelevant to what's happening right now. In 2006, you didn't have to be an expert negotiator to get a home sold. Homes sold themselves. Now, unless you want to end up running out of time, if you don't get hooked up with someone in whom you have complete confidence, you could end up at the wrong end of a negotiation with time working against you.
We're not supposed to say this, so we'll avoid using the "R" word in this sentence. Most agents don't have a clue how to find a buyer in this market, much less represent someone in a critical negotiation where time is almost always on the side of the buyer. They've been through x hours of classroom training. What's worse, is that they may have done 100 transactions, and been a "R.." for 25 years, but that doesn't mean they can find you a buyer in 2011.
We will do something for you that none of the other 4000 agents in Charleston can do. We will design a webpage specifically designed to sell your home, not a listing on the MLS (that takes all of 10 minutes) and it will be posted at www.charlestonsfinest.com. We are the exclusive agents for www.charlestonsfinest.com and have over 1000 subscribers to our search tool at www.move2charleston.com. We will price your home so that you get the best price possible. And that means making sure that time is on our side to the greatest extent possible where the buyers out there are finding 3 to 5 homes that exceed their criteria.
On the flip side of that coin, if you're a buyer, you need to work with an agent that knows how to quickly find you 3 to 5 homes that exceed your criteria. If we're negotiating with a seller, what effect do you think it has if we have 3 back up properties? Quite a bit! And if they don't want to play ball, we can go onto the next one saving you thousands. We work with our clients to cull through as many as 50 different homes on the computer, looking at 6 to 10 properties a day until we find at least 3 good choices.