11 Steps to Buy Your Lowcountry Dream Home
Home sales have slowed down a bit on Hilton Head Island and in the Lowcountry in many places and price ranges recently. That’s good news if you are a buyer and waited out the “crazy storm” of homes selling in a matter of minutes with 20 offers. NOW is a great time to buy and make your Hilton Head Island home or vacation rental a reality! Take advantage of the still great interest rates and less competition.
As a purchaser, you need to be sure you are prepared for the entire process of home buying to reduce the stress and the surprises.
As Keller Williams Elite agents, we are happy to help every step of the way.
Let’s talk a walk through the big steps, there may be a few detours along the way and a few things that I left out– every purchase is a little unique.
1. Decide how you pay for the home and your budget:
A. Paying cash- get a “Proof of funds letter” from your financial sources.
B. Getting a mortgage- get a prequalification letter or even better – get preapproved -from a lender. Using a “local” is best because they understand the properties, communities and local contracts. Hilton Head and Bluffton have some outstanding lenders!
2. Be sure to have a solid understanding of your budget including POA fees, property taxes and all types of insurance….KW Elite agents can help with that info too! Start discussing your interests with us, including your budget, prime locations, amenities, view and overall expectations of your new home. Have a clear list of what you feel like you must have and do not want in your home, and communicate that to your Realtor.
3. Check out our easy-to-use property search website that pulls directly from the local MLS at https://www.kweliteagents.com/ for the communities and homes that interest you.
4. Contact KW Elite to talk with us about homes, condos or land that you would like more information about using our contact page at https://www.kweliteagents.com/contactus/ or simply call Kim at 843-324-7861.
5. Schedule times to look at your favorite homes with a KW Elite agent. Use a system of notes that works for you so that you can remember each home and the pluses and minuses of each. Keep a top two or three to compare others to. Be flexible, something you might not have thought you would like may end up being exactly the perfect home! You still need to make your offer without delay as many buyers, just like you, are recognizing this is the time to buy.
6. Your KW Elite agent is a market expert. He or she will help you review the recently sold homes and what has recently gone under contract so that you can make an offer using current market data. Include your prequalification letter or proof of funds to help strengthen your offer and it’s almost always a requirement of the seller in this real estate market. Don’t add special contingencies you really don’t need and understand that “lowball offers” are rarely accepted by sellers. If you like the home enough to make an offer, be sure it is an offer you would expect a seller to entertain. Negotiate for the things that are most important to you (consider what is truly important before you make the offer) Through the negotiating process, stay relaxed and focused on your desired outcome of purchasing the home. Stay in good communication with your real estate agent.
7. Once your contract is agreed upon by both you and the sellers then we schedule the home inspection. Once that is completed, decide on what repairs you will request understanding that paragraph 8 of our contract helps to identify the expectations for the sale in terms of the items that must be in good working order. Your agent will help you negotiate the repairs and terms.
8. Also once the offer is accepted, immediately contact your lender and begin the financing process with your lender. Work efficiently with your lender to provide all documents that they need in a very timely manner. Your lender will schedule the appraisal. Stay in close contact with your lender as well as your agent- good communication is very important throughout the process.
9. Also once your offer is accepted, immediately contact your closing attorney to begin the process towards closing on your home. Your closing attorney will guide you through the legal process of purchasing the property, taking care of necessary details and documents and run the property’s title search. Your attorney will coordinate closing with you, your lender and your KW Elite agent. Your lender will send the loan commitment/clear-to-close notification to you. If you are paying cash, have the funds ready to go.
10. You take a final “walk-through” of the property to make sure all repairs agreed upon have been completed.
11. Your transfer of funds is ready to wire, documents are prepared and the closing date is set! You can close at the attorney’s office or “from a distance.” Funds are wired and once everything has passed through the proper hands THE KEYS ARE YOURS!
Smile and start unpacking- you just bought your Lowcountry Dream Home!!!!