If you’re looking to buy a home in South Caroline right now, it’s important to understand that we’re in a seller’s market. A slowdown in new construction, buyers looking to move post-COVID, and low interest rates have created a scenario that can be challenging at best. One March report revealed that there was a more than 53% year-over-year drop in the number of homes for sale in this state coupled with a 13.2% median sales price increase. 

No real estate market is impossible, though. Sellers might have an advantage, but you can still find the home you want with the right strategy. Here are some of the things you’ll want to do to better navigate South Carolina’s current real estate market. 

Get Your Financing in Order

Before you start searching for a home, you should figure out what you can afford. Many sellers in this type of market won’t waste time with unqualified buyers. This means buyers who aren’t sure what they want and don’t have their financing in order. In addition to knowing your budget, make sure you get pre-qualified for a loan (not just pre-approved). 

Do Your Research

Homes in a seller’s market like this one move fast. In “normal” times, you might have time to check out a home online, ask your friends and family what they think, and then schedule a few viewings before making an offer. It doesn’t work that way right now. If you took this approach, every home would be sold out from under you quickly. Instead, have your list of “must-haves” and “wants” ready and be prepared to make an offer when you find a home that fits the bill. 

Partner With An Experienced Agent

You can shortcut some of the tedious processes of looking for a home in a seller’s market by connecting with an experienced and qualified real estate agent. It might be tempting to skip this step since you can find so many homes online, but a well-connected agent can often alert you to homes in the area before they even hit the market and those popular websites. In some cases, having the right agent in your corner can make the difference between your offer versus someone else’s being accepted by the seller. 

Be Strategic

Just because a seller might get several offers on a home, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will lose it or have to pay more. When you think outside the box, you have the opportunity to create a deal that someone else may not have considered, but it’s one that meets the seller’s needs. For example, a seller might want a longer or shorter closing date to accommodate their schedule, a shorter due diligence period to lessen the risk, or a waiver of some common contingencies. 

Get Help Navigating South Carolina’s Real Estate Market

The real estate market might be booming. But there is still plenty of opportunity for costly missteps. With few exceptions, we advise buyers never to purchase a home sight unseen or waive their right to an inspection or title contingency. You can still find a good deal and protect your interests at the same time. This is one of the reasons having an experienced real estate agent in your corner is vital. 

The Lafayette Group has over 17 years of combined real estate experience. We know the local market intimately, and use our extensive knowledge combined with our commitment to customer service to help our clients achieve their goals. Contact us today to learn more about our services.