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Expert Tips for Navigating the Real Estate Market

My mission at Hamilton & Co Real Estate is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, I can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

What Do Buyers Regret About Their Home Purchases?

Half of all homebuyers regret something about their purchase. Here’s why.

Looking to buy a Greenville home? Click here to search all local homes on the MLS.
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On my latest appearance on “Your Carolina With Jack and Megan,” I talked about a recent study that showed half of all homebuyers had regrets about the property they purchased. Two-thirds of those regrets had to do with the size of the property being too small. It was easily the biggest regret of the surveyed buyers.

To avoid having this kind of regret when it comes time for you to buy a home, we recommend planning ahead. A pre-qualification is an important step because it lets you know exactly what you can afford. The location you are looking at could play a role too. You will be able to get a bigger home if you aren’t looking in a prime location.Some areas simply have better prices than others. It’s a tough balancing act, but all buyers should have a game plan.

The biggest regret of renters was not buying!

This survey also surveyed renters. Can you guess what their biggest regret was? It was not buying a home! A lot of renters are mistakenly under the impression that they can’t qualify for a mortgage. The truth is that most of them can.

If you’re going to buy a house at any point in the near future, you want to plan to be in the home for at least five years to make the investment worth it. If you won’t be there for long enough, it might make sense to rent for a short time. However, with interest rates rising in the near future, now represents a great opportunity to affordably purchase a home.

If you or anyone you know is thinking about buying a home in or around Greenville, give us a call or send us an email. We would love to hear from you.

We Are Growing and Want You to Join Our Team

We have some exciting news to share with you today. We’re growing and want you on our team!

Looking to buy a Greenville home? Click here to search all local homes on the MLS.
Looking to sell your Greenville home? Click here to use our home evaluation tool.

I have some exciting news to share with you. We are growing! We are looking to hire some fantastic agents because we have so many buyers. We can’t wait to service them all with extraordinary talent.

We are looking for people who are willing to grow. A great candidate is looking to grow themselves, their businesses, and their profit for the long term. They want to grow for their family and touch other people’s lives.

One thing that we are proud of at Hamilton & Company is that we are not all about the transaction. We are about servicing other people and creating legendary experiences. If that sounds like something you would like, I would love to talk to you.

At Hamilton & Co., we aren’t just all about the transaction.

This is an opportunity for any experience level— whether you are brand new to the business and want to be a part of a great team or you’ve been in the business awhile and love the idea of specializing. One of the things that we are great at is creating specialists in every area of real estate, so if you’re interested in this opportunity, share this video and give us a call.

If you have any questions or you’re looking to buy or sell a home, give us a call. We would love to talk to you!

Can You Trust Zillow’s Zestimates?

Can you trust Zillow’s Zestimate? I would say no, as would the Illinois homeowner who recently sued Zillow over their inaccurate Zestimate.

Looking to buy a Greenville home? Click here to search all local homes on the MLS.
Looking to sell your Greenville home? Click here to use our home evaluation tool.

I recently appeared on “Your Carolina with Jack & Megan” to discuss one of the most popular real estate websites in the nation: Zillow.

Zillow has a tool called a Zestimate, which they use to give homeowners and buyers alike an estimation of a home’s value.

If you want to put your home on the market, be cautious when looking at your Zestimate. We want to make sure that it matches up with what you think your home is really worth. Again, this is an estimate, not a full appraisal.

In fact, there is a lawsuit in Illinois right now against Zillow. A woman has sued Zillow claiming that their Zestimate is costing her money, as the Zestimate is $20,000 less than her asking price. She claims that buyers look at her Zestimate and think that her home is worth less than it really is.

This is the first lawsuit of its kind, so we’ll see what happens.

The Zestimate is just an estimate, not a true appraisal.

Zillow cannot give you an accurate home value because they have no way of knowing which updates you have made to your home. The higher price bracket you are in, the more inaccurate Zillow’s Zestimate can be.

Zillow uses public data, such as recent home sales in your neighborhood, to compare your property and come up with a value. However, if you are in a neighborhood with a lot of different kinds of homes, the Zestimate won’t be accurate. Those “comps” are not truly comparable to your property.

Ultimately, it’s important to understand that the Zestimate is not a real market value. Recently, Zillow started allowing homeowners to update inaccurate data on your property, like square footage. Even though you can fix those inaccuracies, Zillow doesn’t guarantee that your Zestimate will change.

Even in a low inventory market like ours, it’s important that you know the market value of your home before you put it on the market. Compared to last year, there are 600 fewer homes on the market, so it’s important that you position your home to sell for the most amount of money possible.

If you have any other questions about Zillow or would like to know more about your home value, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

Dishing Out Some Trivia on “Your Carolina”

Think you know your trivia better than Jack and Megan?
Today is the day to test out your skills.

Looking to buy a Greenville home? Click here to search all local homes on the MLS.
Looking to sell your Greenville home? Click here to use our home evaluation tool.

Today I’m excited to be able to show you my latest appearance on “Your Carolina With Jack and Megan.” This time, I brought along a few trivia questions for the hosts. Do you think you know your trivia better than they do? Read on to test your knowledge.

My first question was “How much did billionaire Warren Buffett pay for the home he currently lives in?” Jack guessed $14 million. Megan guessed $175,000. Can you guess who was closer?

It was Megan. The answer is $31,500. Warren Buffett has lived in the same home in Omaha, Nebraska since 1958.

My second question was “In Scotland, it is traditional for homeowners to paint their door red when?” The answer? When they pay off their mortgage.

The best month and week to sell a
home is the first week in May.

My third question was attributing which famous person said this quote: “Real estate is the best investment in the world because it is the only thing they are not making anymore!” Jack and Megan both guessed President Trump, but it was actually Will Rogers.

My fourth question was a true or false question: “In New York it is a legal requirement for a home seller to disclose if they believe their home is haunted.” They both guessed true...and they were right. In South Carolina, however, this law doesn’t apply.

My fifth and final question is a little more relevant if you’re an active buyer or seller: “Statistically, what month and week is the optimal time to sell a home?”

Jack guessed the weekend of April 3rd, and Megan guessed Easter weekend. They were both close, but the answer is actually the first week of May. According to Zillow, homes listed in the first week of May sold on average 18 days faster and for 1% more money. May has come and gone, but the market is still on fire and if you haven't listed your home yet, you should.

If you have any questions about the buying or selling process, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or shoot me an email. I’d be happy to help you.

How to Craft a Strong Offer When Purchasing a Home

If you’re looking to buy a home in our market, you’ll need to get creative with your approach. I’ll go over how to do that today.

Looking to buy a Greenville home? Click here to search all local homes on the MLS.
Looking to sell your Greenville home? Click here to use our home evaluation tool.

We are in a white-hot seller’s market right now, which is great news for anyone selling their house. Multiple offers mean a higher sale price and a very successful time on the market. However, buyers are having a tough time snagging their dream homes. If you’re a buyer, how can you finally get your offer accepted and move into a new home?

First and foremost, don’t get emotionally attached to a home. Also, make sure you are pre-approved, not just pre-qualified for a loan. Cash offers are always best, but if you need financing, get pre-approved before you submit an offer.

Your first offer needs to be your best offer.

Don’t load up your offer with contingencies either. If you need to sell your house before you purchase a new one, sell it before submitting an offer on a new home. You’ll also want to tailor your offer to the seller’s needs. Find out what closing date works best for them or if they need any flexibility to really make your offer stand out.

If you have a good agent, have them add an escalation clause to your offer. That means you would offer, for example, $500 more than any other offer up to a certain point.

Finally, make sure your best offer is submitted first. Don’t play games!

If you have any other questions about buying a home in our seller’s market or if you have any other questions, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I’m always happy to help.