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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.

2 Qualities to Look for In A Listing Agent



Thanks for joining me today. I frequently get asked what are the most important things to look for when hiring a listing agent. There are two main qualities I think you should focus on.

1. Do they have experience in your neighborhood? You want an agent who has sold homes in your area, who has local knowledge and has access to the MLS.

2. What is their plan? There is so much more to effectively marketing than just listing a home on the MLS and waiting for a buyer. That’s why our team has a booklet to give you that outlines our strategy. Your home is one of your biggest assets and you want to make sure you get a great price for it. We know that, and that’s why we want to share with you how exactly we plan on getting you that price.

If you are thinking about selling, please give us a call. Let’s talk about how we can sell your home. Thanks for watching!

3 Reasons to List During the Holidays



Welcome back to my blog. Every year I get asked the same question, ‘are the holidays a good time to sell?’

Many people think it’s better to wait until after the holidays to put their home on the market, but the truth is the fourth quarter (Oct.-Dec.) is actually one of the better times of year for us.

Why?

1. Buyers are more serious - If buyers are taking the time to look at homes during the chaos of the holidays, you know they are serious about finding and purchasing a home.

2. There is less competition - Because most people think that it is best to list after the first of the year, there are fewer homes on the market. Less competition means more money for you!

3. Buyers are more emotional - Homes look fantastic during the holidays: the lights, decorations, etc. All of this adds an emotional element for buyers.

These are just three reasons why the holidays are a great time to sell. If you’re thinking about selling, give me a call. We can figure out if now is the best time for you.

Greenville Property Taxes



Thanks for joining me today. You should have received a pink envelope in the mail recently; it may look like junk mail but it’s actually your tax bill. Don’t throw it away!

It’s important to look over the information to make sure you aren’t being overcharged. First look at all the owner information, make sure your name and address are correct.

Then take a look at the total tax value. This number should be a little lower than your appraisal value. Make sure that number is in the right range.

Finally, take a look at the ratio. This number will either be 4% or 6%. If you live in your home, that number should be 4%. Make sure this is correct; don’t pay double because of an error.

If you have any questions, or if something doesn’t seem right, give me a call. I can run some numbers and make sure everything matches.

Thanks for watching!

How to Price Your Home Right


Hello, everyone. Welcome back to my video blog!

When you list your home, you have to sell your home three different times.

          1.    Determine the price you want to list your home at.
          2.    Attract a buyer to the home and the price attached to it.
          3.    Get an appraisal value that the buyer’s lender will feel       
                comfortable loaning.

Because of this, pricing is one of the most important elements when selling your home. One of the biggest mistakes sellers make is pricing their property too high.  If your property is priced too high, you turn off buyers and while your home may be on the market, it’s not in the market.

Another thing to keep in mind is that an appraiser looks at homes about six months prior. It’s also important, though, to know what your competition is in the current market. How does your home and price compare to others?

We have found the homes that sell for the most amount of money in the least amount of time are those that have been appraised before they are listed. This way we have a strong benchmark to base our initial price off of.

If you have any questions, please give me call. I’d love to help with any of your real estate needs.

What Can a Seller Do to Get their Home Ready for Sale?



If you are interested in selling your home, click here for our Free Home Value Report!

Right now, while inventory is low, the condition and pricing are very important when selling your home. We are seeing the homes we work with selling in as little as three days and that’s because of the work we do beforehand. We have a stager who will help you; we also have a professional photographer with a wide-angle lens to make every room look big and spacious. Even though there are fewer homes on the market, buyers are still picky.

If you have any other questions about getting your home ready for sale, please give me a call!

Greenville, SC Summer 2013 Market Update



What’s happening in our current real estate market?

The biggest thing we are seeing right now is a more robust market in terms of more buyers out there looking, while at the same time having a decrease in inventory. Several years ago at this same time of year there were almost 9,000 homes on the market, now we have nothing like that!

How do you think rising interest rates will affect our market?

Interest rates have increased significantly. I read that last week was the largest single week long increase in more than 20 years. This is making home affordability higher than what it was even just two weeks ago! These increasing rates are reducing your buying power.

Why Listening to Your Agent Saves Time and Money



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If you want to sell your home faster than your competition, it’s a good idea to take your real estate agent’s advice. Almost half of the sellers who listed their home at what the agent recommended sold their house for more money and twice as fast as the competition. It may be tempting to price your home high, but you may just be making your neighbor’s home that’s more reasonably priced look like a great deal.

My Greenville Home Radio Show; What To Inspect When You Inspect



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Every week, on Saturday from 11am to 12 noon we reach out to the community on our radio show hosted on 94.5 Conservative Talk. We bring important discussions into the mix, introduce you to industry experts plus share valuable tips and knowledge to help you in all your home buying and selling endeavors.

This week, our topic was home inspections and we were fortunate to have Eric Knight of Knight Property Services speak to us about this all-important aspect of buying a home. We went through some of the most frequently asked questions that usually come up about home inspections, including things like the cost of a typical inspection, what items are evaluated, which items are not included plus how to find a good inspector. We also took listener questions.

If you would like to listen to the program, click on the link below. And be sure to tune in every week where we will be bringing you more valuable topics in the coming weeks and months ahead. If there are topics that you would like us to cover, please feel free to email me at dhamilton@kw.com or call directly 864-527-7685.

As always, we look forward to helping you with your real estate needs. Our team of experts with many combined years of experience will be sure to make your real estate journey an enjoyable and successful one!

Link to radio program:

If you’d like to schedule an appointment with Eric or seek more information, he can be reached at 864-360-5082.

How the Fiscal Cliff Impacted the Real Estate Industry and Greenville SC



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At long last, a deal was reached with the Fiscal Cliff situation in Washington. But as a real estate agent, one of my concerns is how does it impact my clients and the real estate industry overall? Particularly in terms of capital gains taxes and other taxation issues, the Fiscal Cliff deal has created some changes for the better in the real estate industry. Here are some major points to keep in mind that will indeed have an impact on how you make your real estate decisions in 2013 and beyond.

Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Extended Through 2013
One of the most beneficial programs set up to help boost the housing industry and help homeowners with underwater mortgages has been the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act. With the latest discussions, through the end of the current year homeowners that face short sales are still able to write off forgiven debt as opposed to being taxed on what is considered taxable income.

Tax Deductions for Mortgage Insurance Premiums Still In Place
Borrowers that pay expensive mortgage insurance premium can still deduct that annual amount when they file their taxes. Had this conclusion not been reached while Congress was settling all issues at hand, homeowners with less than 78% equity would be taxed on the PMI payments made every month. This has been extended through 2013 and is retroactive for 2012.

Energy Efficiency Tax Credits Available to Homeowners
Energy efficient homes continue to create tax benefits for homeowners choosing to install approved home improvements in their existing homes. The tax benefit is a credit of 10% (up to $500).

No Change in Previous Capital Gains Tax Rates
As it was in the previous year, capital gains rate will remain at 15% for individuals making $400,000 and households earning $450,000. After that, the tax rate is 20%. There are no changes to the tax exclusion for the sale of a single-family home for gains of $250,000 for individual and $500,000 for couples.

Estate Tax Guidelines Allow For Additional Leniency
The first $5M in individual estates and the first $10M in family estates are now exempt from estate taxes. After that, the tax rate is 40%. 
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We hope this update will assist you in making informed decisions in your real estate endeavors. As always, we invite you to contact us for any of your real estate needs, whether buying, selling or investing in a property.