Writing an offer in Charleston's seller market

Charlestons Seller Market

Where can I find a home?  While many agents and companies are offering "free lists" there is no one single way to find a home. In fact these "free lists' are often just worthless.  With our new “Clear Cooperation” rules its actually against our MLS Rules to advertise a coming soon home. Agents who treat this rule risk a $100 day fine. Wow.  Literally, if a home is advertised publicly it must go on the MLS with 24 hours or on Monday before 6PM if its listed on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.  No more signs in the yard a week or 2 before its publicly advertised. 

Get an agent - start here —> Find my Agents

Watch our Blog! I personally and manually go through every single listing as it comes onto the market in an attempt to identify great homes as they are listed for our clients.

Jumping from agent to agent will work against you. While some agents are happy to just open doors an experienced agent will put their head down and proactively find you a home.

How soon will the Seller respond? List Agents have no control over the sellers decision-making process.  They advise their sellers.  Seller may respond in your deadline or they may sit on your offer to see what better offers they can solicit.  This is another good reason to have an experienced agent working for you. They will do the groundwork to get the sellers motivation, desired terms and as I often do ; check the other agents sales history and experience in the business . I know how to push a new agent and other experienced agents know that an offer from Marshall Walker real Estate or my agents means a serious offer that is from a serious buyer. That alone will sway an experienced agent to advise their sellers to accept or negotiate with us.

HINT - Some list agents as a policy as a policy advise sellers do not look at offers until the property has been on the market for 5 to 14 days. In these cases it will be fruitless to add a short expiration. 

Why would a seller do this? It qualifies buyers as serious and takes the “cold feet” offers off the table.  With 5-14 days to view a property a buyer has time to make a great offer with fewer contingencies.  

Will I get a response over the weekend? Maybe - many of the larger teams have no one personally presenting a seller an offer. Office staff usually don't work weekends.  This is another reason to use an experienced agent - If I know I am working with certain agent teams I know I have the weekend to submit.

Multiple Offers.  If there are multiple offers, will the seller typically counter all with “highest and best”? 

Again this all depends on the list agents experience. Many list agents are brand new in the business and have no idea how to handle more than one offer. Our experience will definitely come in handy in a multi offer situation.  

I have personally handled both side of literally hundreds of multiple offer situations. I have tactics that have taken 15 years to hone.  We may still not get the home but you’ll be comfortable knowing you did not give it your best try or maybe more importantly- overpay!!


Are verbal, email or text agreements binding?

  NO! 100% NO.  Once you are informed that your offer is accepted, it is absolutely imperative that all required documentation signed with all changes dated. In fact - you will never be told you have a contract by me or my agents until we have the complete document in our possession. 

 The law states any counter must contain the entire document and each change must be initialed and dates. 

Text acceptance is not enforceable.  Neither is verbal or email.  

It is not a “done deal” until your agent has the seller signed contract back in their hand and has ‘delivered” it to you as the buyer. (by email or hand delivered in a complete document ). 

Just imagine if another aggressive buyer with an educated and experienced buyers agent places a substantially higher offer after your offer has been verbally accepted? Obviously the seller is going to want to take the higher offer. Does this happen. ALL THE TIME. Don't be a loser - hire an experienced agent.

Do not delay in getting your offer to your lender!!!!


HINT - make sure your loan pre approval identifies the property you are purchasing AND has your names spelled the exact same way the contract reads.

 It is extremely important to get all paperwork to your lender ASAP!  If closing does not occur on or before the contracted and accepted closing date you may lose the home to another buyer who has placed a backup offer.  It is imperative to stay on top of your lender and inspections.   


Can I renegotiate after my offer has been accepted? Please be absolutely sure you are ready and willing to go through with the purchase. Do not use inspections as a strategy to lower the contract price - it will not work and will typically alienate the seller.  
Can I throw the seller a "Low Ball" offer? Avoid writing significantly low or questionable offers. We understand your desire to get a “Super Deal”. Unless you can document why the Seller should take significantly less than the asking price it would be foolish to write the offer.


Earnest Money Funds:  You must have earnest funds available in your bank. Be prepared to send these funds the same day on or before the contracted dates of receiving the contract from your Realtor. Any delays in depositing the earnest money can also jeopardize the entire transaction.


Who chooses the closing attorney? — the buyer will choose the attorney on page on of the contract. If you have an experienced agent please take their advice. They know who is currently able to close in a timely fashion.  While it used to be lenders that needed time its know closing attorneys.  Getting title searched done requires a title attractor to physically look at the history of the property. Many RMC offices are still running at limited capacity. Do not choose your family attorney as they will be more expensive.  (Promise) - In fact real estate attorney are highly specialized and will turn your closing into a seamless event. 

Preapproval- PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT PRIOR TO WRITING AN OFFER THAT YOUR LENDER HAS PULLED YOUR CREDIT ,VERIFIED YOUR INCOME (PAY STUBS) AND ASSETS (BANK STATEMENTS) - many lenders are not doing this prior to writing your letter of pre-approval - if your pre-approval letter is subject to credit, income or asset verification it is not worth the paper it is written on. 

If your lender tells you that they don't or won’t do this prior to having a contract in hand you need a new lender - SERIOUSLY- we can recommend several loan officers who are highly experience in purchase financing.




Contingency Periods? You must adhere strictly to the contingency periods or are at risk of having the contract canceled and losing your deposit. This is a business transaction. Please pay attention to these time frames.


Will the Seller accept Contingent Sales? It is highly unlikely that any seller in this market would accept an offer contingent upon the sale of another home.

Again - an experienced agent can help you decide how to move forward - There are now companies that turn your home sale contingency into a cash offer for 1-3% of the purchase price.  Sounds crazy. Not really. If you need to stay in your home and close on a new home this may be a great option.  Ribbon is a good example of a transactional finance company who will work hand in hand with your lender. Check out this link for more info! —-> Ribbon 

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