Sales in Charleston tanked in February at 889 units versus 1179 units in February ’06. 30 Year FRM Interest rates in early February were at a near high for the year at 6.3. They peaked in July at 6.8. Now that they’re down to 6.16, things should loosen up combined with families holding off till the kiddies are out of school to make their move. So Buyers can Buy, Sellers can Sell, and become buyers and so on. Things have been choked up with higher interest rates and expanding inventories. Inventory in Charleston is still in the ridiculous zone. Just insane. 3 times 2005 levels and up depending on price range. Mt. Pleasant still has 14 months of inventory as reported in an earlier LWCSC report with new home sales capturing a large chunk of the market. Much resale inventory is just in too sad of shape to really compete with new, with home sellers being unrealistic about the value of their used home. Too much hope and not enough reality. If you don’t have the money or the time to catch up on your deferred maintenance, chances are the buyers don’t either. So, if the average time on market is 14 months, your home may never sell if it isn’t in top shape.
So, my advice is to take these steps to prepare for the hottest months for writing contracts, April and May.
1) Find a contractor that will let you pay at closing, and get everything the roof, siding, trim and paint in top shape.
2)Use those credit cards or line of credit, replace the carpet, and get your home in top shape.
3)Rent a storage space and pack up your junk, you’re going to be moving anyway. Buyers don’t like seeing all your stuff. If they like your floorplan, they’re going to pick the one that looks most like the sales models. DO IT NOW!
4) If you aren’t going to do 1 and 2, then listen to your agent that’s been telling you to drop your price.
These are guidelines, not hard and fast rules. The point is, it’s time to get serious. It’s no fun keepin your house in perfect order every time you leave the house. Get this over with so you can become someone elses buyer!