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6 Keys to Selecting The Best Real Estate Agent

One of the first steps in buying or selling a home is choosing a competent, reputable Real Estate Agent to represent you. Choose well and the Agent can help make your dreams come true by getting you top dollar for your house, in a timely manner, or by finding your dream home within your budget. […]

One of the first steps in buying or selling a home is choosing a competent, reputable Real Estate Agent to represent you. Choose well and the Agent can help make your dreams come true by getting you top dollar for your house, in a timely manner, or by finding your dream home within your budget. Choose poorly and the experience can be frustrating, drawn out, and in some cases will end in cancelling the relationship and starting over.

How can you choose the right Realtor?

1. The best place to start is by asking friends and family for a referral. Just make sure they aren’t steering you to their friend who just got in the business because they’re trying to help them out. Ask what they liked about them. Make sure they have firsthand experience working with the Realtor they refer.

2. You want to work with someone who specializes in what your selling or buying. If you’re a first time buyer, you should look to work with someone who specializes in first time buyers. That agent will be more likely to take extra time to explain some of the nuances of buying your first home. They can help paint a picture of what you should expect to happen before, during, and after you purchase. The same goes for someone purchasing a luxury property. If you’re buying a high end beach house, you want someone who’s familiar with the high end beach market. They’ll know what to look for, what to expect and if the seller is asking too much for what you’re getting. This applies to seller’s too. You want an agent who is honest and knowledgeable and prices your house right to sell in a timely manner. Otherwise you may be waiting 6 months and still not sell. In both cases a good Realtor can save you tens of thousands with their knowledge of the market.

3. Look up potential agents at the local real estate board. In Charleston it’s the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors (CTAR). You’ll find valuable information such as licenses an agent holds, or if there’s been disciplinary actions and complaints against them. Definitely good information to have before entering into a contract with your agent.

4. A good listener is key. A great Real Estate Agent takes the time to listen to your goals, wants and needs so they can be successful in finding you a special home that satisfies them. Otherwise you’ll be in the car visiting open houses weekend after weekend with no success. Who wants to do that?

5. Check out their website. Online marketing is a big part of buying and selling real estate these days. You want someone who has a good web presence and can efficiently implement web tools to buy or sell your home efficiently.

6. Check with your mortgage professional. A good mortgage professional will have a handful of top agents in the area and will direct you to the ones that specialize in exactly what you need.

Coastlend Mortgage is connected to a select group of the best agents in Charleston and surrounding communities like Mount Pleasant, Daniel Island, Summerville, Johns Island, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island and more. If you would like a referral to one of the best agents in the Low Country, please let us know.

About the Author:
Eddie O’Neill is a mortgage expert with Coastlend Mortgage based in Charleston, SC. He has been a licensed professional since 2004, license # NMLS 251457, and has closed more than 750 home loans in his career. His attention to detail, commitment to quality and competitive lending has earned him the respect and praise from clients and colleagues alike. Please direct any questions to eddie@coastlendmortgage.com or 843-388-5763

Sorry, You Cant Afford That House Anymore.

On February 25, 2014, in Uncategorized, by admin

As interest rates begin to rise buyers in the lose purchasing power. Simply stated, for every 1% interest rates rise, a buyer will lose 10% purchasing power. So with a rate of 4.25% on a 200,000 loan, the payment would be $983/month (that’s amazing on its own). When (not if) interest rates rise to 5.25% […]

As interest rates begin to rise buyers in the lose purchasing power. Simply stated, for every 1% interest rates rise, a buyer will lose 10% purchasing power. So with a rate of 4.25% on a 200,000 loan, the payment would be $983/month (that’s amazing on its own).

When (not if) interest rates rise to 5.25% a buyer would have to have a $180,000 loan to keep nearly the same payment. In this example at 5.25% on a $180,000 loan the payment would be $993/month. So either the buyer will have to increase their down payment by $20,000 or they have to accept a less expensive home to keep the same payment.

Just in the last 6 months we’ve seen rates move from 3.375% to their current levels around 4.375%. So buyers already lost 10% in purchasing power, and the decline is likely to continue through 2014.

Check out the chart below that shows the changes in purchasing power and payments as interest rates rise.
rate-increase-chart

In addition in this rising home price environment the impact is exacerbated because while the purchasing power decreases from higher rates, home prices are increasing. So the home that you qualified for a few months ago may be out of your financial reach today.

Most experts agree that interest rates will be on the rise this year. So if you plan on making the move towards owning your home, why not act now while you get the biggest bang for your buck. It could be the difference of getting your dream house or having to settle for 3rd or 4th choice. Or the difference between buying in a coveted school district or another town that has substandard academics.

It doesn’t matter if you’re purchasing a vacation home in the Charleston area, a first time buyer, or a seasoned investor, now is a great time to buy. Low interest rates combined with low home prices are creating historical opportunities. Plus with as little as 5% down with NO mortgage insurance, it’s very easy to qualify.

About the author:

Eddie O’Neill is a mortgage expert with Coastlend Mortgage based in Charleston, SC. He has been a licensed professional since 2004, license # NMLS 251457, and has closed more than 750 home loans in his career. His attention to detail, commitment to quality and competitive lending has earned him the respect and praise from clients and colleagues alike. Please direct any questions to eddie@coastlendmortgage.com or 843-388-5763

 

Introducing The New FLEX TERM Mortgage

On February 12, 2014, in Uncategorized, by admin

Do you want to refinance but don’t want to start over on another 30 year loan? You no longer have to with or new FLEX mortgage. You can make the loan term whatever you want from 8 years up to 30. For instance if you’ve been paying your 30 year mortgage for 6 years you […]

Do you want to refinance but don’t want to start over on another 30 year loan? You no longer have to with or new FLEX mortgage. You can make the loan term whatever you want from 8 years up to 30. For instance if you’ve been paying your 30 year mortgage for 6 years you could refinance into a lower rate and make the new term for 24 years. This way you’re not starting over and you still get the benefit of paying a lower rate and payment.
FLEX Term
This also works on a purchase. Don’t want a 30 year loan but can’t afford the payment on a 15 year mortgage. Use are FLEX Mortgage to make the term whatever you choose. Maybe a 21 year loan would work better. If you plan on retiring in 18 years. Choose an 18 year term so your mortgage will be paid off just in time for retirement. Coastlend Mortgage is always innovating to bring our clients the best loan products for the needs.