FAQ About Selling For Sale By Owner Charleston

What is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?
The MLS (multiple listing service) is a computerized list of the homes for sale listed with licensed Realtor® (s). In the Charleston area, this includes Charleston, Colleton, Berkeley and Dorchester Counties.  Only Licensed Agents are granted the complete information that is available on the MLS, but potential buyers can access the MLS as a way to gain public information to find a house in a particular price range or area.

What is Syndication? We take the listing information about your home's features and distribute it to the busiest national real estate websites. A great example of an online marketplace powerhouse is Realtor.com, which generates huge traffic for listings daily. In addition to Realtor.com, your listing is automatically fed to dozens of other popular online real estate partners.

How Many Months Is My Contract?  Your home will be on the MLS for up to one year.  Your Listing Agreement with Charleston Flat Fee Real Estate may be terminated by you at any time.

Do you charge a monthly maintenance fee?   No.  The $399 you pay for our online, MLS FSBO marketing service covers the entire year.

What is included in my listing package?  Included in our For Sale By Owner Charleston listing service, along with your property's description, you get up to 24 photos on the Charleston SC MLS (which you provide), you are listed on Realtor.com, and your property is syndicated to other major national and local real estate websites, 

Will I be able to Sell By Owner without paying additional fees? Your listing agreement allows you to save the commission IF you procure the buyer and handle the sale By Owner.  You are provided with current real estate contracts to take to an attorney should you have the opportunity to sell your property yourself.  In order to be listed in the Charleston Trident Association Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the SC Real Estate Commission requires you to agree to compensate agents who show your property IF they procure your buyer.  In the Charleston market, 3% is the competitive commission for Buyer's Agents. 

How can you charge such a low Listing Fee?  Sellers who chose the $399 online MLS service are getting huge savings because there is limited service/interaction from our company.  As the seller, you are responsible for photographs, writing your property description, and filling out all paperwork.

Will you come come to my house to evaluate my house and give me staging advice?  I am happy to provide you with information about market conditions in your neighborhood, but the $399 listing fee is affordable because our relationship is handled via phone, email and fax.

How do I access contracts?  In most instances your buyer's agent will present you with an "offer to purchase", aka Agreement to Buy Real Estate, but if you and an unrepresented buyer come to terms, I will provide you with the necessary contracts for you and your buyer.  It is up to you to have them reviewed by an attorney and legally filed.

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Dangers of Overpricing Charleston For Sale By Owner

An overpriced house discourages prospective buyers from making offers since the difference between the asking price and market price becomes substantial.

Agents lose interest in property that is overpriced. They do not spend as much time showing the house as they would if it were priced right.
Overpriced houses fail to attract qualified buyers, or attract "wrong" buyers.
Agents avoid showing overpriced houses in order not to lose credibility with buyers.
Prospects who learn about the house from the sign get turned off if it is overpriced. They do not pursue the matter to even see the house.
Financial institutions and mortgage companies finance only a percentage of the real value of the house. If the house is overpriced, they usually will finance a lower percentage, thus reducing the available financing.
A house that is unrealistically priced fails to get normal advertising response. This reduces the effectiveness of advertising and results in the loss of advertising dollars.
Eventually market interest in the overpriced property completely declines. As this stage is reached, the seller becomes desperate and he begins to feel he would sell at any price.
In the meantime, he or she must bear maintenance and holding costs. The net result is that the seller gets much less than he could have if the house was correctly priced in the first place.

Getting your house in good condition before you sell FSBO can demonstrate pride of ownership and could possibly get you a higher sales price for your home. A home that is visually appealing and in good condition will attract more potential buyers,  particularly those driving down the street. As a Charleston For Sale By Owner you should view your property through an outsider's eyes.

  • Are the lawn and shrubs well maintained?
  • Are there cracks in the foundation or walkways?
  • Are the gutters, chimney and walls in good condition?
  • Are garbage and debris stored out of sight?

Strong curb appeal will lure potential buyers inside, where you have to live up to their expectations. There are a lot of easy improvements you can make to your home's interior without incurring major expenses. A major cleaning is mandatory. Your windows, floors and bathroom tiles should sparkle. Shampoo dirty carpets and clean tubs and showers. Give the interior or exterior a fresh coat of paint.

Next, get all of your mechanical systems serviced by qualified contractors. Service your air conditioning system, clean your furnace, repair plumbing leaks, and correct any electrical switches or outlets that are not working.

Most people buy homes because they have outgrown their existing house or apartment and need more space. You can create more space, even in smaller houses, by eliminating excess furniture and removing unnecessary clutter from the garage, basement, attic and closets.

Before you put your For Sale By Owner Charleston house on the market, arranging for a professional home inspection can provide expert help in the pre-sale process. While buyers will often want their own inspection, you will be far ahead of the game to have an impartial expert check your house beforehand. Inspectors can provide lists of needed repairs and, most importantly, give you an early warning of any potentially major problems that are likely to creep up when a buyer's inspector gets involved.

Remember, cosmetic changes do not have to be expensive. In fact, costly home improvements do not necessarily offer a good return on your investment when you sell. It is attention to the basics - anything that says "this home has been carefully maintained" - that will help you get the price you want!