It’s like riding on a roller coaster, but the kind that can leave you emotionally drained rather than energized and excited. Buying a home in the Greenville Market can mean that dozens of potential buyers are looking for a new listing, a higher-than-list sale price, a seamless appraisal process, and the very real prospect of start all over if a deal fails. It’s a thrill ride, okay – with fewer seats than people trying to get on it.
In this environment, upstate real estate agents play the roles of lawyer, strategist, cheerleader, and psychologist. In a competitive market with low housing stock and many potential buyers, an agent who can help clients manage their expectations is almost as important as one who can ultimately close the deal.
âAs a real estate agent for almost 20 years and licensed in three states, I have had the opportunity to share the real estate buying experience on many levels. My best advice is patience and determination, âsaid Kelly Kommel of Wilson Associates Real Estate. âAs real estate agents, we use many tools to get offers accepted while protecting our buyers. I don’t water down the process and set appropriate expectations from the start. My goal is for my buyers to hear the truth, so there aren’t any nasty surprises when they hire me.
The process can be particularly upsetting for out-of-town buyers who may not be prepared for the competitive Greenville real estate market. Greenville County has added more than 70,000 new residents over the past decade, largely due to the region’s booming industrial sector and enviable quality of life. Even more new residents flooded the area in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, seeking a location away from major urban centers with good climate and plenty of options for outdoor activities.
Allen Tate Realtors‘ Robby Brady uses a combination of Zoom, FaceTime and video sharing software to set expectations for outside customers before they move out. âWe let them know that the market is very strong and that homes are moving fast,â Brady said. âWe encourage them to work with a lender to get pre-approved for a loan to help them differentiate themselves from buyers who are pre-qualified for a loan. As an experienced agent, we let them know that we have tips on how to navigate this market and that we have helped many buyers succeed in a multiple offer situation.
Multiple offers, low days on the market
As tight as the Greenville market is, there is good news for buyers: The area’s inventory shortage is not as acute as it has been in recent months. According to May data from the Greater Greenville Association of Realtors, inventories were down 23.2% from the same month a year ago. While still a deficit, it is also an improvement from April, when inventories were down 47.6% year-on-year, and March, when inventories were down. down 50.3%.
The May figures represent the region’s smallest inventory shortfall since June 2020, when the market was down 21.2% year-on-year. And the 2,697 homes listed for sale in May were the highest monthly number in the region since 2,801 homes were put on the market in October 2020.
But Greenville buyers still face hurdles. The list price percentage received in May was 100.8, according to GGAR, the highest number in at least the past 12 months. Over the past year, the average is 99%. The average sale price of $ 328,568 in May was a jump of $ 22,000 from April and an astronomical jump of $ 63,498 from the average sale price in May 2020.
All of this translates into selling prices consistently exceeding the list price, sellers receiving multiple offers, and a process in which it is important to be strategic and control emotions. âIt can be a challenge to manage buyer expectations, but it’s a big part of our job in any market,â Brady said. âWe are strategizing with the buyer to help them make the best possible offer while reminding them that they are not under contract until we receive a contract signed by the seller’s agent. “
The average number of days in the market for a residential listing in May was 31, according to GGAR, the lowest number in over a year and well below the 49-day average in May 2020. But even that number the most recent can be misleading because many new listings can attract dozens of deals in a single day and be on the market within a week. This means that agents almost always have to help clients cope with the disappointment of losing a home.
âIt’s not meant to be,â Kommel said. âAs clichÃ© as it sounds, it’s 100% the truth. There will be a house out there that caters even more to their needs for them to get it. I can’t tell you how many times I ‘ve heard that in my career.
Neither too low nor too high
For potential buyers in the Greenville market, creating the right offer is crucial. Go too low and they risk offending the seller, not to mention being noticeably out of whack among the other offers. But even offers above the list price can be risky, as the offer must ultimately satisfy not only the seller, but also the financial institution that underwent the mortgage used to purchase the home.
Because in Greenville, getting a house under contract is only half the battle. Appraisals can become a nerve-racking business, as so many selling prices are way above the list price. If the bank issuing the mortgage does not agree that the home is worth the amount, a buyer may be left at square one. The financial goal that many buyers must meet – one that exceeds the list price, but not too much – is narrow, and the advice of an agent is essential.
âIn a competitive market, buyers who bid well above the asking price can set the contract price above the price of recent sales in the area. So we’re seeing low ratings, âBrady said. “An experienced agent can help guide the buyer to avoid the valuation problem, or resolve it if the valuation drops below the contract price.”
For buyers, holding the keys to a new home in Greenville may depend on finding an agent who knows not only the market, but also the trends and tactics that are proven to work. âExperienced agents can make it all easy,â Kommel said, âbut behind the scenes we work tirelessly around the clock and make sacrifices for our clients because we choose to.â
And along the way, they also play a bit of the role of a psychologist, setting realistic expectations and helping navigate the emotional ups and downs of buying a home in the Greenville market. âExperience and training are very important to agents in any market, but especially in today’s market,â Brady
added. âDefining expectations and helping a buyer position their offer in the best way will help them win the auction. “