Selling a Home in Charleston

Selling a Home in Charleston

  • Andy Bovender Team
  • 05/2/23

One of the benefits of selling a home in Charleston is that you already know what a great city it is, which makes it easier to market your home. Charleston is rich in history and alive with activity. From its Downtown district with upscale restaurants and shops on cobblestone streets to its famous Battery featuring the pastel mansions of Rainbow Row, Charleston has something to offer everyone, from young professionals to families to retirees. Beautiful parks, museums, art galleries, the SC Aquarium, historical sites, and more provide year-round fun, recreation, and education for residents. Special events like the summer Spoleto Festival bring together the best performances for theater, music, and dance aficionados. It’s no wonder that Charleston is one of the most highly-sought after cities to live in South Carolina.

Are you thinking of putting your home on the market? Here are a few tips to consider when selling a home in Charleston.

Preparing your house to sell

Interviewing real estate agents

Once you’ve decided to sell your home, it’s time to prepare your home for the process. Some homeowners choose to go in alone with a “For Sale By Owner” approach. When selling by owner, you’re forgoing real estate agent commissions. This might feel like you’re saving money, but in the long run, you’re setting yourself up for a lot of headaches and time and money wasted. Direct sales by owner had an average lower sale price of $225,000, while agent-assisted sales had a median of $345,000.

Finding an agent is not hard. Just ask friends, coworkers, or neighbors, and they might have a recommendation for you. If not, an internet search can generate more results than you can sort through. However, the difficult part is ensuring an agent is a right fit for your specific needs. You want an agent who you can work alongside during your home-selling process. Set up interviews with potential agents and prepare a list of questions.

  • How long have they been in the real estate business?
  • Can they provide a portfolio of their sales, including recent transactions?
  • Do they have support staff to handle the wide range of tasks associated with selling a home?
  • What is their commission?
  • How well do they know the area your home is located in?
  • What is their communication style?
Even if the first agent you interview seems perfect, take the time to interview your full list. Your goal is to select the best agent for you.

Determine your home’s value

This is the most critical and complex step of the home-selling process. You’re probably familiar with websites and apps that estimate the value of homes in your area. These tools use algorithms that consider your home’s age, location, size, and market trends in your neighborhood. While their feedback is helpful, remember that they’re simply estimates, and the predicted value may not be accurate.

When determining your home’s value, your agent should investigate recent sales of comparable homes in your area. It’s important not to look at sales more than six months prior, as you want to ensure you’re looking at values that reflect current market trends. A lot can change in the real estate market in half a year!

Your real estate agent will consider numerous factors when calculating your home’s value, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the traffic on your street, nearby attractions, and more. This, combined with their indispensable knowledge and helpful databases, will make it easier to arrive at the best price for yourself and those selling a home in Charleston.

Upgrades to improve your home’s value

Take a critical look at your home’s living spaces. Are there any areas that need updates? Most people overlook the minor blemishes that accumulate in a home over the years. But when selling a home, you must think about how a potential buyer would see these defects. You should take care of any minor wear and tear that reduces the beauty and appeal of your home.

Sometimes there is a need for significant improvements to make your home attractive to buyers. Some improvements are easy and low-cost, such as painting and floor coverings. Other work can be costly, such as bath or kitchen remodeling. The question is whether the cost of the improvement will generate sufficient increased value to offset the expense. Turn to your real estate agent for their professional guidance on these matters. They can recognize when a home may require major repairs and if they’ll make an ROI, or return on investment. Experienced agents also have connections with a network of contractors that do quality, affordable work in a timely manner. Remember that your agent has the same goal as you: to maximize your profit.

Good and bad times to sell

The market is ever-changing, and with it come seasons with greater buyer and seller interest than others. March 2023 saw 23 closed sales in Downtown Charleston, and this is only expected to grow as spring’s peak season is approaching.

While many home buyers are concerned about the current interest rates, it's essential to keep in mind that these "high" mortgage rates are still trending below the historical average of approximately 8%. Many buyers can purchase now and refinance when rates drop again. Charleston still remains a highly sought-after location for homebuyers, with its beautiful climate and range of spacious, gorgeous homes available.

Staging your home and taking photos

Staging sets up your home in creative, appealing ways to captivate potential buyers. Staging focuses on minimizing areas that could detract from your home’s value and accentuating the most enchanting features of your home. Professional staging creates a lived-in look but reduces furniture and design flair so buyers can envision themselves living in the space. Make sure your real estate agent is experienced in staging or has industry connections to Charleston’s top stagers. Your agent may also work with professional photographers who can digitally capture all that your home has to offer.

Selling your home

Listing on the MLS

The MLS, or Multiple Listing Service, is a tool real estate agents use to share property information and connect buyers with sellers. An agent using the MLS has a deeper level of data access than public real estate websites. While it’s possible for individuals to list their own homes through an MLS company for a fee, a professional agent is well-versed in the rules and procedures of an MLS.

Open houses and virtual tours

Open houses are classic ways to introduce potential buyers to your home. Your agent will schedule and advertise a specific time your home will be available to the public. During this time, your agent will be there answering questions, providing details on the features of your home and neighborhood, and gathering contact information from those who express interest in the property.

Go the extra mile and wow buyers with a virtual tour. A 360-degree camera is used to take pictures of your home’s interior and exterior. These images are then joined to give the viewer a better sense of the home’s layout and features. Offering a virtual tour is a great way to open accessibility to buyers who might not be able to view your home in person.

Cash vs. traditional offers

There are benefits to a cash offer on your home. Chief among them is that it’s processed more quickly than a traditional offer and its associated financing considerations. The deal is more likely to be followed through on the buyer’s end, as there is no lender that could decline financing.

Whether the offer is cash or traditional, you should be prepared to negotiate. While books and websites can give tips on negotiating your own home sale, they cannot replace the benefits of being represented by a skilled negotiator. An agent’s bargaining finesse is developed from years of experience, and he or she can tell the difference between really interested parties and those just looking. They can also get a sense of the buyer’s urgency and can tactfully move a buyer from an unreasonable initial offer to a sale price that satisfies you.


You and the buyer can agree on a sale price, but when financing is involved, the lender will want to know the best estimate of the home’s worth if a default on the mortgage occurs. This involves an appraisal by a third-party professional. Your lender will want to see an appraised value close to the sale value.


When you accept an offer, your home will enter escrow. Escrow means the holding of money or documents by a trusted, neutral party until the transaction is finalized. After an offer is accepted by the seller and a contract is signed, the earnest money is set aside in escrow. During this time period, there is a lot of work to complete, including disclosures, inspections, researching the title, and securing the necessary financing. An agent can guide you through this process and keep you informed of any hiccups along the way.

Closing Costs

Closing costs are the expenses related to the real estate transaction and include services such as the appraisal, inspection, attorney fees, and title search. Traditionally, the buyer pays for most of the closing costs. Sellers generally cover the cost of the real estate commissions for both their agent and the buyer’s agent. Sellers, depending on the nature of the housing market, may occasionally make concessions and offer to cover more of the closing costs.

Throughout the home-selling process, from deciding to sell to closing the deal, it’s essential to have a trusted real estate agent by your side. An experienced agent knows the ins and outs of selling a home and will help ensure everything goes smoothly and efficiently. If you’re considering selling a home in Charleston, reach out to the Andy Bovender Team. They have proven experience selling homes, know the Charleston area well, and will work hard to get you the best possible value for your home.

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