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Old 12-23-2017, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Northwest New Jersey
66 posts, read 51,289 times
Reputation: 42

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Hello Everyone,

My wife and I are both going to be 59 next year. We are seriously thinking of retiring to the Summerville Area. We wanted to get a head start on looking for a home next Spring. Our lifestyle is going to be pretty simple. I like the 55+ communities and do not have a problem with an HOA. My question is would it be better to do our research and homework on our own come down see the communities and meet our neighbors and not use a Real Estate Agent. My thoughts are not going with a Realtor (Middle Person) so when we do make our decision we can negotiate directly with the community or developer directly thus possibly saving ourselves some money. We would really appreciate your advice on what you think. Does my idea make any sense? Thank you
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Old 12-23-2017, 01:03 PM
 
1,723 posts, read 1,265,096 times
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A buyer's agent gets paid by the seller, through splitting the commission with the selling agent. If you aren't represented then the selling agent gets the full commission. There's no benefit to the seller by you going it alone. Unless you're experienced buyers with local knowledge and contract familiarity, there's no good reason to not hire an agent. You might be able to negotiate a small price reduction, but I'm not sure that will be worth the extra headaches.
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Old 12-23-2017, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
2,039 posts, read 1,159,730 times
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I would suggest that you find a Realtor down here that will email you Active Listings -- just so you get a feel for this area. By the time you're ready to make the move, you'll know exactly what you're looking for.

A local Realtor can help with a thousand things, like the Home Inspection, Appraisal, Mortgage Lender, Insurance Agent and Termite Bond.

I think you'll find that the 5% is money well spent, in the big scheme of things. And it's not coming out of your pocket.
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Old 12-23-2017, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
2,169 posts, read 2,757,890 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveLoaves View Post
I would suggest that you find a Realtor down here that will email you Active Listings -- just so you get a feel for this area. By the time you're ready to make the move, you'll know exactly what you're looking for.

A local Realtor can help with a thousand things, like the Home Inspection, Appraisal, Mortgage Lender, Insurance Agent and Termite Bond.

I think you'll find that the 5% is money well spent, in the big scheme of things. And it's not coming out of your pocket.
Yes ... this.
Saving money must be calculated to include much more than just the realtor's commission.

In the meanwhile, check out https://www.delwebb.com/homes/south-...cane-bay-12483 and Cresswind Charleston | 55+ Active Adult Community in Charleston, SC .
The more you know, the better financial decision you can make -- with or without a realtor to guide you.
Good luck!
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Old 12-23-2017, 09:25 PM
 
624 posts, read 520,271 times
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I would use a realtor, for sure. Some good advice above.

Now, the elephant in the room: Living in Summerville means living in traffic hell. It is very overcrowded. Just know what you are getting into. I always tell people to rent for a year.
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Old 12-23-2017, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Northwest New Jersey
66 posts, read 51,289 times
Reputation: 42
Default Thank you

I appreciate the advice so far. We will be paying cash for this purchase. Please correct me if I am wrong. I have every intention of retaining an attorney for contract review. My point is if we go to a community like Del Webb or K Hovnanian and so on without an agent wouldn't that give us more negotiating power with no commission involved. As far as insurance and so on I have the impression that these agents usually will recommend there friends therefore me the buyer doesn't always get the best quote for these things. More times then not I do not think these Realtors have your best interest in mind. Your thoughts
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Old 12-24-2017, 05:59 AM
 
Location: Summerville, SC
76 posts, read 44,954 times
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We did the same thing you are doing. After researching WHERE we wanted to retire to, we chose Summerville. We looked at the 55+ communities and realized that even though we are late 50's/early 60's, there were too many "old" people living there. We are also paying cash and chose an all age community and went in there without an agent. We did our own negotiating. The builder was offering a choice of two incentives. We got BOTH of them AND got them to include a screened in patio which was a 15K option. We basically got the commission they would have paid out in the form of options.
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Old 12-25-2017, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Columbia SC
11,626 posts, read 9,883,694 times
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I say when dealing with a developer:

1. They will deal very little on the base price. The deals are in the options. Get every option you want. Do not go cheap on options.
2. They have set aside some commission for those buyers with an agent so if no agent, a few % reduction can be gotten. No need for a real estate agent.
3. Do have a lawyer look over any contracts they want you to sign.
4. If they have a mortgage/insurance partner at least explorer their rates even if not used.
5. If in on the building process, then do hire a home inspector to do casual walk thrus with you. You do not need written reports but note what they say and raise it to the site manager.
6. Make the site manager your new best friend. They appreciate small gifts like a bottle of whiskey, golf balls, etc.
7. You will have good leverage if the developer is still building in the neighborhood as they want all happy plus they have crews onsite.
8. It can be frustrating as workers may not be on site every day. It seems nothing happens for a week or two then bingo, things are finished.

My last two homes were new purchases in small developments and the above is how I handled both transactions.
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Old 12-25-2017, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Columbia SC
11,626 posts, read 9,883,694 times
Reputation: 17069
Quote:
Originally Posted by johngolf View Post
I say when dealing with a developer:

1. They will deal very little on the base price. The deals are in the options. Get every option you want. Do not go cheap on options.
2. They have set aside some commission for those buyers with an agent so if no agent, a few % reduction can be gotten. No need for a real estate agent.
3. Do have a lawyer look over any contracts they want you to sign.
4. If they have a mortgage/insurance partner at least explorer their rates even if not used.
5. If in on the building process, then do hire a home inspector to do casual walk thrus with you. You do not need written reports but note what they say and raise it to the site manager.
6. Make the site manager your new best friend. They appreciate small gifts like a bottle of whiskey, golf balls, etc.
7. You will have good leverage if the developer is still building in the neighborhood as they want all happy plus they have crews onsite.
8. It can be frustrating as workers may not be on site every day. It seems nothing happens for a week or two then bingo, things are finished.

My last two homes were new purchases in small developments and the above is how I handled both transactions.
When I am a seller, I do use an agent to act as a buffer between me and a buyer, especially a PIA buyer. Real Estate chats make many buyers a PIA.
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Old 12-26-2017, 06:58 AM
 
Location: James Island, SC
3,509 posts, read 3,437,873 times
Reputation: 1151
As a Realtor I'd like to chime in. I sometimes encourage people to go it on their own without a Realtor. It's not for everybody and the savings might be less than you think but it's for you to decide what your time and the risk is worth.

I have young (mid-30's) friends who are looking to move back to Charleston after living in San Diego for the last 5 years. While visiting for Thanksgiving recently, he was saying that he felt his Realtor in SD wasn't doing much and he was considering firing him and doing it on his own. He feels Realtors aren't really needed these days. He later emailed me, worried that he had insulted me. This is a clip of our email exchange on that...

Also after leaving my mom's for thanksgiving i hope you didn't take my critique on realtors personally. It was more anecdotal and based on my experience in california. You are better than most and I am not just saying that because you are a friend :-).
__________________________________________________ _________

No worries about my feelings being hurt. I feel much the same way and I do encourage some folks to go forth without a Realtor. However, they have to have certain things together for it to make sense.... An understanding of the market, Good negotiating skills, The ability to understand the paperwork, and the free time which is usually more than expected. I do see it often enough where someone sells their house themselves and pats themselves on the back for saving the Realtor fees, when I'm thinking they should have gotten way more money for the house and saved a lot of effort to boot. Modern technology is definitely making it easier for individuals to buy and sell on their own though. I have extra to bring to the table with my construction knowledge but still I think the days of the Realtor career as we know it are numbered.

It's definitely true that it is easier these days for an individual to buy or sell real estate on their own and I think it will get only easier as we go forward. I think there are less savings than most people think though. Someone mentioned saving 5% earlier in this thread.... the most you're likely to save would be the buyer's agent's commission which is rarely more than 3%. To get that, the seller would have to be willing to give you ALL of the buyer agent's commission which is unlikely because an unrepresented buyer means more work for the seller.

So if you feel you have the necessary skills, knowledge and time needed, then I'd say sure, it can make sense to go it on your own. Just be realistic about how much you're saving and what it will take to do so.

(I'm visiting family in the mountains and forgot my laptop charger so I'm likely out of this conversation for a couple of days)
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