Myrtle Beach Real Estate Q&A with Greg Sisson
As we get more and more questions about Myrtle Beach real estate, we are reaching out to local real estate agents to help you get the information you need about relocating to Myrtle Beach. This time we reached out to a well-known local expert, Greg Sisson.
The son of a real estate agent, Sisson grew up in Myrtle Beach and lived and worked in Maui, Los Angeles, and Lake Tahoe before returning to Myrtle Beach to start his own firm.
He specializes in single-family homes, condominiums, and residential lots, and has sold more than 100 properties each of the past five years.;
Check out GregSisson.com for more info.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you could give someone who’s considering relocating to Myrtle Beach?
A: If you can, come to Myrtle Beach and rent for a few weeks or stay for a few weekends to give yourself some time to really check out all the area has to offer. There is such a variety in scenery and lifestyle from Little River all the way to Pawleys Island. Interview experienced local real estate agents who know the area and hire one who can help you get your goals accomplished.
Q: What are a few things prospective homebuyers should know before beginning their search in Myrtle Beach?
A: Do your homework. Know what you want and also what you can afford. Get with a local lender. Many people make the mistake of thinking their hometown lender can provide the same financing options and/or knowledge of the coastal Real Estate and specialized properties here in the area. Ask for a referral for a reliable, responsive local lender so you do not set yourself up for failure.
Q: What would you tell a prospective homebuyer who is on the fence about buying an existing home or starting new construction?
A: Know your timeline and your budget. Building usually takes 6-9 months, sometimes longer. Make a list of your pros and cons. Sometimes in purchasing an existing house, you can get upgrades you couldn't necessarily afford in a new construction. Make sure you thoroughly vet your builder candidates and always get a home inspection with a new house. Just because a property is new does not mean it is built well.
Q: What advice would you give to someone looking for foreclosures and short sales in Myrtle Beach?
A: The percentages of foreclosures/short-sales have gone down dramatically from about a third of the inventory to around 5% now, so there is less to choose from. There is nothing short about a short sale. If you're on a time crunch, a short sale is not for you. The process can generally take 90 days or more. The foreclosures are not priced as well as they were a few years ago. Most foreclosures are being sold close to market value but are sold ‘as is’. You may find more value from a traditional home purchase where you can negotiate repairs and/or upgrades with the seller.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you could give to someone selling his or her home in the Myrtle Beach area?
A: Interview multiple agents. Get their track records. Don't just take the agent who will tell you what you want to hear. Find one who will be honest with you and tell you what your home is worth in today's market.
Here are 10 questions to ask an agent interviewing for the position of selling your home.
1. What is your list/price/sale ratio for the last 60 days?
2. What is your average number of days on the market in the last 90 days?
3. What is the absorption rate of home like yours in our area?
4. Of the listings that you didn't sell last year, why didn't they sell?
5. What percentage of deals did you represent buyer vs. seller?
6. How many homes did you sell last year?
7. Can you give me a list of 10 clients that I can call?
8. Do you do any other type of work other than real estate?
9. How many people do you speak to each day about that real estate business?
10. Can you show me a copy of your daily schedule?
Q: What should we expect for the future in terms of the Myrtle Beach real estate market?
A: Interest rates are at all time lows right now, right around 4%. They are going to go up eventually, although we don't know by how much or when. In the Grand Strand, interest rates play a big role in what people can purchase in our area. If interest rates rise by even 1%, it will slow down sales. However, any rate under 5% is a great rate for purchasing a home.
Many buyers in the Myrtle Beach market want a brand new home, so we are seeing a lot of new construction in our market. The land has been scooped up at great prices and we expect new home sales to trend higher than they did in 2014, when 45% of home sales were newly built homes. As for condos, we still have not seen the high-rises go up, just a few projects here and there. We don't anticipate any new condo buildings on a large scale because we still have a lot of inventory on hand.
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