Lake Charleston homes for sale


For Memorial Day…The Pledge of Allegiance


Thank You to all of the veterans who have served, sacrificed and protected our freedom…


Don’t “sell your listing” when trying to sell your home

All recent indicators point to it being a strong sellers market…super low inventory, historically low interest rates, lot’s of cash on the sidelines too. It is the strongest sellers market I have seen since 2005.

But…be careful when pricing your home for sale lest you may miss this selling opportunity. It is always tempting to hire the agent that tells you the highest price. Unscrupulous agents are well aware of this typical seller tendency and often try to take advantage of it as follows:

Case in point: Earlier this year I met with a prospective seller to interview for the job of assisting them with the sale of their home. All went well EXCEPT for the portion of our meeting where we discussed the most likely selling price range. These sellers were of the opinion that their home would sell for about 20% more than my assessment. Shortly thereafter, their home showed up on the market with another well-known local franchise agent/team at the price they told me they thought it was worth. Now, not to be an “I told you so”…but after 3 price reductions and 5 months on the market, their home sold $8,000 below where I recommended it be priced initially. Buyers quickly become very astute in determining a homes value…there is sooo much information readily available that you’re not going to fool anyone into overpaying. And if you do,  then you have to convince the buyers appraiser of the higher value too!

What is your home really worth?

In a way, that's a trick question. What your home is worth to you, considering the new paint and the children's park across the street, could be very different from what the home is worth to a couple who doesn’t like your taste in color schemes and whose kids are grown. So before you put a price tag on your home, read this:

CMA (comparative/competitive market analysis) : an objective point of view

Your home's "fair market value" is the price a buyer agrees to pay and you agree to accept. All homes ultimately sell at this price.

Instead of using subjective measures, the housing market uses a "Comparative Market Analysis" or CMA. It's the most important factor in determining what your home's fair market value is. A CMA compares your home to comparable homes, or "comps," in your neighborhood that are presently on the market, currently under contract and that have sold recently. Adjustments are made to account for differences in location, size, condition, upgrades, etc...

For $300 or so you can also pay for a professional appraisal of your home to get a state certified appraisers opinion of your home's fair market value.

When Your Realtor Suggests a High Selling Price, Beware!

Meeting With Realtors

· You’ve decided to sell your home and have a fairly good idea of what you think it is worth. Being a sensible home seller, you schedule appointments with a few local agents who’ve been mailing you cards. Each Realtor comes prepared with a "Competitive Market Analysis" and they each recommend a price.

· One of the Realtors has come up with a price that is lower than you expected and although they back up their recommendations with recent sales and current market data, you remain convinced your house is worth more.

· When you interview the next agent, they are much more in line with your own hoped-for value, or maybe even higher. Suddenly, you are a happy and excited home seller, already counting the money.

price reduction

A Dangerous Sales Practice Called "Buying a Listing"

· If you’re like many people who don’t buy or sell a lot of homes, you pick Realtor number two. This is an agent who seems willing to listen to your input and work with you. This is an agent that cares about putting the most money in your pocket. This is an agent that really sees the value in your home.

· The truth is that you may have just met an agent engaging in a questionable and all too common sales practice called "buying a listing."  He "bought" the listing by suggesting you might be able to get a higher sales price than the other agent recommended. Most likely, he is quite doubtful that your home will actually sell at that price. The intention from the beginning is to eventually talk you into lowering the price to where he knows it should be. (Or it could be that the agent is NOT being underhanded but that they are just new/inexperienced or plainly not very good).

Why do some agents "buy" listings this way? There are 3 reasons:

· The first one being that the agent realizes that you have to sell and they will eventually get you to reduce your asking price to where it should have been initially, even though it may be $10,000, $20,000, $50,000 or even $100,000 less then they told you they could get you on the day you signed up!

· The second one is so that they can do a neighborhood mailing and in that way get another listing “priced correctly” that they believe they have a chance of selling.

· The third reason is that they hope to get a buyer to call off of your sign or ad and that buyer will purchase some other (properly priced) house and the agent eventually gets a paycheck that way.

A seller who choose an agent based on which estimate is highest is the ultimate loser.

Selecting an agent by essentially “auctioning” your listing is a sure way to waste your time and miss out on a real buyer for your home.

Conclusion: Choose your agent based on honesty, reputation, ethics, experience, competence and marketing, and don't chase after those tossing around pie-in-the-sky numbers.

As always, thanks for reading,

Steve Jackson: 561.602.1258


Interesting Perspective

A guy whose videos I get a few times a week recently did a short video with an interesting perspective on the current market conditions.


Thanks for reading…Steve Jackson



Making Moving Easier for Children

From a great parenting blog, Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting, that I read whenever I can, comes this post on kids and moving

Making Moving Easier for ChildrenTransitions are hard on everyone, and when the whole family is affected such as in a big move to a new home, parents often get so caught up in the logistics of the move and their own stresses that helping their children cope with the move can get lost in the chaos. Here are a few things you can do to ease the transition for your little people without adding more stress to yourself:

  1. With small children, it can be tempting to build up the move beforehand to make it seem like an exciting adventure, but over excitement can be just as stressful and overwhelming to small children (and big ones!) as anxiety can be. Instead, try to keep things as low-key as possible. Wait until it’s close to time to actually start packing before discussing the move with your little one, and then use simple, age-appropriate language to tell them that you are all moving together (emphasize together so there’s no misunderstanding!) to a new house.
  2. Show them pictures of the new house, the new yard, their new room, the kitchen, bathroom, living room, etc. Ask them where they’d like to put their bed and draw it on the picture with a marker. Do the same with their toy box, toothbrush, high chair, sandbox, and anything they ask about to reassure them that their things are coming along on the move and to begin to familiarize them with their new space. Give them a marker and another set of pictures of the new house to draw on so they can begin to make it their own.
  3. Put boxes in their room a few days before the move and let them begin to pack their own things in their own time. You can go back and repack the boxes when they’re asleep or playing elsewhere if needed. Giving them some control over the move will help tremendously with their feelings of being taken away from their familiar home.
  4. Keep a few familiar toys out for the actual move to help your little one see that their things are coming with them. If possible, let them help with loading the boxes from their room onto the truck, too. Knowing that their toys and clothes and bed are coming with them on the move is very comforting.
  5. Pack a travel bag with new toys and activities and healthy, familiar snacks for moving day. The novelty of the new toys will help them to travel more happily, and the familiar snacks will keep their tummies settled and hunger at bay making for a calmer trip for all.
  6. At the new house, unpack your little one’s things first if at all possible so that they can see for themselves that they made the trip and can begin settling in right away. Take the time to play with them, too. It’s amazing how a few minutes of playing together can settle a small child when they’re stressed!
  7. Don’t be surprised if your little one is clingy and whiney for a few days after the move. After unpacking their things, don’t try to rush to unpack everything else all at once. Give your child all of the time and attention they need to help ease the transition for them.
  8. Nighttime can be the hardest for children in a new home, so be prepared for lots of cuddling and possibly a night visitor in your bed for a while. Being there for your little one at night is as important as being there for them in the day!
  9. Involve them in unpacking and putting away everything from kitchen utensils to books to linens to clothes. Children are very tactile, and actually touching all of the places and putting familiar things from their old home away in the new home can help them to begin to feel at home themselves.
  10. Stick to familiar routines such as bedtime, naptime, etc. But don’t be rigid about schedules. Your little one has been through a huge change and needs extra attention and understanding from their source of comfort and security…you!
  11. Introduce new things like playgroups, pediatricians, babysitters, churches, etc. slowly, spread out over as long a period of time as possible. The move itself is overwhelming enough in its newness without adding in a ton of other unfamiliar things right away.
  12. Find some things near your new home that are familiar to your little one from your previous home such as a chain grocery store, toy store, restaurant, etc. Seeing and visiting familiar places is vastly reassuring for small children because they can see for themselves that you can still buy them food and other necessities even though you’ve moved.

Giving your child the reassurance that some things will remain the same even when so many things have changed helps to stabilize and assure them that their needs will still be met and life will still go on in many of the same patterns and routines they are used to. Remaining calm and available for your little one, even in the midst of your own stresses over the move, is key. But take care of yourself, too. Change is hard on everyone, so cut yourself some slack and don’t try to do everything at once. Remember, slow and steady wins the race!


Thanks for reading…Steve Jackson…561.602.1258

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