Whether you’ve tried selling your house on your own before or you’re looking to make your first sale, the process is usually quite complicated and rather exhausting.
Despite that, many homeowners decide to go through that trying process on their own. They argue that that way, they can cash in the house’s full amount instead of sharing it with real estate agents.
However, there is a reason 83% of sellers still readily choose a real estate agent to take care of the process. Are these people just giving up on some money for the sake of their mental peace, or are they actually looking at a greater picture?
Turns out, local Myrtle Beach real estate agents have the answer, and the latter is the case. Here’s how they go through the process.
The Real Estate Scene in Myrtle Beach
First, let’s take a closer look at the Myrtle Beach real estate scene for the past couple of years.
- Myrtle Beach Real Estate in 2020
The median sale price of houses grew by a significant 9.8% in October 2019 to reach $204,000. This growth resulted in positive forecasts for the Myrtle Beach real estate market in 2020, but we all know what happened next. The pandemic swept the globe, and the median sale price fell to $185,000.
However, this fall was only short-lived. The prices kept soaring till they reached an all-time high of $227,000 in November 2020. The year ended at a median price of $210,000 in December 2020.
- Myrtle Beach Real Estate in 2021
2021 started with some hope, where January saw an increase in the median sale price to $215,000, but it soon fell in February 2021 to $199,500. However, the median sale price only went higher from that point forward, reaching another all-time high of $247,000 in December 2021.
Despite that, the market was starting to shift. The number of closed sales was dropping, but it wasn’t due to the lack of interested buyers. It was just that there weren’t any more houses for sale in the market.
- Myrtle Beach Real Estate in 2022
This brings us to the real estate market situation in 2022. The median sale price keeps on rising. Properties for sale get sold within 56 days after being listed, as compared to 97 days in the previous year. However, only 458 were sold in February 2022, compared to the 476 sold in February 2021.
This consistent increase in the median sale price is really curious. Angela Fabbri, the marketing consultant for the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors (CCAR), attributes this rise to the baby boomer generation retiring early due to the pandemic, many of whom have chosen Myrtle Beach as their place of retirement. However, the fact remains that the number of available houses for sale is drastically decreasing.
What Differentiates Myrtle Beach’s Real Estate Agents
There are various reasons sellers choose real estate agents as middlemen in something as momentous as selling their houses. The main reasons sellers rely on real estate agents are the realtors’ ability to find buyers, guide the sale process, and handle contract negotiations.
While these are all important factors, you’ll find them in most real estate agents. They’re not unique attributes to have in this field. What really makes a difference though is how Myrtle Beach’s real estate agents go about the process.
Those realtors are able to tactfully leverage two factors: technology and connections.
The real estate sector has long since recognized the value of modern technology. Despite that, many current real estate agents still follow the old techniques of listing houses in old directories or publishing the listing on random sites until they connect with a buyer.
The real estate agents in Myrtle Beach have long since renounced that tradition and have implemented modern technologies. A perfect application of these technologies is demonstrated by the CCAR MLS website powered by Showcase IDX, which is one of the top tools in the industry. Showcase IDX gives realtors access to various MLS listings created by other brokers, which enables broker reciprocity.
The software also supports commercial data and provides consumer engagement tools. Some of these tools include the following:
- Fully Integrated Map Search
- Portal-Quality Property Search
- Install and Launch Quickly
- SEO That Works
- Stunning Listing Pages
- Lightning Fast Speed
- Capture More High-Quality Leads
- Customizable to Fit With Any Website Design
The best real estate agents use the most advanced technologies for one purpose: building connections. After all, the core of the real estate industry is learning how to connect buyers to sellers, which is all about networking.
Myrtle Beach long since realized the importance of building these connections, so they forewent competing with each other. Instead, they came together to establish South Carolina Realtors, the largest professional trade association in the state. The association embraces more than 16,000 realtors who deal in both commercial and residential real estate industries.
To make it even better, they’ve also joined the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors (CCAR), South Carolina’s Grand Strand’s preeminent realtor association. CCAR provides its members with ongoing educational classes, training programs, local market statistics, monthly updates, and all kinds of information a realtor could possibly need to stay on top of the market’s daily situation.
All of these tools ensure that Myrtle Beach real estate agents have unfiltered access to all the information they need to sell an owner’s property at the best possible price.
How to Choose the Right Real Estate Agent
Finding the right real estate agent is key to maximizing your wealth, but the catch is that it’s no easy feat. There are many steps you’ll need to take first before you can rest assured that your property is in safe hands. Here’s a step-by-step guide for what you need to do:
- Search for Three Real Estate Agents
It’s unfortunate that 77% of home sellers choose the first real estate agent that comes their way. You can’t know if you’ve chosen the right one if you only contact one real estate agent.
You’ll need to research a whole lot of them and then handpick your realtor. For the sake of making it easier, let’s settle on choosing at least three real estate agents.
There are many ways to find real estate agents. The simplest way is to ask friends and close family for personal recommendations. You can also use an online search engine to find local real estate agents or save the mail you get from the local neighborhood agent.
- Research the Three Candidates
The more you research, the greater your chances of finding a quality candidate. But once again, for convenience’s sake, we’ll stick to researching the three candidates you’ve chosen.
There’s nothing easier than researching the candidates online, but the trick is to know the minimum requirements you’re looking for. What you need to gauge are their experience and reviews.
These two factors are crucial because you don’t want to entrust your most valuable asset to an amateur.
When researching the three candidates, be sure to check their years of practical experience, the number of properties they’ve sold, and how recently they were sold. Make sure to check the actual listings of the properties, not just what the agent posts.
Relying on online reviews can be tricky since there’s nothing easier than manipulating or creating fake reviews. You’ll need to somehow unearth the legit reviews left by real unbiased customers.
Most fake or manipulated reviews will have repeated common language. Legit reviews will be left by users who have left multiple reviews on others sites, so just ignore 5-start reviews left by one-timers.
You should also pay attention to negative reviews. They don’t necessarily mean the agent is bad but look closer at how they replied to those reviews and solved (or failed to solve) the issue.
Once you’ve done your research, you can further filter your candidates. It’s better to stay away from those who:
- haven’t been licensed for more than 2 years
- haven’t been actively selling properties for the last 6 to 12 months
- have long been licensed yet only sold less than 10 properties
- Have a lot of negative reviews
- only have 5-star reviews from one-time reviewers.
- Interview the Three Prospects
Next, you’ll interview the candidates who passed your initial filtration.
You want to prepare for the interview like you’d do before hiring new employees. The best way to do that is by asking the right questions.
Here’s a list of the most important questions you should ask:
- Why did you specify the suggested listing price?
- How many houses have you sold in my area?
- How many houses have you sold like mine?
- How many times have you represented both the buyer and seller in the same transaction? (this increases the possibility of them lowering your price for their gain)
- Will you lower your commission?
- Do you have any references from past clients I can contact?
- What’s your marketing plan?
- Evaluate the Candidates
Don’t commit to any agent during the interview phase. Document the results of the interviews and then take your time evaluating the candidates with a clear mind.
During the evaluation, you want to assess their selling experience. Only the ones who sold properties similar to yours, in your area, and within your pricing range will pass.
Beware of those who readily lower their commission. If they can’t argue their worth or protect their financial interests, you can’t trust them to protect yours.
- Compare Each Agent’s Marketing Plan
The marketing plan is arguably the single most important factor in choosing a real estate agent. When done right, marketing will expose your property to the right segment of interested buyers. Compare the marketing plans presented by each candidate. If all your candidates pass your evaluation, then the one with the best marketing plan wins.
At the bare minimum, a marketing plan should include MLS and major syndicate listing, professional pictures and descriptions, open house tours, and signage. Better marketing services will include professional videos, floor plans, custom brochures, steps to improve your property’s value, and staging.
- Cross Off Those with Red Flags
There are certain red flags you just can’t ignore. These red flags indicate a high possibility that the real estate agent lacks integrity.
Unfortunately, recognizing these agents isn’t easy, especially since they’re usually experts at maintaining cover.
However, it’s enough to steer clear of them if they set unrealistic list prices, have a high dual agency rate (which means they represent both the buyer and seller), or try to get you to sign a contract.
- Double-Check with Their References
You shouldn’t choose a candidate just yet. You still need to make sure there are grounds for the reputation they’ve built through their words.
For that, there’s nothing better than to contact their references and ask for their feedback.
Keep in mind there are high chances the agent has already given them a heads-up. So don’t just listen to what they say, pay close attention to how they say it.
Ask them about how trustworthy the agent was, and if they felt assured the agent had their best interests at heart. Listen to whether they reply strongly or hesitate before saying “yes”.
Ask them specific questions, like whether the agent gave helpful tips for selling the house, was responsive and available, and made them feel like their house is on the top of their priorities.
As a bonus tip, do your research on the previous sales before you ask the agent for references. This will give you the chance to see how honest they are, as well as the opportunity to research the references before contacting them.
- Settle on Your Best Match
At this point, you should have all the information you need to make a good decision. You’ve done your research, crossed off those with red flags, and double-checked the references of the remaining candidates. If you still have more than one candidate, then take your pick based on how you feel more comfortable dealing with them.
A lot of people have this misconception that they’ll lose money if they choose a real estate agent to sell their house. However, that’s only limited to amateur realtors who don’t know how to do better. Experienced real estate agents like those in Myrtle Beach have their own means of doing business. They ensure no one comes out losing.