Get ready to sell


The only thing hotter than the Lowcountry in July is the real estate market. 

“It’s funny, but the single most popular word we are hearing everyone use to describe this market is ‘crazy,’” said Chip Collins of Collins Group Reality, which has assisted more than 200 clients in 2021. “No matter how long anyone has been selling or participating in real estate, none of us have ever seen such a strong seller’s market with so few properties available for sale, and it’s happening across the entire country.”

When it comes to getting your house ready, Collins has five top tips:



A clean appearance allows a potential buyer to see the house itself without the distractions of displayed collections, overfilled bookcases, and cluttered countertops. One of the easiest ways to put your “buyer hat” on when evaluating if a space is cluttered is to simply step back and take a photo of the space with your phone, then look at the photo instead of the space. Is your eye drawn to the features of the room, or are you having a hard time seeing past the contents of the room?


Establish a clean and maintained appearance at the front of the property, paying attention to landscaping (for example fresh pine straw/mulch), as well as the house itself. Is the roof stained? Is there any visible mildew on the siding? Are the windows clean?


Collins Group Reality said it coined this phrase to acknowledge that buyers will tend to assume the worst-case scenario and cost when they witness items of concern, such as a stain in the ceiling, rusty/moldy vents or wood rot. It’s better to address these items up front before the buyer gets the opportunity to assume that they are more serious than they really are. 


It’s important not only to properly time when you go on the market (there are strategic times based on availability of competing inventory), but you also need to consider what you’ll do if a buyer emerges straightaway. What will you do if they want to occupy in 30-45 days? What’s the transition plan? What kind of terms can you leverage into the sale contract that can help make this the smoothest and most rewarding sale ever?


Consider a pre-sale home inspection to get a heads up on any issues that might cause an objection, expense or possible delay in the selling process.  

Cathy Olivetti of Olivetti, McCray & Withrow, LLC, said there are some pitfalls to consider when selling your home. 

“Everyone thinks that they can sell their own home. Some people can, and sometimes, especially in this market, a buyer falls into their lap,” Olivetti said. “But generally speaking, you need to list your home with a Realtor. A good Realtor will get you more money for your home, negotiate for you and usher you through the process. They will handle the contract and they will get you through a stressful time.”

Olivetti added, “A good Realtor will also take good photos of the property. Good photos make a difference for the on-line listing. Professional pictures are a must and a small price to pay considering that you are selling a large asset.”

Olivetti said being forthright is best.

“Give your Realtor permission to be candid with you about the price of the property, the presentation and what needs to be done to make it sell for top dollar,” Olivetti said. “Leave for showings, keep the house tidy, and take the pets out of the home when showing.”