I was born into real estate and grew up hearing about real estate all the time. My parents owned a real estate company in Augusta, GA where I grew up. I have been actively selling real estate for about 15 years and have been a real estate investor for about 10 years. I love real estate – it is not only my job but my true passion.
Like many other Americans, during the pandemic my husband and I decided we wanted to own real estate that we could use as well as rent, so we listed a Charleston Single home we own in downtown Charleston. I put the property under contract in less than two weeks, and then actively started looking at real estate in different locations outside my area of expertise.
Initially, my plan was to represent myself. After being in the business for as long as I have, I definitely know how to write a clean contract for a buyer. Recently, I wrote the winning offer in two different multiple offer situations for buyer clients. We found a house we liked and made a very clean cash offer 3% over the list price. To give you an idea of what the current market is like, there were four offers, and we were not the winning contract. Needless to say, we were disappointed.
Market conditions are tough. Inventory is low. Properties were going under contract faster than I could even look at them. I quickly decided that I needed a Realtor working with us in our target area. I needed someone that understood what we wanted, could look at homes on our behalf and even call homeowners to see if they would consider selling. So, the Realtor hired a Realtor and did so happily.
The funny thing is, being a buyer in today’s market was an eye-opening experience. As a Realtor, I have always thought that real estate agents provided value. However, to see the value firsthand as a buyer was truly eye opening. Our Realtor brought us a handful of off-market home options, one of which I fell in love with…and then it happened. I became the quintessential buyer! I was emotionally invested in this one house. We verbally agreed on all the terms, then the sellers increased the price 25%. At this point, I found I had lost sight of our goal. I no longer was just looking for an investment property I could use and rent. My perspective had shifted, and I was looking for the perfect second home with an amazing view that I may rent occasionally.
In the end, we got the deal done at the original verbally agreed-upon price. For many reasons, I could not have closed the deal without my Realtor. Today’s market is so competitive that it reemphasized that you really need a local expert to achieve your goals. Every buyer needs an advocate looking out for their best interest. We were fortunate to find an agent that was able to assist in finding us the perfect house. Real estate is always changing. I am thankful for the buyer experience and will apply what I went through to how I interact and work with my own buyer clients in the future.
–Jane Dowd, 2020 Realtor of Distinction®