There are basically three types of homes that fit into this mold.
1. Homes currently listed in MLS, including . (These are homes that any agent has access to. Trust me you do not want every agent in Charleston contacting you every time a home in your area comes on the market or changes price!)
2. Pocket listings. These are homes that an individual agent may know is for sale but the owner has asked that it not be placed in MLS for one reason or another.
3. Homes not currently for sale, until you give an owner the idea, which they may then act upon.
My suggestion would be to find one agent and do the following:
a. Fine tune your wish list. (These neighboorhoods are rather diverse with varying price ranges. Let your agent know what your wants and needs are to better pin point your ultimate home.)
b. Sit with your agent and thoroughly go through all of the properties that meet those expectations that are currently on the market. It's improtant to note that our MLS search tools are far superior to those the public has access to.
c. If you do not see what you want go to plan "B" which would include looking up recently expired and withdrawn listings as well as moitoring all new properties that fit your criteria in those areas. (sometimes in these markets owners just get tired and give up even though they are still interested in selling)
d. Soliciting homes not currently for sale is effective but be prepared for the reaction from the seller that you are expecting to pay more than market.
Jason, I'd be happy to help you with your search. Feel free to visit my web site at http://www.HavilandEstates.net. or call me at 843-327-8986.
I believe Vicky is correct. You could certainly pull addresses from tax records and call or write homeowners on your own to see if they will sell to you. More than likely you will not be taken seriously. Or you could hire a professional to broker the deal.
Opinions vary on Realtors; usually depending on people's experiences with them and/or their preconceived notion of their cost/value. There are knowledgeable, competent, and professional Realtors out there (some, not all) who are well worth the cost (and will most times save you money) - do some research, hire the right one and leave the driving to us.
The Charleston Real Team
Keller-Williams Mount Pleasant
Additionally, I would arm myself with financing prequalification letters or proof of funds. This is true whether you go with a broker or find something yourself. You want to be ready when the seller yells "SHOW ME THE MONEY!"
I found my house on Isle of Palms in this exact way. When I finally found the home for me, the seller was extremely happy he didn't have to deal with people coming in and out of his house and I showed him that I could buy right away. I did it and I would be delighted to help you do it too.
John Kent Spehl
SC Broker In Charge
SC General Contractor
SC Real Estate Appraiser (inactive)
I think that Jim's answer was the best response that I have seen but make sure that if you use a Realtor, that you hire an ABR (Accredited Buyers Agent) and that you choose someone that is very familiar with the area. As you probably know, as a buyer, the services of a Realtor are generally free to you since commissions are paid by the seller. You may also want to make sure that the agent has some knowledge of financing and short sales if you are looking for foreclosed or pre-foreclosure properties. Please feel free to search my website, http://woodsflowers.com for all currently available properties or give me a call if you have any questions. I would be happy to help!
Cheryll Woodes-Flowers, ABR
Keller Williams Realty
I'm ready to work for you.
Carolina One Real Estate