Hilton Head Island Buyers Getting Started

Start by making a list of what you like, what you’ll accept, and what you absolutely do not want.

This list, in addition to your price range, will help your agent zero in on a neighborhood and narrow the field of prospective properties. If you can't afford what you want where you want it, sacrifice something inside the house rather than sacrificing the location. You can always add an additional bathroom or install hardwood floors to bring a house up to your standards, but you can't improve the neighborhood single-handedly. You may want to look online first to see if you can afford what you want in a home; you can even begin your online search by clicking on the ‘Multiple Listing Search’ link on the right-hand side of our Home page. (Keep in mind: this is a much broader search; your agent will narrow down that list and provide homes that have just come onto the market.)

After your realtor provides a list of homes based on the criteria that you supply, he or she will then take you on a tour to show you the many properties. You'll quickly find the price range of the homes in the neighborhoods and you can decide if you can afford them. Consider touring as an educational process; it helps bring you up to speed on both what's available in the market and how much you should reasonably expect to pay for it. (This knowledge is vital later on when you want to make an offer.)

At most open houses you will find an information sheet about the house. The most complete info sheets spell out such things as lot and house square footage, room sizes, property taxes, average monthly utility bills, and the ages of appliances and major mechanical systems as well as the number of bedrooms/bathrooms and other basic data. Sellers and their agents also are required by law to warn buyers of 'material' defects in a property that would not be apparent during a routine inspection.

If, at first glance, this looks like a house you'll want to pursue, sketch out floor plans and special features on your first visit; they'll help you envision the house hours or even days later. If you're looking at several homes, these will help you remember which was which.

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