When it comes to buying a Hilton Head Island property, there are many steps to take to be certain you are getting the best property at the best price.  Let’s face it, no matter how good the deal is, if momma does not like it, there is no reason to even go there.  In the present market, eliminating properties is the way to find the one you like.  It’s like weeding a garden, sooner or later you will find the plant you want to keep.  In the following steps we will walk you through buying a property on Hilton Head Island. 

Step 1 – Use a Map of Hilton Head Island to determine suitable locations

The first step is to determine the Hilton Head locationof the property that you will be looking for.  If it is a rental, you will want to stay as close to the beach as your money will afford.  If you are a golfer, boater, tennis player, biker, jogger, kayaker(you got it now) you may want to choose a location that is close to one of these amenities.  One of the best ways to eliminate properties and focus on the ones that may be possibilities is to locate these properties on a map of  Hilton Head Island.  This process of elimination will allow you to focus on the suitable properties based on location.  If you do not have a map of Hilton Head click here.   You can use google earth, bing maps or the Hilton Head MLS link from a specific property can help you determine if the property is a keeper or one to cut bait on.

Step 2 –  Get Pre-Approval by a local Hilton Head Lender

Getting pre-approved by a Hilton Head Lender can often help you find and negotiate a Hilton Head Property.  As well, it will show to you how much money you are saving right now with the current interest rates.  Current Mortgage financing offers many options that were not available in the past including reverse mortgages, all time mortgage lows and even creative programsthat you may not be familiar with.  It is also important to know what you are able to afford so you avoid falling in love with something you can’t qualify to buy. Mortgage pre-approval is also free and there is no obligation for this free consultation.

Step 3 – Schedule a phone interview with your Hilton Head Realtor!

Your Realtor on Hilton Head Island will have access to important information that you will need to review before you ever need to look at a property.  I believe one of the best ways to find a Realtor is to set up an interview by phone after reviewing their credentials and websites.  Once you have established rapport with an agent the list below identifies some of the things your Realtor can provide to you in your preliminary research.

  • Your Realtor can provide a “CLIENT LYNK” that automatically emails properties that match your wish list from the MLS.  This link should be monitored by you and tweaked by the agent to eliminate properties that do not match a certain need or location requirement. 
  • Your Realtor will be able to provide current market knowledge on Hilton Head communities, their respective amenities and the association fees that may be charged. 
  • Your Realtor will be able to send you current comparables near properties that are in consideration.
  • Your Realtor will be able to provide an estimate of expenses in ownership and closing costs
  • Your Realtor will help you narrow down the list of properties that match your present or future needs and save you time
  • Your Realtor has a network that can help you learn the market and the properties faster.
  • Your Realtor will prepare the offer and documents to buy the property
  • Your Realtor will help you schedule inspections, copy the attorneys for closing and get information to your lender

Step 4 – Schedule an office meeting with your Hilton Head Realtor before looking at Real Estate.

There is an old saying in Real Estate “If you don’t plan the hunt, you are just walking in the woods”.  Yesterday, I spoke with an agent that spent 2 days visiting over 40 homes on a sellers spread sheet.  If they would have spent time in the office reviewing maps, specifications and needs they both would have had a better experience.  I have found looking at one or two properties with a purchaser help me understand what they like, what they don’t like, what they need and what they don’t need.  After looking at all of the homes the agent determined that the buyer needed a 4 bedroom which could have been determined in the office discovery period.

Step 5 – Schedule a morning and afternoon session to look at Hilton Head Properties.

During the morning session we will typically only look at 3-5 properties.  The reason for this is that we want to be sure we are looking at the right stuff.  These properties will be from the BEST OF list that we put together in our earlier office meeting.  As we review these we will focus on your needs as they relate to location, size, interior appointments, finishes, views and price points.  From this morning session we will know if we are heading in the right direction or if we need to adjust our search criteria and the properties we see in the afternoon.  Once we find the property that is a keeper, we will than try to beat it with others.  Our suggestion as this market turns is to find 2 qualifiers before bidding on the first. 

Step 6 – Get ready to make an offer in writing. 

Verbal offers are not considered serious and are unenforceable.  When we find the right property the fun part begins.  The written offer may include the following:

  • offer price
  • total down payment amount
  • amount you are financing
  • date when you want to close on the property
  • Sellers Disclosure
  • Possible contingencies including inspection, on site visit(if this is done by phone)

Please note if you are not ready to sign this offer for some reason, let your agent know this.  You should still have them prepare the paperwork for you.  This way when you are ready you have everything ready to go!

Step 6 – Hilton Head Property Inspections

All real estate contacts should have a property inspection contingency clause.  Unless the home buyer waives the clause, they have the right to have a home inspection on the property usually within 10 calendar days.  Home buyers pay for the inspections, and they are welcome to use the inspector of their choice.  This report will be completed and sent to the purchaser.  The purchaser should review the items that are required by the seller including heating/air. appliances, plumbing, electrical or structural repairs.  There are many remedies available to buyers and sellers should a question come up from the report. Contact your Realtor for options should this occur during the inspection process.

Step 7 – Closing on your Hilton Head Property

Your lender and lawyer will determine the closing costs, and they can include:

  • Attorney fee
  • Home inspection
  • Title search
  • Tile insurance
  • Property tax escrow
  • Deed recording fees

Costs will vary depending on the price of the property, but generally estimates are in the 1- 2% range of the purchase price and with financing they can be in the 2-4% range.  A good idea is to ask what the closing costs estimate will be when you get pre-approved for your mortgage, and then you can budget for the closing. You can also ask your lawyer during the attorney review process.

Step 7 – Enjoy Hilton Head and your property

The reason to own property on Hilton Head Island include great weather, time with family, enjoying the outdoors, or something on this long list of things to do.  If ever we can be of service in helping you get more from your Hilton Head Property, please email us at robbie@robbiebunting.com or call us at 800-932-3652.  Happy Hilton Head.