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Results. A Guide to Selling Your Lowcountry Property

Collins Group Realty 1~800~823~7516 路 1~843~341~6300

Thank you for considering the professional services of Collins Group Realty! We greatly appreciate having the opportunity to serve your Lowcountry real estate goals. Throughout the marketing and selling process, it will always remain our collective goal to assist you every step of the way. From the moment of first introduction until well after closing on your property, you will be served by several different members of our Team, each understanding that there is no more important business than the business you have provided us. If at anytime during the process, you have any questions, comments or concerns, please be sure to let us know immediately. We pride ourselves on outstanding communication, and we want to ensure your 100% satisfaction with our services. Thank you again for this opportunity. You will be in great hands and we look forward to successful results in working together! Sincerely,

Chip Collins Broker-in-Charge and Owner 843-384-0671

On Hilton Head Island: 852 William Hilton Parkway Suite 200 Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29938 Phone: (843) 341-6300 E-mail: Toll Free: (800) 823-7516

In Greater Bluffton: 14 Westbury Park Way 101 The Professional Center Bluffton, South Carolina 29910 Phone: (843) 837-6700

Table of Contents Our Mission Collins Group Realty The Team Concept Chip Collins Meet The Team A Decade of Award-Winning Service Testimonials Pricing Your Property What Determines Value What Does Not Determine Value The Dangers of Overpricing How Will You Know if Your Home is Priced Correctly? Preparing Your Home To Sell Perception vs. Reality 89 Ways To Make Your Home Sell Faster Proactive Marketing Campaign It Takes More Than Just An Ad The Increasing Prevalence of the Internet Multi-Media Marketing The Closing Process Countdown to Closing The Home and Termite Inspections Taxes Approximate Closing Costs and Fees Helpful Contacts and Preferred Service Providers

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Our Mission It is our goal, each and every day, to provide an always unparalleled level of service to our real estate clients by pulling together the experience, skills, talents and resources of professionals who enjoy their business and who genuinely care about the interest and real estate objectives of those who employ our services.


Collins Group Realty

The Team Concept A lot of real estate agents are generalists - they try to do it all themselves, from listing homes to showing properties to taking photos and scheduling inspections. Then there’s the marketing campaign, troubleshooting, and your need for personalized attention. Needless to say, no single agent has the time to do all of these things well. And why should you settle for anything but the best? Collins Group Realty’s unique team approach to real estate means that every aspect of your sale is conducted thoroughly and systematically. Each of our professionals specialize in individual facets of the selling process, ensuring the smoothest process possible. And, unlike many other real estate offices, whenever you call you’ll find knowledgeable experts who can answer your questions and address your concerns. When real estate specialists team up, you come out the winner! Read more to find out about our one-of-a-kind approach to selling real estate….


Collins Group Realty

Chip Collins The broker-in-charge and owner of Collins Group Realty, Chip Collins followed the popular Ohio-toHilton-Head route in 1992 just a year out of Denison University. Spending 4 years in villa/association property management, Chip got his bearings in the real estate market and secured his Broker’s license in 1996 spending the next 6 years as a top-producing agent in the marketplace with Sea Pines Real Estate Co. In 2002, Chip launched his own independent real estate brokerage firm originally named Mayer Collins Real Estate Team and now Collins Group Realty. Well into it’s seventh year in business, CGR continues to be a top- 5 producing group in the Hilton Head Island/Bluffton/Daufuskie marketplace. While involved in every aspect of CGR, Chip’s dayto-day focus rests primarily on seller-clients, representing them in the marketing and advertising process as well as negotiating the sale of their properties. Chip takes great pride in providing personalized service, prompt communications, insightful advice, and on-target marketing for his listing clients - which results in over 98% of clients rating his service as "Excellent." The unique and powerful structure of Collins Group Realty, as a whole, simply establishes an unmatched experience in selling real estate in the Lowcountry. There are no games or gimmicks - just focused attention on the client's goals and best-interests. We tell our clients up-front what to expect from us...and then we set out to do it. Plain and simple. Service the way it was intended to be! Chip, along with his wife Carrie and daughters Martha Preston and Sallie, lives in Sea Pines Plantation and enjoys boating, crabbing, bike rides, the beach and running marathons.


Collins Group Realty

Meet The Team Collins Group Realty has consistently been among the top ten real estate firms in the Hilton Head Island marketplace since its inception in 1997.

These are the experts that make it possible...

Andrea Albright, Serena Crisan, Ann Eden, and Joan Weaver - Hilton Head Buyer Specialists. Focus primarily on Hilton Head Island buyer-clients, representing them in the search, negotiations and closing on the purchase of their properties. Carl Girth and Bill Weis - Bluffton Specialists. Focus primarily on Bluffton based buyer and seller clients, representing them in the marketing, advertising, search, negotiations and closing on their properties. Carrie Collins - Client Care Coordinator. Responsible for overseeing our “client for life� program, including client appreciation parties, client gifts, special events and much more. Kent Collins - Business Development Manager. Provides management consulting and statistical analysis to help promote growth and market share for the team. Gail Bonnett - Closings Manager. Provides complete support and assistance with all pending contracts from point of execution through successful closing and heads-up our client-appreciation plan. Kimberly King - Listings Manager. Provides complete support and assistance to the Broker in the processing and marketing of properties listed for sale. Ollie Wingfield - Office Manager. Provides overall office support while establishing a central connection to each of our team members and team clients.


Collins Group Realty

A Decade of Award-Winning Service 2009


 Distinguished Sales Award  Realtor Service Award

 Distinguished Sales Award  Realtor Service Award



 Hilton Head Association of Realtors President’s Cup Award  Realtor Service Award

 Distinguished Sales Award  Realtor Service Award



 Distinguished Sales Award  Realtor Service Award  Top 10 real estate company by overall production

 Distinguished Sales Award  Realtor Service Award



 Distinguished Sales Award  Realtor Service Award

 Distinguished Sales Award  Realtor Service Award



 Distinguished Sales Award  Realtor Service Award

 Distinguished Sales Award  Realtor Service Award



 Distinguished Sales Award  Realtor Service Award

 Distinguished Sales Award  Realtor Service Award

2003  Distinguished Sales Award  Realtor Service Award


Collins Group Realty

Testimonials Choosing a real estate agent is a very personal decision. You need a Realtor who makes you feel comfortable and confident and who makes the selling process as easy and stress-free as possible for you. Here’s what some of our seller-clients had to say about Collins Group Realty... “Working with Collins Group Realty in the sale of our home in Rose Hill was amazing! The team was immediately responsive to our questions and concerns and went out of their way to be sure we were included in every communication. Excellent customer service is a way of life at Collins Group Realty and they are first on our list to recommend to friends and family who are interested in buying or selling a home in the Bluffton/Hilton Head area.” - Walter and Carol Heck “I am a top producing Realtor in the Orlando area, so when it came time to sell my home in Sea Pines I interviewed four separate top producers on Hilton Head. From first contact, Chip Collins was more than a professional - he was enthusiastic about helping me sell my home for top dollar. His marketing plan, his daily and weekly communications to me about showing feedback and so much more were first class. His enthusiasm and energy were what I expected from a rookie salesman, not a seasoned professional. I would gladly recommend Chip Collins and his team to anyone.” - Paul McGarigal “My first ever flawless real estate transaction - way to go Collins Group Realty!” - George Terlizzi “In the current market it is important to have a real estate team that is calm, cool and collected, Chip and his team kept up aware of market changes, comparables and feedback. Chip has an exceptional demeanor and kept us focused on crossing the finish line. The team was innovative and aggressive in their approach to marketing our home. Great job!” - Tom and Patty Trobaugh “You sold our villa in one day. How much better could it be?” - Ken and Sheila Boyce “Property listed - property sold. Questions?” - Tony Wynn “We had a very good experience selling our home with Collins Group Realty. Chip was always professional, friendly and calm during what can be a stressful time. During the listing process we were kept abreast of the developments in the changing market and were able to stay competitive because of it. The team then handled our closing details with the expertise that we needed since we were not there to deal with things ourselves. We would recommend Collins Group Realty to anyone considering buying or selling on Hilton Head.” - Patrick and Ann Price “Collins Group Realty got my business because they were positive and upbeat while the other Realtors could only suggest big price cuts. That positive creativity continued through the process until and after the property sold.” - Tom McDonald


Pricing Your Property

Pricing Your Property What Determines Value The three factors to consider when determining the value of your home are location, condition and pricing...and they are all related.  Location. Your home’s location and setting influences its value. A home inside a quiet subdivision sells for more than the identical home on a busy street. Remote areas typically sell for less than closed-in areas. Views, lagoons and trees usually enhance value. You obviously have no control over location.  Condition. New homes enjoy a marketing edge over resale homes because they are shiny and clean. Builders enhance their appeal by offering model homes (clean, bright, decorated in current colors) for buyers to examine. Your goal is to make your home as close to a model as possible while being sensitive to costs. You have control over condition and you can increase value and decrease marketing time by having your property be in the best possible condition.  Pricing. If a stock is trading between 104 and 108, it does no good to insist on 112. Likewise, your home must be priced within the appropriate range. You must actually “sell” your home twice: to a buyer and to an appraiser. The buyer is more subjective and compares amenities you offer to what other sellers in the same price range offer. The appraiser is more objective and compares age, size, and cost identifiable features in your home against other properties that have sold.


Pricing Your Property

What Does NOT Determine Value Simply put, the current market value of your property is determined by the selling prices of similar homes in your area.  The price you paid for the property originally. The majority of homes and villas sell for market value, which is constantly changing and may not support your original purchase price at the time you choose or need to sell.  Your desire to recoup the cost of home improvements. Make improvements for your own enjoyment, not with the idea of passing their full cost along to future buyers. Potential buyers will evaluate your home and may include the cost to remove or replace in their offer.  Your desire to recoup the cost of maintenance-related repairs. The purpose of maintenance is to preserve a home’s value, not to create value. The cost of maintenance cannot be added to the market price of your home.  Your need for money. The current value of your property is dictated by the market, not by your need to make a profit.  How much it would cost to build your home today. The bottom line is, you cannot sell your home for more than buyers are willing to pay. A replacement value is determined for insurance purposes only.  How attached you are to your home. Any attachment you feel will not be shared by the buyer. Sentimental value does not correlate with a higher selling price. Prudent buyers purchase based on their emotions, not yours.  Your neighbor’s opinion. Don’t listen to what your neighbors tell you is the fair market value of your property. Other homes in your neighborhood may not be a similar as you think. Also, keep in mind that the terms accepted by both the buyer and the seller will greatly affect the sales price.


Pricing Your Property

The Dangers of Overpricing It may be tempting to price high at the outset to try to beat the market. However, the soundest strategy is to price your home correctly from the start. Here are a few of the pitfalls of overpricing a property...  You’ll help sell the competition. Most buyers are competitive shoppers. Buyers shop and compare properties. They are looking for the home or villa with the most amenities at the best price.  Your home will stay on the market an inordinate amount of time. Did you know that 80% of potential buyers see your house in the first four to six weeks after it comes on the market? If you don’t sell them, it takes approximately three months to replace them with an equal number of newcomers.  You’ll lose market interest and qualified buyers. Serious buyers use the value, quality and price of similar properties as deciding factors. The higher your home is priced, the fewer qualified prospects you will attract. Instead of making offers on your home, these prospects will be out viewing others that they perceive to fall within their price range. By overpricing, you are actually helping to sell other, more competitively priced homes. You are highlighting their value at your own expense.  A negative impression is created. Even after you lower the price, prospective buyers may be wary, wondering why your home has been on the market so long. A house takes on a reputation surprisingly fast and potential buyers may believe that something is wrong with the property.  You may have to accept less money. Studies show that the longer a house is on the market the greater the discount off the list price. Often a seller will accept less than fair market value in order to sell because of an approaching deadline.  There is a potential for appraisal problems. A disparity between your asking price and your home’s appraisal value can quickly become a deal-breaker. The appraiser from your buyer’s lending institution must be able to justify the asking price. If the property’s appraised value is lower than your asking price, the loan may not be approved.


Pricing Your Property

How Will You Know If Your Home Is Priced Correctly? Of course, we’ll do everything we can to sell your home quickly, at the best price and with no hassles. Unfortunately, the one thing we can’t control or change is the market. Keep in mind that your home may be priced correctly today and overpriced tomorrow as the market fluctuates. The true value of any property from a selling standpoint will be determined by the buyer. To help gauge whether you’re in the ballpark, put your list price to the test with these “levels of seriousness”…

The “Maybe This Seller Isn’t Serious” Level Indicators: No showings and no offers. Agents and potential buyers are not even interested in seeing your home as they believe they can get more for their money elsewhere. The list price of your home is probably off by more than 12%.

The “It’s OK...But I Think I’ll Keep Looking” Level Indicators: Your home has been shown between ten to twelve times and you have had no offers or you’ve had just a few showings. Potential buyers may believe that they can get more house for their money and are willing to keep looking. The list price of your home is probably off between 4% and 12%.

The “This Is It” Level Indicators: An abundance of showings, second showings and offers in the first four to six weeks of the listing. Potential buyers believe that your home is one of the nicest homes and best values on the market. Your price supports their belief that your house might be their next home.


Preparing Your Home

Preparing Your Home To Sell Perception is stronger than reality! The typical home buyer will always try to inflate in their mind the anticipated cost of any home repair. This translates into deductions off of what the buyer is willing to offer on your home. As a result, it is only prudent to spend the reality repair dollars ahead of time instead of negotiating perception repair dollars at the time of an offer. Keep in mind that a well maintained home will always retain and earn its value in the market.

Home Repair Item

Seller’s Reality

Buyer’s Perception

Stained Roof

Roof needs to be cleaned

Roof needs to be replaced

Dirty Carpet

Carpet needs to be cleaned

Carpet needs to be replaced

Exterior Mold/Mildew

House needs to be cleaned

House needs to be repainted

Old Leak Stains in Ceiling

Stain needs to be painted

Roof needs to be replaced

Minor Wood Rot

Minor carpentry work needed

Termite infestation

Fogged Glass

Simple glass replacement

Cheap construction

Scuffed/Marked Wall

Touch up painting needed

Whole house needs repainting

Old Worn Appliances

Small investment to replace

Seller does not care about property


Preparing Your Home

89 Ways To Make Your Home Sell Faster Open the draperies, pull up the blinds and let in the sunlight. 2. Create a positive mood. Turn on all lights, day or night. 3. Install high wattage light bulbs for even more illumination 4. Remove all clutter from your rooms to make them seem larger. 5. Create a feeling of spaciousness in any way you can. 6. If you have a fireplace, highlight it in your decorating scheme. 7. Keep your home dusted and vacuumed. 8. Have an emergency game plan to prepare your house for a last-minute showing. 9. If possible, air out your home half an hour before each showing. 10. Lightly mist your house with air freshener and let it diffuse before the buyer arrives. 11. Microwave a small dish of vanilla twenty minutes before showing, then place the dish in an out of the way spot in the kitchen. 12. Decorate your bedroom to give it the feel of a master suite. 13. Create the feeling of a spacious entryway by using decorative accents such as mirrors and rugs. Remove all clutter. 14. Make sure all beds are made and all linens and draperies are fresh and clean. 15. Organize your closets. Remove unnecessary items and put them in storage. 16. Bathrooms should always be kept spotlessly clean. 17. Don’t leave towels around. Wipe down the shower after each use. 18. Recaulk your tile if the caulk is not sparkling white. 19. Put out fresh towels and decorative soaps for showings. 20. Set the scene by setting the table. This throws the spotlight on your lovely dining room or eatin kitchen. 21. The kitchen should always be kept spotlessly clean. 22. Expand your counterspace by removing small appliances. 23. Shampoo all carpets and vacuum them before showings. 24. If you can’t get the carpet completely clean, replace it. 25. Improve traffic flow and increase visual space by removing unnecessary furniture, knick-knacks, toys, etc. 26. Leave enough personal items out to avoid creating a sterile-looking environment 27. Remove all grease from range hoods, stove tops, walls, etc. 28. Clear rubbish out of the fireplace and keep it clean in the winter. 1.


Preparing Your Home

29. Put away your family photos until the house is in contract. This will make it easier for prospective buyers to envision themselves in your space. 30. Remove all unnecessary items from the attic, garage, and other storage areas 31. Rent storage for these items, or have a yard sale. 32. Fix the front doorbell. 33. Invest in a new doormat. 34. Make sure that all your doors work properly. Repair or replace them if necessary. 35. Do a spring cleaning no matter what time of year it is. Clean everything, from the attic to the basement. 36. Wash all windows, inside and out. 37. Clean all light bulbs, light fixtures, and chandeliers to brighten your home. 38. Remove all unpleasant odors caused by smoke, pets, etc. 39. Remove posters and adhesive from walls and doors. Putty all nail holes and any other holes in the walls. 40. Depersonalize your teenagers’ rooms and decorate them in a more neutral manner. 41. Clean or paint the garage walls and floor. 42. Paint all interior walls with neutral colors. Ask us for recommendations! Use two or more coats to cover bold, bright or dark colors. 43. All walls should be painted, not just washed. This will brighten the rooms and make them look bigger. 44. Repair or replace broken banisters and handrails. 45. Repair or replace loose, dangling or outdated wallpaper. 46. If the property shows any sign of water damage or structural damage, it may be necessary to obtain a structural engineer’s report. 47. Replace all toilet bowls if you cannot get them spotlessly clean. 48. Replace shower curtains and keep them clean. 49. Replace the washers in faucets and remove the rust stains from basins. 50. Water and prune all plants. 51. Use plants in entryways, etc. to create a transition between indoors and out. 52. Get rid of dying plants or keep them out of sight. 53. Remove extraneous extension cords and exposed wires. 54. Open doors to all other areas you want buyers to see, such as walk-in closets, pantries, etc. 55. Close all other cabinet and room doors. 56. If you have an attic, make the most of it. Air it out and add decorations if possible. 57. Add visual appeal to stairways. 58. Keep your yard mowed, raked, fertilized and watered at all times. 59. Remove all toys, bikes, tools and unsightly items from the yard. 60. Trees and shrubs should be trimmed and pruned. 61. Lawns and gardens should be weeded at all times. 62. Use flowering plants to dress up the yard, walkways and patio. 63. Keep hoses and garden equipment out of the sight. 64. Outdoor furniture should be cleaned and repaired if necessary.


Preparing Your Home

65. Stack firewood neatly and out of sight. 66. Evaluate your mailbox with a critical eye. Paint, repair or replace if necessary. 67. Make all necessary minor repairs to the exterior of your home. 68. Porches, steps, verandas, balconies, and other extensions of the house should be uncluttered, swept and in good condition. 69. Paint all entrance doors. 70. Shades and awnings should be in good condition. Replace them if their color has faded. Remove all windsocks. 71. Create an outside living/dining area with furniture and plants. 72. Highlight your pool area, water garden, etc. using lighting, benches, planters and flowering plants. 73. For buyers who visit during the day, provide nighttime photos of your decorative yard lighting systems. 74. If you are planning to sell your home later in the season, take pictures of your flowering mature landscaping now. 75. Display these photos in your home for the buyer to see. 76. Clean and polish all accessories such as doorknobs, door knockers, lamps and address numbers. 77. Clean, repair, and paint all gutters and down spouts. 78. Secure or replace all roof shingles or tiles. If the roof leaks, fix it. 79. Make sure the garage door opens easily. Fix and paint it if necessary. 80. Paint the chimney and replace broken bricks or stones. 81. Painting your home’s exterior can really make the difference between “turning on” a buyer and raising concern about the condition of your home. 82. Do a pre-inspection of your home. 83. Do a pre-appraisal of your home. 84. Arrive at an equitable asking price with the help of an appraisal. 85. Don’t be afraid to accept the first offer. The first offer is often your best offer. 86. Obtain a floorplan of your home if possible. 87. Assemble house records for the buyer’s review. 88. Consider only written offers from lender pre-qualified buyers. 89. Enlist the services of a professional marketing team such as Collins Group Realty to market your home online, in trade magazines and newspapers and with signs (if allowed by your association)


Proactive Marketing Campaign

Proactive Marketing Campaign It Takes More Than Just An Ad Contrary to popular belief, selling a home requires more than a well placed ad in the local newspaper. Marketing a home successfully to buyers and agents takes effort, responsiveness, and above all, strategy. The campaign we create for you will be multifaceted and tailored to your specific needs. Just like no two properties are the same, no two marketing campaigns are alike. At Collins Group Realty, we take a proactive approach to marketing. We reach out to potential buyers and other agents through a variety of media to give your home maximum exposure. Whether it’s print ads, web listings or a one-of-a-kind strategy, we’ll get the word out to the widest possible audience. And as feedback comes in from other agents and prospective buyers, we’ll refocus our message to ensure that you get results.


Proactive Marketing Campaign

The Increasing Prevalence of the Internet Did you know that one third of buyers first found the home they purchased online and that nearly 90% of home buyers use the Internet to search for property? How about that the number of potential buyers utilizing the Internet as a search tool has increased by almost 25% in just the last five years? At Collins Group Realty, we’re on top of this rising trend with a newly redesigned website to better showcase our listings and a powerful online network.


Hours. The average number of hours the typical buyer spends online looking at properties.


Pages. The number of pages, on average, that visitors to our website view per visit.


Thousand. The number of unique visitors to our website each month.


Collins Group Realty Online Partner Network

AOL Real Estate Real Estate

*Statistics courtesy of the National Association of Realtors 2008 Home Buyers & Seller Survey 18

Proactive Marketing Campaign

Multi-Media Marketing Online... Our comprehensive online marketing campaign puts your listings in front of the majority of the buying public through the Hilton Head Multiple Listing Service, our website, and our online partner network. Within 72 hours of your property being listed for sale, an agent-specific email will be sent to all licensed Realtors in the Hilton Head Island/Bluffton marketplace, with the sole intention of drawing their intention to your newly listed property. If a price adjustment is ultimately necessary, rest assured that an additional e-blast will be sent to our Realtor database to keep agents in the loop on the latest development. In addition, shortly after listing you’ll receive a “Friends and Family” electronic flyer designed specifically for you to forward to friends, family and business associates to help announce that your property is for sale, if you so choose. A customized property video featuring your property will appear on our blog, Facebook Page, YouTube and MLS. A virtual tour of your home will also be featured on MLS and our website as well as Craigs List.

Direct Mail... Custom designed postcards announcing your property’s arrival on the market are mailed within a week of the list date to your neighborhood and other comparably priced areas, recognizing that people who already enjoy and appreciate the same neighborhood often generate strong buyer prospects.

In-Home... Full color, four page property brochures featuring attractive photos, a comprehensive description, floorplan, location map, cost of operations summary, community information and much more are designed to showcase your property and keep it in the forefront of buyers’ minds after a showing. A supply of miniature compact discs featuring the virtual tour of your home will also be provided.

Drive-By... If allowed by the town and your property owner’s association, both a “For Sale” sign and a brochure box will placed in a conspicuous location in your yard to capture the attention of drive-by traffic.


The Closing Process

The Closing Process Congratulations! An offer has been made and the terms accepted. You are just steps away from finalizing the sale of your Lowcountry property. The closing process can seem overwhelming, and as you probably remember from when you purchased your property, South Carolina closings are unique. At Collins Group Realty, our goal is to ensure the smoothest, most stress-free process possible. Rest assured that, as you have come to expect, no detail will be overlooked.


The Closing Process

Countdown to Closing Between the time the contract is signed and the actual closing numerous steps must be taken to ensure success….

Immediately Collins Group Realty will forward the fully executed contract to the attorney of your choosing and will also be in close contact with you to negotiate the buyer’s repair requests. Keep in mind that the home inspector and appraiser will need access to the property and we will work with you to schedule a convenient time if you occupy the property. In the meantime, your attorney will schedule the termite inspection and coordinate the closing date and time. They will also obtain necessary information from you regarding the deed, mortgage payoff, property owner’s association and/or regime, etc.

1 to 3 Weeks Before Collins Group Realty will monitor the progress of the contract and coordinate with your attorney to ensure that the closing is on schedule. At this point we will work with you to ensure all agreed -upon repairs have been completed and that all receipts for work have been sent to your attorney for payment at closing. We will also confirm that the buyer’s final walkthrough has been scheduled. About one week prior to closing, you will need to order the final utility readings. At this point, please arrange for cancellation of any telephone or cable accounts. The transfer of electric and water/sewer accounts is usually handled by your attorney at closing. You will also need to contact your insurance agent to inform them of the upcoming sale of your property.

24 to 48 Hours Before At this point your attorney should contact you to review the preliminary settlement statement and to discuss the amount of your closing costs. Additionally, please confirm any arrangements for the transfer of all keys, garage door openers, etc.

The Day of Closing Unlike many other areas, on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton there is usually no set closing meeting where each party (the buyer, seller, bank, and attorneys) meets, signs the required papers and makes the necessary transfers. Your attorney will require you to sign the closing paperwork prior to the closing - arrangements will be made for you to sign them at his firm or to have them mailed to you.


The Closing Process

The Home Inspection Home inspections are a very important step in the buying process. A home inspection is performed after the property has been placed under contract. The home inspector is an independent person, hired by the buyer, to provide an objective opinion on the overall condition of the property and its components. The contract determines when the home inspection must be completed. This is usually done within the first two weeks of signing the contract. After the home inspection, the contract allows the buyer to ask you to correct any serious conditions. These include conditions you may not have known about prior to the inspection. If the buyer is not satisfied with the condition of the property they may be allowed to exit the contract, although this is generally only in the case of a serious condition, safety or major mechanical problem. Keep in mind, however, that the home inspection addendum is not meant to be an escape clause from the contract because of a change of heart. It is intended to let the buyer know if the home is structurally sound and the primary mechanical systems are in good working order.

The Termite Inspection A CL-100 inspection is required for the sale of every home in the state of South Carolina. Known officially as a SC Wood Infestation Report, a CL-100 is used to report the presence or apparent absence of any wood-destroying creature or their damage. This inspection is always performed by a licensed pest control technician. If the home is built on a crawl space foundation the CL-100 consists of an inspection of the subfloor of the structure and below to the ground and will determine whether there is visible evidence of termite activity and the extent of any damage. The inspection also includes a soil test to determine the moisture content of the crawl area, a moisture reading taken from the wood itself, a check of all plumbing, an examination of any water drainage problem in the crawl space, and signs of wood decay. If a problem does exist, a failed inspection will be issued until the repairs have been made. Upon repair, the technician will determine if the damages have been repaired correctly, and if so, will issue a clear letter and closing may proceed. If the home is built on a slab foundation the CL-100 consists of an inspection of the walls of the structure and below to the slab foundation and will determine whether there is visible evidence of termite activity to base boards, walls, or exterior of the home and the extent of the damage caused by the termites. The inspection also includes a thorough examination of plumbing areas for leaks and any signs of wood decay from baseboard level and below. If a problem does exist, a failed inspection will be issued until the repairs have been made. Upon repair, the technician will determine if the damages have been repaired correctly, and if so, will issue a clear letter and closing may proceed. Please be aware that if repairs are necessary, they will be your financial responsibility.


The Closing Process

Taxes Please be advised that certain Town, County, State and Federal taxes MAY APPLY in the sale of your transaction. Collins Group Realty is a real estate firm, and we are NOT tax specialists NOR do we give tax advice. We recommend that you...  Consult with your CPA and/or tax advisor before entering into any Contract of Sale on your property so that you fully understand and are prepared for any/all possible tax implications  Review the Contract of Sale with your attorney to understand any taxes referenced (or not referenced) in the Contact of Sale and any requirements for mandated tax withholdings at Closing In our experience, the following “taxes” (among others) MAY APPLY in your transaction...  Plantation-Based Transfer Fee – Varies from plantation to plantation as to whether it applies and how much it is – TYPICALLY PAID BY THE PURCHASER, BUT COMPLETELY NEGOTIABLE.  Town of Hilton Head Island Transfer Fee – 1/4 of 1% of the Purchase Price – TYPICALLY PAID BY THE PURCHASER.  Beaufort County Deed Stamps/Transfer Fee - $3.70/$1,000 of the Purchase Price – TYPICALLY PAID BY THE SELLER.  South Carolina Non-Resident Withholding Requirement – a 7% South Carolina gains-tax based upon the seller’s stated gain on the sale of the property which the closing attorney is required to collect/ withhold at Closing Remember: Everyone has their own relationship with the IRS and other taxing authorities, and we must leave determining your personal tax liability up to you!


The Closing Process

Approximate Closing Costs and Fees Attorney’s Fees Lot House, condominium, townhouse, etc. Power of attorney (additional expense per instrument)

$350 $500-$750 $75.00

Termite Inspection Actual cost of the report per pest control company approximately

$175.00 +

Recording Fees Waiver of option to purchase Documentary stamps on Deed (Based on sales price $3.70 per $1,000 of sales price) Satisfaction of existing mortgage Power of Attorney

$10.00 VARIES $5.00 $15.00

Real Estate Marketing Fee Lot Home or Villa

SC Non-resident Withholding

10% of sales price 6% of sales price 7% of Stated Gain at Closing

Please note that some fees are approximate charges and vary by attorney. All prices subject to change.


The Closing Process

Helpful Contacts Chip Collins Owner/Broker-in-Charge 843-341-6300 Kimberly King Listings Manager 843-341-6312 Gail Bonnett Closings Manager 843-341-6313

Hargray Bluffton: 843-757-0411 Hilton Head Island: 843-785-0411 Kinghorn Insurance Bluffton: 843-837-8000 Hilton Head Island: 843-785-2101 Palmetto Electric Bluffton: 843-208-5551 Hilton Head Island: 843-681-5551 South Carolina Electric & Gas All Areas: 843-726-9324

Beaufort/Jasper Water Sewer Authority Bluffton: 843-757-2667

South Island Public Service District Hilton Head Island: 843-785-6224

Coastal Plains Insurance Bluffton: 843-706-3006 Hilton Head Island: 843-785-7773

Time Warner Cable Hilton Head Island: 888-683-1000

Preferred Service Providers Our past clients have been pleased with the services they received from the following firms and we are proud to recommend them for your consideration... Beaufort Glass Co. 843-842-4527

Gochnauer Heating and Air 843-363-9116

Clark & Stevens, P.A. Robert Stevens, Attorney at Law 843-842-3500

Malone’s Helping Hands Joe Malone 843-785-1818

ClearCut Construction Charlie Weaver 843-227-2200

SunTrust Mortgage Matt Webster* 843-342-8006

* Paid Advertiser


Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms Abstract of Title


The summary of the public records relating to the ownership of a particular piece of land. It represents a short legal history of an individual piece of property from the time of the first recorded transfer up to the present.

A person licensed to represent home buyers or sellers for a contracted fee. Brokers manage real estate offices and employ licensed agents to sell properties.

Acceptance Consent to an offer to enter into contract.

Bridge Loan A short term mortgage made until a longer-term loan can be made. It is sometimes used when a person needs money to build or purchase a home before the present one has been sold.

Adjustments/Per Diems Money credited or debited to either/both buyer and seller at closing, including real estate taxes, association fees, rents, etc.

Agency A mutual-consent legal relationship in which a seller or buyer engages a broker-agent in the sale or purchase of property.

Capital Gains The taxable profit derived from the sale of a capital asset. A gain is the difference between the sale price and the basis of the property after making appropriate adjustments for closing costs, repairs, capital improvements, allowable depreciation, etc. Please check with your accountant.

Closing Agent/Realtor® A licensed person who represents the seller (and/or buyer) and who provides market assessment, offers sales or buying strategy, recommends various services and sources important to the seller or buyer, is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and subscribes to the NAR’s strict code of ethics.

The final settlement, where the title is transferred from seller to buyer, accounts are settled, new mortgages are signed and all fees and expenses are dispersed or satisfied.

Closing Costs All fees, taxes, charges, commissions, surveys, lender fees, inspection fees and other costs paid by the buyer and/or seller at the closing.

Appraisal A professional and unbiased written opinion of a property’s value that is based on recent, comparable sales, quality of construction and current condition and style of architecture.

Commission A previously agreed upon percentage of the home’s sale price paid to the listing and selling agents.

Asking Price The price at which a property has been placed on the market.


Glossary of Terms

Comparables (or Comps)


Similar properties in type, size, price, and amenities, that have sold recently, been adjusted and are used for comparison in pricing a new listing and/or in the appraisal report.

A right to use the land of another.

Contingency A condition that must be satisfied before a contract is binding.

Contract A written, legally binding contractual agreement between a buyer and a seller for the purchase of real estate.

Counteroffer An offer made by a buyer or seller in the opposite party. This offer is a response to the asking price or a subsequent adjustment to that price to complete a purchase of sale.

Curb Appeal

Equity The difference between the sale price of a property and the mortgage balance owed on the property.

Escrow Account A third-party account used to retain funds such as the buyer’s earnest money or monies escrowed for repairs.

Foreclosure A legal procedure whereby mortgaged property is seized and sold as payment for a debt in the event of default.

Home Inspection A formal survey of a home’s structure, mechanical systems, and overall condition, generally performed by an inspector or contractor.

A term used by Realtors that encompasses everything a buyer can see from the street that may induce them to look more closely at a property.

Home Warranty


Inspection Contingency

A legal instrument that conveys the title to a property from seller to buyer.

Disclosure Laws State and federal regulations that require sellers to disclose such conditions as whether a house contains lead based paint, polybutelene pipes, or the presence of known defect that would affect the value of the property.

Earnest Money (Escrow Deposit) Money paid by the buyer at the time of an official offer to purchase is submitted to the seller. This payment is meant to demonstrate the good faith of the buyer to complete the purchase. It is applied against the purchase price when the sale is finalized.

A policy available to the buyer or seller as insurance against unanticipated home-repair costs.

A written stipulation, contained in an offer to buy, that causes the sales contract to be predicated upon the findings of a professional home inspector.

Lease Purchase Agreement An agreement in which the buyer makes a deposit for the future purchase of the property with the right to lease the property in the interim.

Lien A legal claim against a property that must be paid when the property is sold.


Glossary of Terms

Listing Agreement

Settlement Statement (HUD Statement)

A contract through which a seller agrees to terms and fees with an agent who will sell the property to a buyer. Officially termed an Exclusive Right to Sell Agreement.

A statement or list providing a complete breakdown of costs involved in finalizing a real estate transaction. This statement is prepared by the buyer’s attorney prior to closing and is reviewed at closing by both the buyer and seller.

Market Price The actual price at which a property is sold.

Market Value The price that is established for a property by existing economic conditions such as property locations, size, etc.

Short Sale A sale of real estate in which the proceeds from the sale fall short of the balance owed on a loan secured by the property sold and the bank or mortgage lender agrees to discount the loan balance due to an economic or financial hardship on the part of the mortgagor.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) A system through which participating brokers agree to share commissions on a predetermined percentage split on the sale of properties listed on the system.

Survey The process by which a parcel of land is measured and its area ascertained. Title companies study the survey to check for encroachments.

Property Disclosure The South Carolina Residential Property Disclosure. Required by the state (see disclosure laws).



Walkthrough Inspection

Proportionate division of expenses based on days or time occupied or used by the seller and/ or buyer.

The final inspection by the buyer, usually in the company of the buyer’s real estate agent, to ensure that all conditions noted in the contract or contingencies have been met. This inspection is most often completed immediately prior to closing and after the seller has vacated the premises.

Real Property Any land and whatever, by nature or artificial annexation, is a part of that land.

A legal document that defines the property, right of ownership and possession.

Referral The recommendation by one agent of a potential buyer and/or seller to another agent.


800-823-7516 www.C ollins G roup R ealty .com

Results. A Guide to Selling Your Lowcountry Property.  

Collins Group Realty's guide to selling your Lowcountry property from pre-listing through closing.

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