The summer residential market tends to swoon in July and August, but don't blame it on school starting back.

Slumping sales usually result from greater Charleston's famously hot weather and families fitting in vacation trips, says Terry Haas, Realtor on Daniel Island for Century 21 Properties Plus.

But deals shot up in later spring as families relocated to the Lowcountry in anticipation for the school year. On the home buying side, "The real bump came in June, getting everybody settled," Haas says.

Areas that saw home sales pick up as a result of the parents moving here with their children were Daniel Island, the Clements Ferry Road sector and Mount Pleasant. She credited gains from Daniel Island north in Berkeley County on the opening of the popular Philip Simmons schools this past year. "We are really amping up," she says.

The summer real estate doldrums shouldn't last long.

"Right now, the last few weeks, it's a slowdown. (But) it will pick right back up." She says local sellers should be ready is the fall season as activity rebounds. "If you want to get your house in the market, now is the perfect time to do staging, preventative maintenance, landscaping," Haas says.

Choosing schools in the Charleston area can be a key issue for new and established families.

Charleston County School District describes itself as the second largest in South Carolina with 80 schools and 45,000 students. Between Berkeley, Dorchester 2 and Dorchester 4 districts, there are another 80 campuses. Another close to two dozen private schools dot the metro area.

Education has become such a critical matter that online sites such as www.niche.com come up with grades for schools nationwide, including in the Lowcountry.

Writer Lew Sichelman says more than half of all home buyers with children under 18 years of age rate the quality of the local school district as a major factor influencing their choice of a neighborhood, according to the latest "Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers" from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

He offers tips on how to find homes near desired schools, including start with your builder, go online and check out web sites such as greatschools.org, education.com, schooldigger.com, projectappleseed.org and neighborhoodscout.com.

"By weighing these important considerations, you can find a home close to a school that will be ideal for your kids," says Sichelman, a nationally syndicated housing and real estate columnist.

In the Charleston area, August turned out to be strong month at least for buyers in 2017 even with the twin drags of sweltering weather and vacations. The 1,710 closed sales were up slightly in August 2017 from the month before and remained the highest monthly total until March 2018, according to the latest figures for Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

Homes stayed on the market last August an average 51 days, the quickest turnaround until May. And the $245,000 median sales price was down close to $14,000 from a month earlier and has stayed the lowest midpoint value since then.

Haas says the local school districts, offering everything from magnet campuses to new well-received K-12 complexes, play a role in the area' expanding real estate market.

"If people will be patient, I feel really good about our schools. You've got to have buyers who see the light at the end of the tunnel," Haas says.

For more information and photos, go to www.postandcourier.com/business/real_estate/jim-parker.

Reach Jim Parker at 843-937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.