TOP 10 Priorities to Consider When Selling Your Hawaii Home

The Hawaii Home Seller will need to be aware that there are TOP PRIORITIES for selling your home and  getting the best representation for that job!  It’s not just about marketing your home, selling your home at market value or expecting that everyone else has the same sentiments that you do with your home.

A Home Seller HAS to have an open mind with an abundance of concerns that need to be considered and addressed in the process of Selling Your Hawaii Home. Another thing to consider is that there is just only so much buildable land on Oahu.  The home located on a nice piece of land (say 5,000-10,000 sq/ft) in say Mililani, is worth more than the home itself!

  1. The interior/ land square footage is important. You may have an excellent condition home but 700 sq/ft interior vs. 2,500 interior sq/ft interior is a HUGE difference in under the roof size and will HAVE to be priced right. Same with the land sq/ft. Listen to your Realtor® when they are presenting comparable properties on the market.
  2. The Year Built is important. The year your home was built is a huge difference if it were built in 1920 vs. 2015! Some older homes in Hawaii are single wall construction, have aluminum wiring and the plumbing (if not done previously) will need serious updating. Single wall construction may be harder to get homeowners insurance.
  3. Selling Your Hawaii Home in “As Is” Condition Will Raise Eyebrows. If you have a home that has structural, electrical, plumbing or hazardous issues; not to mention termites.  You’d be better off getting an independent home inspection and making the necessary repairs.
  4. Market Value of Your Home Does Matter! I keep hearing many who insist that appraisers do not use short sales  and foreclosures for comps in their appraisals. Gee, wonder how prices went down in certain neighborhoods compared to others? Then why do appraisers give a summary of “this neighborhood is in a declining market” in their report?
  5. Neighborhoods Do Matter! There are some Oahu neighborhoods that were in severely declining markets with MANY short sales and foreclosures.  Your Realtor® should know your neighborhood and give you sound advice on the housing market in your neighborhood.
  6. Loan programs available do matter!  Most loans may not approve a loan if your home has unpermitted bedrooms, baths or additions. VA loans will not approve a loan for a home that is in disrepair as well.  Just because your home is in a high priced neighborhood does not automatically mean that you can sell it and a loan will be approved if you have serious conditions going on.
  7. Lower inventory may not matter if: You have your home so overpriced that it will not appraise. Our inventory is seriously low in Mililani,  but it does not mean you can overprice by 100k and people will grab it!  You need to be realistic and listen to your Realtor®.
  8. Marketing Your Home Does Matter!  Approximately 90% of all home buying/selling consumers are online looking at the values of Hawaii Homes. Your Realtor® should have an extensive marketing plan geared online for selling your Hawaii Home and also do Open Houses (which by the way do work here) to expose your home to many advertising possibilities.
  9. Allowing for Showings of Your Home DO Matter! If you demand to be there for all showings or only allow showings during certain times you will definitely cut the amount of exposure for your home. Make sure your agent uses electronic lockboxes that register all agents who are showing their clients.
  10. It Does Matters Which Realtor® Represents You!  You may want to interview a few Realtors® to make sure that you will be represented well.  Experience, knowledge, personality, detailed, organized, prompt, keeps you informed, marketing techniques, laws/contracts are just a few of the traits to look for.

You may be relocating, upgrading to a larger home or downgrading because of personal reasons. Whatever your reasons are for Selling Your Hawaii Home these points above are REALLY something to consider. You do want to be a happy and successful Hawaii Home Seller, right?

Putting Up Barriers versus Selling Your Home



No matter where you are our United States of America…. it IS a BUYER’S market. That means buyers can negotiate for a better price, maybe a credit to go towards closing costs. Maybe they just transferred to Hawaii with the military and are staying in a hotel and need to close quickly.

It is NOT a seller’s market like it used to be. If sellers need to sell their home  or condo they need to change with the market in their local area. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it.

It IS a BUYER’S market.

The following points listed should give sellers a clue that it is more of a buyer’s market when listing their home for sale:

  • You are getting fewer showings than you would have two to three years ago.  In fact, it is REAL slow today.  (one showing every couple of days is a far cry from 5-10 a day and four contracts overbidding) As time goes on the showings decrease even more.
  • Your Realtor® showed you comps from six months ago up to the present and the prices have declined a little in that timeframe. (3% for Hawaii)
  • The number of sales declined drastically over the past year because the financial institutions cracked down big time on lending criteria. GOOD!  (had to throw that in) Buyer’s are also being very cautious.
  • Buyers have a BIG inventory of homes and condos to choose from. It’s literally Christmas every day for them!  They can have their pick and most certainly will choose one they do not have to upgrade and all they have to do is…..MOVE IN.

Healthy Boundaries are good for any individual to have but when a seller tries to protect themselves by putting up big barriers (conditions and demands) and burns bridges along the way it becomes a losing battle for not just the seller; but the Realtor® who has invested a lot of time, hard work and effort to market a property. 

This Realtor® spends countless hours to prepare your home for marketing:

  • Research and pull up tax records, building permits and documents pertaining to the property.
  • Prepare the listing agreement & profile sheet and go through all of the contract with you before signing.
  • Prepare the Sellers Real Property Disclosure Statement and answer any questions you may have while you fill it out. (we have a four page detailed itemized questionnaire and it does take time to go through the whole thing and then answer any yes questions in detail on the last page)
  • Creating a specialized flyer and property portfolio to display in your home for potential buyers during regular showings (with their Buyer’s Agent) or during Open Houses. This is no couple of minute job because it can take me up to an hour to get the flyer “just right” and the portfolio up to three hours!
  • Take pictures of your home for the listing sites.
  • Advise you on what you can do to get your home ready for showing (so please don’t take it personal like I’m criticizing your home…I’m doing my job!)
  • Enter the listing into our MLS system and Century 21 site and add photos and make slide shows. (Lots of time)
  • Creating specialized Real Estate Shows and burn them to printable cover cd’s. (this take some time!)
  • Entering your listing on countless sites that I subscribe to and post your photos. (this takes LOTS of time) and enhance your listing on (this takes some more time) 

And this is JUST THE BEGINNING! I set up showing appointments, do Open Houses, refresh and update all the listings I submitted to sites as time goes by, I present all offers to you and advise you on your options. I give you sound advice and remind you of the market conditions and the current comps.  I go through the whole transaction with you, order condo docs, surveys and termite inspections. I accompany you to signing and help you with anything to do with the sale of your home.

The only thing I am unable to do is MAKE someone to buy your home.

There are contingencies in our contract that protect the buyer if they need to back out of the contract. It could be that the buyer lost their job. (they are NO LONGER qualified for a loan) Maybe they didn’t like something they saw in the home inspection. There are contingencies to protect the buyer to NOT buy your home. There are also contingencies to protect the seller but the bottom line is that if the buyer has a valid reason it does not automatically entitle you to their deposit. 

Remember, when you signed that Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement? It specifically states that the “Seller agrees to consider all offers presented by the Brokerage Firm and to act in good faith to sell the property”.

If you REALLY want to sell your home:

  • You make your home appealing to the buyer who is coming in to view your home
  • You allow your Realtor® to do their job and give you their expert advice. You don’t take their suggestions as a personal attack on you but letting the Realtor® do what they are trained to do.
  • You realize that when a Realtor® is working for you it involves giving you advice. Working for you does not mean you are telling the Realtor® to do it YOUR way even though the market, circumstances and comps say otherwise.
  • You don’t assume your home is the best on the market and therefore should be priced as high as the others…… if you did NOT upgrade anything at all.
  • You keep an open mind and allow your Realtor® to go through the CURRENT market conditions and current comparables in your immediate area and trust that they are NOT lying to you.
  • Be willing to negotiate with the buyer to sell your home when it IS a buyer’s market. Maybe you could make demands a couple of years ago but the market has changed in favor of the buyer. There are MANY other homes and condos on the market to choose from.  (this does not mean give it away by all means. But fighting over a couple thousand will cost you more when months down the line your home is still sitting on the market.)
  • That you, the seller, do not hold a Real Estate license and it is advisable to LISTEN to the direction, advice and opinions of your Realtor®.  A seasoned agent KNOWS what they’re talking about and is thinking in your best interests to get you a fair market price and get your home SOLD.

This Realtor® is going to tell you the truth and will NOT tell you just what YOU want to hear.

If you choose not to listen to your  Realtor® it could cost you the sale of your home.



© 2009 Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman, All rights reserved