Tips for Oahu Sellers

Choosing the right best Agent

Deciding on the agent you want to sell your home is the most important decision you will make.  Not all agents possess the same skills (such as use of technology), market knowledge, and not all are Realtors.

Your Real Estate Agent's primary job is to represent your interests above all others, including their own.  A good agent will guide you through the entire selling process, answering your questions and assisting you in hiring the right experts during the transaction. A good agent will work behind the scenes ensuring a stress-free and smooth transaction for both you and the buyer.

Every real estate transaction is unique, requiring careful handling of the sales process.  A good agent should offer you their honest advice in order to represent your best interests, even if it means they may not receive a commission.  Hawaii Sands Realty takes this fiduciary responsibility seriously, not only because its the law, but because we want our clients to be completely satisfied with our level of service and professionalism.  

We start the home selling process by conducting a thorough review of the current market together with an analysis of your home's features in order to determine the most accurate market value.  Although we will recommend a price and marketing strategy, ultimately you, our client, will make the pricing and marketing decisions.

Next, we will take the time to answer your questions and explain the entire process of selling a home in Hawaii.  We will thoroughly review all contracts with you, paying close attention to the important deadlines and decisions you will make during the transaction. To reduce confusion and ensure that you are always updated, we leverage the latest transaction management technology so you are kept informed at each step of the process.  

Your Real Estate Agent Should:

  • Be knowledgable of all state and local laws regarding the sale of real estate.  
  • Be a skilled negotiator with strong inter-personal skills.
  • Have a wide network of qualified experts to advise you as needed.
  • Use modern real estate technology efficiently.
  • Leverage as many local, national, and international marketing channels as possible to expose your property to the widest possible group of potential buyers.
  • Personally represent you and not pass your transaction off to an assistant or associate once the listing agreement is signed.
  • Have a strong educational background with focus on continuing real estate education.

What is your game plan?

Achieving the highest possible price for your property with the least amount of marketing time requires advanced planning that involves:

  • Determining the current market value of your home.
  • Creating a pricing strategy to meet your goals and objectives.  This varies from seller to seller, but if you desire a fast sale because you are relocating or you otherwise need to access your equity then you may want to consider listing slightly below market value to drive more traffic and interest.  This strategy can actually create competition and cause a property to sell for more than if it were placed on the market at a higher price.  However, if you are willing to wait or if its a buyer's market then this strategy may not be best.  You never want to list with an agent that tells you they can get the highest price, especially if that price is significantly more than recent comparable sales. You should consider our island culture...we have a history of pricing our property at market value in Hawaii and potential buyers may not make offers if they feel your price is too high. They would rather not even look at your property in an effort to "save face" and avoid conflict.
  • Preparing your home for sale by making minor repairs, addressing cosmetic issues, and reducing clutter or packing away personal items. 

Customary Marketing Should Involve:

  • Installing a "FOR SALE" sign.  Expect your agent to invest in quality signs that reflect the value of your home.  Their signs should be new, clean, and call attention.  
  • Installing a quality Sentrilock lockbox.  This lockbox system, approved by the Honolulu Board of Realtors, requires agents to use a smart card or mobile phone that records the day, time, and name of agent when they show your property.  This is the type of security you should not only expect but demand from your agent.  
  • Marketing your property online on the Honolulu Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as well as additional channels like Zillow, Trulia, and others.  90% of home buyers start their property search online.
  • Holding Broker's Open & Public Open Houses.
  • Sending out a direct mail post card, also know as door-to-door marketing, to all the surrounding properties.  Research shows that most home buyers look for property in the neighborhood where they are currently renting. 

Transaction Management

Your agent should immediately present and review all purchase offers to you and explain your options such as acceptance, rejection, or countering the offers.  Your agent should use this opportunity to negotiate the best terms and conditions for you, advocating for and putting your interests first. This is the part of a transaction where a skilled and experienced negotiator is most valuable to you.

You should expect your agent to:

  • Negotiate personally rather than leaving it to an assistant or associate in their office.
  • Thoroughly review all terms and conditions, especially your contractual obligations before you sign.
  • Identify any potential issues that could affect your net proceeds.
  • Explain your legal responsibilities for disclosure under state law.
  • Review and explain all the contingencies and how they could affect you.
  • Properly manage the offer process, including back-up offers, if applicable. 

Your real estate agent should deliver professional and objective advice throughout the transaction, however all decisions will be yours alone. 

From Acceptance to Closing

After you have accepted an offer, your real estate agent's primary responsibility is to supervise all the transaction details by:

  • Communicating with all parties in a timely manner.
  • Advise you of your options if any conflicts occur.
  • Monitor all contract deadlines to ensure you are in compliance.
  • Monitor the buyer's loan process, if applicable.
  • Review all closing documents with you.

Once your property has conveyed to the buyer, your Agent will receive a call from the title company advising them of recordation.  Normally you will have already provided the title company with your bank wiring instructions and will receive your proceeds electronically, however if you prefer to receive a check then one will be mailed out to you.  Your agent will then arrange to meet the buyer's agent and deliver the keys.