Selling Your Property in Hawaii
Deciding to sell you home is a momentous decision, which sets in motion a chain of events hopefully culminating in selling your home and moving. So the first step in this process should be to understand clearly your motivations, expectations, financial considerations, goals and what you plan to do upon the sale of your home. This first step may seem unnecessary, but it is actually very important. Many people begin the sale process with unrealistic expectations or unclear goals. It then becomes difficult to meet their goals because these goals have never been clearly defined. You must begin to view your house, no longer as your home, but as an investment property that you want to market. Perhaps you should begin this process by removing your personal pictures and mementos. If you would like to get started right away, you may fill out this email form and I will contact you with information about putting your house on the market to achieve maximum results. Seller's Information Form
If you're moving off-Island I can provide you with information about the new community to which you are moving. Working through an extensive international network of qualified agents, I can find just the right local agent who will already start working with you to find the perfect new home for you and your family. Click on Relocation for more information.
When we meet for the first time, I will take a tour of your home and discuss your real estate goals and plans. I will then make an appointment to come back to your house to discuss your home's value. In the meantime, I will do a lot of research on comparable homes for sale in the area, recently sold homes, neighborhood values and market trends. I will take into consideration other factors such as the condition of your home, its street appeal and age. During our second meeting I will discuss with you my findings and propose a listing price and selling strategy. At that time I will ask you to sign a Listing Agreement which gives me the authority to offer your home for sale on the MLS system and guarantees a certain commission to me as your agent and also to any other agent who brings a buyer. As soon as this agreement is in place, we can begin the process of preparing your home for sale.
Setting A Price
Of course one of your most pressing questions will be about the listing price of your house. What price shall you request? This is a very important part of the sales process. If you set the value too high, you run the risk of scaring away qualified buyers and REALTORS. An agent who feels that your house would not be a good investment for their clients may not even show them the house. After the house sits on the market for a while, people begin to feel that there is something wrong with it because it hasn't sold. Even if you could sell your house for an inflated price, many times a lender won't approve a loan on a house that doesn't appraise for that amount and the sale might fall through at the last minute. On the other hand, if you under-price it, then you won't realize the maximum potential of your investment. So it is extremely important to rely on a thorough market analysis.
Many people do a quick comparison of price per square foot, but that does not take several variables into consideration and can sometimes be quite misleading. I will analyze many different factors including other comparable listings, special features of your home, neighborhood and local school information, current market conditions, availability of mortgages and insurance, supply of homes in your area and price range and recent sales. I will then prepare a detailed Comparable Market Analysis suggesting a price range for your property. Together we will agree on a listing price.
Preparing Your Home For Sale
There are two important ways that you can have an impact in making your house attractive to buyers: property condition and listing price. After deciding on a listing price, I will tour your house and give you some suggestions for making your house look its best. This process is called "staging." The suggestions might be simple such as clearing cluttered counter tops. Or they might be more involved such as painting front doors or repairing obvious defects. We will look at your house from room to room and I will offer advice on how to make each room look its best.
We will also look at the exterior appearance, "street appeal", backyard and garage. I have a lot of tips that I can give you to make your house shine. When we are finished with this meeting, you will have a list of what you should do to prepare your house for sale. Being willing to follow these suggestions in a timely manner will really help to ensure your home shows its best side.
I will help you get this done as easily as possible. I can help you with many of the headaches of moving such as finding reputable repairmen, disconnecting utilities, stopping newspaper service and much more. So ask for my help in getting your house ready to put on the market. Remember that "staging" addresses the appearance of the house and not necessarily other problems, which might become evident during an inspection. I would also highly recommend that you offer a Home Warranty to buyers which will guarantee the major appliances in your home. You can also include coverage for your house while it is on the market.
You should consider having an inspection done by a professional inspector. An inspection will uncover most defects that might eventually have to be repaired before closing. Any problems the seller is aware of should de addressed at this time. In this way you can have the repairs done before a potential buyer's inspection uncovers a defect that might cause a buyer to either change his mind or to want a substantial repair allowance deducted from the price. It is a signal to buyers that you are a responsible, reputable seller. It also allows you to have plenty of time to schedule any work that might need to be done. In this way, when the house goes on the market and a potential buyer is found, the seller will not encounter any unexpected major repairs or last minute delays. I will be happy to recommend some inspectors from whom you may choose.
Now the fun begins. Here are some techniques that I might suggest to promote your home. Not all techniques are used for every home and sometimes I might propose unique ideas for a certain house. If there is anything that is really important to you either to do, or not to do, please let me know.
Offer a Home Warranty
Do any necessary repairs
Put up a for Sale Sign
Put a "lockbox" on your house
Take digital photos
Put listing into MLS
Prepare Color Flyer
Send out just listed cards
Prepare virtual tour
Place on "home facts" voice response system
Arrange Realtor tours
Send flyers to other Realtors
Place ad in Buyer's guide
Consider doing an Open House
Showcase house on these internet sites: Realtor.com, HawaiiInformation.com, & KonaHawaiiRealEstate.Info
E-mail alert sent to potential buyers and other Realtors.
It is important for you to keep your house in perfect condition everyday because buyers or agents might come by at any time. So make sure to keep the kitchen spotless, make your bed every morning and keep clutter out of sight. It is especially important to keep pets and pet odors under control. Some wonderful added touches are fresh flowers and potpourri or freshly baked cookies.
As agents and potential buyers begin visiting your home either virtually on the Internet or in person, I will try to obtain feedback of buyers' impressions. I will report to you any information I obtain and might even ask you to change something to improve the appeal of your house. As feedback comes in, you might also need to discuss whether or not the price is appropriate.
You have an offer, now what? I will explain to you exactly what the buyer is offering. Sometimes the buyer will offer you full price and have no special considerations. In this case, you sign that you accept the offer. Often times, the buyer might offer you a lower price and might have other requests. You should consider what is best for you and make a counter offer. Consider carefully your response because if you counter offer, there is no guarantee that the buyer will respond again. Also remember that, once agreed upon and signed by all parties, an offer becomes a legally binding contract.
This is why it is important that a seller never get involved in oral offers and negotiation. If you verbally accept an offer, a buyer has no legal obligation to buy the house and may want to continue to bargain with you to see how low a price you will accept.
No matter how well you have prepared your house and how fairly you have priced it, there is always the possibility of receiving a low offer. It could simply be a "shot in the dark" or it could be a limit to the buyer's mortgage qualification ability.
Don't take it personally and react angrily. This is a business negotiation and we should meet together and decide your next move in the process. You can either reject the offer or make a counter-offer. I will try to find out as much as I can as to why the offer was so low. Certainly if other offers come in very low or if your home is not being shown or not receiving any offers, we will need to discuss what is the cause and how to make your house more attractive to buyers.
Once both buyer and seller have agreed upon the offer, then usually the buyer will have a limited period of time in which to have an inspection and a termite (other insect) inspection. If there are any problems that are found during this time period then the buyer can withdraw from the contract without penalty. The buyer might request that you complete certain repairs before closing or that you contribute a certain sum of money at closing to cover these repairs. If this happens, I will help you to try to negotiate an agreement with the buyer so that the contract will not fall through. After the limited time period is up, the buyer is legally bound to buy your house unless they are denied financing. In the event of cancellation, the buyer would lose any earnest money. One exception to this is in the case of the buyer not receiving funding from the lenders. In that case then the buyer is not held responsible. For this reason, I will always ask the buyer's agent for a letter showing that the potential buyer has been prequalified for a loan and, once a contract is signed, ask the buyer's agent to keep me informed of the buyer's loan application process.
A date will be set for closing usually around 30 days from the contract date (although it can sometimes be a slightly shorter or longer time) you will need to begin preparing for your move and taking care of any required repairs.
The exciting day is finally here! I will accompany you to closing to make sure that everything goes smoothly. I always try to verify in advance that all of the paperwork is in order. I also request a copy of the statement sheet so that you can read over it before closing. Feel free to ask any questions either before the closing or during the closing itself. Typically this is when you relinquish possession of the house so take the keys to give to the new owner.
I will also always be available to do whatever I can to make everything go as smoothly as possible - you own personal "Concierge". I can recommend service providers to do the repairs, cut off or transfer your utilities and newspaper and help you find a moving company. I'll help streamline the home selling process and make your move so much easier. Please don't hesitate to call on me to help you with any issue, whether large or small.
It's best to move out a day or two before closing so that you don't have any last minute surprises (for example, it once froze on a day when moving out and closing was scheduled on the same day. The moving van couldn't get up the slippery hill to pick up the furniture and the sellers couldn't move out). Also, occasionally a moving company has damaged a wall or door when they were removing the seller's furniture. The house does need to be in the agreed upon condition on closing day. As a courtesy to the new owners, please leave all warranty information and appliance booklets for them. Also, don’t forget the garage door openers and all keys. The buyer will typically request to walk through the house before closing to make sure that everything is in order.
Change of Address
File an official change of address form at you local post office or online in the advance so that your mail delivery will not be interrupted. Many corporations, such as credit card companies and magazine subscriptions, take 1 or 2 months to process a change of address. So begin notifying them as soon as possible. It's a good idea to have change of address labels printed so that you can easily alert family, friends and business correspondents of your address change. Leave 20-30 labels for the new owners and ask them to forward any of your mail that they might still receive.