Seller's Guide

Selling Real Estate in Hawaii - What exactly do I need to know?

So you’re thinking about making a move? Congratulations! You’ve obviously been thinking about this, but now need to put some action behind the thought. Great! We’re here to help! First, why are you selling? Upsizing? Downsizing? Relocating? Selling an investment? Distressed sale? Each of these and more are all reasons people decide to sell, and they each require different strategies.

Preparing to sell and determining the right pricing for your home.

Before you actually go to put your home on the market, your reason of selling will dictate how you prepare. Do you need the most money out of it? If so, you may consider some updates to your current place. If your flooring is dated, perhaps some laminate or tile floors could be a good move. Avocado green or pink appliances? It’s likely worthwhile to invest in a new set. Same with the bathrooms and light fixtures. Maybe your move is based on speed and not necessarily money. In that case, a lower price could be a good strategy to attract the most buyers. No extra work required on your part. At minimum, you want to make sure your house is de-cluttered, clean and presentable. It doesn’t necessarily need to be show quality if that doesn’t fit in your budget, but an orderly house is highly recommended. Perhaps you’re an investor, or this is a rental home for you. You may want and need to consider what’s called a 1031 exchange. This is a tool used to defer taxable gains on the sale of your property and can be extra helpful if you’re looking to purchase another house or investment. Consulting with an experienced agent in your area, or someone familiar with the local market who can give you some guidance, can be a move that will save (and earn) you thousands.

So how do I market my house to actually get it to sell?

Great question! There are a variety of successful ways that homes are marketed nowadays. The tried and true methods of uploading your home for sale into the Multiple Listing Service, placing a newspaper ad and holding an open house are all surprisingly still very effective in terms of marketing. With the advancement of technology however, there is now a host of additional resources to utilize. Making sure your home shows up on Zillow, Realtor.com, Craigslist, Opendoor, Facebook Marketplace, Instagram and other Social Media platforms are just a few of the ways homes are now sold. This is very different compared to how the market worked 10 years ago. Your team needs to be on top of what current marketing tools can be utilized to get your property sold.

What’s next in the process?

So, your home looks good and is getting a ton of exposure, now what? You should start to receive offers from interested buyers. Ideally, you’re looking for a well-qualified buyer: one who has already been prequalified, has the required money for a down payment and is serious. It can be tough to tell who that is, so working with an agent who knows what to look for in an offer can help you decipher some of the nuances of contracts and terms. If things look good, accept the offer and open up escrow!

The closing process and what to expect.

A good agent should take a lot of the stress out of the transaction for you. During the escrow process, there are quite a few mile markers to hit by the buyers. Your agent will make sure those are met and that the transaction is progressing along the timeline. If you are also during this time shopping for a new place, you’ll need to be going through the process of purchasing a home. (Check our buyer’s guide here.) Otherwise, the bulk of what you as a seller needs to do has been done prior to escrow. Your agent will keep you updated. The time of the closing process can vary depending on if your buyer is a cash buyer or someone obtaining financing. The expected close time should be around 45-60days and once all the inspections and appraisals have been performed, you get to the closing table and collect your check for proceeds or wire for transfer. All pau!

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