Ok, the Hawai`i version of cold may not be of Winter Olympic proportions, but for those of us who live here, seasonal adjustments must be made. A constant in Hawai`i real estate is that demand for our product is always high. One thing I know is that after over thirty years in this business, there is a buyer for every property.
Even so, no matter how busy, REALTORS® are often asked by sellers why their home hasn’t sold. Sadly, the traditional seller’s goal of selling for the highest price in the least amount of time can sometimes be elusive. It’s a seller’s market for sure. Cash buyers are common.
What Buyers Want
None-the-less, buyers are still looking for a bargain; in most cases they likely waited too long. Foreclosure inventory is extremely low. Short sales have pretty much disappeared, and even when attempted, are largely unsuccessful. This makes competition among market rate properties very tough.
Preparing for the Sale
Traditional market rate sellers have one distinct advantage and that is their ability to “get ready.” Properly preparing a home for the market is vital. Timing the market is impossible. There’s no perfect time to buy or sell. Will the market continue to go up? Probably. Will interest rates increase? Certainly.
All things considered, it’s a great time to sell and still a decent time to buy. Listen to your “Coach,” Here’s what I know:
- Sellers should make their house shine! I’m not talking about major renovations.
- Clean it, paint it, and make it look loved.
- One expert describes the relationship between buyers and sellers like this: Buyers are “taking your house on a date.” It has to make a good impression.
- Price to sell! As I mentioned, Buyers are looking for the best bang for the buck. Price below competition. Be the best of the bunch. Buyers are out there looking. Listings become stale quickly. Price it right from the git-go! If not, buyers will sit…and wait while sellers “chase the market down”. It happens even in today’s market.
- Sellers should hire the best representation they can find. Choose the top agent in the top office.
- Look for world class marketing but don’t expect top-notch representation at a discount. Proper marketing employs systems and a winning team that takes years to cultivate.
- Marketing is expensive. Your agent needs a marketing budget.
- Sellers should hire the best but help with the process. Your agent knows what to do but help them increase exposure when you can.
- Seriously consider every offer. Don’t quibble over a survey or a couple of thousand dollars… A bird in hand and all that…A home that sits on the market may result in a seller who had an offer in hand a year ago facing a smaller number this year.
- Lastly (and this is my personal reminder), after you hired the best, listen! If your agent says you are overpriced, listen! If they tell you to clean the house, clean it! If they say to paint, then do it! They are on your side. They are there to help you get ready and make sure your “gold medal” is in the 50-yard dash, not the marathon.