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Well Priced Maui Condo Listings Selling Fast in Kihei

Talk story with any Maui Realtor, and they’re likely to point out that we’re very much in the eye of a buyer’s market, for those who can qualify for a loan or have cash.

Will a 1-bedroom vacation rental condo (MLS#338430) in Kihei’s Maui Vista, listed at $219K, be the next bargain condo to hit escrow?

With no shortage of bank-owned (REO) properties and potential short sales, and motivated sellers, the scales have tipped to the buying side—that’s no secret. It’s one thing to spout platitudes and generalities—it’s another to see principal put into play, at ground level.

One of my clients pre-qualified for an FHA loan (3% down, primary residence) on a $200,000 property. When he shopped the condo market a few years ago, he found nothing suitable. Last week he made an offer on a 1-bedroom condo in South Kihei, a block from The Cove (surf break) and Kamaole I Beach, listed in the $150K range. The offer wasn’t accepted during our prescribed time period, so we decided to wait to see what the week would bring.

Sure enough, another 1-bedroom condo nearby was listed, and it fit all of his criteria. It came up at $110,000.

We had our offer submitted within hours of the listing’s appearance, at $2,000 over asking price, with an as-is addendum in place. The seller’s agent later told me that she fielded a half dozen offers in the first 24 hours of the listing. Our offer was blown out by an all cash deal. I’m not sure what he offered, but I’d bet full price.

This is the way the market is supposed to work. If a seller wants to sell quickly, in any market, he or she prices the property accordingly.

There are five units in escrow at the same condo property, with listing prices of $148 to $219K, in various condition. Two more are listed there, at $150K (MLS# 339360), and $164,900.

I have a list of clients that want to be notified when the next great deal is listed, no matter what or where it is. I don’t use this list often—maybe three times a month. Last week a price reduction of a condo at Pacific Shores, across the street from Kamaole II Beach, sounded the alarm. The seller dropped his price from $289K to $219K. He had multiple offers within 72 hours, and it’s now in escrow.

Yesterday a 1-bedroom vacation rental condo at the Maui Vista was listed at $219K—another bell-ringer (MLS#338430). “The owner priced it where I thought most of the lower priced units were in escrow,” said the listing agent. That is why this one will, I believe, also sell quickly.

Interestingly, only one of the three deals we talked about here (the Pacific Shores unit) was an REO or potential short sale.

Kevin A. Spaise is one of Hawaii Life’s property specialists, and the author/publisher of The Maui Condo Book, the reference directory used by Maui Realtors, Brokers, and other professionals and investors (www.TheMauiCondoBook.com). He loves talking real estate — feel free to email or call him at kevin@hawaiilife.com, or (808) 344-0624.

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