No, the title of this blog does not refer to ghosts that may linger around older homes in Hawaii, although we apparently have some of those (and it can be a material fact under some circumstances). Ghost inventory refers to the enormous amount of property that is not actively for sale at the moment, but is soon to be offered – or perhaps will sell without ever being promoted through the local MLS service.
Here is what you need to know about the “ghost inventory” that may – or may not – be coming on the market soon, whether they be REO properties, or in the form of “pocket listing” inventory in Broker’s offices.
1. Yes, there will be new REO’s coming onto the marketplace consistently for the foreseeable future. Yes, most REO Brokers know what the inventory is and where it will be priced at least a week or two before the listing is released active to the Hawaii MLS. Want to be part of those “in the know” ? Register your interest with a Broker like Lucy Clark, R(B), whose team is responsible for all the Hawaii Life Big Island REO business. She will be sure you’re informed before the general public as to new offerings that may fit your search requirements.
2. Yes, there is a lot of “pocket listing” inventory in today’s marketplace, especially at the high end. For example, at the Mauna Kea resort there are currently only 3 homes for sale makai of the highway, all in Mauna Kea Fairways North. Jan Nores, R(S) and I have spent the past six months networking with many of the property owners, and have found at least 2 additional homes for sale in Fairways North and another 2 for sale in Fairways South. These sellers are ready and willing to sell their homes – should the “right” buyer come along. In the meantime, they simply cannot be bothered with the hassle of putting their gorgeous, luxury homes on the MLS – especially in a down market.
3. Serious Buyers need to have their financial ducks in a row and be ready to move fast and efficiently when the time is right. Cash buyer? Make sure your cash is actually cash, and not still sitting in “liquid investments” such as stocks and bonds, unless you are prepared for the consequences of selling your portfolio quickly:Â talk to your money manager and tax professional before submitting an offer. Getting a loan? Be sure to get not just pre-qualified, but actually pre-approved for your loan; and I cannot stress enough the value and importance of using a local lender, for ease and efficiency throughout the transaction.
Perhaps the critical component at the end of the day in purchasing any property in Hawaii is hiring a locally-based real estate professional to represent your interests. A Broker on Oahu, for example, will not know anything about the inventory – especially ghost inventory – on Maui. Likewise, a Kailua-Kona based Realtor will not be able to advise most effectively about ghost inventory in Puako Beach. Fortunately, Hawaii Life Real Estate Services has Agents and Brokers serving every market in the state, so that you can rest assured your property purchase won’t be scary, even if it is full of ghosts.