Why Selling Without Full Representation Can Be Scary

Even in a buyer’s market, finding a buyer is the easy part. Positioning a property to ensure that a buyer steps up to the plate can be critical. Establishing the proper price point, investigating permits, providing disclosure advice, evaluating planning, title, and survey issues as well as determining highest and best use of the property are but a few of the pre-listing subjects that arise.

David Castillo Dominici

Photo courtesy David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos

Proper pricing and effective marketing quickly bring REALTORS® to the point where they really begin earning their money. REALTORS®:

  • assist with negotiations
  • provide advice regarding the nuances of the contract
  • assure that buyers are qualified to proceed
  • trouble-shoot the transaction through to closing

Each Transaction is Completely Different

Watch this. This week alone, I’m juggling an access issue, tracking down documentation for a corporate sale, untangling a probate problem with an out-of-state owner while at the same time dealing with the more common problems related to termite inspections, surveys, title problems, easements, setback violations, permitting problems, settlement statement accuracy, closing dates, and property inspections to name a few. Whew!

It’s no surprise then that when it comes time to show a listing represented by a discount broker, a limited service broker, or for-sale-by-owner, extra caution is required. Without another full-service agent involved, the work load and liability for the transaction lies squarely on the lone full-service agent.

Performance of pre-listing tasks by discount brokers is normally non-existent. Also absent are critical double-checks which ensure the seller is making full and accurate disclosures; permits are difficult to validate and fair housing compliance is not guaranteed.

When we are put in the position of working directly with a seller who is self-represented, we must be careful about providing advice, otherwise we risk becoming an “accidental” dual-agent. This sometimes alienates sellers who may get the impression that we are being less than cooperative. Additionally, agents involved in such transactions often lack assurance of compensation for their professional services.

Choose an Agent Who Will Represent You to the Fullest

Most buyers these days still work with a committed agent with whom they have an established relationship. They understand the nuances of buying property in Hawaii mean that purchasing without competent representation can be very scary. Buyers and sellers deserve full and complete representation. Any arrangement which provides less is really unacceptable, especially given the size and gravity of the transaction!

About the Author

Denise Nakanishi

Denise Nakanishi is a REALTOR Broker with Hawai'i Life. Denise Nakanishi is one of Hilo's most acclaimed real estate agents. She reached the rank of Major in the US Army and is now known by many as "Major Mom." The nickname fits–not only does Denise bring the discipline and mission-oriented attitude you'd expect, she's also caring and compassionate, always looking out for her clients like they're her own family. Having made the Big Island her home since 1987, Denise combines her extensive knowledge of the area with a sharp focus on customer service and the results speak for themselves. She's the recent recipient of the Best East Hawai`i, Best of Zillow, Chairman's Circle Award, President's Circle, Top Producing Agent since 2001, and Realtor of the Year awards. Denise stays ahead of the curve because she's passionate about education–she served as Education Chair for Hawaii Island REALTORS® for many years. She's one of Big Island's best real estate resources, known for her weekly article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Denise leads Team Nakanishi for Hawai`i Life, who is committed to their family, work, and community. In her little time away from work, Denise is a committed runner and Grandy. She also devotes many hours to various Veterans' Organizations, the East Hawaii Cultural Center, and the Hawaii Island REALTORS®. You can email me at or via phone at (808) 936-5100.

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