Ready to sell your house? Before you hire an agent (realtor) and commit to a listing agreement, learn about these 6 things they don’t tell you when listing your house in Hawaii!
Listing your house in Hawaii can be an expensive and time-consuming process in some cases. Between the preparations, the holding costs while you wait (hope) to sell the house, and the expenses you’ll face when it’s time to actually close, you could be talking about tens of thousands of dollars lost to the process. While this process does make sense for some people and/or properties, other homeowners find they do better when selling their properties directly to a company that buys houses in Hawaii (yes, that’s us, in case you were curious!). Before you decide which method to sell your Hawaii house, make sure you understand everything involved.
Your Marketing May Not Be Included
If you choose to list and sell your house with a real estate agent in Hawaii, it’s important to know what is — and what is not — included with your listing agreement (this may even change between brokerages and agents themselves). While some agents are completely full-service, others will leave something to be desired when it comes to their marketing (and marketing is the business).
In order to get your property in front of the maximum number of potential home buyers, you may have to pay for premium listings, virtual 360 tours, professional photography, or other add-ons (nighttime/sunset photography, for example, can cost extra). With fewer people out and about attending open houses right now, if at all (yes, Covid), you’ll want to be sure your house has a strong online presence and wows internet home buyers on Google, Zillow, Facebook, and other places it may appear.
Your Costs Can Add Up Quickly
Listing your house in Hawaii can come with some expenses home sellers aren’t always aware of or prepared for. Aside from the extra marketing mentioned in the previous section, sellers can find themselves paying for repair costs (leaky roof, plumbing leaks, warped laminate flooring), staging (budget $2000 to $4000 for a full house staging), cleaning, closing costs, and commissions when the house sells (commissions aren’t a small item in Hawaii, but you probably already knew this).
There are other holding costs including taxes, insurance, and utility bills to continue to cover while your home waits for a buyer, and routine maintenance to factor in. Before you hire an agent to help you sell your house in Hawaii, you should become aware of what you may have to potentially spend in order to get the price you seek. When you run the net numbers (what actually ends up in your pocket), you may find that hiring an agent isn’t as slam dunk of an option as you originally thought.
Property Showings Can Be Cumbersome
Imagine you get a call from your agent that a motivated buyer wants to see your house as soon as possible. If you truly want to sell, this means you will need to quickly get the house in its best condition, hide from view any personal items, and vacate the premises as fast as possible (even outside of Covid scenarios, agents don’t want the homeowners there during showings).
This isn’t the most fun part of the process for home sellers, especially if they have a large family or several people living in the home….. or kids (hint: locate the closest shave ice or malasada joint). Trying to coordinate property showings with everyone’s else’s schedule, can prove to be challenging. To make things easier, the house should be kept clean at all times, putting even more pressure on homeowners who simply want to sell their house.
Buyers Will Often (ok, Usually) Negotiate After Inspections
Once you receive an offer for your house in Hawaii, the buyer will almost always order an inspection to be done since most buyers can’t discover roof damage or plumbing concerns during a routine walkthrough. Depending on the property and its condition, the potential buyer may request that you make the needed repairs before the sale is finalized….or handover a credit at closing so they can take care of the repairs themselves.
An appraisal can also require the seller to sink money into the house before the bank will approve the buyer’s loan – it happens frequently. A low appraisal is one of the most common reasons for a sale to fall through — home sellers should be prepared for this and prepare to either counter the low appraisal or have an emergency stash of funds to fix those roof leaks or cracked lanai posts.
The Sale May Fall Through
When you list your house in Hawaii, there are a number of factors that can cause the sale to fall through. There may be a contingency in the offer stating that the buyers’ house needs to sell before they are able to buy yours – most people can’t afford to maintain two mortgages at the same time, especially at Hawaii’s normal real estate prices. This means that if their sale falls through, yours will, too. The sale can also fall through if the property doesn’t appraise high enough (see above) or if there are repairs required that you were unaware of (see above again) and the sellers change their mind. Imagine having your house listed on the MLS for several months, finally getting an offer you are ok with, only to have everything fall through, putting you right back to the beginning (and usually having to lower your asking price). The uncertainty of listing can be almost unbearable for people who need to sell a house quickly in Hawaii. Many times, they wish they had come to us from day one since they wasted so much in holding costs without anything to show for it.
Your House May Not Sell
We work with many home sellers out there who have listed their Hawaii house in the past but have found themselves right back where they were once the listing agreement has expired – still owning the house they had tried and hoped to sell. When you put your Hawaii property on the MLS, there is no guarantee it will sell. The process may take you days or it could take months!
When listing your house in Hawaii, there are quite a few things that you should be aware of. Between the costs and uncertainty of selling at all, there are a number of things that can go wrong or note quite as planned for home sellers in Hawaii. For many properties and situations, a direct sale to a company that actually buys houses in Hawaii like us can ultimately be the best way to sell a house in Hawaii.