Costs to Expect With an FSBO Listing in Hawaii

Costs to Expect With an FSBO Listing in Hawaii

While selling your Hawaii house on your own will save you in real estate commissions or agent fees, much of the costs you will have to absorb, costs like marketing, which are otherwise generally included in the commission. These savings sometimes come at a high price for many sellers. We’ll discuss the costs you can expect with an FSBO listing in Hawaii, and by “costs” we don’t just mean financial — we mean any expense of resources: money, time, emotions.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Screening Calls

From excited buyers agents calling at any time of day demanding an answer to unwanted spam and phishing attempts on your cellphone from your marketing….selling your own home as an FSBO listing in Hawaii means you’re acting as a secretary and gatekeeper – congratulations, you have an executive assistant — you! Before you bite off more than you can chew (and most do), you need to have a realistic picture of the time this will likely require. You will need to set aside several hours for answering or return calls and sorting out qualified buyers (itself not always an easy task if you don’t do this everyday.

Emotional Attachment

Dealing with the public buyers market, in general, can be daunting or even intimidating for those who try an FSBO listing in Hawaii, especially when potential buyers are standing in your home saying whatever comes to mind, whether it’s appropriate or not. Having an agent means that you can avoid the discomfort of answering questions that could be highly intrusive or very personal that the buyer shouldn’t be asking. In contrast, it is second nature to an experienced agent to handle such questions with professional responses and expertise. Staying cool in the face of such questioning can be rather tricky, but it’s much easier when it’s not your personal residence or one you’ve lived in for 30 years.


One of the top reasons sellers wait to put their home on the market is their fear of the entire process of showing the house. After all, who really wants dozens of strangers poking around your bedroom and bathroom? It’s not a stretch to say it’s a rather intrusive process, even if done remotely via photos or virtual tour. It’s a bit easier when you know of showings in advance, but you can also expect requests at the last minute because an agent just happens to be in the neighborhood looking at the competition with their client. For some home sellers, having an FSBO listing in Hawaii can be a true nightmare.


Marketing the FSBO listing in Hawaii properly from the start is vital to reducing the number of days your property will sit on the market. The longer a listing remains in ‘active’ mode (no buyer), typically, the less the seller will realize when it ultimately does sell (if it sells). The basic marketing plan typically includes hiring a cleaner, stager, and then a photographer. From minor touchups in paint to a complete redecoration and renovation project, a good agent will engage in the process for the best possible presentation. Top-performing agents know that competition is fierce in today’s Hawaii housing market, as buyers can quickly scroll through dozens of online listings in a matter of minutes and pick out which ones look appealing for an in-person visit.

Bargaining Table

Because you may be attached to your home, it may make handling the negotiations for your FSBO listing in Hawaii difficult, especially for a home that isn’t in mint condition. Buyers could make lowball offers which could feel insulting. In their efforts to save money on the purchase, you may hear some rather brusque comments. An emotional reaction to potential buyers during such essential negotiations can be costly.

You might also be presented with offers that you simply don’t understand, such as seller financing, agreements of sale, or short sales. If you’re not an experienced real estate pro, then you may not even know how these offers compare to other more traditional offers you’d get. Could you be walking away from something that’s a better fit?


A great deal of upfront money can seemingly disappear in the blink of an eye on repairs on FSBO listings in Hawaii. Expect every buyer in contract to conduct a home inspection – this could work against you (credit repairs or the buyer backing out entirely) or for you (may absolve you of some disclosure items).

Depending on the buyer’s loan program, they may need all repairs to be completed before closing, which means you’ll be footing the bill. Otherwise, your buyers could ask for a price reduction that is usually outrageous for the repairs. We recently had someone ask for a ~$40,000 repair credit on a Makaha home and settled for $10,000 — it’s silly.


An essential step in any real estate transaction is the earnest money, usually handled by the agent and their broker, held in an escrow account until the closing. When you accept an offer and take your home out of ‘active’ status on the MLS, your buyer will have put down a deposit, typically between $1000 and two percent of the purchase price, to show that they are committed to making the deal. You will need to hire an attorney or arrange for a title company to retain the escrow funds when you have an FSBO listing in Hawaii. 


Most sellers work with an agent, preferring not to carry the load of all of the FSBO listing responsibilities in the Hawaii real estate market. Along with online and local marketing for the property, this job entails complicated paperwork that falls within strict timelines and requires a considerable time commitment and understanding. Errors on this paperwork can delay or even derail your deal entirely.

Skip Listing Altogether

Avoid the commissions and all of the hassles of an FSBO listing in Hawaii. Selling to Oahu Home Buyers won’t cost you a dime and won’t take much time! Because Oahu Home Buyers buys homes in as-is condition, directly in cash, the process is as fast as you need us to be! Ready to learn more about how Oahu Home Buyers can help you solve your problems? Contact us today to find out how Oahu Home Buyers can save you money and time at (808) 333-3677.