If you’re thinking of selling your house in Oahu Hawaii or any of the neighbor Hawaiian Islands, you probably want to get a reasonable estimate of your home’s current market value. You probably know that we live in the “Information Age” and there’s no shortage of information out there regarding real estate. But how do you know what to believe? How do you know what’s accurate? And what determines “value” anyway?
Defining Home Value
I believe in a simple definition of value: what someone is willing and able to pay for what you’re selling. Simple enough, right? It works just as well for a house as it does for an old Babe Ruth baseball card. The value is what someone is willing to pay – no less, no more.
Often in real estate, a home seller will overvalue their home, sometimes by hundreds of thousands of dollars (easy enough to do in Hawaii). Sometimes it’s because they don’t understand the market, sometimes it’s because of emotional attachment. But in a free market economy, which in real estate effectively putting your property on the MLS for all public buyers to consider, its value is what a buyer is willing to pay for your Hawaii house. If you think your property is worth $600,000 but the highest offer you get in 30 days is $525,000, then that’s the market value of your home as it stands today.
How to Determine Your Hawaii Home Value
If you’d like to get an idea of your Hawaii’s home value before considering whether to list your home traditionally with a realtor or sell your home quickly and privately to an investor like us, then you can visit public real estate websites like Zillow or Trulia. I would ignore their price estimates — those are just computer formulas — instead, look at nearby recorded sales. These are actual sales pulled from public records.
Look for homes near your property that are similar in both house and lot size, year built and style as well as the condition they were in. Look at how long they took to sell and what price they got vs what price they listed at. Get at least 3-4 properties that fit this criteria that are in the same neighborhood and sold within the past 3-4 months. (Hint: ignore foreclosed or short sales as these are not usually sold at market value and would skew your math.) This process of “running comps” should help you narrow down the estimated market value of your property and what you’re likely to get from the market if you list it.
Those websites, as well as hicentral.com, can also help you understand current trends in the Hawaii real estate market. It’s no surprise that the markets on Oahu and the neighbor Hawaiian Islands have been some of the best in America. However, we’ve all heard the phrase that past performance is not a guarantee of future returns. So while the Hawaii market is hot, remember to consider your home value only for what it’s worth TODAY, not in six months or a year down the road.
If you’re thinking of selling your Oahu Hawaii house, you have options. If instead of listing the property publicly, you can get an “as is” cash offer from an investor like us. We can buy your home privately out of the public eye, in its current condition and without any fees. If you’re behind in the mortgage or even facing foreclosure, we can still likely help – for free.