When the Great Big Giant Real Estate Boom Balloon hit Hawaii it hit HARD! Sellers were overpricing their homes for sale and they were selling like crazy! Buyers were overbidding and there was a bidding war like you wouldn't believe! And prices kept skyrocketing and buyers kept buying and sellers kept selling! And then.....there came a point when buyers could not afford the payments for a $600,000 home with 20% down! And...interest rates went up a little as well.
To give you an example of our market from 2003 to 2006 compared to our current market of 2007 the following statistics will show you what it "used" to be like.
Single Family: Median / Average
- 2003- $380,000 / $479,377
- 2004- $460,000 / $591,354
- 2005- $590,000 / $733,174
- 2006- $630,000 / $778,393
Condos: Median / Average
- 2003- $175,000 / $205,165
- 2004- $180,000 / $251,328
- 2005- $269,000 / $320,003
- 2006- $310,000 / $363,639
The Real Estate Market on Oahu, Hawaii has cooled off a little in 2007 although the median prices are still going up in certain areas. The inventory for all areas is higher than the "norm" of the last few years and some areas are considerably higher in inventory and lower in sales/market prices.
For instance, in Ewa, Makakilo, Kapolei, Waianae, and Salt Lake (just to name a few) the inventory is triple what it was two years ago! (and this is after one third were withdrawn because they would not sell....gee, wonder why?) The prices have gone down a little and some seller's are starting to price their properties more accordingly. Some seller's are chasing the market (meaning, they would not listen to the great advise of their Professional Real Estate Agent and wanted to price it over top dollar)
In Central Oahu, such as Mililani, Waipio Gentry, Waikele, Royal Kunia the Median Prices for single family homes AND condos/townhouses have gone up a little for the month of June 2007 by a smidgen. Seller's are getting a little more realistic and buyer's are able to pick and choose their dream home. It's fluctuating from month to month and that's the reality of it.
"Sally's Tipsters for Sellers in Hawaii's Current Market:
Hire a Professional Agent to represent you in the sale of your home! You will always get what you pay for when it comes to the professional service of a good agent who has the knowledge, skills, abilities and innovative ways to market, professional attitude (a wonderful sparkling personality) and will keep you informed throughout every step of the way.
Interview a few agents to compare marketing skills, comparable sales, personalities (you really want to be compatible with the agent you will be working with)
Beware of the agent that will promise to sell your home for "top dollar" and priced outrageously over the last properties sold. You need an agent who will be up front with you and not "tell you what you want to hear". The realistic one will be the honest one.
DO NOT OVERPRICE YOUR HOME This is the most important piece of advise I can give you in regards to the listing price of your home. In this market, you will be chasing the market and chasing the wind (sucking wind to be brutally honest!) The longer your home is on the market, the more the buyer will "assume" that there is something wrong with the home. (either that or they will believe that you are desperate and can afford to give it away!)
STAGE, CLEAN, FIX and REPAIR, and GIVE YOUR HOME A FRESH COAT OF PAINT! Get your home "Open House" ready before you put your home on the market! Days on the market are ticking away and you want the home "showable" as soon as your home is up and running on the Multiple Listing Service Site.
And last but not least. LISTEN to your Real Estate Professional when they are making a suggestion. They are thinking in your best interests and are the experienced one with the Real Estate Laws in Hawaii. (all states have different laws and contracts)
"Sally's Tipsters for Buyers in Hawaii's Current Market:
- Make sure you are getting representation as a buyer with your own Real Estate Professional.(Simply: Buyer's Agent) That Open House you went to with the "really nice" helpful lady was the "Seller's Agent". Why of course she was soooo nice. She is thinking in the Sellers best interests. In Hawaii, it is no cost to you to be represented by a Buyer's Agent. (The seller pays the commission which is split with the Seller's and Buyer's Brokerage Firms)
- Start your PRE-APPROVAL loan process immediately! You will also need to start the process before your agent starts showing properties to you. Why? They need to know what you are qualified for and what price range to start looking for. (all of us who have good credit are qualified for X amount of purchasing power...but will our monthly allotment for a mortgage payment be within that price range????)
- Make sure and check with LOCAL lenders and if you do not know any your agent will refer you to a few good ones. Speak with them and see which programs are available to suit your needs. The reason I suggest Local lenders are because all loan companies can match or come close to interest rates, closing costs and programs. Local Lenders will also be here...FACE to FACE to guide you through the transaction and if there are any problems they can take care of it promptly. You will also need to have a lender handy for any questions that arise and a pre-approval letter quick once you walk into that dream home that you want to put in an offer on.
- Don't be a killer negotiator. In other words, the market has softened a tad in Hawaii but don't beat down or insult the seller trying to be a killer negotiator on the home you love. It may cost you the home.
- You will know when you walk into the "right" home! I always let my buyers know that there is no rush but please watch the interest rates (it could make a difference on your monthly payments!) and they will know when they walk into a home and immediately "feel" that this the home for them. Don't second guess your instincts in hopes of finding a better deal. Again. It may cost you the home you fell in love with.
- Listen to your Real Estate Professional's suggestions.They are there thinking in your best interests. (of course beware of the agent that says...this is the home for you...and you need to put in an offer on this one because I like it. Harumph!)
Bottom line for "Sally's" Info, Advise, and Tipster's for Buyers and Sellers who are seriously considering purchasing a home or marketing their home. The most important decision you will make will be choosing the right professionals for your real estate transaction. It will make all the difference for making your dream home come true. It will make all the difference in moving on in life after the sale of your home.
Happy House Hunting!
Happy Home Selling!
EDIT: For current information please click on a more recent post Be Part of the Solution For Your Market; Because "Shift" Always Happens
Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman is a Realtor-Associate with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocating to Hawaii, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents. Website: www.hawaiihomesmarket.com