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Barriers ...to Selling Your Hawaii Home

Real Estate Agent with Liberty Homes RS-#62825

No matter where you are in the Hawaiian Islands.... it IS a SELLER'S but a NEGOTIABLE market. That means sellers can negotiate on a price...but maybe there’s multiple offers. My TOP point is that this IS a different market and a negotiable one. So clearly, accept the highest and best offer but also...keep an open mind.


The following points listed should give my seller’s some clues to heed the advice of their agent.

  • You are getting fewer showings after that first Open House.  In fact, if the first showing at first Open House does not produce multiple offers in a low inventory market, then something is clearly wrong. Price?  Condition?
  • Your Realtor® showed you comparable properties from six months ago up to the present and the prices have gone up SLIGHTLY. Slightly does not mean that your home is worth 50k more than the last home.  Yes, inventory is low, but preapproved buyers with 20% down aren’t coming out of the woodwork.
  • The number of qualified buyers have declined. GOOD!  A prequalification letter is only as good as the paper it is written on. This agent has followed up with the lender on the buyer’s PREAPPROVAL They would have had to bring in all financial documents to prove they have the ability to purchase a home and the ability to have their funds for closing costs.
  • Buyers have slim pickings with a LOW inventory of homes and condos to choose from. So, tip top shape is what we need to have the property in…at that first showing. All repairs, cleaning and de-cluttering should be complete by time the property is put on the market for sale. 

When sellers try to protect themselves by putting up big barriers (conditions and demands) and burn bridges along the way it becomes a losing battle for not just the seller; but the Realtor® who has invested a lot of time, hard work and effort to market a property. 

This Realtor® spends countless hours to prepare your home for marketing:

  • Research and obtain tax records, building permits, and as many documents pertaining to the property as possible..
  • property binderPrepare the listing agreement & profile sheet and go through the listing agreement, addendums and profile sheet with you before signing.
  • Prepare the Sellers Real Property Disclosure Statement and answer any questions you may have while you fill it out. (we have a four page detailed itemized questionnaire and it does take time to go through the entire documentand answer any yes questions in detail on the last page)
  • Creating a specialized flyer and property portfolio to display in your home for potential buyers for any showing or Open House. This takes a considerable amount of time to create this portfolio with reports, documents and information so that each potential buyer will have answers to many of their questions.
  • Take MANY pictures of your home for the listing sites. This agent takes pictures of 50-100 pictures. That way I can pick and choose the best angle, colors and clarity for marketing your property for sale!
  • Advise you on what you can do to get your home ready for showing (so please don't take it personal!) I’m trying to help you get your home in ‘showing condition’ so that there will be minimal criticism when a potential buyer is viewing your home. 
  • Enter the listing into our MLS system, Century 21 site and MANY other sites. Add photos and make slide shows. This is not a few minute job to input the listing to each and every site I am subscribed to. It can take MANY hours to include the virtual tour, create a slide show and enter all the details for this property.

conquer that property sale!And this is JUST THE BEGINNING! I set up showing appointments, do Open Houses, refresh and update all the listings I submitted to sites as time goes by, I present all offers to you and advise you on your options. I give you sound advice and remind you of the market conditions and the current comps and changes.  I go through the entire transaction with you, order condo docs, surveys and termite inspections. I accompany you to signing and help you with anything to do with the sale of your home.”

The only thing I am unable to do is “MAKE someone to buy your home.

There are contingencies in our contract that protect the buyer if they need to back out of the contract. It could be that the buyer lost their job. (they are NO LONGER qualified for a loan) Maybe they didn't like something they saw in the home inspection. There are contingencies to protect the buyer to NOT buy your home. There are also contingencies to protect the seller but the bottom line is that if the buyer has a valid reason to not continue with the transaction it does not automatically entitle you to their initial deposit. 

Remember, when you signed that Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement? It specifically states that the "Seller agrees to consider all offers presented by the Brokerage Firm and to act in good faith to sell the property".

If you REALLY want to sell your home:

  • a thumbs up for team workYou make your home appealingto a buyer who will be viewing your home. The SELLER has an obligation to get the property in ‘showing condition’. AND, YOU MAKE SURE ALL IMPROVEMENTS WERE DONE BY LICENSED CONTRACTORS.  .
  • You don't assume your home is the best on the marketand therefore should be priced as high as the others......Especially if you did NOT upgrade anything at all, nor clean or repair anything in getting the home ready for marketing. Keep an Open Mind! YOUR HOME WILL HAVE TO APPRAISE AT OFFERING PRICES.
  • Be willing to negotiate with the buyer to sell your home.Our inventory is low, but the buyer is picking and choosing the home they want to invest in. This does not mean give it away but by all means, nickel and diming will cost you more when months pass by and your home is still sitting on the market. A KILLER NEGOTIATOR WILL COST YOU THE SALE OF YOUR HOME.
  • That you, the seller, are hiring me to meet a common goal…Sell Your Hawaii Home. That means…you willLISTEN to the direction, advice and opinions of your Realtor®.  I am a VERY seasoned agent. I  KNOW what I’m talking about and I am thinking in your best interests to get you a fair market price for your home.

This Realtor® is not going to tell you just what YOU want to hear.

I am going to give you sound advice.

If you choose not to listen, it could cost you the sale of your home.



Posted by



Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) 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 Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.


 © 2007-2015 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's

Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

All rights reserved.





Comments (9)

Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Sally, You hit on so many areas ... all are valid and important. The one thing that stands out in my mind is that it IS a negotiable market.  We work hard to serve our clients. We need their cooperation in order to get them what they want.

Apr 26, 2014 06:40 AM
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Kathleen:  I know...so why do many say ...it's a seller's or buyer's market?  It is ALWAYS a negotiable market. :)  Yes, and ALL need to be team players to get the house sold and purchased. Have a good weekend!

Apr 26, 2014 06:55 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

HI might be one of the places I move one day more and more it seems.


Love and light,


Apr 26, 2014 01:52 PM
Rene Fabre
ARFCO Media - Renton, WA
Practicing Philosophical Eclectic of the Arts

Hi Sally... Agreed! It's always negotiable and I'd imagine it's even more important in a market like Hawaii. My daughter is on Kauai, and she lives in Kapaa. I try to cheer her up about home prices, she'd love to purchase but values are very high. There seems to be what the media says, based on national averages, but each local market is unique and different with its own price points... and negotiable! Great post and read. Thanks!

Apr 27, 2014 09:23 AM
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

First visited your state in December.  AHHH, what a wonderful place.  Best. Vacation. Ever!  You are blessed to work in such beauty.

Apr 27, 2014 10:37 AM
Diana White-Pettis
Bennett Realty Solutions - Upper Marlboro, MD
GRI, CDPE, CNE, WHC Upper Marlboro Homes for Sale

Sally, you hit so many valid points in your post.  A great working relationship between the seller and the realtor is always helpful.  I think as long as sellers (in a sellers' market) can grasp the concept that "It's a negotiable market"  they will get more positive results.  Great post.



Apr 27, 2014 12:58 PM
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Barrier to sale = no sale.

Apr 27, 2014 09:31 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Those who have the gold rule...Hawaii being on an island would create a sellers market one would think. Unless a volcano spits out more Real Estate, Sellers rule

Apr 27, 2014 11:31 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

We deal with people. Easy, difficult and in between. But they are not doing it to make our job fun or hard. That is the rub. To educate, set expectations and help with what you have to work with and remember it is an honor to represent the buyer, seller. If you forget who is buying, selling the place and think how difficult these idiots are making your job... rut rho. Won't be winning the empathy award for tender hearted, tough skinned. Or wearing the R much longer. Not about you, about the buyer, seller of the real estate who are the challenge to rise to or not.

Apr 28, 2014 01:51 AM