6 Things That Can Trip You Up When Selling Your Home in Waikoloa

6 Things That Can Trip You Up When Selling Your Home in Waikoloa

As Hawaii homeowners can attest, navigating the housing market is rarely easy. The challenges of selling a home have never been more complex than they are today. Every homeowner is unique; every buyer has particular asks; each house has a unique history. That’s why we have compiled common mistakes when dealing with homes for sale in Waikoloa. Let’s get started.

1. Forgetting hidden costs


The prices that sellers accrue throughout a sale are usually easy to predict. However, it’s not easy for those selling property to anticipate how high costs can add up. That’s understandable — the housing market is complex, especially in Hawaii.

Below is an outline of the main expenses (some of which are hidden at first sight) you can expect to cover when selling a home in Waikoloa.

  • Title Insurance covers property-related concerns like ownership claims, easements, and encroachments. In Hawaii, the standard is to split the cost of the policy 60/40 between the seller and buyer, respectively.
  • Escrow fees can range from $900–$2,500, depending on the sale price.
  • Conveyance taxes are levied by the state of Hawaii and apply to all conveyances or transfers of realty. The seller pays conveyance taxes, the amount of which depends on the property value.
  • The broker’s commission varies; typically, 5–6% of the listing fee is divided between the listing and buying broker.

2. Making a pricing error


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Pricing — perhaps the most commonly flubbed aspect of the home-selling process — is a tricky task. The listing price is the first entryway potential buyers have on a home. It’s critical to find a balance between the most competitive (highest) local price and a (lower) figure inviting the maximum number of interested buyers.

First, you should consult with a local real estate agent to gather information about the state of the local housing market. You’ll want to compare your home to others with similar floor plans. An agent will also be able to provide you with a comparative market analysis that shows:

  • The asking and selling price of similar homes
  • Features, square footage, and floorplans of each home
  • The current inventory of properties on the market
  • Other homes that are selling in your price range within the last half-year
Setting the right price is the first step toward inviting the ideal buyers to your home. The golden rule is to be realistic and understand where your home stands in relation to other properties in the vicinity. A comparative market analysis (CMA) can help ensure you don’t sell your property short.

3. Not preparing the home for sale


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Buyers respond to listings for homes thoroughly inspected, cleaned, and prepared for view. That’s why it’s essential not to cut corners when staging your house for potential buyers. First, order a pre-inspection in advance of your buyer. The report will publicize any fixes, repairs, and upgrades the home needs. It will cover:

  • The condition of the roof
  • Electrical inadequacies or potential hazards
  • Plumbing leaks or clogs
  • Any structural problems with the foundation, etc.
Then, clean and sanitize the interior (either by yourself or with the help of a professional service). Consider repainting areas of the home that get the most traffic, like the entry, kitchen, and living rooms. Look at your curb appeal and think about replacing outdated greenery, power-washing the exterior, and updating the landscaping. Declutter the inside by replacing personal effects with neutral points of interest and artwork.

4. Going it alone (without an agent)


A quality agent will share their expert opinion on where your home stands in its local market. A local real estate agent can provide invaluable insights into the housing market in your neighborhood. What’s more, they will be better suited to negotiate with fellow realtors, answer complex questions about local housing regulations, and, in general, be a friendly partner to turn to when you could use help.

A local agent isn’t only helpful when answering complex questions about housing in your neighborhood. They also have a lifetime of insights culled from a near-infinity of circumstances. As a homeowner, you shouldn’t be penalized for market nuances and other factors out of your control. Agents are there to help.

5. Being hasty with offers


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Most homeowners want the highest price for their home in the shortest time possible. But when the offers start rolling in, it’s tempting to speed up your process and accept the first number that appeals to you.

Negotiation is a complicated subject, full of pitfalls and potential errors. At a minimum, you’ll want to be familiar with the following terms when fielding offers.

  • Quick close — when a buyer is pre-approved and prepared to close ASAP
  • Cash offer — when the seller is prepared to foot the entire cost in cash (usually ideal)
  • Closing costs — an aggressive buyer may offer to cover these entirely
Your agent will fill you in on other relevant negotiation concepts and how they apply to your case.

6. Neglecting first impressions


A final mistake that can trip you up when dealing with homes for sale in Waikoloa is the face-to-face impression. Most real estate agents agree that a deal can close or fall apart depending on the sellers' relationships with potential buyers.

In other words, it’s essential to make an excellent first impression. In the dance between buyer and seller, you can avoid missteps before anyone sees your home.

  • Wait to show your home until it’s entirely fixed up and repaired
  • Invite loved ones to comment on any aspects of the home that need retouching
  • Consult local architects and landscapers for tips on improving curb appeal
  • Have a heart-to-heart with your agent to discuss any needed upgrades
Best of all, have a plan of action for your home sale that outlines what you want to do when it comes to preparing your house. Ready your terms for negotiation, anticipate the disclosures you need to complete, and make any large-scale upgrades that will have a positive return on investment (ROI).

Contact a local real estate agent today


If you have any questions or comments about preparing homes for sale in Waikoloa, reach out to Mike Despard for answers.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock




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With over twenty-three years of experience in the world of real estate, design and construction, I am ready to help you buy or sell your slice of paradise on the beautiful, big island of Hawaii.