8 Steps to Selling a House in Hawaii

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Clever Real Estate

Updated 

March 16th, 2020

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Getting ready to sell your house in Hawaii? Our in-depth guide breaks the entire process down into 8 simple steps. Learn how to find a great agent, price your home, negotiate with buyers, breeze through closing, and more!

Updated on March 16, 2020

Now is a good time to be selling a house in Hawaii! According to Zillow Research, property values in the Aloha State rose 0.38% in 2019, and are projected to rise a further 4.31% over the next year.

Of course, even the best Hawaii properties will struggle to sell if you don’t price the home properly, do a poor job of marketing it, or don’t know how to handle the negotiations.

Read on to learn the eight steps to successfully selling your home in Hawaii!

1. Finding a Hawaii realtor

Selling a home isn’t easy. It’s a high-stakes, complex transaction and requires a considerable amount of time and expertise to get a good outcome. If you’re looking to sell your Hawaii home for the best price — and minimize stress along the way — you need to find a top-rated real estate agent in your area.

The best Hawaii listing agents know exactly what local buyers want and how to reach them. They’ll offer expert advice, guidance, and support every step of the way, from the initial listing all the way through closing.

In fact, sellers who work with real estate agents net 33% more, on average, than those who list on their own. For a $637,648 home — the median home value in Hawaii, according to Zillow — that’s a premium of $210,424. In other words, hiring an agent is well worth the investment.

2. Deciding when to sell

Believe it or not, home sale prices may shift due to the job market, economic forecast, and even seasons of the year. An example is how high unemployment can turn the real estate market into a buyer’s market.

Regardless, the Hawaii market is a bit different to the mainland. You must aim to time the market when listing your home to obtain the best offer.

In contrast with the mainland, listing your home during the winter season may get you the best offer for your home. You should list it during the months from December until February. January is the peak month with the most demand for homes.

If you want to get the best offer, you should list your home when the market is leaning toward the seller’s side. When you list in a seller’s market, there’s a better chance of selling your house faster and at a higher price.

Best time to sell a house across the U.S.

Best Time to Sell a House

Source: 2019 Redfin Data Center

Best time to sell a house in Hawaii

Best Month to Sell for Speed in Hawaii
August
77 days on market
9 days faster than average
Best Month to Sell for Price in Hawaii
July
$562,000 median sale price
3.5% more than average

If you're shooting for the fastest sale possible, listing in August is your best option. Homes listed in this month spend 77 days on market — significantly quicker than the Hawaii average of 86 days on market.

To get the highest sales price, put your house on the market in July. The median sale price of homes listed then is $562,000, which is around $19,000 more than average.

Learn More:  The Best Time to Sell a Home in Hawaii

3. Pricing your home

Some sellers think that higher is better when it comes to pricing. However, you should always aim to price your home competitively according to the market conditions and similar listings in your market. Setting the right price will come down to your Comparative Market Analysis.

It’s an analysis that compares the performance of recently listed, sold, and expired homes in your market. This information will help you and your agent set the right pricing for your property.

Don’t leave money on the table, use a CMA to estimate your home value and list it at the right price.

Quick Tip: How to get a comparative market analysis for free

If you'd like some professional guidance with no strings attached, Clever can help! Enter your basic info below to get matched with top real estate agents in your area. During your initial meeting with your agent, you’ll get a professionally prepared CMA, advice on how to price your home, and learn what matters most to buyers in your area.

Note: This service is 100% free and there’s no obligation to sign — get started below!

4. Preparing, marketing, and showing your home

Preparing your home for potential buyers is key to obtaining the best offer on your listing. You must clean it and make any necessary repairs to put it in top shape. If you decide to take your repair game up a notch, you should consider making inexpensive high-value renovations to boost your home selling profits.

After getting your home ready, you must market your property in a way that’s appealing to buyers. Make sure to take professional photos of your home and pair them with a description that highlights important features that makes your house different such as vaulted ceilings, and ocean views to watch the sunset.

Consider listing your property online on your local MLS, social media, and realtor sites. Don’t underestimate the power of using the latest real estate technologies such as drones and virtual staging to make your listing stand out.

Once your listing hits the market, you must get your home ready for buyer showings. It’s important to stage your home so your potential buyers can see themselves in the house.

Consider putting a lockbox on your home, accepting on-demand showings, and organizing open houses to sell your home faster. The latter may speed your selling process because you’ll show your home to many buyers at the same time and may receive several offers on the spot.

Learn More: The Best Paint Colors For Selling A House

5. Fielding offers and negotiations

When you receive an offer, you may accept or place a counteroffer. The limits on your acceptance deadline are typically in terms of the offer. Buyers will typically provide an earnest money deposit to secure the offer.

In Hawaii, buyers may terminate their purchase agreement if they’re unable to secure the home loan to complete the purchase. The signed purchase agreement is the terms and conditions of the sale.

We recommend you pay close attention to any contingencies included in the document before signing it. You want to make sure you sign a real estate purchase agreement that protects you not the other way around.

Learn More: Real Estate Counter Offer Etiquette

What's in a real estate purchase agreement?

6. Appraisal and inspections

If your buyer is taking out a mortgage, the lender will request an appraisal on your home. If your home is appraised under the sale price, your buyer might place a counteroffer. You’re free to accept it or rescind your purchase agreement.

Before closing your sale, your house will be inspected to make sure it’s in top condition. In Hawaii, if necessary repairs arise, buyers may request a credit for the repair value or ask you to fix it yourself. We recommend you prepare for your home inspection by making any typical maintenance repairs such as trimming your trees, repairing your roof, and fixing any termite damage.

Learn More: Can the Seller Back Out of Contract Before Closing?

7. Paperwork and required Hawaii disclosures

Making the necessary disclosures are a must to close your sale swiftly. In the state of Hawaii, sellers are required to disclose in detail any personal knowledge about the property’s condition. The local realtors’ association provides a standard form you may use to make your disclosures.

We recommend you consult a realtor or attorney to make sure you’re meeting your disclosure obligations and what paperwork you need. A licensed professional should walk you through all the documents and ensure you have everything you need for your situation.

Forms and Documents for Selling a House in Hawaii

Required for All Real Estate Sales in Hawaii

  • 2 Forms of ID
  • Copy of Purchase Agreement and Any Addendums
  • Closing Statement
  • Signed Deed
  • Bill of Sale
  • Affidavit of Title

Possible Additional Documents

  • Loan Payoff Information
  • HOA Forms and Guidelines
  • Survey Results or Survey Affidavits
  • Home Inspection Results
  • Proof of Repairs or Renovations
  • Home Warranty Information
  • Copies of Relevant Wills, Trusts, or Power of Attorney Letters
  • Relevant Affidavits (Name Affidavits, Non-Foreign Affidavit Under IRC 1445, etc.)
  • Closing Disclosure (for certain seller concessions)
  • Correction Statement and Agreement

Hawaii Disclosure Forms

  • Seller's Real Property Disclosure Statement
  • Flood Zone Statement
  • Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

Learn More: Disclosure Requirements in Hawaii

8. The closing process

In Hawaii, the closing of a home sale takes place at the escrow agent, title company, or closing agent office. After the buyers sign the paperwork, sellers sign the documents at different times or even days.

Closing costs in Hawaii are around 1.5% of the sale price, but it will all come down to the terms of your purchase agreement. Keep in mind that sellers take care of paying some closing costs such as realtor fees, property taxes until the closing date, termite inspection, 60% of the escrow fees, among others.

Some sellers may offer to pay a portion of the closing costs to bring buyers to the table. Before making this offer, you should make your own closing costs checklist to make sure you don’t get the short end of the deal.

Learn More: How Much Are Closing Costs for the Seller?

Next steps: Sell your Hawaii home and save thousands

Whether you’re looking to list your Hawaii home immediately or 6-12 months from now, it’s never too early to start looking for an agent, getting advice, and making a plan.

Clever is here to help guide you through the home selling process — and save money along the way! In fact, homeowners who list with us save an average of $9,000 on home selling costs.

>> LEARN about Clever's free service and read reviews from real home sellers here!

Top ways to sell your home in Hawaii

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