It’s an interesting time in the real estate market right now. Interest rates have climbed up a notch as we enter into the 2nd half of summer 2013. That means potential downward pressure on prices as homebuyers’ purchasing power gets knocked down a bit. Of course, the devil’s advocate also says that interest rates remain at super low prices.
But — trends are at least worth keeping an eye on. And if this trend of rising interest rates might continue, then if you’re considering selling your own house, you might want to do it NOW instead of later when buyers will have to get more picky in a smaller budget.
I’ve written many times before about selling your house in Hawaii the traditional way with an agent OR selling your own house. Your own unique situation should determine which path is better for you. If you decide to do it your own to save on fees and time, then you’ll find these tips below extremely useful….
Top 5 Tips for Selling Your Own House in Hawaii
Evaluate Your Market Price
The #1 most important item is to properly evaluate the current market value of your house. This is the time to be realistic. Many homeowners think that their house is the gem of the block. While that may be true, always remember that potential buyers are viewing your house as a clean slate to build their own Hawaiian memories, not to buy yours. So try to remain objective and remember the goal — selling your house. Get a professional appraisal if you don’t know how to correctly gauge your home’s market value (or ask us to do this for your for FREE).
Clean, Clean, Clean
Without a doubt, clean your house like there’s no tomorrow. Hire a professional cleaning company if you don’t want to do it yourself or don’t consider yourself the next Mr. Clean. There are plenty to choose from on every Hawaiian Island. You’ll want prospective buyers to feel that you treated your home well, so really take this one to heart. This would also be a good time to make any minor repairs, put on a new front door or brush up the landscaping.
Know What to Feature
When you’re walking potential buyers of your house around and through the property, you should have a least of 3 to 5 items that really make your house shine. Maybe it’s your spacious newly-tiled lanai or perhaps your ohana unit that brings in $1500/month in rent. Or perhaps your backyard pool, Diamond Head view or just the fact that everything is up to current building codes.
Market Your House
Perhaps the biggest step is correctly marketing your house. That’s another blog post entirely, but the basics are that you should pick a weekend to run a couple open houses and let everyone know (or try a 5-day auction!). You can do this on the cheap — post free ads on Craigslist with a great photo, print out flyers and pass out to all the neighbors, post an ad in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser or other island newspaper, and DEFINITELY share on Facebook and Twitter.
If you want to spend a few hundred dollars, you can list your house on the MLS with a flat-fee broker service and still handle all of the sale details yourself. And without a doubt, for $20 get a professional “For Sale By Owner” sign and post it right out front!
Compare Offers on More Than Just Price
Once you have a couple open houses and chose a realistic asking price, you should start seeing some offers. Don’t make the mistake of only looking at the offer price when comparing your different offers. Look at other items such as: Will you have to pay agent commissions? How fast can your buyer close? Are they asking for a long inspection period? Are they buying with all cash or do they have to apply for a mortgage? Are they asking for more modifications or buying your house “as is”? All of these factors may be just as important as the dollar figure on the contract, so remember to compare apples to apples.
And don’t be afraid to negotiate!
If selling your own house in Hawaii is something you’re considering, then stick to the above tips and you should do just fine. Of course, every home seller’s situation is unique. You may be in more of a hurry to sell, or may have all the time in the world. Either way, now you’ve got a game plan!