www.MolokaiHawaiiRealEstate.com
Member, Molokai Board of Realtors
Member, Honolulu Board of Realtors
Memeber, Hawaii Association of Realtors
Mamber, National Association of Realtors

                                                         BUYER AND SELLER INFORMATION

    SELLER TIPS:

    Sellers, did you know that when you list with Susan your property gets WORLDWIDE exposure?
                                                   See my extensive Marketing Strategy for details*

    How do you prepare a house to sell?
    Doing whatever you can to put your house's best face forward is very important if you want to get close to your asking price or sell as
    quickly as possible. Short of spending a lot of money, here are several ideas for making your home show better: Sweep the sidewalk,
    mow the lawn, prune the bushes, weed the garden and clean debris from the yard. Clean the windows (both inside and out) and make
    sure the paint is not chipped or flaking. And speaking of paint, if your home was built before 1978, new federal law gives a buyer the right
    to request a lead inspection. If you think you might have some problems, do the inspection yourself beforehand and make any fixes you
    can. Be sure that the doorbell works. Clean and spruce up all rooms, furnishings, floors, walls and ceilings. It's especially important that
    the bathroom and kitchen are spotless. Organize closets. Make sure the basic appliances and fixtures work. Get rid of leaky faucets and
    frayed cords. Make sure the house smells good: from an apple pie, cookies baking or spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove or
    potpourri. Hide the kitty litter. Put vases of fresh flowers throughout the house. Having pleasant background music playing in the
    background also will help set your stage. More preparation tips.

    What repairs should the seller make?
    If you want to get top dollar for your property, you probably need to make all minor repairs and selected major repairs before going on the
    market. Nearly all purchase contracts include an inspection clause, a buyer contingency that allows a buyer to back out if numerous
    defects are found or negotiate their repair. The trick is not to overspend on pre-sale repairs, especially if there are few houses on the
    market and many buyers. On the other hand, making such repairs may be the only way to sell your house in a down market.

    Do sellers have to disclose the terms of other offers?
    Sellers are not legally obligated to disclose the terms of other offers to prospective buyers.

    What are the standard contingencies?
    Most purchase offers include two standard contingencies: a financing contingency, which makes the sale dependent on the buyers' ability
    to obtain a loan commitment from a lender, and an inspection contingency, which allows buyers to have professionals inspect the
    property to their satisfaction. The purchase contract must include the seller's responsibilities, such things as passing clear title,
    maintaining the property in its present condition until closing and making any agreed-upon repairs to the property.

    Whose obligation is it to disclose pertinent information about a property?
    In Hawaii, it is the seller. Under the strictest laws, you are required to disclose all facts materially affecting the value or desirability of the
    property that are known or accessible only to you. This might include: homeowners association dues; whether or not work done on the
    house meets local building codes and permits requirements; the presence of any neighborhood nuisances or noises which a
    prospective buyer might not notice, any death within three years on the property; and any restrictions on the use of the property, such as
    zoning ordinances or association rules. It is wise to check your state's disclosure rules prior to a home purchase.

    How does someone sell a slow mover?
    Even in a down market, real estate experts say that price and condition are the two most important factors in selling a home. If you are
    selling in a slow market, your first step would be to lower your price. Also, go through the house and see if there are cosmetic defects that
    you missed and can be repaired. Secondly, you need to make sure that the home is getting the exposure it deserves through open
    houses, broker open houses, advertising, good signage, and listings on the local multiple listing service (MLS) and on the Internet.
    Another option is to pull your house off the market and wait for the market to improve. Finally, if you who have no equity in the house, and
    are forced to sell because of a divorce or financial considerations, you could discuss a short sale or a deed-in-lieu-of- foreclosure with
    your lender. A short sale is when the seller finds a buyer for a price that is below the mortgage amount and negotiates the difference with
    the lender. In a deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure situation, the lender agrees to take the house back without instituting foreclosure proceedings.
    The latter are radical options. Your simplest, and in many cases most effective, option is to lower the price.

    What are the two most important factors when selling a home?
    Price and condition are the two most important factors in selling a home, even in a down market. The first step is to price your home
    correctly. Use comparative sales information from your agent, or pay for a professional appraiser to objectively evaluate your home's
    worth. Second, go through the home and repair any obvious cosmetic defects that could deter a buyer. In a down market, you may have to
    consider lowering your price and/or making a major repair, such as replacing the roof, in order to lure a buyer.

    Do I have to consider contingencies?
    If you are a seller in a seller's market, in which there is more demand than supply, you probably won't have to entertain too many
    contingencies. But if you are selling in a buyer's market, when buyers are few, prepare to be very flexible. Granting contingencies also
    depends upon what kind of price you want to get and on the condition of your property, most experts agree. Remember, contingencies are
    written into the contract and are negotiable during the negotiation phase only.

    What is the best time to sell your house?
    There is no "best" time to sell per se. Selling a house depends on supply, demand and other economic factors. But the time of year in
    which you choose to sell can make a difference both in the amount of time it takes to sell your home and in the ultimate selling price.
    Weather conditions are less of a consideration in more temperate climates such as Molokai, but most of the time, the real estate market
    here picks up as early as late January/February, with the strongest selling season usually lasting through Spring. With the onset of
    summer, the market slows. July and August are often the slowest months for real estate sales.

    Following the summer slowdown here on Molokai, real estate sales activity tends to pick up for a second, although less vigorous, fall
    market, which usually lasts into December when the market slows again as buyers and sellers turn their attention to the holidays. If this
    makes you wonder if you should take your home off the market for the holidays, consider the advice of veteran agents: You are always
    more likely to sell your house if it is available to show to prospective buyers continuously.


    BUYER TIPS:

   Buyers, did you know that Susan is an Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR)?

    How do I figure out what to offer?
    Learn as much about market values as you can. Look at comparable properties. Ask your agent to prepare a comparative market
    evaluation of the property that will tell you recent selling prices of comparable properties. When market values are rising, there is a bit of
    guesswork involved in pricing. You may need to be a trendsetter and pay a bit more than recent comparable sales to be the successful
    bidder. Find out all you can about the property before writing an offer.

    Do sellers have to disclose the terms of other offers?
    Sellers are not legally obligated to disclose the terms of other offers to prospective buyers.

    How do I get the real scoop on homes I am looking at?
    As part of your property search you will want to perform a solid visual inspection and ask questions.  Once your offer has been accepted,
    home inspections, seller disclosure requirements and the agent's experience will help. Hawaii law requires the seller to complete a real
    estate transfer disclosure statement with detailed information regarding their knowledge of various aspects of the home.

    Here is a summary of the things you could expect to see in a disclosure form:
    •        In the kitchen -- a range, oven, microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, trash compactor.
    •        Safety features such as burglar and fire alarms, smoke detectors, sprinklers, security gate,
            window screens and intercom.
    •        The presence of a TV antenna or satellite dish, carport or garage, automatic garage door
            opener, rain gutters, sump pump.
    •        Amenities such as a pool or spa, patio or deck, built-in barbeque and fireplaces.
    •        Type of heating, condition of electrical wiring, gas supply and presence of any external power
             source, such as solar panels.
    •        The type of water heater, water supply, sewer system or septic tank also should be disclosed.
    Sellers also are required to indicate any significant defects or malfunctions existing in the home's major systems. A checklist specifies
    interior and exterior walls, ceilings, roof, insulation, windows, fences, driveway, sidewalks, floors, doors, foundation, as well as the
    electrical and plumbing systems. The form also asks sellers to note the presence of environmental hazards, walls or fences shared with
    adjoining landowners, any encroachments or easements, room additions or repairs made without the necessary permits or not in
    compliance with building codes, zoning violations, citations against the property and lawsuits against the seller affecting the property.
    Also look for, or ask about, settling, sliding or soil problems, flooding or drainage problems and any major damage resulting from
    earthquakes, floods or landslides. People buying a condominium must be told about covenants, codes and restrictions or other deed
    restrictions. It's important to note that the simple idea of disclosing defects has broadened significantly in recent years. Many jurisdictions
    have their own mandated disclosure forms as do many brokers and agents. Also, the home inspection and home warranty industries
    have grown significantly to accommodate increased demand from cautious buyers. Be sure to ask questions about anything that
    remains unclear or does not seem to be properly addressed by the forms provided to you.

    What are the standard contingencies?
    Most purchase offers include two standard contingencies: a financing contingency, which makes the sale dependent on the buyers' ability
    to obtain a loan commitment from a lender, and an inspection contingency, which allows buyers to have professionals inspect the
    property to their satisfaction. As a buyer, you could forfeit your deposit under certain circumstances, such as backing out of the deal for a
    reason not stipulated in the contract. The purchase contract must include the seller's responsibilities, such things as passing clear title,
    maintaining the property in its present condition until closing and making any agreed-upon repairs to the property.

    What are some tips on negotiation?
    There are several cardinal rules to negotiating effectively. One is do your homework, and learn as much about the property as you can.
    Another is to play your cards close to your vest and not reveal too much information to the other party or their agent. Don't let yourself get
    rushed into any decision, no matter how tempting it may be. Finally, if you have doubts about your negotiating skill, hire someone to help.
    The more you know about a seller's motivation, the stronger a negotiating position you are in. For example, a seller who must move
    quickly due to a job transfer may be amenable to a lower price with a speedy escrow. Other so-called "motivated sellers" include people
    going through a divorce or who have already purchased another home. Remember, that the listing price is what the seller would like to
    receive but is not necessarily what they will settle for. Before making an offer, check the recent sales prices of comparable homes in the
    neighborhood to see how the seller's asking price stacks up. Some experts discourage making deliberate low-ball offers. While such an
    offer can be presented, it can also sour the sale and discourage the seller from negotiating at all.

    Is a low offer a good idea?
    While your low offer in a normal market might be rejected immediately, in a buyer's market a motivated seller will either accept or make a
    counteroffer. Full-price offers or above are more likely to be accepted by the seller. But there are other considerations involved: Is the offer
    contingent upon anything, such as the sale of the buyer's current house? If so, a low offer, even at full price, may not be as attractive as an
    offer without that condition. Is the offer made on the house "as is", or does the buyer want the seller to make some repairs or lower the
    price instead? Is the offer all cash, meaning the buyer has waived the financing contingency? If so, then an offer at less than the asking
    price may be more attractive to the seller than a full-price offer with a financing contingency. You should always do your homework about
    comparable prices in the neighborhood before making any offer. It also pays to know something about the seller's motivation. A lower
    price with a speedy escrow, for example, may motivate a seller who must move, has another house under contract or must sell quickly for
    other reasons.

    How do I handle the purchase offer when buying a for-sale-by-owner home?
    If you do not have the expertise to draft a purchase contract, consider hiring a real estate attorney for this critical part of the transaction. If
    you are short on time and have little experience with real estate sales, you also can hire a real estate agent for an hourly rate or a fixed fee
    to represent you in the transaction. Some agents will handle such a transaction for a discounted fee because they will not have to spend
    time and money marketing the property or showing you the property.

    Buyer / Agent Action Plan
  • Discuss current market conditions and requirements
  • Develop purchase and timing strategy
  • Learn about the neighborhood if it is new, i.e. schools, community services, recreation
  • Discuss your "New Home Wish List" with your agent
  • Tour homes that fit your criteria
  • Agent handles all follow-up with listing agents
  • Agent contacts you as soon as homes become available in your areas of interest
  • Agent explains basic real estate principles - agency relationships, contracts, etc.
  • Agent writes offers on homes on your behalf
  • Discuss the closing process and financing options
  • Identify any property of the seller's you want included in sale (light fixtures, fridge etc.)
  • Agent provides updates to you on a regular basis
  • Re-evaluate strategy after 30 days
  • Agent represents your interests during negotiations


www.MolokaiHawaiiRealEstate.com
The resource center for all your Molokai
Hawaii real estate needs....


(808)658-0648
SusanMSavage@yahoo.com
Realtor/Broker

Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR)
Short Sale/Foreclosure Resource (SFR
Susan Savage
Hawaii Office:






Friendly Isle Realty
P.O. Box 1980
Kaunakakai,  HI 96748






7817 Ivanhoe Avenue
Ste. 101
La Jolla, CA 9203
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