There are a lot of people out there right now looking to buy real estate in Hawaii — it’s a buyer’s market with low prices and low interest rates. Yes, interest rates are rising somewhat but they are still at historically low levels and are projected to stay low for the next year at least according to most sources. But just because the market is ripe for qualified buyers doesn’t mean that it’s easy to get that dream house. Here are a few quick tips to snag that beautiful 3br/2ba Honolulu single family house with the ocean view:
- Get pre-qualified. This is a no-brainer. Get this handled or have other sources of funding that match the price of range of houses you’re interested in. Remember, in a buyer’s market you have competition — you have to assume others will be putting in offers on the same properties that you are. Getting pre-qualified for a mortgage from a Hawaii regional lender or national lender or having funds ready and visible for a full cash offer shows the seller that you mean business and won’t be wasting their time.
- Shorten your contingency period. If you’ve already seen the property inside and out, do you need a full 14 days? Can you get a handyman or general contractor in that Manoa house the next 7-10 days instead? Again, this shows the seller you’re serious. Adjust your purchase offer accordingly — but only if you’re comfortable.
- Don’t ask for repairs. Take that Kapolei townhouse in its current condition, the “As Is” condition. Include an “As Is” addendum with your contract and reduce the stress of the homeowner. By doing so, you’re making the selling process easier for them and they may thank you by taking your offer over another.
- Waive cleaning, termite inspection and other fees. You have to see how these costs figure in to the overall structure of your particular property, but this might be another bargaining chip you could use in your favor to secure that Kailua vacation rental. Similarly, you could offer to pay a higher portion of the title and escrow fees that are normally paid by the seller.
- Be flexible with your closing time. If the seller is underwater, needs cash or is being transferred from Hawaii to the mainland, they might want a quick closing. Can you close in under 30 days? Conversely, they may need a full two months until their new house in Mililani is ready. Can you wait that long? Being flexible where others are not will make your offer more appealing than others.
- BE NICE AND SINCERE. Sounds simple, huh? It is and it isn’t. Real estate is a people-driven industry, especially here in Hawaii. Many sellers have accepted offers that maybe weren’t as strong as others but were delivered by pleasant, courteous buyers who understood the seller’s needs or merely imparted a warm, cheery feeling about the process. That warm, fuzzy feeling can go a long way so work on that smile!
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