10 Ways to Pay Less for Real Estate in Hawaii. (click through to see video below)
#1 Know The Market. Ask for a detailed history of everything that has SOLD in the last year. That is the MARKET that most determines the current market value. Not asking prices! In order to to SEE a deal when it presents itself you must KNOW the market. That means watching the SALES and then calculating the sold price per square foot, per acre and adjusting for the fit, finish, age and condition of the property. This is probably the #1 reason I suggest utilizing an experienced real estate agent. Also pay attention to average days on market, listing price vs sales price ratio and the number of months of inventory on the market for a given price range and geographic area. These are the elements of supply and demand. But the reason you need to know these numbers cold are so when a "good deal" comes your way, you can quickly identify. All possible suspects must be inspected in person to see what you can't see in the listing and write up and photos. The opportunity or lack thereof is in the details.
#2 Get Auto Updates or Active Pending and Sold's - It's imperative that you receive instant updates the moment anything hits the market, goes under contract (pending) or sells in the geographic area and price point you are shopping. This instant supply of data will arm you with the ability to act quickly should the opportunity present itself. Trust me, you have competition. Even a few minutes can make a difference in winning a deal. Finally, you MUST tell whoever is setting up the auto alert to make it "instant" alert vs. same day, weekly, or monthly.
#3 Keep an Eye On "Under Contract Cancelling" - Make sure your agent sharing with you ALL of the available inventory. Those homes and condos that are under contract but are in the PROCESS of cancelling are usually missed. This could be a great deal that someone else put under contract, and is not cancelling since the buyer can't perform, but the listing is not allowed to show it as ACTIVE and back on the market until it officially cancels with the escrow company.
#4 Always Seek out For Sale By Owner (FSBO) and Zillow. Don't judge these listings by the quality or lack of photos, a write up or incorrect listing information. These are "do it yourself" sellers who don't usually have the skill and know how to properly list properties online. Before you or your agent step foot into the house or condo be sure so negotiate the "buyers" side commission (even if you don't have an agent!) since buying a home will take time, energy and paperwork. Be sure tp discuss how you will legally document the purchase contracts, and the myriad of legal documents needed to transfer the deed. Always get title insurance and ask for a general warranty deed!
5) Unoccupied Homes - by this I don't mean homes that are no lived in on a full time basis (we have LOTS of those in Hawaii) I mean homes and condos that clearly look almost like nobody has been there in year. It will usually have a run down yard, deferred maintenance and no sign of life. You can even ask the neighbors about the property. It's very easy to find the name, mailing address, phone and email for the registered owner (if you know where to look) and ask questions about the property and possibly making an offer. I've personally found and closed many such deals for my clients.
6) Stale Listing! If a home or condo has been on the market longer than the average days on market, there is a good chance it is over priced. Statistically speaking, this "fishing" strategy actually costs sellers more money in the long run that just actually pricing the home on a fair market to begin with. So I would ask your agent to pull of all the listing in order of a days on market and start with the oldest. If it happens to be a property you'd like to own, make a low ball offer. Chances are the seller has been softened up already with previous buyers and might be ready to make a deal. You might just be pleasantly surprised and get the deal of lifetime. Don't overlook overpriced listings!!
7) Negotiate HARD. If you have not read the book "Never Split The Difference" then do yourself and your wallet a HUGE favor and get it. You will learn from the lead negotiator for the CIA. In the book you will learn about a the extreme anchor. Your opening bid. And how psychologically it makes sense to start the bidding LOW. From there, you will learn the exact mathematical incremental percentages to increase each subsequent bid. The results are almost magical.
8) Recently Deceased Property Owners - Hey, I know it sounds harsh and like an ambulance chaser. But guess what. It works. And you have the heirs that are actually really wanting to find YOU the buyer. A great chance to get a good deal since they typically are in a hurry to liquidate and may not have an emotional connection to the property.
9) Pursue Rental Properties - if you've ever been a landlord, you know it can suck. Many get weary after a few years. If you see a property that you'd like to own hit the rental market, reach out the landlord and see if he's ready to sell. Never a better time than when it's vacant and costing him money. Best way to do this is to set up an alert on Craiglist and Zillow HotPads. Call right away - like the day it hits the market.
10) The Direct Approach - I have done this successfully for my clients and it only works if you really know exactly what you want...the neighborhood, (building if condo), size and price point then this could be the method for you. The process? Simple. You get a list of the owners address. Send them a hand written note in a wedding invitation envelope. Tell them you are looking to buy a home similar to theirs and just ask....are you open to selling? You can even provide a link to a private website (password protected page) with a photo of you and your spouse a short bio and some kind of proof of ability to pay (banker letter or lender prequalifiaction)
Visit http://www.HawaiiRealEstate.ORG Research MLS Real Estate in Hawaii. See all homes for sale in Hawaii. View listing photos, review sales history, and use our detailed real estate filters to find the perfect place. Search Hawaii real estate MLS listings of all Hawaii homes & condos for sale on Oahu, Big Island, Kauai & Maui on one easy to use website plus foreclosures. Instantly search and view photos of all homes for sale in Hawaii now. Hawaii real estate listings updated every 15 to 30 minutes. Search all Hawaii real estate listings through Hawaii MLS on Oahu, Big Island, Maui & Kauai in 1 place to view homes for sale, foreclosures, condos and land. Call Eric West 808-298-2030 for help in buying a home, condo or land in Hawaii. Our team has agents the service every side of every Hawaiian island - Maui Real Estate, Oahu, Big Island, Kauai and Molokai.