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How to make your home stand out

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Right now there are over 4000 properties for sale in Hawaii. So the competition is stiff, and even though there are more buyers out there now than a couple months ago, it’s getting harder and harder to lure them. So how can you make your Hawaii home sell faster than others? How does your Hawaii Kai home or Waikiki condo make a statement that’s different from the rest?

Here are some ideas to get you started

1) Price – Nothing says “buy me!” like a home that is priced extremely competitively. I ask sellers this question: “Do you want your home to be the next to sell, or do you want to sell in 3 or 4 months?” If your home has 10 showings and no offers, it’s time to reduce the price. If your home is shown less than 10 times in a month, it’s priced too high.

2) Cooperating Commission – If you want your Hawaii home to stand out, to be the next one to sell, consider offering more commission than everyone else. 3 percent is normal, but lately I’m seeing a lot of 3.5% and 4%, and even bonuses like $5000 to an agent that can close by a certain date. Agents always look at the commissions, it’s human nature. So if there are 20 homes like yours (there are) and a few of them pay less commissions, they don’t show them. It’s just business.

3) Seller Financing – A lot of sellers lately are offering to finance some of the purchase. This is a great tool that makes more buyers able to buy!

4) Buyer Incentives – New Home Builders on the mainland are now offering huge incentives to buyers. Some are giving away $10,000 in upgrades, everything from new flooring to a nice new granite kitchen counter. Some are throwing in items like flat screen TVs and trips to Hawaii . Recently a builder in San Diego gave away a car! Not a bad deal, huh? Buy a home, get a car. Offer $1000 in free handyman work.

5) Marketing – Do traditional marketing: flyers, ads and “Just Listed” cards. Target marketing to surrounding apartments or homes. The bottom line: get aggressive with your marketing efforts.

6) Access/Easy to Show – If your home is only available to be shown by appointment and you must be there to accompany, they will not get shown very often. Make it as easy as possible. Have a lockbox and make it easy for agents to set appointments to see the home or else they will take their buyers elsewhere.

7) Staging – The benefits of professionally staging your listings are huge. There is no doubt this will make the home stand out. If there is too much furniture, remove some of the furnishings to create more space. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Your job is to determine which listings would benefit from being staged and then convince your sellers of the benefits.

8) Curb Appeal – What does the front of the house and yard look like? In Hawaii a lot of homes are ugly on the outside and beautiful on the inside. It’s time to change that as buyers become pickier. A fresh coat of paint, some beautiful flowers, a clean and green lawn, these are all things that help. Try getting a new mailbox, cutting back trees, and certainly remove any junk or cars that can be moved.

9) Make it smell and sound nice – candels, music, get the stink out! 

10) Hire a pro – in a tough market, you need an experienced agent who has many lines of marketing, lots of buyer contacts, and expert negotiating skills!  

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