Whether you’re buying or selling real estate in Honolulu, the first step should be finding a good Honolulu REALTOR ®. You noticed it’s all caps and has the “registered” mark on there, because it’s a trademarked title that means a Honolulu real estate agent is not just an agent, but is a member of the Honolulu board of REALTORS ®.
Does that mean anything? Well it means that person pays a few hundreds dollars a year to the National association of REALTORS ® and the Honolulu local board too. But other than that, the only requirement to become a REALTOR ® is to take some classes every other year.
I’m telling you this because a lot of real estate agents think that their title means they are worth something, and a lot of buyers and sellers in Hawaii are convinced that seeing that title actually means something different than “real estate agent.” A Honolulu REALTOR ® is held to a code of ethics and can be disciplined, but it doesn’t guarantee you anything.
Questions for your Potential Honolulu Real Estate Agent
So how do you find a good real estate agent in Hawaii then? You interview them, just like you would interview anyone else you would hire. Yes, when you work with a REALTOR ®, you are hiring them to help you either buy or sell a home for you. So ask tough questions and get all the facts. Here are some suggestions, in no particular order, when it’s time to find a Honolulu REALTOR ®.
- Does the agent have a college degree or graduate degree?
- How many transactions has he done? Real estate is very complex, you don’t want a rookie do you?
- How long has he been licensed, and how much total business has he done?
- Can he provide past client references?
- What will he do to advertise your home? Will it be in print ads?
- Does he advertise his properties on the internet, other than the MLS?
- Who will take the pictures of the home? Will there be a professional photographer?
- Will there be a staging appointment and will it be extra?
- How well does he know the area? If your home is in Kailua, you want an agent who knows Kailua right?
- How will he handle a contract dispute?
- How will you get in contact? Will he be available anytime? Will he answer his cell phone whenever you call?
- Your search for a real estate agent has to be careful and methodical, or you could ruin the entire home sale. I have seen plenty of homes that didn’t sell because of the REALTOR ®. When it’s time to find a Honolulu real estate agent, you should realize that this decision will impact you for a long time, especially if you pick a bad one.