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How to Find the Right Agent

With so many real estate agents on Oahu, it's important you choose the right one.

A skilled agent’s advice to avoid costly mistakes down the road can have enormous impact on your pocket book, as well as your stress levels. It’s not uncommon when after meeting with a seller for a potential listing; Locations agents will help you uncover other options, potential pitfalls, tax implications, needed repairs or improvements, and more.  To demonstrate, read this recent success story from a Locations agent:

About six months ago, I worked with a couple who wanted to sell their home in Manoa. While I was excited to help, after doing hours of research on the property, I discovered that selling their home at that time may incur unexpected capital gains tax, and I advised them to seek guidance from their CPA. Unaware this could be an outcome; the seller’s hadn’t planned on meeting with their CPA prior to selling their home. Upon my recommendation, they scheduled an appointment, and sure enough, after the meeting the estimated capital gains tax was $13,000.00! Needless to say, the sellers were very so grateful to me for bringing this to their attention. We created a plan where they wouldn't incur this tax and are currently proceeding with the sale.

Buying or selling your home is probably one of the biggest financial investments of your life, and finding and choosing a skilled real estate agent can truly be daunting. While most people start out by asking for referrals from friends and family, others start their search online relying on the recommendations and testimonials of others who have worked with that agent. The company they work for is just as important, if not MORE important, because if and when things go wrong, you want a reliable, capable company backing you up.

Once you get a recommendation, make an appointment to meet with the agent. This is your opportunity to see if the REALTOR® and their brokerage are the right fit for your needs. Find out what/if any prep work the agent has done with your property, recent sales in the area, the marketing plan, and process for getting the home sold. The objective is transparency.

The seller should be aware of approximate costs and net profit BEFORE they list with an agent. This meeting is also an excellent time for sellers to ask the REALTOR® for testimonials from past clients and their contact information. It’s also good to find out how active the agent is in regards to sales – Are they a full-time, dedicated real estate professional, or, is this their hobby, or part time job? This will become very important later down the road, because what most of the public isn’t aware of, is the real estate world is quite small. They know who is professional, and responsible, and who isn’t, and that means if you select an agent who isn’t known for being dependable, professional, your offers, or listing, might be avoided by other professionals.

Hawaii is about Ohana

Our culture can make us feel obligated to use a friend, relative or friend of a friend. But beware, there are many REALTORS® on the island and every agent runs their business differently and provides a different level of service to their clients. The truth is quite alarming. A whopping 41 percent of "active agents" have NOT had a closed escrow, while ONLY 8 percent have closed 10-plus transactions. You shouldn’t feel obligated to work with your "aunty" just because she has a license, especially if the level of service is not to your expectation.

It behooves you to see not only what the real estate agent can do, but also the company and firm representing you.  We realize this can be troubling, because after all, how do you hide your new home from “Aunty” without disappointing her?  Talk with your Locations agent, because they have various solutions to offer, so that way “Aunty” will be content, and you’ll have the agent you select who is best to serve you!

Locations agents are trained and obligated to do the following when listing your property:

  • Secure a Property Preliminary Title Report (free to you)
  • Give you a detailed listing presentation, to demonstrate steps to be taken to sell your home
  • Give you an Estimated net proceeds from sale
  • Explain to you their Strategic Marketing Plan that includes preparing your home for sale, professional photography, marketing your home to the real estate agents most likely to have a buyer for your home, brokers open, open houses, online marketing and so much more.
  • Discuss the time line to prepare your home for market, how to maximize the first 3 weeks
  • Discuss the pricing of recent homes sold that are similar to yours, explain what the local real estate market is doing, and how to position your property to the best advantage for you to sell

All of our agents go above and beyond what is required, but rest assured that you'll receive top notch service.  If you choose somebody other than Locations, do your homework and make sure you hire somebody with your best interests at heart.  You are the most important part of every real estate transaction, a good agent will make you feel like it.