Any real estate website offers tips preparing a home for listing. Here in the Kohala Coast resorts, we have our own set of guidelines. Your condo has “curb appeal” built in thanks to your HOA dues. Staging and photography are extra important because, after all, the majority of buyers in the Kohala Coast resort area are not on Island when they begin their search. In addition, because of COVID-19 restrictions imposed in Hawaii, there is a new set of expectations. This could mean the difference between getting a good offer versus sitting on the market for a long period of time: costing you taxes, HOA, power and other fees.
In addition to your basic Listing 101 items:
-itemize your upgrades -clean title report
-Remove your “personality”
COVID-19 has added the following:
1. Sanitization: the new normal
We’re talking CLEAN, sanitized, disinfected. Purell and masks out on display. In addition to safety concerns, buyers will still equate “clean” with “well maintained”. So make sure those fixtures, sinks, tubs, toilets and floors sparkle. Remember: the comfort of your buyers as they go through your property will help sell your property.
2. Photos are More Important
Hawaii buyers have always been online, as most of them are looking from the mainland. Now that showings are more difficult and buyers will be slow to come back to Hawaii in numbers, those photos are more important than ever. You want to invite buyers to make offers without stepping foot in your home.
3. Unoccupied is Good Marketing
It used to be that having renters or occupants was something we could get around during a listing. In this day and age, buyers are more comfortable with the safety of vacant properties. In addition, if you have tenants, they can, understandably, be uncomfortable with strangers coming through their living space. Because of our quarantine restrictions, mainland buyers are making offers from the mainland, then requesting to come to Hawaii and quarantine IN THE PROPERTY while it is in escrow. Somewhat of a prolonged inspection, but it’s happening here.
4. Online is the new Curb Appeal
This was a reality here in Hawaii before COVID-19, but now it’s so much more important. Again, these buyers will be slow to come for a visit, but are looking online. This is part of your “curb appeal” now… so…Those pictures and staging better be SPOT ON. If you are renting your condo, online reviews are important. Buyers do their research. Make sure your online rental reviews are stellar. All bad reviews should be answered and REMEDIED. Not looking to sell? Keep your options open and manage those reviews!
5. Force Majeure
…is not a cocktail. Meriam Webster defines this as “an event or effect that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled”. This is usually used as a reason to get out of a contract. This began to play out on the Big Island when the volcano erupted a few years ago. Buyers tried to back out of contracts or get financial credit from the Seller. Unless affected by the destruction path, most of these were not successful. Consult an attorney if you want to use protective language in your contracts, and be ready for buyers to do the same.
6. Staging is Expected
Remember, your buyer looks at pictures first. Show the buyer the purpose and possibilities for each room, Island Style! Show them the “zoom room”, home office space, amenities and possibilities for healthy and safe activities.
And Remember, when you list with me
Your extensive marketing plan will be in writing and will include:
An ad in Hawaii Homes and Land. These magazines are also distributed in key mainland markets.
Your listing will be syndicated across all of the popular real estate websites and apps, even global sites.
Top notch staging, photography and 3D virtual video tours.
No lockbox! I show your property personally