The Real Estate Sale

Negotiating the Offer for Your Hawaii Home

This Hawaii property seller primer starts from when you actually get sold offers on your home. Your real estate agent will immediately present and explain all offers to you. You will be able to accept, reject, or counter any offer presented. During the negotiation process, your agent will leverage their experience and skills to advocate your interests:

  • Reviewing the contract and obligations before you sign
  • Explaining how contingencies and release clauses work
  • Protecting you from signing a "blank check" for unknown problems or repairs
  • Defining legal disclosure requirements
  • Orchestrate the offer process for "back-up" offers, if necessary

Throughout the negotiation, your real estate agent will provide you with a professional, objective point of view; but the final decision of accepting an offer is yours. 

Home inspection

Your home is in escrow, and the buyer has scheduled a home inspection. A home inspection is a thorough visual examination of the home and property. The process usually takes two to three hours, during which time the house is examined from the ground up. The inspection includes observation and, when appropriate, operation of the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical, and appliance systems, as well as structural components: roof, foundation, basement, exterior and interior walls, chimney, doors, and windows.

It’s important to remember that a home inspection does not detect every conceivable flaw. It is an inspection of those areas and items that can be seen. Home inspectors cannot see through foundations, floors or walls, and cannot inspect areas or items that are inaccessible.

A pre-sale inspection enables you to attend to problems before the house is put on the market, it also removes any questions about the condition of your home for you and a potential home buyer. Buyers are positively influenced by a professionally produced home inspection report, which improves the speed, price, and likelihood of a sale.

After Inspection: Fix Problems or Just Acknowledge Them?

Some home sellers elect not to correct every defect reflected in the inspection report. Instead, they acknowledge the defects to buyers and explain that the asking price has been adjusted to reflect the estimated cost of repairs. Such candor tends to shorten negotiation time because buyers have fewer objections that could thwart a sale. In addition to facilitating the sale of a home, an inspection helps the homeowner comply with full-disclosure real estate laws, governed by state laws. By focusing on the condition of your property, you are less likely to overlook a defect or material fact for which you later could be held liable.

Qualified inspection companies will provide a sample report to substantiate that they abide by industry standards. One of the key standards is that ethical inspectors neither perform repairs nor refer clients to repair companies (thus avoiding a conflict of interest). Obviously, inspectors who make repairs on homes they inspect are more likely to "find" defects.

Once you have arranged for a home inspection, plan to accompany the inspector for the entire procedure. You have the right to be there, and leading home inspection companies will encourage your presence. It helps you to better understand the findings in the report, and will reduce post-closing hassles. Don't forget your list of questions and items of concern. A thorough home inspection covers more than 1,000 items, everything from the foundation to roof and takes two to three hours depending on the size of the property. The report should reflect the condition of about 400 items. 

After the Offer is Accepted

Once an offer is accepted, your real estate agent will manage all the details to make the process as stress-free and efficient as possible:

  • Staying in contact with the buyer's agent to ensure a smooth escrow
  • Following up on the progress of the buyer's loan
  • Monitoring all contingency removal deadlines
  • Assisting you if a conflict with the buyer arises

What's next? Now it's time to look at the Closing on Your Hawaii Home Sale.

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