Big Island

Attracting Buyers

There’s no denying that the housing market is hugely competitive at the moment.  When there are more homes than buyers in a neighborhood, it is referred to as a “buyer’s market.”  This swings the bargaining pendulum squarely on the side of the buyer.

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The challenge for sellers is to balance the pendulum.  Pricing is critical.  An overpriced home may be automatically excluded from the buyer’s candidate list, eliminating it before even seeing it.

Curb appeal is another important issue.  The buyer should like what they see.  Current statistics indicate that a home is 2000 times as likely to be seen online as in a print ad.

Let’s contemplate that number.

  • My first car cost $2000.  It took me 3 years to pay for it.
  • This is the year 2015.  A child born in the year 2000 is contemplating cruising with friends in Daddy’s car.  They will consider themselves a quasi-adult.
  • If you run 2000 steps with a 3 foot stride, you’ve covered more than a mile!


Two thousand is a great deal whether it’s time, space or money. It’s huge when it applies to increasing the likelihood of capturing a buyer’s attention online.  I call it online “curb appeal.”

When it’s time to sell, your home is a product

It’s important for sellers to stop thinking of their home as “their home.”  When it’s time to sell, it’s simply a product and packaging the product is critical.  Stop by Big Island Candies and you’ll immediately understand that concept.  Not unlike a pair of Nikes, a Cadillac, or a pair of designer jeans, today’s sellers must “package” a lifestyle even if there’s little or no profit involved.  The buyer must want the lifestyle.  It’s important for the home to be attractive, inviting, comfortable and perhaps even exciting.

Offering an agent an incentive such as a commission bonus or offering to pay a buyer’s closing costs can help increase showings.  The more showings, the better the chance a sale will result.

While incentives may help, it’s the package, pricing and the right agent that will get the buyer to the door.  Agents who focus on listings as their main source of income have a huge advantage.  Cross-showings, that is, suggesting showings of similar properties can really increase showing activity.

The online presence of the agent is another part of the success equation.  To ensure the property achieves the “2000 club,” the agent must have a personal website (few agents in our market do) that ranks high on the search engines.  Search engine placement is complicated and is as much a function of time on the web as content.

Today’s listings must be syndicated through numerous portals

Social networking is crucial. Most agents depend on their office website (if there is one) or worse, our MLS.  As wonderful as our Multiple Listing Service is, it does not historically present itself in Google or Yahoo! searches.  Your property should have broad and prominent exposure on the net.

Remember, you can’t sell it if it’s a secret.  Make sure your listing has curb appeal and shouts out to all buyers no matter where they are and when they are searching!

About the Author

Denise Nakanishi

Denise Nakanishi is a REALTOR Broker with Hawai'i Life. Denise Nakanishi is one of Hilo's most acclaimed real estate agents. She reached the rank of Major in the US Army and is now known by many as "Major Mom." The nickname fits–not only does Denise bring the discipline and mission-oriented attitude you'd expect, she's also caring and compassionate, always looking out for her clients like they're her own family. Having made the Big Island her home since 1987, Denise combines her extensive knowledge of the area with a sharp focus on customer service and the results speak for themselves. She's the recent recipient of the Best East Hawai`i, Best of Zillow, Chairman's Circle Award, President's Circle, Top Producing Agent since 2001, and Realtor of the Year awards. Denise stays ahead of the curve because she's passionate about education–she served as Education Chair for Hawaii Island REALTORS® for many years. She's one of Big Island's best real estate resources, known for her weekly article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Denise leads Team Nakanishi for Hawai`i Life, who is committed to their family, work, and community. In her little time away from work, Denise is a committed runner and Grandy. She also devotes many hours to various Veterans' Organizations, the East Hawaii Cultural Center, and the Hawaii Island REALTORS®. You can email me at or via phone at (808) 936-5100.

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