Selling Advice

FSBO: For Sale By Owner in Hawaii – Is It a Good Idea?

Why FSBO? (For Sale By Owner)

A common misconception is that you, as a seller, may save a ton of money in commissions by not hiring a realtor to sell your home. It’s true — if you decide to try and sell your home without hiring a realtor — you would be saving the commission percentage owed to the realtor. But, you could be selling yourself short with the overall net income.

No Market Exposure

It’s a disservice to yourself as a Seller to not allow your property or home the opportunity of market exposure, especially in a Seller’s market. At this point in time, we’re seeing multiple and over-asking offers once a home hits the market. But, you’re not going to generate that kind of interest using an “FSBO website.” Why? Because Buyers and their full-time realtors are not using those sites to find a potential home for themselves. Most “real” buyers, who have been pre-qualified and ready to buy, will be working with a full-time realtor using Oahu’s Multiple Listing Services portal to search for homes.

house with key

Contracts, Contingencies, Deadlines, Oh My!

Hawaii’s purchase contract is 14 pages long filled with contingencies (mostly protecting the Buyer). This does not include addendums or amendments that come along the way. When you hire a Realtor — it is our fiduciary duty to ensure everything and anything is done in your best interest and to negotiate on your behalf. Written in the contract are your rights and legal obligations as the Seller. But, as your experienced Realtor, we are your council.

Net Income

It’s true, the bulk of a Seller’s closing costs are going towards the commissions paid. So, how much would your property need to sell for in order to offset those commissions being paid by you? We don’t know what your home will sell for, only the market can speak to that. So, test the market with ultimate market exposure — you could be pleasantly surprised!

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Kim Soares

November 12, 2020

Great information and so true! Plus, not many people want to meet a stranger in a home (how would you even know if they’re qualified to buy) – especially during these times!

Kaety Enos

November 12, 2020

> Thank you, Kim – so true!!


May 17, 2021

The realtors don’t know what is in that 14 page document either. That is why they use legal teams (brokers) and Title companies for that. I can do a few simple things. Look at Comps of what has sold recently in my area by Sq feet. Make an educated listing based on has sold in your area. Pay the real estate lawyer the minimal legal fees for the paperwork. Work through a title company. Be okay not taking the first offer. Ask for proof of pre-approval to be emailed before showing if needed. All of this is worth the 40K savings + for a sellers market in Hawaii. I can’t for the life of me understand how a realtor believes they earn their 20K+ commission for putting a sign in a yard, filling out a form contract that they have almost nothing to do with and advising the seller on which “offer” is the best. The best offer is the most money that has the highest chance of closing based on the pre approval letter.

If you are a person who feels uncomfortable to negotiate, or are timid with any confrontation, then a real estate agent is probably for you. Otherwise, you can save 40K and list yourself.

If relators dont change with the times they will find themselves unemployed in the next 10 yrs. With having everything so easy to find online, and things like Zillow showing houses (even though they do direct you to a relator agent if the listing is not posted correctly), relators will go away unless they change their fee schedule. It should be a set schedule based on how fast a home sells. It sells in the first week, you get 5K, 2 weeks 7K, ext. Something like that, the hardee to sell, the higher the commission.

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