Selling Advice

Looking For Treats, Not Tricks?

Pictured home: 15-798 Paradise Ala Kai Drive, Kea`au

It was Halloween once again, giving us a chance to be silly and show our personalities in as bizarre a fashion as we choose. Wearing COVID masks has made dressing up more challenging but especially now, it’s good to remember, it’s all in good fun.

Looking good is important and making a good first impression is critical whether you’re trying to be the Bride of Frankenstein or off to a job interview. As the old adage goes, “there’s never a second chance to make a good first impression”.

10 Second Rule

I recently read an article that characterized the all-important “curb appeal” as the “most important 10 seconds in real estate”. This holds true even when a seller is making millions or losing money. Curb appeal is crucial.


We are quickly approaching what is normally (even in our new normal) one of our busiest selling seasons. If your home is on the market, it might be a good idea to walk across the street, turn around and see if it’s “dressed” to impress. A well-groomed exterior, including fresh paint and neat, trimmed yard set the stage for the attitude of a potential buyer.


Make no mistake, if the yard is a mess, a buyer will look more critically at all aspects of the interior spaces. The inside of your home should sparkle. Clear the counters, repair cracked drywall, repair loose tiles. A messy or cluttered interior weighs the house down. Spaces look and feel smaller. Get rid of junk, even if you have to rent a storage unit. The feeling of space, light, and cleanliness are the very reasons we love looking at home magazines. Check out the before and after photos of this recent home we staged for free.

before and after studio renovation big island

The effort gives a buyer a real sense of security about overall maintenance. It’s hard work, but a clean house not only sells faster, it tends to bring top dollar. After all, isn’t that your goal? As a seller’s agent, I know it’s always mine! Here’s wishing you only treats and no tricks this Halloween!

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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