Buying Advice

Love Your Agent

Time to take a deeper dive into why DIY in a real estate transaction rarely creates a smooth road to success. With some frequency, I receive calls from buyers looking to work “directly with a seller’s agent.” Their logic normally stems from the belief that they can save money by negotiating my fee down since there’s only one agent involved. Really? Truth is, my fee has already been negotiated. That fee is shared with a buyer’s agent who is expected to do half the work. They also share half the liability.

The Role of a Buyer’s Agent

Agents act as fiduciaries. We must put clients’ needs ahead of our own. A buyer’s agent saves a buyer time, and a skilled negotiator can certainly save the buyer money. Danny Krause, one of our team members, recently represented a buyer on a home the seller’s agent said was not eligible for title insurance. The home was already priced below market but was still not selling. Years of experience helped us find a path forward. Danny negotiated the price even lower and obtained a significant closing cost credit, giving that buyer thousands of reasons to love their agent.

Problem-Solving and Legal Expertise

On another recent transaction, access was an issue. I was able to find legal access on an old deed and had the title company correct their report, allowing us to close. Financing is another example of how a buyer’s agent can save the day. I had two Veteran buyers who did not realize they could combine their eligibility and proceed with a purchase prior to selling their home on the East Coast, allowing them to move back home much sooner.

Market Knowledge and Vendor Connections

Buyer’s agents know the inventory. They help a buyer determine when, where, and what to buy. Experienced agents have insights into the different market areas, creating an understanding of property values along with idiosyncrasies affecting costs and financing. They have a stable of competent and trusted vendors, and when you work with a team, there’s a depth of knowledge and support that can be counted on to make sure timelines are met. We “huddle” to find solutions when hiccups occur.

Crafting Offers and Legal Safeguards

Even crafting the offer takes skill and knowledge that helps prevent minor issues from escalating and jeopardizing an entire purchase. Our professional organization has copyrighted forms vetted by our attorneys. These help minimize the chance that things might go sideways, but when they do, it’s the seasoned professional who can troubleshoot and find win-win solutions.

Why You Should Love Your Agent

Still not convinced why you should love your agent? Let me send a copy of our buyer’s guide. It’s filled with pages of ways agents can step in to save the day!

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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