Unlock the Potential: Discover Top 7 Tips to Maximize ROI on Your Mauna Kea Vacation Rental Property Sale

If you’re looking into selling your Hawai’i Island vacation rental property, you already know there’s a lot to consider in order to maximize your investment. Determining the best time to sell, deciding to sell the rental furnished or not, and having rental history statements available are just a few important things to take into account. 

I’ve been a real estate agent for 11 years and during that time I’ve discovered why some rental owners ultimately make more money when they sell their vacation property than others. Today, I’ll share with you my top tips for selling your vacation rental home in Mauna Kea, so keep reading.

1. Determine the Best Time to Sell your Mauna Kea Rental Home 

Maximize your return on investment by determining the best time to sell your vacation rental home. In Mauna Kea, I’ve seen vacation homes typically sell at or above the asking price, and faster, in the summer and winter. 

There are other important factors, however, that will help identify the best time to sell your rental. These include the current condition of your home, seasonal trends, whether the local market conditions favor vacation home sales, your current financial position, and your personal goals. To get the most accurate perspective whether this is the best time to sell your home, reach out to your trusted real estate agent. 

2. Block Out Vacancy Dates

If your vacation home has been a successful rental, then it’s probably booked 90% to 100% of the time. While potential buyers will be happy to hear this, a constantly booked rental can also be a challenge. That’s because many buyers won’t dare put down an offer on a property unless they or their agent has viewed it. To ensure showings that don’t disrupt a guests’ stay, it’s important to block out a few vacancy dates. 

The buyer will also send their inspector to the vacation rental after a contract has been accepted, so a vacancy date will need to be booked for that as well. Before listing your Mauka Kea property for sale, it’s wise to block out a few dates ahead of time for showings and inspections. 

3. Be Ready to Share Rental History Statements

Although buyers will accept pro formas done by property managers looking to expand their inventory, they won’t be satisfied with limited rental history. Buyers who are interested in your vacation rental home will inevitably ask for the rental’s monthly statements, so get those ready for your listing agent to present. 

If the history statements indicate that performance is unimpressive but there are valid reasons for that, those should be disclosed. Valid reasons include use of the rental by the owner during peak season or renting out the vacation property for long-term use.

If the history statements indicate that performance is unimpressive but there is no reasonable explanation, then it would be helpful to meet with your listing agent and discuss how to present the information in a way that doesn’t deter potential buyers. This could include using an Automated Valuation Model (AVM) to find a vacation property or unit similar to yours and referring to its rental history statements as an example of the earning potential of your property. 

4. Keep it Clean, Functional, and Clutter-Free

I’ve learned that staged, turn-key rentals sell better than empty units with no character. But even the most thoughtfully decorated vacation rental will fail to sell if the home and surrounding property are not clean and functional. 

New rental owners won’t want to tackle essential repairs right away, so it should go without saying that broken screen doors, leaky faucets, plumbing repairs,and other miscellaneous repairs be addressed before listing your Mauna Kea property. To remove any stains or odors throughout, give the rental a thorough cleaning from top to bottom and give walls a fresh coat of paint. 

Clear away any clutter to make it easier for buyers to move around the rental. And help potential buyers visualize themselves owning the vacation home by clearing bathroom and kitchen countertops of clutter that might detract from the unit’s clean lines. 

5. List the Rental Turn-Key and Furnished

Although you can easily list a home that the new owner will live in full time unfurnished, potential vacation rental buyers are looking for Mauna Kea units that are already furnished. This enables them to mitigate the gap of time between purchasing the rental home and listing it on an online vacation rental marketplace.

Give your existing furniture an honest assessment. If it wouldn’t appeal to retired couples, young families, and everyone in between, you may have to replace the home’s furniture with simple, classic, kid-friendly versions. I’ve noticed that most buyers gravitate toward rentals that are furnished and updated, so they can offer bookings and start generating income quickly. It certainly doesn’t hurt to update the vacation rental with luxury vinyl plank, granite, tile, or hardwood floors while you’re at it. 

6. Showcase the Property’s Vacation Rental Potential Through Stand-Out Staging

Staging is vital when trying to appeal to clients in search of the luxury vacation homes that Mauna Kea is known for. To get top dollar for your vacation rental and set yourself up for a sale that is seamless and stress-free, highlight your property’s unique strengths. 

You can accomplish this by making the unit feel spacious and bright by replacing light bulbs with higher watt bulbs and opening curtains and blinds. As I mentioned, a fresh coat of paint goes a long way. Avoid bold and trendy colors, however, and stick to light tones and calming neutrals and soft hues. 

7. Find a Realtor That Has the Skills & Tools You Need

When it comes to selling your Mauna Kea vacation rental property, there will likely be a lot of discussions between your listing agent and the potential buyers. That’s why it’s imperative to choose a Realtor who can handle all the communications. 

I have over 70 5-star reviews on Zillow.com and I attribute this success to my knowledge, experience, and resourcefulness, as well as my dedication to genuinely listening to what each client is saying about their goals and communicating my deep understanding of our local real estate market.

If you’re considering selling your Mauna Kea vacation rental, my home value estimate tool will give you an idea of current market values and listing prices at this time:

It’s a great place to start! Since many Big Island vacation rental buyers and sellers don’t live here year-round, however, it is more important than ever to work with a real estate professional that has on-the-ground knowledge of the Mauna Kea area. 

Connect With Me

Embarking on the journey of selling your Mauna Kea vacation rental on the Big Island is a big step. Over the years, I’ve gathered valuable insights which I’m eager to share with you. From assessing your property’s worth to getting familiar with Kohala Coast real estate, know that I’m only a phone call away. No pressures, just a friendly voice offering support and knowledge.


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