Selling Advice

The Olympics of Getting Ready

Pictured: 25-acre lot at 3300 Kaiwiki Rd. Hilo, HI 96720

Even in a busy market, REALTORS® are often asked by sellers why their home hasn’t sold. After over three decades in this business, I’ve learned that there is a buyer for every property. Sadly, the traditional seller’s goal of selling for the highest price in the least amount of time can sometimes be elusive even in today’s busy market.

It’s a seller’s market for sure. Cash buyers are common. Nonetheless, buyers are still looking for a bargain; in most cases, they likely waited too long. Foreclosure inventory is extremely low. Short sales have pretty much disappeared and even when attempted, are largely unsuccessful. This makes competition among market-rate properties very tough.

Ready, Set, Know…

Traditional market rate sellers have one distinct advantage and that is their ability to “get ready.” Properly preparing your home for the market is vital. Timing the market is impossible. There’s no perfect time to buy or sell. Will the market continue to go up? Probably. Will interest rates increase? Certainly. All things considered, it’s a great time to sell and still a decent time to buy.

Listen To Coach

Here’s what I know. Sellers should make their house shine! I’m not talking about major renovations. Clean it, paint it, and make it look loved. One expert describes the relationship between buyers and sellers like this. Buyers are “taking your house on a date.” It has to make a good impression.

Competitive Pricing

Price to sell! As I mentioned, Buyers are looking for the best bang for the buck. Price below competition. Be the best of the bunch. Buyers are out there looking. Listings become stale quickly. Price it right from the git-go! If not, buyers will sit…and wait while sellers “chase the market down.” It happens even in today’s market.

A Winning Team

Sellers should hire the best representation they can find. Choose the top agent in the top office. Look for world-class marketing but don’t expect top-notch representation at a discount. Proper marketing employs systems that take years to cultivate. Marketing is expensive. Your agent needs a marketing budget. Sellers should hire the best but help with the process. Your agent knows what to do but help them increase exposure when you can.

Play By the Rules

Seriously consider every offer. Don’t quibble over a survey or a couple of thousand dollars…A bird in hand and all that. A home that sits on the market may result in a seller who had an offer in hand a year ago facing a smaller number this year.

Go For the Gold

Lastly (and this is my personal reminder), after you’ve hired the best, listen! If they say you are overpriced, listen! If they tell you to clean the house, clean it! If they say to paint, then do it! They are on your side. They are there to help you get ready and make sure your “gold medal” is in the 50-yard dash, not the marathon 🙂

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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Brian Ansorge

August 12, 2021

Marketing? Ha.

Properties are basically “selling themselves” now.

Anybody who claims otherwise deserves contempt.

Just saying.


Denise Nakanishi, R(B)

August 14, 2021

> Thanks for your comments Brian, and thanks for reading!

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