Buying Advice

The Step-by-Step Homebuying Process in Oahu

Buying a home anywhere can be complicated and takes a great deal of time and energy. Buying a home on an island can be even more complex with limited selection. It’s totally possible, however, and if you have your sights set on a property on Oahu, we’ll help you get it. Here’s a quick breakdown of the steps you need to go through before you have the keys in your hand.

1. Get Pre-Approved

I cannot emphasize enough on how important it is to get pre-approved prior to shopping for a home. It is important to know the price range of a house you should be looking into based on how much you can afford. You want to go through the entire approval process in order for you to acknowledge how much loan you will get and what your payment will be. It is essential that you do this, otherwise you could stand to lose your initial deposit and any money that you’ve spent on things like inspections or the appraisal. Not to mentioned it will make you stand out in an offer when compared to other buyers that haven’t been pre-approved.

2. Give Us Your Requirements

Are you looking for a small home for yourself or do you need multiple bathrooms? Where do you want to live on the island? We need to know what you require and we can narrow your choices down.

3. Research

Working with a licensed Realtor has its perks. Most notably, we’ll do a ton of the hard work for you, researching to find the perfect home that is closest to your requirements. You’re more than welcome to research the market on your own, but we can find special deals through our network and access.

4. Showing Tour

Once we think we’ve found the one for you, we’ll show you around and you can see for yourself. Some people fall in love at first sight while it might take some time for others.

5. Make an Offer!

Do you love this place and can you practically envision you and your family calling this house a home? Time to put your money where your dreams are and put an offer on the table. We’ll prepare a standard 14-page purchase contract by the Hawaii Association of Realtors.

6. Negotiate (or Don’t!)

Some sellers might love your initial offer and accept it right out of the gate, but more times than not, there will be a counteroffer. Be prepared for that and make sure that you set a limit and have a walk-away price.

7. The Rubber Hits the Road in Escrow

Once the seller accepts your offer it’s time to make everything official. We’ll work with an independent third party to oversee the transaction and will provide you with all of the financial information that you need to know about the house. They’ll hold your deposit and will ensure that the process goes smoothly for both parties. Typically after you open escrow, you’ll place your initial deposit. For most cases, around 1% of the purchase price is all you need but each case will be different.

8. Have the Property Inspected

You should hire a professional home inspector to come check out the home. They’ll be able to ensure that it is safe, and that you’re not going to run into problems like a leaky roof or electrical problems down the line after you’ve spent all of that money. If they find anything, you can ask that the seller repair the problems, discount the price, or a combination of both if the damage is bad enough. Once you’re satisfied with the condition of the home, you can place your second deposit.

9. More Paperwork

There is a ton of paperwork involved with any home purchase but working with the right realty company will simplify it all for you. After the second deposit, you’ll have to have the home appraised, inspected for termites, and then sign the deed.

10. Welcome Home!

All of that paperwork and time and energy are worth it, however. Now that you’ve gotten through all of the steps, you’re ready to move in and call this new house a home!

If you have any questions or in need of some assistance, give me a call! I’d be happy to help.


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