Buying Advice

We Are There for You, But…

In a business where we try to be as accommodating as possible, there are times when buyers and sellers make some pretty astounding requests. Take this one from this past week: “Can you pick me up at the airport and take me to look at a few houses. I’d like to see if maybe, perhaps one day I want to sell my house and move here?”  Or this one I get routinely from owners: “I’d like for you to give me a market analysis of my home so that I know if it’s time to refinance.” Or maybe, “I’m just trying to keep up with how much my property is worth in case my real property taxes go up?” You get the drift.

REALTORS® are independent contractors which means we pay ALL our own expenses. We pay for cars, gas, insurance, MLS office fees and often, even signage. Our personal websites and marketing materials are not free. This means that time we spend “touring” folks or performing tasks normally associated with moneymaking activities takes time away from making a living. For this reason, many of us have adopted policies that include buyers signing a representation agreement and providing proof of funds or a preapproval prior to riding in our cars. My friend said a buyer once even admitted he just needed to show he had been with an agent so he could write off his trip. This doesn’t mean we don’t ever meet buyers at property, but we shouldn’t be asked to be tour guides or unlicensed appraisers to prove value. We do utilize some of the same methods when we list properties but in doing so we also employ a proprietary system for which we pay a pretty penny.

So, what’s a Curious George to do? If you are a curious buyer, take time to tour neighborhoods. It’s a Big Island, you’ll learn a lot. Talk to local folks about living here. Curious about value? Let me know, and I’ll enlist you in our home valuation tool. The new and improved version is fairly accurate and will keep you updated monthly. And, when it’s time to make that all important buying and selling decision, by all means, give us a call. We will happily take those calls with a smile.

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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