Our Process For Buyers

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Team Aka

We understand that real estate is one the of the largest financial decisions for an individual or a family and we are committed to providing the highest level of service. We are passionate about what we do and our goal is to provide you with the very best information available, advise you through all the phases of the home buying process and fight on your behalf.

Our service is based on trust and our commitment to you; your best interest is in our best interest. We will work with you, ensuring that your long term goals are aligned to your real estate goals.

The Process

Getting Started:

As a primary residence, a home can offer you tax breaks, a means to invest your money rather than pay rent, and provides you with your very own piece of Hawaii! As an investment option, there are several strategies that can provide regular income, short-term gain, and/or long term growth. The first step in deciding if buying is right for you, is knowing the market and having a goal.

Our philosophy is to ask probing questions to make sure the purchase aligns to your personal goals. We are one of the few in the business that will bring up the risks and negative aspects of a purchase, but our goal is always to do what’s best for you and your situation. Purchasing a property may not be the best option in certain situations; however every family should explore all their options and determine what is best for them. Some of the few questions to consider are:

1.       How long do I think I will live there?

2.       What is the potential for future appreciation?

3.       What are the pros / cons between renting vs. buying?

4.       Will I want to rent the property in the future?

5.       What neighborhoods do I like?

6.       How far am I willing to commute to work?

7.       Is this a good school district for my children?

8.       Do I prefer flat, walkable neighborhoods or homes with a view?

Prepare to Purchase:

The next step is to determine your budget and how you will take ownership. If you need a mortgage, your Realtor can recommend lenders that specialize in the type of purchase you will be making. The lender will be able to provide you with a price range that is within your budget, and will help you explore your options, such as conventional loans, VA, FHA, first-time home buyer programs, etc. Lastly, they will be able to pre-qualify and/or pre-approve you for a loan amount.  Having this step complete before submitting an offer for a home will only strengthen your offer.

This is also the time that you will consider how you will take ownership. A Realtor can discuss basic options and direct you to a specialist for more detailed questions. If you wish to purchase under a trust or entity, this is a good time to explore the best options to help you avoid transfer costs to change ownership in the future. 

If your purchase will be apart of a 1031 exchange or reverse 1031 exchange, it should be planned ahead of time to involve the appropriate specialist.

Now the fun begins!

Finding the Right Property:

After gaining an understanding of what you’re looking for, we’ll schedule showings to begin exploring neighborhood and viewing properties. We like to show both active properties as well as review past sales to help our clients learn about the current market. During this time, we’ll discuss what you did and did not like about each property, which we will use to work through our needs vs. wants lists and determine what is most important to us. 

If we have not found the right property after several showings, we’ll continue to monitor the market for new listings. Oahu’s market is very competitive and during this phase, it’s important for us to aggressively view homes as soon as they are listed. This strategy has helped us secure several properties for our clients before others could even see them!

Writing the Offer and Negotiate the Price:

Negotiations are something we look forward to. From our time looking for a property, we’ll already be very educated on the market. However, we’ll do a careful study of the comparable sales and develop our opinion on value. After this review, we’ll review the circumstances to develop a negotiation strategy.

Honolulu is an incredibly competitive market, so do not get discouraged if it takes several offers! It’s important to understand that this a journey, but we will do everything we can to make you stand out to the Seller’s, including cover letter, pre-approvals, and contracts with clean terms!

Inspect the Property and Prepare to Purchase:

It’s important to understand that the Hawaii Association of Realtors Purchase Contract has many provisions that protect the Buyer. The time an offer is accepted until it legally changes ownership at closing is the period referred to as “escrow” and it is during this time we’ll conduct due diligence to understand if this is the right property.

One key provision during escrow is the home inspection period. During this time, we’ll hire a professional home inspector to do a detailed, non-invasive inspection of the property. In addition, based on the property, we may involve other professionals to assist with other various inspections, such as, soils inspection, septic tank inspection, etc. If we find any items that are higher risk or expensive to remedy, we have electricians, roofers, plumbers, etc. that can provide quotes to address items we find during this period. Other areas of review will be to research that there is no cloud on title, as well as review the seller’s disclosure statement, condo association documents, and survey.

If, at any point, we find something that is unsatisfactory and we cannot come to terms with the Seller, we can terminate the purchase contract within the time frames granted to us. If this is done, any deposits you’ve paid will be returned back in full. You may spend money on the inspections, but it is a small price to pay to avoid purchasing a property with a major issue.

If this is your first purchase, don’t worry, we’ll be there every step of the way! We also have a dedicated Escrow Manager to help us monitor time frames and schedule the various stages of escrow.