Buying or Selling a Home in Hawaii?

These are the four qualities you need in a real estate agent.
Photo: Thinkstock

When Hawaii became a state, there were 395 Hawaii realtors who belonged to the National Association of Realtors. There are now more than 9,000.

Finding the perfect partner when you have thousands of choices is not easy. Yet it’s time well spent to find the right advisor who can help you make smart decisions and guide you through what is likely your most expensive and emotional purchase ever.

Here are four qualities to look for in a real estate agent.

Guts and gusto.
Don’t focus too much on personality preference as you’re not picking a friend. You are picking a business partner, so look for someone who is a great listener, experienced, patient and driven to succeed. You’ll also want someone who is is personable, persuasive and has perseverance. Those characteristics always lend themselves to success when making a deal. A good agent will not tell you what you want to hear but has the courage to advise you on what’s best for your deal based on your interests.

Nose for the neighborhood.
You’ll want someone who has experience in your neighborhood and property type. If you’re selling, a good agent will know the market and help you price your property right. If you’re buying, they will know the pros and pitfalls of neighborhoods, developments and condos that you’re interested in. Make sure your agent keeps abreast of the latest trends and factors influencing market conditions.

Marketing savvy.
If you’re selling, look for an agent that will share tips to prep your property before it’s listed. You’ll want a real estate agent that launches a comprehensive marketing campaign that includes weekly open houses and regular brokers’ opens, which can mean twice in the first month and monthly thereafter. They will also network with agents to ensure your desires are top-of-mind. Some of the best deals are done before properties are advertised.

Communication. If you need quick responses by phone or email, be prepared to state your preferences. Realtors can also provide a weekly open house report so that you can get feedback from potential buyers.

Whether you’re buying or selling, interviewing an agent is the best way to find a great fit who cares about your long-term goals and can apply their real estate expertise to help you get there. So ask around for recommendations since what you are really looking for is a long-term partnership.

Most importantly, remember that buyers want to spend as little as possible. Sellers want top dollar for their property. So you want an agent who can fight for your desired outcome and close the deal to your satisfaction.

Photo courtesy of Danielle Scherman.

Danielle Scherman is a real estate agent and entrepreneur from Kailua. Reach her for more home advice at







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