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Using a Realtor

Do I really need a Realtor?

Having a realtor when buying or selling a home is highly recommended. There are many reasons why having an experience realtor on your side can make the buying or selling process much smoother. They have vast knowledge of the local market, and can help you to set a good price or know if you’re getting a fair deal.


They have a network of professionals that they can recommend to you for inspections, appraisals, loans and more. They know the ins and outs of the paperwork, and can be sure it is done correctly, so that you’re protected. They can help to market your home, or search to find your dream property. There are so many benefits to using a realtor!

Molokai Neighborhoods

What's the best area on Molokai to buy property?

It all depends on what you’re looking for. Do you love the sunshine and dry weather, with frequent tradewinds? Then the west side is for you. Do you love cool, foggy and lush backdrops? Then Kalae or Hoʻolehua might be a good fit. Are you the type of person that likes to be in the thick of things, and close to everything? Then something close to town in Kaunakakai would be best. Or perhaps you love rivers and waterfalls? The east side may be a good fit.


Whatever it is you’re looking for - one of our realtors can help to guide you to the right area.

Finding the Perfect Home

How do I search for properties?

Talk to a local Molokai real estate agent!


You can also search on multiple listing sites (MLS) such as or which both have listings for Molokai. You can search by property type, location and price range to narrow the options.


Should I talk to a bank before looking at homes?

Talking to a bank before you look at homes, especially if you’re a first time home buyer, is strongly suggested. Talking to a bank and getting pre-approved for a loan can really help you to understand what your price range is.


There are also many programs for first time home buyers, and mortgage professionals can help you to understand these programs as well as all of the other costs associated with buying a home.


When is the best time to sell my home or property?

There is no simple answer to this question. The best time to sell will vary from market to market.


It’s best to discuss this with a Molokai real estate agent who is familiar with the market.

Perfect Price

How much is my home or property worth?

​Again, this can’t be answered simply, and your best option is to talk to an experienced Molokai real estate agent, but there are many factors that go into the determining the value of a home. One way that realtors determine the value of your home is to do a comparative market analysis (CMA). A CMA will take into account many factors while determining home value such as: Square footage, Number of bedrooms, Number of bathrooms, Upgrades to kitchen, Window quality, Roof age, Lot features, Location; primary or neighborhood street?, Style of residence, and Flooring type.

It’s best to work with a realtor to determine the value of your home rather than relying on a website, because the website is not familiar with the local market. In a place like Molokai, it is important to get the perspective of someone who knows the area.

Closing the Deal

When is the closing date?

​The average time it takes to complete the sale of a home is 30-45 days, but market factors can affect this. If the market is hot and there are lots of sales happening, professionals can get behind. There are more inspections, and appraisals, but the same number of inspectors and appraisers, so things might slow down.


Because of its isolation, this is somewhat exaggerated on Molokai, because professionals need to come from off island, or are based off island and have to service those markets as well.

Short Sale vs. Forclosure

What is a short sale and what is a foreclosure?

​A short sale is a sale in which the proceeds from the sale are less than the balance of debts from liens on the property, and the homeowner can’t pay the liens in full. If you are looking into buying a short sale property, be sure to consider all factors such as the short sale response (may take longer), the fact that it could still become a foreclosure, and that many short sale properties are not in great condition. Short sales are not impossible to buy, but you may need to be more patient.


A foreclosure, on the other hand, can actually be an easier transaction than a short sale. A foreclosure is a property that is owned by a lender. If you are thinking about buying a foreclosure home, understand that most foreclosures are sold “as-is”.

Market Trends

What is the difference between a buyer's, seller's and stratified market?

A seller’s market means that there is high demand to buy, and a low inventory, which drives prices up. Some factors that might cause a seller’s market are:

Economic factors - the local labor market heats up bringing more people into the area, or getting more residents stable jobs, which increases demand

Decreasing interest rates - makes homes more affordable, increasing demand

A short term spike in interest rates - some buyer’s who are “on-the-fence” might act if they think interest rates are increasing, and want to buy before they get to high

Low inventory - if there arenʻt a lot of properties on the market, there is more competition for each property, therefore driving prices up

A buyer’s market is identified as a market where property prices are declining along with demand. Some factors that might cause a buyer’s market are:

Economic disruption - perhaps a major employer closes its doors, leaving many people out of work and either selling or certainly not looking to buy

Increasing interest rates - higher interest rates makes it more expensive to buy, therefore decreasing buyer demand

High inventory - lots of properties on the market means lots of choices per buyer, leaving less negotiating power on the seller’s end

A stratified market is a market where the condition of the market varies in one area depending on price point. For example, in Molokai, middle priced homes may be selling due to an influx of middle class jobs, while high end luxury property sales might be stagnant. It’s best to discuss the market with an experienced local realtor to get the full picture.

Getting Paid

How much do real estate agents charge?

For many home sales, there are two agents involved in the sale: The seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent. Listing brokers, or seller’s agents, charge a fee to represent the seller and market the property. This may include newspaper ads, mailings, listing on MLS and on the company website, and more.


Buyer’s agents are compensated by the seller’s agent for bringing a buyer to the table. Therefore, buyer’s do not pay their agents. As for the exact fee that a seller’s agent charges, that depends on the agent you use. Their fees might vary - but be sure to do thorough research before picking an agent - the cheapest agent may not always be the best choice for you.

The information contained on this article is intended solely to provide general guidance on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use.We still recommend you seek guidance from a local real estate agent before you undertake any real estate transactions. 

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