Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed
Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sold! At higher than list price

During a recent visit to the East Coast, I tagged along with my brother and sister-in-law while they took a second look at a home they were considering putting an offer on. They passed on that one. But the following week, they looked at a house in the desirable town of Cambridge, Mass., and decided to take the plunge and put in a bid.

Because it was such a hot property, their real estate agent advised them to offer more than the list price. After some thought, and without stretching themselves financially, they did. Also acting on the agent’s advice, they wrote a letter to the seller about who they were and how much loved the house. Unfortunately, at least five other offers came in. One of which was more than $30,000 above their offer. Alas, their offer didn’t get accepted and they felt crushed.

Unfortunately–or fortunately, if you’re a seller–this phenomenon is happening more and more here on Oahu, too.

“In this down market with consistently low inventory and good interest rates, people are anxious to buy,” says realtor Sachiyo Braden of Sachi Hawaii Pacific Century Properties. “Buyers will compete with each other.”

Braden mentioned a two-bedroom condo in Nauru Tower in Kakaako listed for $820,000. With already seven or eight offers, she said it won’t sell for less than $850,000. She’s seen single-family homes in tony areas sell way above their list price. One in Kahala was listed at $1.79 million and sold for $1.925 million.

What’s a buyer to do? Though it’s seller’s market, Braden says buyers are also very aware and value conscious. Not only are they looking for a great location and a sound structure, they want a property that will fit all their needs: a short commute, a desirable neighborhood, close to schools.

So when you find something, you can’t let emotions get the better of you. Braden counsels each of her clients on a case-by-case basis.

“If you fall in love, you fall in love,” she says. “How am I going to say ‘You can’t marry that girl?’ ” But the home must really satisfy its future use. “If you’re going to enjoy your life in the next five years, then go for it, if it makes sense.” You need to look at the quality of your lifestyle without breaking the bank.

Next installment: Financial tips when bidding higher than a property’s list price.

Posted on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 in Permalink

Have Feedback? Suggestions? Email us!

About This Page

Honolulu Real Estate focuses on the Hawaii housing market, condos and homes for sale, Hawaii rentals and general news about real estate in Hawaii. It also includes stories on apartment living, home decor and profiles.

Melissa Chang graduated from the University of Hawaii with a degree in journalism and has been blogging since 2007, mostly on food and travel. She works primarily in social media, so you can find her online @Melissa808 on Twitter and Instagram.


Jaymes Song is a real estate agent at Prudential Advantage Realty in Kahala. Jaymes is in the top 7 percent of Prudential agents nationwide. Previously, Jaymes was at The Orange County Register, Honolulu Star-Bulletin and rose through the ranks to overseeing news and operations for AP in Hawaii and the Pacific Rim. Jaymes lives in the Portlock area and loves his real full-time job of being dad to two curious kids.

Got a question or story tip? Email us. 
Follow @RealEstateHNL on Twitter for updates. 
If you would like to receive HONOLULU Magazine's newsletter by email, sign up for our newsletter.