The Best Advise I Have Heard in Ages

I just got off the phone with Deborah des Jardine of FOUR STAR MORTGAGE, a very seasoned lender who I’ve known for a long time. She’s weathered the ups and downs of many markets and she agrees with me.

“Sellers have got to get a clue!”

Yeah, but too many of the agents only encourage them by taking over-priced listings. Well, Deborah has a cure for that too.

“Just tell them, if they expect you to take the listing, advertise it and spend your time and money on it, insist they pay $450 bucks and get it appraised. That takes all the guesswork out of it.”

Now you do understand Realtors and appraisers all use the SAME data, from the same sources, Hawaii Information Services, the County Tax Office, numerous transactions or appraisals under our belt, and a compilation of conversations with a myriad of other professionals in the business, but somehow when you pay for the information and it comes from “neutral” source it has more impact. And I’ll bet you 99% of the time an honest Realtor (not the one flattering you to get the listing!), and the appraiser come up with the same figure as to value -or darn close. So if you don’t believe me, SPEND THE DOE-RAY-ME, AND GET IT STRAIGHT. I can bet my eye teeth that will be the best money you’ve ever spent and if you heed the advise on price, you’ll sell your house sooner and for money money than if you play it your way.

And the appraisers have no reason to pad the value. In fact according to Deborah, they’re under all new guidelines and regulations which took affect this year. For example, an appraisal that used to be good for 180 days is now no longer valid after 120 days because values are still going down. Every appraisal for a purchase or refi now requires an appraisal review (just to make sure the lender is protected). And there’s a few new little boxes on the appraisal forms that an appraiser is required to check if applicable, and if checked could be the Death Nell for the borrower and your transaction. Those boxes must be checked if the property has been on the market over 6 months and if the market is declining. WHOOPS, THERE GOES THE “WE’RE NOT IN A HURRY” LINE IN THE SELLER’S SCRIPT.

Everyone I meet wherever I go, asks me the same question: “How long do you think before the market improves?” And the answer is the same as Deborah’s comment – “WHEN THE SELLERS GET A CLUE!”.

Aloha, Mike
RE/MAX Pacific

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
MikeSells.com
WestHawaiiBlog.com
Mike@MikeSells.com

It Was Just Too Nice To Blog Today!

Honestly, I had the best of intentions. I wanted to update my monthly stats (the total number of listings in the 3 major markets we cover (Waimea, Waikoloa and Kohala), the number of listing under $500,000 and the least expensive and most expensive) as well as any helpful little gems I could possibly throw your way regarding what the heck the market is doing -but it was just too dang nice so I played golf and goofed off all day!
mswingingdrivera.jpg
We’ve had voggy weather all week, but today it was blowing “Kona” and enough to clear the air. You could see the nice blue, beautiful water and it was just too nice to do anything constructive. That’s not much of an excuse, but it’s the only one I’ve got.

Beides, I’ve decided to do my monthly updates at the end of the month anyway, rather than just every 30 days or so. So at the end of February (Leap Year!) you’ll see it.

I hope tomorrow is a beautiful as today was, and if so, I may goof off tomorrow too -that’s the beauty of living in paradise! And if you get an exceptionally nice day, I’d suggest you do the same thing once in awhile too -kick back and enjoy yourself. Life’s too short, be sure you don’t forget to enjoy it when you can!

That’s my Tip of the Day and I’m sticking to it!
happyfaceunderpalm.jpg

Aloha, Mike
RE/MAX Pacific

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
MikeSells.com
WestHawaiiBlog.com
Mike@MikeSells.com

Better Keep Your Eye on This Kid!

Daniel Coakley is going places- as in the 2008 Olympics in Bejing!

No small feat for the North Kohala native who now swims for the Philippine National Swim Team. Daniel started out at the community pool in Kapaau way up on the very northern tip of the Big Island. And how the heck does a kid from Kohala end up on the Philippine national team, I wondered? I’d known of Daniel’s late grandmother Waha, (short for Keliiwahanuku, her Hawaiian name) as an old-time Realtor in Kohala and I know his father Jeffrey, also a Realtor but I still never knew the Philippine connection till I did some research.

Jeffrey & Lani- Daniel’s parents, were born and raised here in Hawaii, but the link to the Philippines for Daniel came from his maternal grandfather who was a Philippine citizen when his mother Lani was born. And it was Daniel’s older brother who’d heard about the Philippines’ program offering promising sportsmen of Filipino parentage dual citizenship and the chance to represent that country. Daniel took the plunge, so to speak and hasn’t looked back. He’s doing fabulous and broke 2 records in the recent Southeast Asia (SEA) Games on December 11, 2007 -two days before his 18th birthday. That earned him a gold medal in the games and a ride to the 2008 Olympics! (Jeffrey, *Daniels’s coach* and Daniel are pictured here in the back row with two of Daniel’s teammates.)

daniel-jeff-coakley1.JPG
Daniel says he has never felt out of place in the Filipino swim team, thanks to his mother.

“My mother and her family are all so proud of being Filipino. I felt that this was one way I could give back.”

Regarding eating good and staying in shape, Daniel added,

“I grew up eating lots of Filipino food that my mum cooked. And it’s really healthy stuff. You know, I’ve never taken vitamin supplements because my mother believes that it’s all there in the vegetables that she cooks.”

So what’s next for Daniel? He’s got a lot of work to do and a lot of training ahead of him before the Olympics, but lucky for him he’s been invited to train at Bolles in Florida. The Bolles Sharks have been in state championships every year since 1984 and recognize a winner when they see one. Daniel will get the training and access to the facilities he needs. But besides all the well wishers and support from everyone, HE NEEDS MONEY! No donation is too small -they all add up and will help immensely. The cost for the Florida training, room and board, not to mention travel, is huge. Please go to his website to learn more and to contribute to the Big Island’s future Olympian!

Aloha, Mike
RE/MAX Pacific

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
MikeSells.com
WestHawaiiBlog.com
Mike@MikeSells.com

Please Buy My Over-Priced Listing!

Gee whiz, my overpriced property is not selling so I’d better go find another Realtor…

C’mon, were Realtors not magicians!”

thumbnailcait3edj.jpg

Our job & fiduciary duty is to sell your property in the quickest amount of time possible at the best price. We come to your property prepared to pick through it like any potential Buyer would & give our professional opinion on what it’s worth. No, we don’t just pull a magic number out of our heads, but instead go through a lengthy process of pulling & viewing the “comparable” properties in all of the Sold, Listed, Contingent and Under Contract categories. Much like an appraiser will do when it’s time to prove to those Buyers in contract on your property that it’s worth what you say it is.

From there we evaluate all of the different aspects of those properties that compare to yours; size, age, condition, inventory & neighborhood competition. This is done in an objective manner, not through biased “seller lenses”. We then come up with a number or price range, based on the most up to date data where we feel your home will sell in today’s market.

Yes, the final decision is up to you, as you are the boss and have hired us to do a job on your behalf. But let me ask you this, if you were to seek the professional opinion of an attorney to represent you on something you knew little or nothing about, would you tell them how to do their job? I guess the problem is some sellers think they know it all and only need us Realtors to get access to the buyers.

Closing statistics and days on market (DOM) illustrates that over-priced Sellers are self-defeating. BUYERS ARE WILLING TO JUMP ON A WELL-PRICED PROPERTY BUT EVEN MORE WILLING TO BYPASS AN OVER-PRICED ONE. So if you list your property higher than your Realtor recommends, chances are switching to another Realtor will not result in the SOLD outcome you desire.

And one last thing, if you know in your gut that your property is not realistically priced, resist that voice in the back of your mind that says “you could get lucky” – because you won’t! You would do all reasonable buyers and sellers a huge favor by not listing and by reducing the inventory to realistic sellers and I guarantee, the buyers would come back in droves!

Until next time….

Aloha,
Heidi ;o)

Heidi K. Perreira, RA

In Hawaii: 808-885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” phone: 808-987-8299
http://www.MikeSells.com
http://www.WaimeaPropertyBlog.com

Cancel and Forfeit Deposit Money?

I’ve been thinking about this since having lunch with clients in town last week from San Destin, Florida.

Our first face to face after several email exchanges, was in late 2004. At that time they were anxious to know of any new or exciting projects they could take advantage of, especially pending projects in the “pre-construction” kick-off phase. Their experience in the past of BUYING BEFORE CONSTRUCTION, OFF PLANS AND SPECS HAD PROVEN TO BE THE WAY TO MAKE THE MOST MONEY AS INVESTORS.

Okay, now fast forward to 2008. What a difference 4 years makes! Back in 2004 with the market screaming along, developers and project brokers couldn’t be bothered with us lowly outside agents (yes, they know it’s true). Why pay a cooperating broker’s fee when all they had to do was take names and deposit checks? (Boy, has that worm ever turned!). Now they’re washing our feet, and wining and dining anybody who can produce warm-bodied buyers -but that’s a whole “nother” story!

Anyway, after referring them to a few different projects here on the Big Island, nothing seemed right and they ended up in a new project in Ka’anapali on Maui. They got the pre-construction they wanted, they got the premier oceanfront and the very best amenities -at least on paper. Developer projects are always structured such that you pay deposits in varying lump sums as the planning, financing and infrastructure proceeds. At some point, and it’s always before construction is finished (sometimes before it’s even started!), you go “hard” on the money. That means if you walk (change your mind or die, even!) you forfeit your deposit money.

Well it’s a different market, the original developer has sold their position and the promised splendor and greatly anticipated appreciation are now less than certain. They’re nearly a year from project completion with over six figures in deposit money into it (all interest accruing to the developer, naturally) but they told me without hesitation,

“That’s it, we’re stuck. We’re not walking away from $100,000!”

Now understand, I didn’t get them into that deal and honestly don’t know any of the particulars, but after pondering it awhile, I thought MAYBE THEY SHOULD CONSIDER FORFEITING THEIR DEPOSIT. At least explore their options. If they really have lost confidence in the project, there just may be other buying opportunities to make up that forfeited deposit. Also if it’s a point of losing only the deposit now, maybe that’s better than to keep digging themselves in deeper.
lemonade.jpg
I’d suggest a hard look at cutting their loses on this project and looking in earnest for an alternate property to invest in. PUCKER UP, MAYBE IT’S TIME TO MAKE LEMONADE. One thing is certain. There will be many buying opportunities going forward. You just have to be willing to consider them.

That’s my Tip of the Day and I’m sticking to it!
happyfaceunderpalm.jpg

Aloha, Mike
RE/MAX Pacific

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
MikeSells.com
WestHawaiiBlog.com
Mike@MikeSells.com

Stodgy Old Men, Right?

NOT – I have been a member of THE ROTARY CLUB OF NORTH KOHALA for about ten years and it’s anything but stodgy and we have a good mix both age-wise and genderly (is that a word?) speaking. From the very first meeting I attended as a guest of my friend Sheila (who served on the local credit union loan committee with me), I knew it was something different. And I admit, I harbored the same sort of opinion about Rotary -puffed up old foggies with nothing better to do.

WAS I WRONG! It was the most entertaining business meeting I’d ever attended. More accurately it was a combination of entertaining and informative. I learned that the club like all Rotary clubs, met once a week at the same time and place every week, usually a luncheon meeting, but not always. The meeting actually started and ended on time (now there’s a concept) and though it had structure, it was genuinely fun.

I learned that Rotary is the LARGEST SERVICE ORGANIZATION IN THE WORLD – and GIVES MORE SCHOLARSHIPS WORLDWIDE than any other organization! Another thing I really liked was the meeting format. Each person in the club is responsible for sponsoring a speaker on a rotating basis for the weekly meetings. The speakers vary widely from professional hockey players (this at a make-up meeting I once attended in Calgary) to the likes of Earl Bakken a member of our own club!
You may not know that Dr. Bakken was the developer of the very first pace-maker among many, many other inventions and the main impetus behind the fabulous Heart Brain Center at North Hawaii Community Hospital, but you would have learned all about it at our meeting.

Rotary is known for tackling large and small projects around the world and in local communities such as providing access to clean water, taking on illiteracy and eradicating polio, all building bridges to world peace. It’s an organization WHERE YOU FEEL VERY COMFORTABLE DONATING YOUR TIME AND MONEY, and it’s a great way to meet people if you’re moving to the Big Island!

Aloha, Mike
RE/MAX Pacific

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
MikeSells.com
WestHawaiiBlog.com
Mike@MikeSells.com

Capers-Lemon Pasta w/Fish (yum-Express!)

Okay if you live in Hawaii you’d use Mahimahi, but the original recipe calls for salmon. Remember wild is always better than farmed, and fresh is always better than frozen, but you do what you have to do according to what’s available. That’s the great thing about Hawaii -THERE’S NEVER A SHORTAGE OF FRESH, WILD-CAUGHT FISH!
pasta-w-fish2.jpg

Now to be fair I have to admit it’s not a recipe I came up with, but I have personally tried it and it’s ono-licious! I saw it on EVERYDAY ITALIAN on The Food Network, which I have taped on the new DVR system I bought for my husband’s birthday a few months ago. You know, one of those gifts that you love, so you buy for someone you love? I HATE TV, so anything that allows me to zip through the commercials is a Godsend! Anyway, here goes:

CAPERS-LEMON PASTA FISH

  • 1/2 pound whole-wheat spaghetti pasta
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt + Pepper for seasoning
  • 4 (4-ounce) pieces salmon (wild caught if can, can, if no can -no can)
  • 8-10 good sized chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups fresh arugula leaves

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook pasta al dente, drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add the garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, salt + pepper. Toss to combine.
  2. Meanwhile, warm the olive oil and red pepper flakes in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the salmon with salt + pepper.
  3. Add the fish to the pan and cook until medium-rare, about 2 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove the salmon from the pan.
  4. Add the basil, capers, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the spaghetti mixture and toss to combine. Set out 4 serving plates or shallow bowls. Place 1/2 cup arugula in each bowl. Top with 1/4 of the pasta. Top each mound of pasta with a piece of salmon. Serve immediately.

There’s a lot of flavors going on, but somehow they they don’t get “confused” and served with a fresh green salad, it’s a great, light but filling meal that’s plenty healthy, so ENJOY!

Aloha, Mike
RE/MAX Pacific

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
MikeSells.com
WestHawaiiBlog.com
Mike@MikeSells.com

Pea-Size Hail in Kona!

Okay, I took a lot of grief for the blog post I did a couple weeks ago, “ Brrrrrrr“. Visitors on island from places like Minnesota or even Southern California, which has been windy and chilly if you saw any of the golf at Torrey Pines last week, could only say that we in Hawaii are spoiled, and I freely admit it. But someone I ran into from Alberta, Canada commiserated with me,

“At least at home in Canada (hey), we’ve got central heat, insulation and warm clothes.”

haleakala-snow.jpg

So not only did I get some agreement on the weather last week, justifying my right to complain about 58 degrees, but a wild thunder storm the day before yesterday produced REAL, LIVE HAIL IN KONA the size of peas, and it snowed again on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, and get this – also on Haleakala on Maui (pictured to the right), and lots of it!

Now that doesn’t happen often. The last time I remember that happening was at least 20 years ago. We’d gone up Mauna Kea to see the snow up close, like so many locals do when it snows here -you know pile the kids and dogs into a truck, get the boogie boards (in the absence of sleds) and let’s go have some fun! Well, low and behold when we got up to the summit it was crystal clear and you could not only see Maui’s summit at Haleakala, but you could see snow there too!
mauna-kea-snow.jpg

You can pretty much see it all on the Big Island. One could say by evidence of this recent rainbow, that the Big Island is definitely a study in contrasts!
rainbow.jpg

Aloha, Mike
RE/MAX Pacific

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943
MikeSells.com
WestHawaiiBlog.com
Mike@MikeSells.com