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Known for its stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and vibrant culture, Hawaii is truly a tropical paradise. As the 50th state to join the union, it consists of eight main islands - Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, and Kahoolawe. With mild weather year-round, Hawaii's real estate market is always buzzing as more people flock to enjoy island living.
However, when life circumstances change, some landowners in Hawaii find themselves needing to sell their piece of paradise quicker than expected. If you inherit property or can no longer afford payments, finding a buyer can be challenging and time consuming. Thankfully, by following proven tips, you can sell your Hawaii land fast for maximum value.
Get Clear on Why You Must Sell Rapidly
Before listing your land, reflect on the reasons you need to sell quickly in Hawaii. Common motivations include:
- Relocating for a new job or family
- Facing foreclosure due to missed mortgage payments
- Needing cash to pay medical bills or other debts
- Settling an estate after a death in the family
Understanding the urgency behind your sale will help you set practical expectations when pricing and marketing the property. Be realistic - if you want to close within a few months, you may need to lower the asking price. But more on that later!
Research Local Land Values in Your Area
Failing to properly research your land's value is one of the main mistakes Hawaii sellers make when aiming for a speedy sale. Just because you have fond memories doesn’t mean buyers will pay a premium.
Contact local real estate professionals to compare prices of recent sales for vacant plots similar to yours. Look on sites like Zillow and Trulia to gauge asking prices in your neighborhood. Drive by nearby listed parcels to assess land quality.
Armed with market data, you can accurately price your property based on location, acreage, terrain, views, road access, zoning restrictions, etc. Price too high for a quick sale and you will deter buyers. Go too low and you leave money on the table. Find the sweet spot between urgency and value.
Spruce Up Your Property Without Over Improving
While major construction projects aren't practical for a fast land sale, small touch ups make an impact. Mow grass, remove brush, haul away trash, fix fences, post signage on the road, etc. A well-maintained, accessible property displays better online and in person.
But beware over improving land you want to unload quickly. Adding power lines, driveways, septic tanks, etc. raises property value but narrow your buyer pool. Not everyone envisions using land the same way you did. Go minimal with upgrades to attract more potential bids.
Hire a Real Estate Agent That Specializes in Land
Selling land requires different expertise than home sales. Thus, you need a real estate agent well versed in the niche land market. Interview a few agents and ask:
- How much raw land have they sold in Hawaii?
- What marketing channels will they use to promote your listing?
- Do they have a database of cash buyers who purchase land as investments?
- How quickly can they get professional photos and listing paperwork finalized?
Speed and network matter more than experience selling houses. Lean on your agent's relationships and savvy to qualify leads quickly. Set realistic expectations on price and timeline right away.
Be Flexible and Open to Investor Offers
Land investors buy properties in Hawaii everyday—often on short timeframes using cash. Unlike buyers planning to build their forever home, investors examine factors like future resale potential, not just land attributes.
As the seller, be flexible on closing dates an investor may request. Ask for a non-refundable deposit to guarantee sale. Require inspections get done ASAP. Move fast meeting their need for speed while protecting your interests.
Also, investors may pay slightly under market value knowing they must fund carrying costs and development work before reselling at a future date. But their ability to buy “as-is” with cash makes for much faster, predictable closes. If needing money quickly, consider investor offers.
Market Online and Offline Aggressively
The more buyers that know your land is for sale, the faster it will sell in Hawaii. Don’t solely rely on your agent to promote the listing. Spread the word across multiple platforms yourself.
Post in Facebook Groups, Craigslist, NextDoor for neighbors. List on Zillow, Lands of America and other aggregated land sites. Network within local real estate investing clubs and associations. Install roadside signage directing people to view the property or visit the listing URL.
The shotgun approach beats a single channel like MLS. Follow up promptly as leads come in. Don’t let hot prospects go cold due to slow responses. Reply rapidly and keep the sales momentum flowing strong.
Be Ready to Negotiate Price and Terms
When selling land for speed, rarely does a Hawaii buyer agree to full price and original closing timeframe at first glance. Expect back and forth questions and concessions as purchasers explore options.
Come prepared to negotiate in good faith. If the buyer asks for a price drop or longer due diligence, don’t take offense. Counter reasonably based on how fast you want/need the deal to happen. Offer owner financing terms to bridge gaps.
The better prepared you are to make concessions without sabotaging your main financial goals, the smoother negotiations run. Work with buyers within your parameters so they don’t walk away over minor issues.
Close the Deal Quickly Once Under Contract
Between the offer acceptance and closing day, stay vigilant to ensure no snafus derail the land sale. Keep communicating with the buyer. Begin paperwork for title transfers, surveys, etc. immediately. Research what inspections they may require and schedule ASAP.
Follow up regularly with your real estate attorney reviewing the purchase and sale agreement before problems arise. Don’t wait days to handle loose ends. Knock out tasks promptly demonstrating your readiness to close.
Have a backup plan too. If the initial buyer walks for some reason, reconnect quickly with recent leads perhaps willing to pay what that buyer agreed. The momentum you build marketing a property for urgent sale keeps interested prospects circling.
Stay Motivated During Challenges
Attempting to sell land quickly in Hawaii summons patience and perspective. Even utilizing these tips, unpredictable hiccups happen—financing falls through, deals fall apart two weeks before closing. It’s easy losing motivation when faced with such frustration.
Remember why you need to sell fast and who benefits from the money. Visualize life after the land sells. Talk to those you trust for encouragement. And should you ultimately feel selling the land yourself becomes too overwhelming, don’t be afraid to contact local investors interested in buying your property fast without the hassle.
Selling land swiftly for maximum value takes effort but pays dividends through financial freedom and peace of mind when you need them most. Position your property competitively, market actively to qualified buyers, and power through the sales process for success. You’ve got this! Hawaii no ka oi (Hawaii is the best)!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What paperwork do I need to prepare to sell my land in Hawaii?
To sell your land, gather property records like the deed, title insurance, parcel map numbers, easements or rights of access, property tax information, and any existing liens that will need to be cleared. Ensure surveying markers are visible. Have 6-12 months of utility bills to show costs. Proof you comply with zoning like agricultural classifications help too. This paperwork substantiates property details for buyers.
Does my Hawaii land need to pass any inspections before selling?
While not legally required, buyers typically request inspections before purchasing property in Hawaii. Securing inspections upfront can make your land more attractive to serious buyers. Consider boundary/encroachment, soil testing, environmental testing for contaminants, flood risk determination, habitat studies if endangered species are present, wetlands delineation if applicable, etc. Fixing identified issues can expedite the sale.
What closing costs will I pay when selling my Hawaii land?
As the property seller, expect to pay the real estate commission (often 5-6%), portion of the title insurance fee, conveyance tax (generally below 1%), and any escrow service charges. The exact percentage and amounts depend on sale price. The buyer usually pays the recording fees and their half of applicable closing costs. Get an estimate from your real estate attorney before listing.
Should I accept offers from land buying companies or sell to individual buyers?
Investors and land buying companies often make cash offers for quick sales, albeit sometimes below market average. This certainty may work when needing to sell faster. Individual buyers may take longer securing financing but often pay listed value. Weigh benefits of speed vs higher price before accepting or denying any offer.
What are ways I can establish market value for my Hawaii land?
Hawaii land prices fluctuate greatly based on terrain, views, road frontage and other attributes. To accurately gauge your land’s resale value, research prices per acre of recently sold comparable vacant plots. Adjust based on property differences. Also, reputable real estate agents experienced brokering Hawaii land can provide price guidance through competitive market analysis. Multiple opinions prevent over or under pricing.
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