Selling your home without a realtor means you won’t have to pay a listing commission, which in Hawaii averages 2.5% of the sale price. Considering a typical Hawaii house is worth about $826,000, that’s a savings of $20,980.
However, trying to sell a home For Sale by Owner (FSBO) can be tough. It will cost you a lot of time and energy.
In the end, selling a house without a real estate agent isn’t worth it for most homeowners in Hawaii. Especially considering there are low commission real estate companies that offer professional assistance for a lower cost.
If you’re considering FSBO in Hawaii, read on to find out everything you need to know to do it successfully.
✍️ Key Takeaways of FSBO Sales
- Selling without a real estate agent means avoiding a listing commission (2.5% on average in Hawaii). But in exchange for those savings, you’ll have to do everything from advertising your home to negotiating the final deal.
- In most cases, you’ll still need to offer a buyer’s agent commission. 2.5% is typical in Hawaii.
- Selling without an agent is best for experienced sellers or people selling to family or friends.
- For most sellers, there are better cost-saving options that will net you more money and provide professional support.
Should I sell my house without a realtor?
Selling a house for sale by owner in Hawaii comes with many pros and cons. While it’s not recommended for everyone, FSBO can help experienced home sellers save on commission—but only if they know what they’re doing.
✅Selling your home without a realtor might be right for you if…
- You want to save on commission
- You have plenty of time to take on the responsibilities of a real estate agent
- You already have a buyer lined up
- You’re in a hot seller’s market and you have a desirable home
🚫 Selling without a realtor might not be right for you if…
- You don’t have a lot of free time
- You’ve never sold a home in Hawaii
- You want to sell for market value – or higher
If you’re still not sure, check out our thorough guide to selling FSBO to help you decide. If you’re open to other options, some low-commission real estate companies, like Clever Real Estate, allow you to work with a top local real estate agent at half the typical cost.
Cost of selling a house without a realtor in Hawaii
Below, you’ll find a list of prices for common services you might want to consider if you decide to sell without a realtor. However, know that if your home is in need of repairs or is in a buyer’s market, you might need to spend a lot more to prep and market your property.
💸 Common costs for FSBO sellers
|Appraisal||$315 to $420||To price your home more accurately|
|Photography||$192||To compete with homes listed by agents|
|Staging||$1,529||To stand out to local buyers|
|Real estate attorney||$204 to $359 per hour||To assist with paperwork, contracts, and legal requirements|
|Flat fee MLS listing||$250 to $3,000||To get listed on the MLS|
|Buyer’s agent commission||2.5% of sale price||To compensate the agent that represents the buyer (it’s customary for the seller to pay)|
Overall, on average, it costs 7.5% of the home price to sell by owner and about 10% of the home price to sell with a real estate agent. However, the amount you’ll actually save will depend on repairs you need to make, concessions, and other expenses.
Use our calculator to get an idea of how much you can expect to spend if you sell without a realtor.
If you’re considering selling without a realtor in Hawaii, check out our friends at Clever Real Estate. Clever eliminates all the hassles and headaches of FSBO while helping you pay less than you would for a traditional realtor.
In Hawaii, sellers pay an average of 2.5% to a listing agent. Considering the median home value in Hawaii is $826,000, that amounts to $20,980. But with Clever, you can sell with a top local agent for just 1.5%, letting you keep more of your home’s equity in your pocket.
7 steps to sell a home in Hawaii without a realtor
Selling a home without a realtor involves many of the same steps as selling with one, except you’re on your own. To learn more about the basic steps to sell, read our simple, 12-step guide to selling a house.
For Hawaii FSBO sellers, here’s what you need to know.
1. Get your home ready to sell
Before listing your home, spruce it up so you can get the best price as fast as possible. Some ideas are:
- Repairing any small issues
- Applying a new coat of paint
- Making improvements to the landscaping
- Decluttering and deep cleaning
Any improvements should have neutrality in mind so that potential buyers see a blank canvas. That means putting away personal items or anything that makes the house seem crowded. This process is called staging, and you can do it on your own, or hire a professional to help. Paying a stager in Hawaii costs an average of $1,529.
Staging your house also preps it nicely for taking photos. You can take the photos yourself or pay a professional photographer, which averages about $140.
If your home needs too much work to sell to a typical buyer, you might consider selling to a cash buyer. You can quickly compare cash buyer offers against your home’s value on the open market with Clever Offers. Try it for free with no obligation.
2. Price your home accurately
One of the most important steps in listing your Hawaii FSBO home is pricing it correctly. Too often FSBO sellers overprice their homes, causing them to spend too long on the market and ultimately forcing them to bring their sale price down. Research suggests that FSBO sellers tend to get 5–26% less than comparable realtor-sold homes.
Because mispricing is such a costly mistake for FSBO sellers, we recommend the strategies below to ensure you accurately price your home.
Get a comparative market analysis (CMA)
A comparative market analysis finds recent sales of similar properties in your area and uses their sale prices to determine the fair market value of your home.
A realtor often provides a CMA for free, but you can also do this yourself. Another approach is paying a flat fee MLS company to provide a CMA for you. This option gives you the objectivity of an expert third party, but doesn’t cost you as much as paying a full-service realtor.
Hire an appraiser
Appraisers look through your property, evaluate its condition, and compare it to other properties in the area that have recently sold. Then, they compile all this information and their expertise on the local housing market to determine a fair value for your home.
The average appraisal in Hawaii costs $300 to $435. It’s well worth the money if it can help you save thousands, or tens of thousands, on your home sale.
3. List and market your home
Before listing your home, familiarize yourself with ad regulations for real estate in Hawaii. Comply with these rules to avoid any unnecessary headaches.
Get exposure for your listing by marketing it on free FSBO websites, such as:
- Facebook Marketplace
- Zillow or Trulia’s FSBO section
You can also use traditional methods like word of mouth, flyers, and yard signs.
If you want maximum exposure, think about working with a Hawaii flat fee MLS company.
Hawaii flat fee MLS companies
Flat fee MLS companies allow non-realtors to list their home on the MLS. This is important because the MLS is the main place realtors locate listings to show their clients.
In Hawaii, a flat fee MLS service will cost you about $80 to $1,000. Our top picks for flat fee MLS companies in Hawaii are:
- Jeffrey Samuels: Best overall
- Houzeo: Best for experienced sellers
- Fizber: Best for no-frills packages
Read our in-depth guide to Hawaii’s flat fee MLS companies to decide which one works best for you.
Required Hawaii seller disclosures
In Hawaii, you must provide a seller disclosure statement to potential buyers. A seller disclosure statement informs buyers of any known issues with the property. After receiving this document, the buyer has 15 days to rescind their offer or continue with the purchase.
Federal law also requires you to disclose the existence of lead paint in homes built before 1978.
Attach these forms to your listing, email them to interested buyers, or bring hard copies to showings and open houses. Regardless of how you proceed, provide these disclosures to buyers in a timely manner and avoid hiding any information that may result in undue complications or legal ramifications.
4. Manage showings on your own
Have a system when managing your showings and open houses. Keep track of who is interested, when they’re viewing the property, and how you can contact them.
Your system for hosting an open house could be as simple as having a sign-up sheet potential buyers fill in upon arrival. For individual showings, you’ll need a calendar and a way to keep each buyer’s information organized.
Some helpful tips for managing individual showings include:
- Schedule showings near each other for convenience.
- Leave 10 or 15 minutes between showings to avoid overlap.
- Make sure the temperature of your home is comfortable and the shades are open to let light in.
- Plug in an air freshener but set it to a lower setting so it’s not overwhelming.
- Make yourself scarce to give buyers space.
- Use a lockbox for security and to allow realtors to enter the home when you’re not there.
A flat fee MLS company may offer a package that includes showings or tools for tracking buyers. Whether you pay for resources or manage everything yourself, be prepared to answer follow-up questions about the property.
5. Review and negotiate offers
Buyers usually make offers in the form of a purchase and sale agreement. Read this carefully and make sure you understand everything before you sign the offer.
One important detail is whether the buyer is financing their purchase or paying cash. Cash buyers have more flexibility in how they can proceed, whereas financed buyers need to meet lender requirements like appraisal and inspection contingencies.
You can also negotiate the closing date, repairs, seller credits, and the date the buyer takes possession. Some of these might be just as important as the sale price and you can use the sale price as leverage to get something else you want.
Check out other negotiation strategies for more ideas on how you can get the best deal possible.
Although you’re not required to hire a real estate attorney in Hawaii, you may still want to consult one to ensure there you’re compliant with the law and not missing any fine print in the offer. The money you spend on an attorney could save you time, money, and headache down the road.
6. Allow the buyer to conduct due diligence
Once all parties have signed your purchase agreement, the buyer enters a due diligence period. During this timeframe, they will make sure there are no deal breakers with the property and ensure they actually want to buy it.
Depending on your buyer’s financing and what’s included in the purchase agreement, they will probably need to go through the following steps.
If nothing comes up during the due diligence period that triggers a contingency clause, then the deal proceeds as agreed upon. If a contingency requirement is not met, you and the buyer may renegotiate so that everyone is comfortable with the deal. For example, if an appraisal comes in low, you may adjust the price or the buyer may need to come out of pocket to cover the difference.
If you want to back out of a deal without a contingency, speak to a real estate attorney. If a buyer backs out of the deal without a contingency in place, you may be entitled to the earnest money deposit. Your purchase agreement typically explains the expectations for these situations.
Your purchase agreement specifies the closing date. It also states who will conduct the closing, usually a title company, a real estate broker, or attorney.
At closing, you and the buyer go over the closing statement — this will outline all the expenses and deposits for the buyer and seller during the transaction. You will sign a bunch of other paperwork, including the deed transfer.
After everything is signed, you will be paid on the day of closing, often via wire transfer or physical check.
For sale by owner paperwork in Hawaii
Here’s a list of the Hawaii paperwork you’ll need to sell your home without a realtor.
- Hawaii Purchase Contract
- Seller’s Real Property Disclosure Statement
- Federal Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form
- Flood Risk Disclosure
Not finding what you’re looking for? Check out our comprehensive list of paperwork for selling your house without a realtor.
Best alternative: work with a discount broker
For many people, trying to sell without an agent isn’t worth the hassle. If you think you’ll need some help along the way, a discount broker is a good alternative.
Discount brokers are full-service real estate agents who are willing to work for a reduced commission rate. Sellers can save thousands while still receiving assistance from an expert local agent.
For discount broker services, we highly recommend our friends at Clever! Clever pre-negotiates with top agents to offer you low commission rates without compromising on service quality.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need a lawyer to sell my house in Hawaii?
No, you aren’t required to have a lawyer to sell a house in Hawaii. However, it's strongly recommended to hire one anyway, as there are a lot of legal requirements to comply with. For a few hundred dollars an hour, you will have the assistance of an expert that can ensure that your documents are ironed out properly and in accordance with the law. Learn more by chatting with an experienced real estate lawyer.
Is selling a house without a realtor worth it in Hawaii?
It can be. Selling without a realtor in Hawaii will save you 2.5-3% in commission, but you will have to handle every aspect of the selling process. If you don’t know what you’re doing, then you can lose more than what you’d save. For instance, a mistake in the paperwork can lead to a lot of legal trouble that will be expensive to resolve.
If you’d like some more advice about selling your home, here are a few great resources to check out:How realtor commissions work in Hawaii: Even if you decide to sell your house without an agent, it’s still a good idea to offer commission to the buyer’s agent. Learn how much realtors expect to earn and what you can do to make your listing more appealing to agents and their clients. Top We Buy Houses Companies in Hawaii REVEALED: If you need to sell your home in a hurry, a We Buy Houses company may purchase your house as-is for a reduced rate. Find out if this option could be the best option for you here!
How to Sell Your House – The Ultimate Guide: Our guide breaks down the process of selling a house in 12 steps. We discuss how to find and choose a realtor, list your home for sale, review and negotiate offers, close, and calculate capital gains tax.