Selling and Buying a Home: Best Practices and Tips

Selling and Buying a Home: Best Practices and Tips

The island of Maui is no ordinary place. Known for its rich history, authentic Hawaiian cuisine, and some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Maui’s economy is built primarily on tourism, drawing in linguistically and culturally diverse people from around the world. The pace of life is laid back, and why not if a substantial number of people here at any given time are on vacation? Doesn’t this lifestyle sound like a dream come true? Read on for an overview of the most important steps to selling and buying a home in Maui.

When buying

Begin by getting finances in order

Purchasing a luxury property is a unique home-buying experience. The process may move slower than other real estate processes — but with good reason. One does not want to rush into a purchase of this magnitude, and home sellers and lenders will be meticulous and scrupulous in vetting potential buyers. See your financial advisor at the onset of the process to make sure your financial affairs are in order and well-organized. It will be important to be able to prove your investments, assets, liabilities, income, and credit scores through documentation, all of which confirm that you are ready and able to afford this investment. Mortgage lenders will also be looking closely at your debt-to-income ratio. In the months leading up to purchasing that home, it is wise to pay down debt wherever possible.

As you are planning a budget for your new home and Maui, consider more than just which type of mortgage is right for you. A luxury property typically requires extensive upkeep and maintenance, and that will factor into your monthly budget. Property taxes will be an unexpected source of good news. The island of Maui has the lowest property tax rate in the United States at .19%. They also allow for an exemption of the first $200,000 of your property for primary residences.

The remoteness of Hawaii necessitates shipping almost everything needed for daily living, so the cost of living is very high. Maui also has one of the highest median home values in the nation. These factors must be considered as you calculate living costs, which could be substantially more than what you are used to if you are moving from the mainland, but the resale value of the home you purchase can make your house in Maui a fantastic investment.

Assess your lifestyle

The purpose for which you purchase Maui real estate will significantly affect the type of home you seek. Will this be your primary residence? Or, are you looking for a vacation home? Take some time to carefully assess the way your family currently lives and your dreams for your lifestyle in Maui.

Consider the features you love in the home that you currently inhabit, as well as those which tend to be a source of stress and frustration. What specific features and amenities are important for your new home? From these musings, create a list of must-have features for your new home in Maui and begin your home search with focus and direction, taking your family’s needs into full consideration.

Take your time making a decision

As you begin your quest for the perfect Maui residence, take your time and investigate all promising options thoroughly. Visit and tour each of the properties that are potential fits, and don't rush to a decision based on external pressures or an emotional reaction to what you see. Also, ask your real estate agent to do some reconnaissance work and learn about upcoming improvements and developments near any properties you desire. These could either increase or decrease the value of your property, and it is important to be well-informed.

As a new home is a long-term investment, remember to consider upcoming life changes and your current needs. For instance, will an aging parent likely move in to live with you soon? Are your children nearly grown and planning to make you an empty-nester shortly? Are you nearing retirement? What are your long-term investment goals? Your goals, both for your lifestyle and financial investment, are vitally important. Make sure that purchasing a house in Maui will help you to accomplish them.

Saying farewell to Maui or moving up in the neighborhood?

If new opportunities lead you to sell your property in Maui, selling a home will go much smoother if you have a well-organized plan.

Prepare your home

Luxury home buyers will expect properties to be in pristine condition. Scrutinize your home carefully. Are there areas that are worn or dated? Are there repairs that need to be made? Carefully go through each room of your home, making careful notes of anything that needs to be updated or repaired. Do the same with exterior spaces and begin right away getting the home updated and in ideal working order.

When the home has been repaired and given a facelift, it is time to depersonalize it. Remove personal pictures, eclectic decor, and color schemes that may not appeal to every palate, and drastically reduce the number of items in closets, on shelves, and cabinets. The house needs to feel airy and open to give the buyer plenty of opportunities to imagine their things in this space.

Many sellers want to take on remodeling projects when preparing to sell a house. Typically these are not sound Investments, but if there is one area that will add more value than any other improvement to the house, that is the kitchen. As the hub of the home, this room can make or break a sale. Appliances must be in peak condition, fixtures updated, counters ample and decluttered, and that the kitchen is a warm and welcoming space to gather with family and friends.


A professional stager will illuminate all the possibilities of a life well-lived in your home. Stagers know how to arrange furniture to create the optimal atmosphere and visual appeal. They will also highlight what is truly spectacular about your home. Incorporated in the staging process is professional photography and videography, which will accompany your home’s listing and be one of the most important stages of selling your home. In today’s home-buying, online searching and virtual tours are the primary means by which potential buyers will be enticed to visit your home, so this part of the process of selling a home must be done with excellence.


If you want to accelerate the process of selling your home, a competitive price is key. With knowledge of comparable properties in your area and an understanding of current real estate market trends, you can make an informed decision. You may also find it helpful to hire a home appraiser. This objective, third-party source will let you know the relative worth of your home. If you choose to price your home slightly below its appraised value, potential buyers will feel they are getting a fantastic deal and will rush to make offers on your home.

The value of a great agent

No one understands the stages of selling a home like an experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent. Without one, the process can be quite daunting. Your real estate agent will be able to inform you about local market trends, upcoming developments, comparable property values, and all of the logistics of paperwork, scheduling, and closing.

You need an agent with whom you are comfortable developing a close working relationship. It is wise to interview several potential agents to find the best fit. Learn about their experience, volume of real estate sold, luxury market experience, Maui knowledge, and customer satisfaction. Ask for the specific tools and strategies they will use to help you locate the right property or sell your home. Ask agents for references from previous clients and spend some time talking with them. Once you have chosen the right agent to help you through the stages of selling a home, it is time to make final preparations and begin preparing for your move.

Whether you are looking at selling or buying a home in Maui, Kevin Spaise’s fifteen years of experience in Maui real estate and his specialization in investment properties make him a natural choice to answer all of your real estate questions and help your dreams of Maui become a reality.

Work With Kevin

Whether you're just starting to explore the options and want a quick overview of the areas and pricing, or specific properties have caught your attention, I would so appreciate the opportunity to share my knowledge and insight with you. Warm Aloha!