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Archive for the ‘Hawaii Real Estate’ Category

Wai`alae-Kahala Homes

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Thursday, February 7th, 2008

The Island Real Estate Blog from the Honolulu Advertiser points out that the ritzy Wai`alae-Kahala neighborhood of Honolulu saw the following improvement between 2006 and 2007:

  • 136 sales vs. 127 sales (7.1% increase)
  • Days on market decreased from 75 days to 46 days

The same blog also pointed out that although the number of sales of single family homes is down 13%, the median sales price was $600,000 which i exactly the same as last year.

Realtor associations often talk about the weak dollar and how it could lead to foreign investment purchasers.  While this is not going to help a homeowner with an ordinary tract home in for instance, Denton, Texas, it could help commercial real estate property owners as well as homeowners in places like Honolulu or San Francisco that tend to attract wealthy foreign investors.

Hawaii Supreme Court proposed rule change

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Thursday, January 24th, 2008

A proposed rule change by the Hawaii Supreme Court could potentially reduce the job scope of a real estate agent in the state.  Basically, a rule has been proposed that would require someone to have a law license if they want to do the following:

  • Give advice or counsel to another person about the person’s legal rights and obligations or the legal rights and obligations of others.
  • Select, draft, or complete documents that affect the legal rights of another person.
  • Negotiate legal rights or obligations with others on behalf of another person.

So basically, a real estate agent that is not also an attorney would effectively be reduced to someone who markets and shows properties, but is not involved in contracts or negotiations.  The Hawaii Association of REALTORS® is opposed to the rule change and would like to have an exception put in place with regards to real estate transactions.  (Its position is here in a .pdf file)  That seems like a logical position to me.

If the proposed rule change does go into effect, it is going to be extremely interesting to see what changes occur in the marketplace.  For instance,

  • Will real estate agents who are also attorneys have a huge advantage (because their clients don’t have to pay extra to get contracts prepared)?
  • Will attorneys provide flat fee services for basic contracts and advice?
  • Will this rule change be adopted in other states?
  • How will this rule change play into limited service legislation which requires agents in some states to provide certain services that agents in other states may not even be allowed to provide?

Our industry is truly exciting and changing every day.  We will see what happens and adapt.