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  • Tuesday, January 07, 2020 2:17 PM | Karin Shaw (Administrator)

    According to data from the Hawaii Information Service and the monthly Griggs Report, the North Kona residential market shows inventory is down substantially from a year ago.    On the demand side, pending sales are up from last year.   This limited supply and strong demand is now elevating the median price of both single-family homes and condos, but by less than 3% for both.  

    The median sales price of single family homes remained stable in the $635,000 price range for almost two years and is now $780,000, according to HIS statistics, although, more indicative is the year to date numbers which show the median price of a single family home is $650,000.

    Year to date data shows that single family home sales in North Kona have increased 13% year to date from December 2018 to 2019, although sales have dropped year over year from 40 in 2018 to 35 in 2019. Condos also saw a year over year sales drop from 44 to 38, a drop of 13.64%, but rose 8.33% year to date from 432 to 468.

    According to the Griggs Report, there has been a gain of 50 home sales in the $500K to $700k price range since last year.  In the $900K to $1.5M range, is also showing an increase with 26 more sales than 2018.    

    The percentage of listings of REO or short sales on the market increased slightly for the first time in many months.   The increase was seen in all market areas except North Kona.

    For South Kohala, the median price of a single-family home year over year rose 7.5%, from $603,000 to $649,000, however year to date, prices rose only .5% from $596,000 to $599,000.  Interesting to note, that year over year sales volume in South Kohala rose 129% for single family homes, but fell 41%, year over year for condos, but only 13% year to date.

    Island wide median sales fell month over month in December 10% for single family homes and 8% for condos. Lack of inventory and buyers sitting on the fence waiting for homes may have contributed to the sales decrease and the same market forces are driving up prices for buyers unwilling to wait for more homes to come onto the market.

    The Griggs Report is published semi-monthly by Michael B. Griggs, PB, GRI 

    Click here for December 2019 Statistics

  • Tuesday, January 07, 2020 2:08 PM | Karin Shaw (Administrator)

    Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to create consistent monthly marketing for lead nurturing? Have you struggled to create, write and send out monthly email newsletters? We have a solution for you. Join a monthly accountability writers group at WHAR the last Tuesday of each month for 90 minutes from 11:30 am-1 pm.

    365Kona blogger and author, Julie Ziemelis, will lead the group and provide content ideas and links to complimentary WHAR and industry real estate articles for your use and provide ideas for local content in the monthly workshops. She will also be available to help you create email campaigns using an e-newsletter program if you are not currently using an email newsletter/CRM provider. You can also learn how to track open rates and fine tune your campaigns. Best of all, you will send out a campaign each month.

    All content you create in the workshop for the newsletter can also be utilized for social media and other marketing materials.

    This workshop is a complimentary member benefit being held in the WHAR conference room each month. Seating is limited. Please RSVP by signing up HERE.

  • Tuesday, December 24, 2019 9:55 AM | Karin Shaw (Administrator)

    The real estate market is affected by so many factors, and yet, elite and top agents have found a way to always grow and thrive in any market.

    I remember my first manager telling me that I could make it in any market because I went out and “made it happen,” and didn’t rely on one particular lead source for all my business.

    When you truly know how to add value and deliver Ritz Carlton-level service, you create your own success. It takes grit, dedication, a business plan and a winning mindset. I want to share what I consider the uncommon characteristics of top-selling, elite real estate agents that allow them to keep growing their business, regardless of outside economic factors, so you, too, can be an elite real estate agent! These uncommon but totally necessary behaviors ring true with all elite agents. These secret attributes will be the difference maker you need to go from good to great and from wishful thinking to reality of doubling or tripling your production and income. After all, real estate is easy hard work. It is easy if you like to proactively help people and solve their problems, but it requires a strong work ethic and commitment to work the business and make it happen.

    1. An Inner Drive to Succeed

    When you want to succeed, you will do whatever it takes to make your goals happen. Know what you’re driven to accomplish. Is it an income goal or an achievement goal?  Knowing what drives you will help you stay committed to the goals you set. Top real estate agents know what their inner drive to succeed is, and it stays alive and drives them each day. Know yours, and share it with another person, your manager or a coach. I can’t motivate a satisfied person—in fact, no one can. What motivates each of us is different, but it is that inner drive to succeed that is in every top agent I know. Find it and embrace it and run with it.

    2. Totally Focused and Disciplined

    Agents who are successful have a laser focus every day, week and month on what they want to accomplish—how many listings, sales or calls need to be made to hit their goals. Staying focused and avoiding distractions requires discipline, which helps you achieve success faster and with better clarity. Nothing interrupts the top agent’s schedule to create new leads, for example. Get zeroed in with discipline and focus, and watch results happen immediately.

    3. A Winning Mindset

    Every top agent believes they are already a winner, and that they can and will achieve their desired goals. Your mindset totally impacts your behavior and your daily actions. Develop the mindset that you have a listing or sale this week (you just don’t know the address yet!), you are as good as the other agents in your market and that you can increase your average sale price or break into the luxury market successfully. I remember believing that I was already a $10 million-dollar producer before I was, and it gave me the self-confidence to act like I already had achieved my goals. Developing a winning mindset starts your day off in the right direction, and you will see results happen just like you intended them to.

    4. A Beyond-Positive Attitude

    I love when people say, “Are you always so positive?” I say, “Yes, of course!” A top trait of successful REALTORS® is that they are beyond positive—positive about the market they sell in, positive about any offer they are negotiating and positive about any listing they are trying to sell…just always positive. Other agents love to sell homes with these agents because they are positive, and keep everyone in the transaction positive, too.  It’s a winning trait and it works.

    5. Action-Based

    Top agents are not talking about what they want to do; rather, they are constantly taking action, trying new things and making success happen for themselves. They are not waiting for leads to come to them; they are going out and finding the opportunities. What types of action will you take to increase your business for yourself? Taking action makes opportunities happen, and top agents know this and live it!

    6. Perseverance and "‘Never Give Up"

    There is always a way to solve an issue if you have the perseverance and attitude to exhaust all options to help put or keep a deal together. Top agents have a “never, ever give up” mentality, and it’s obvious. They will find a way to bring buyer and seller together for the good of both clients. This trait goes beyond the norm and really shows the dedication of adding value to clients.

    7. Passion, Humility and Gratitude

    Top agents have a humble and grateful attitude, and my belief is that this is what makes them even more amazing. They are passionate about serving.

    8. Focus on Listings

    Top agents have always been focused on listings. Listings are the most important business activity an agent can do—all the marketing, name recognition, spin-off sales and listings, all the credit goes to the listing agent. Top agents have mastered the art of servicing seller clients, and the payoffs are huge. Focusing on listings will make you the “name brand” and most recognized top agent in your market. Create a plan to increase your listing inventory and dominate your market with more for-sale signs with your name on them. This will create more and more success for your business.

    Adopting these attitudes and behaviors will give you the ability to survive any market, and you’ll be magnetically creating your own success each month. For a copy of my Exclusive Business Plan, click here.

    By Sherri JohnsonCEO and founder, Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting. With 20 years of experience in real estate, Johnson offers coaching, consulting and keynotes, and is a national speaker for the Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour and the Official Real Estate Coach for McKissock Learning and Real Estate Express. Sign up for a free 30-minute coaching strategy session or visit for more information.

  • Tuesday, December 17, 2019 3:21 PM | Karin Shaw (Administrator)

    A few hours ago, the House of Representatives voted to approve a spending package that will fund the federal government through fiscal year 2020. The bill is expected to pass the Senate this week and President Trump has pledged to sign the bill by Friday to avert a government shutdown.

    In the lead up to its introduction, NAR was able to secure the inclusion of three critical items for the housing industry that will bring certainty and stability to the market as we head into the New Year:

     9-Month Extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through September 30, 2020

    1. Extension of various critical tax provisions through December 31, 2020 and retroactive to 2018
    2. 7-Year Reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization (TRIP) through December 31, 2027

    National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

    NAR is pleased to see a 9-month program extension worked through Congress with little fanfare. While the agreement will ensure NFIP policies can be issued and renewed through the end of the fiscal year, we will continue to push lawmakers to use the afforded time to find compromise on a longer term reauthorization and reform package.

    As we know all too well, this program has operated on a string of short-term extensions and endured multiple lapses over the past two years. From Montana to Mississippi and everywhere in between, that unpredictability has put home sales in jeopardy and left insurance policies in limbo. While NAR research has shown that NFIP lapses threaten 1,300 transactions each day, the resulting uncertainty impacts our nation's overall housing market and economic stability.

    NAR has strongly supported the NFIP Reauthorization Act, also authored by Chairwoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), which includes a 5-year program reauthorization along with reforms to improve mapping, enhance mitigation, and remove obstacles to private flood insurance. H.R. 3167 is the product of extensive bipartisan negotiations between Waters and House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (NC-10), striking a delicate balance between NFIP sustainability and affordability. This legislation unanimously passed the Committee in June and we will maintain our call for lawmakers to work through the legislation this congress.

    Tax Extenders

    Also, included in the sending package are temporary extensions of three tax provisions directly impacting our industry:

    1) the exclusion of forgiven mortgage debt from gross income, meaning that owners of primary residences who sold them short and had part of their mortgage debt written off will not have to pay tax on the amount forgiven;

    2) the deductibility of premiums for mortgage insurance; and

    3) the deduction of the cost of improvements to commercial buildings that make them energy efficient.

    These provisions had all expired at the end of 2017, but the bill extends them, retroactive to the beginning of 2018, and through the end of 2020.

    Terrorism Risk Insurance Program (TRIP)

    Finally, NAR scored a major victory, primarily for our commercial members, with the inclusion of the seven-year re-authorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program in the spending package.

    Terrorism risk insurance is often required to secure necessary financing for the thousands of commercial practitioners nationwide. Absent TRIP, the country would likely see a repeat of what happened in 2001, when many insurers raised terrorism risk insurance to unsustainable prices or stopped offering coverage entirely.

    NAR repeatedly called on Congress to reauthorize TRIP before its scheduled expiration in 2020, publicly supporting Chairwoman Maxine Waters’ Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Re-authorization Act of 2019.

    You may click here for the full statement released this afternoon from NAR President Vince Malta and a summary of these legislative alerts for social media.

    NAR News from Washington

    NAR Meets with Interior Secretary

    Secretary David Bernhardt mentioned a couple of specific efforts the Department is taking to reduce regulatory burdens on housing and the real estate sector. Click here for more.

    NAR Supports Group of Five Credit Scoring and Student Loan Bills

    NAR sent a letter of support to the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) Chairs for a group of bills, to be marked by the committee, impacting federal policy in credit policy and student loan debt. Click here for more.

    2020 FHA Loan Limits Published

    FHA published its 2020 loan limits on December 3, 2019. The high cost limit is now at $765,600, while the lowest FHA limit rose to $331,760. Click here for more.

    Loan Limits Increase in 2020

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) published the 2020 conforming loan limits for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Click here for more.

    Oral Arguments Held in AHP Case

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently heard oral arguments in the case brought by a dozen attorneys general (AGs) challenging the Department of Labor (DOL) association health plan (AHP) rule issued in 2018. Click here for more.

    Board of Directors Special Report from NAR Annual: MLS ‘Clear Cooperation Policy’, Code of Ethics Tranining Requirment Recommendations Pass

    NAR’s Board of Directors approved MLS Statement 8.0, also known as the Clear Cooperation policy, at its meeting during the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo. The policy requires listing brokers who are participants in a multiple listing service to submit their listing to the MLS within one business day of marketing the property to the public. The policy summary and Q&A is available here. The Board of Directors also approved a change to NAR's Code of Ethics training requirement. The change extends the training requirement from every two years to every three years and extends the current Cycle 6 deadline from Dec. 31, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2021. The next cycle (Cycle 7) will begin Jan. 1, 2022, and end Dec. 31, 2024. View additional board actions by clicking here.

  • Friday, December 13, 2019 2:54 PM | Karin Shaw (Administrator)

    As a Realtor, there are several rule and laws that govern a Realtor’s actions. The Code of Ethics should always be forefront in a Realtor’s mind, but state law and administrative rules are in some ways more important as they govern the actual real estate license. The Hawaii Administrative Rules provide the basis of advertising rules that govern real estate licensees in Hawaii. Specifically, Hawaii Administrative Rule 16-99-11.

    There are new proposed rules that will be addressed later in this article, for now let’s examine the current rules. HAR 16-99-11(a) states: “All real estate advertising and promotional materials shall include the legal name of the brokerage firm or a trade name previously registered by the brokerage firm with the business registration division and with the commission.” While this seems obvious, it does mean that the brokerage firm’s name must be present in all advertising, including if the advertising is just for a single Realtor.

    HAR 16-99-11(b) states: “No licensee shall advertise “For Sale by Owner,” “For Rent by Owner,” “For Lease by Owner,” or “For Exchange by Owner.”” This prevents Realtors and licensees from advertising a “FSBO” or something like looks like one and confusing the public.

    HAR 16-99-11(c) states: “Current individual real estate licensees, whether active or inactive, shall disclose the licensee’s status as a real estate licensee in all advertising and promotional material.” Not much explanation is needed for this.

    HAR 16-99-11(d) states: “A leasehold property advertised for sale in any medium shall be identified by the word “leasehold.”” There is concern from the State of Hawaii that many people in the public do not understand the difference between a leasehold and a fee simple property, so additional disclosure requirements are placed on leasehold properties.

    HAR 16-99-11(e) states:

    (e) All advertising and promotional materials that refer to the individual licensee’s name, including but not limited to business cards, shall:

    (1) Include the licensee’s legal name, name as licensed by the commission, or sole proprietor’s trade name as licensed by the commission;

    (2) Identify the licensee with the licensee’s associating or employing brokerage firm; and

    (3) Specify that the licensee is a broker (B), or salesperson (S), or if a current member of the Hawaii Association of Realtors, Realtor (R) or Realtor-Associate (RA).

    This requirement goes hand in hand with 16-99-11(a) which states that the brokerage firm’s name must be present on all advertising. In additional, there’s a requirement for Realtors to use their legal or trade name as registered with the Real Estate Commission as well as specify the licensee’s status as an agent or a broker, and Realtors would use (R) for Broker and (RA) for Realtor-Associate instead.

    Lastly HAR 16-99-11(f) states: “If the address of any unregistered place of business is included in advertising materials, then the street address of the principal place of business or the branch office, as the case may be, shall be included and respectively identified as such.” This means if a Realtor advertises another place that he or she does business in, the brokerage firm’s office’s address must also be provided. This is to prevent confusion on the address of record for the brokerage firm.

    Taking all of these rules into account, a Realtor should check their advertising to see if current advertising complies with all of these rules as well.

    Currently the Real Estate Commission has issued proposed rules, a comparison between the current rules and the proposed rules can be viewed here

    There are proposed rules about team names and advertising that will not be examined in this article. The key takeaways are that either brokerage firm’s license number or the individual licensee’s license number may be required to be placed on advertisements. However, these are only the proposed rules and they may change in the future as the process continues on.

    This should be considered as just an overview of the advertising rules for real estate licensees in Hawaii, and there may be more rules or laws that govern advertising. For Realtors, the Code of Ethics should also be carefully examined to see what is required when a Realtor advertises to the public. Additionally, county ordinances and rules may also be applicable if a Realtor is advertising in a public space, or in front of a house.

  • Tuesday, December 10, 2019 1:44 PM | Karin Shaw (Administrator)

    The 200 Realtors who participated in the silent auction at the Annual Membership Meeting and Board Installation on November 22 at the Four Seasons Resort, raised almost $8000 for the WHAR Charity-of-Choice, Teach for America. (TFA)

    Teach for America’s teachers work in partnership with students, families, and communities to empower students to achieve academically, grow personally and activate their own leadership.   TFA alumni make a life-long commitment to address educational inequity through classroom teaching, school and district leadership, public policy making and other wide-ranging roles that collectively contribute to a robust ecosystem of opportunities for low income public-school students.

    Fundraising Chair, Lisa Folden, REALTOR®, Koa Realty, stated, “West Hawaii Association of REALTORS® believes in and supports educational opportunities for students in West Hawaii.   We are extremely grateful to all the businesses and brokerages who supported this fundraising effort. This year we raised close to $8,000.00 for TFA.”

    Each year the WHAR membership recommends charities to be the recipient of proceeds from an annual Charity of Choice fundraising event.  Past recipients include, The Arc of Kona, Habitat for Humanity, Hale Ohana Aloha (a partner of Habitat for Humanity), Hospice of Kona, and Kona Historical Society, among others.

  • Tuesday, December 10, 2019 12:10 PM | Karin Shaw (Administrator)

    Having your peers recognize the good work you do within the real estate profession provides a sense of pride and accomplishment.

    West Hawaii Association of REALTORS® congratulates the work, dedication, and energy of the following members who were the 2019 recipients of these coveted awards.

    REALTOR® of the Year-Mike Drutar, Windermere C and H Properties

    Broker of the Year-Kamalani Duerksen, Keauhou Kona Real Estate

    Rookie of the Year-Kyle Nishiyama, Knutson & Associates

    Affiliate of the Year-Cari-Rose Coleman, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage 

    Lifetime Achievement Award- Dave Lucas, Koa Realty

    REALTOR Emeritus awardees- Nanny Lorberbaum, Keauhou Kona Real Estate; Ron Aronson, Kona Coast Realty and Arnie Rabin, A Real Estate Concern

  • Monday, December 09, 2019 4:24 PM | Karin Shaw (Administrator)

    North Kona 

    According to Hawaii Information Services, North Kona has had an uptick in the number of sales of single family homes year over year from 40 in 2018 to 44 in 2019. The median price of single family homes has decreased year over year from $719,500 to $627,500, but year to date in 2019 the median price rose .85% from $643,525 in November 2018 to $649,000 in November 2019. 

    For condominiums in North Kona, the median price jumped 36% year over year from $283,500 in 2018 to $386,250, but year to date (which takes is a more accurate indicator) the median price rose 6.7% year over year to $346,250 vs $324, 500 in 2018.  32 condos changed hands in November 2018 vs 28 in 2019, a 12% decrease in the number of sales year over year. There's been a 7% increase in year to date sales volume, which shows a healthy, but not hot, demand for condos. 

    South Kohala

    In South Kohala, single family home prices declined 2.37% from $645,295 in 2018  to $630,000 in 2019, but year to date prices rose .17%. The number of sales of single family homes were on par with 2018 vs 2019 with 18 homes sold in 2018 vs 20 in 2019. Condominium sales were exactly the same with 17 sold for each year. 

    Overall Market Trends

    Sellers are starting to put their homes on the market now to capture early bird buyers, Last year we saw a dip in prices as sellers placed more inventory onto the market after the first of the year. Mortgage rates continue to be historically low and job reports across the US show a record ten year climb. 

    Click below for full November statistics report


  • Wednesday, November 27, 2019 1:45 PM | Karin Shaw (Administrator)

    John Harris, HAR 2019 President, proudly installed WHAR's 2020 Board of Directors on Friday, November 22nd at the Four Seasons Resort, Hualalai. Over 175 WHAR members attended the event and showed their support for these valuable volunteers who provide time, energy and expertise to leading our Association. Mahalo to our leadership! 

    Left to Right: John Harris, 2019 President, Hawaii Association of REALTORS, 2020 President, Andee Bemrose, Windermere C&H Properties, Immediate Past President, Michael Despard, Hawaii Life, Kristen Moreland, Hiki- No Realty, Ryan Dawson-LUVA Real Estate, Sara Layne Pedro, LUVA Real Estate, Joreen Knox-Aloha Kona Realty, Laura Flem,Windermere C&H Properties, Gretchen Howard,Windemere, Kristen Hann- Island Paradise Property, Blake Kessner, Knutson & Associates, Lovette Llantos-Venture Sotheby's International. Not pictured: Todd Barrett, Island Paradise Property. 

  • Wednesday, November 27, 2019 1:40 PM | Karin Shaw (Administrator)

    Congratulations to the Kupono Award winners who accepted their awards at the Annual Membership Meeting on Friday night. The award showcases REALTORS whose extraordinary service, caring spirit and professionalism have earned them the highest respect from their clients and community. 

    Left to right is Tom Hasslinger - Editor West Hawaii Today, Gretchen Osgood-Hawaiian Island Real Estate, Susan Miedema-Windermere/ C&H Properties, Angel Wannemacher-Hawaii Beach and Golf Properties, Sue Brown-Sue Brown Realty & Associates, Kelly Shaw-Elite Pacific Properties and Mel Ventura, Executive VP, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union.

West Hawaii Association of REALTORS®
75-5995 Kuakini Hwy., #221, Kailua Kona, HI 96740
Phone (808) 329-4874 Fax (808) 329-5191

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