Buying your home in Honolulu with Scott Sakata, Realtor-  Century 21 iProperties Hawaii

Buying a home is an intimidating event for a lot of people, but it's not that difficult with a bit of up-front planning. I like to furnish buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they'll understand exactly what to expect. These are my nine steps to buying a home.

If you have questions regarding this information or if you're prepared to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at

Step 1 – Prepare to buy a home
There are plenty of things you'll want to contemplate before you search for a home. You'll probably want to form an outline of features you need to have, get a feeling for what neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and begin planning around your budget. A good rule of thumb to go by is that your mortgage payment should be less than or close to a third of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Contact a real estate agent
That's where I come in. I'd like to book a time to get together with you and speak with you about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Honolulu area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that may potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I can also help you get started on your loan. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Honolulu, and I work with a lot of them, so you're in great hands. They'll help you determine which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin looking
After our first meeting, I will enter your criteria into my custom home-hunter program.

  1. Every day, my computer will search and cross-match your criteria with ALL available homes on the market.
  2. You’ll receive ADVANCED email notice, (with complete information and pictures) of ALL homes that match your home-buying criteria. 
  3. When you find a home you want to view, simply call me.

Here’s Great Advantages for You!

  1. You hear about ALL new listings BEFORE other buyers, so you won’t miss anything. It goes without saying that if you could find and make an offer on your dream home before other buyers even know that it is on the market, you would have a pretty good chance of not only getting it, but for the price you want. Like they say, the early bird gets the worm.
  2. YOU WON’T WASTE YOUR TIME looking at homes that DON’T interest you. (You pick out the homes you want to see not us.) This is just another reason why buyers love my system. Because you receive information on a timely basis, you are able to pick the homes that interest you, and drive-by to see if you want to take the next step of actually viewing them. In other words, I won’t waste your time looking at homes that don’t interest you.
  3. You are NOT PRESSURED by real estate agents. (It’s up to you to call me when you find a home you want to view).

I will then book appointments to view those houses at a time that's convenient for you.

Step 4 – Get a feel for the market
My awareness of the Honolulu housing market is an essential benefit in your house search. I am mindful of all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I'll communicate what districts are "hot" and demand prompt action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for thoughtful analysis.

As we tour homes, I'll make sure to communicate when the seller's asking price has room for negotiation and also when I think the house is "priced to sell." Be mindful and be sure to ask plenty of questions, as every REALTOR® in Honolulu will convince you they truly know the market. If it seems like they don't know everything, call me at 808-228-4916 or e-mail me at, and I'll be glad to answer any questions you have. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step ahead through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been looking for
I'm sure we'll find your dream home in the Honolulu area. When that happens, I'll thoroughly develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind, including a lot of contingencies, such as acquiring financing, completing the home inspection, and a clean title.

Let Abe Lee Realty guide you through finding your dream home in Honolulu When we send in your purchase offer, you'll probably want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to a seller to secure an offer to purchase the property and is typically applied to the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted, we should close about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the transaction
Many transactions aren't closed on the beginning offer – it's very common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this intimidate you. We'll discuss whether or not to agree to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

The state of the market will play a part in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing constraints. And when it's all said and done, we'll assemble a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get your loan
Upon signing the contract, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-approved, this won't be a long process at all, but you'll want to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll sort out all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the transaction
You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) detailing your closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your application. The estimate is formed from the loan amount, and RESPA requirements require that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a precise range of accuracy. I'll review the estimate and let you know if everything looks all right.

Then it's time to close on your house. This will most often happen at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and comfortable affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, simply contact me at 808-228-4916 or send me an e-mail.