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  • 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.

  • Tuesday, November 26, 2019 1:05 PM | Karin Shaw (Administrator)

    As we approach 2020, an election year, please make sure you are registered to vote.  There are several ways to register:

    Online: Visit You must have a current Hawaii Driver’s License or State ID to complete an application online.

    Mail: Print & submit a completed Voter Registration Application to your Clerk’s Office.

    In-person: Visit the Office of Elections or your Clerk’s Office to submit an application in person.

    Applications are available at any of the following locations:

    • Office of Elections
    • Clerk’s Offices
    • State Libraries
    • U.S. Post Offices
    • Most State Agencies
  • Tuesday, November 26, 2019 11:51 AM | Karin Shaw (Administrator)

    Ever wonder why you pay dues? A sampling of benefits include:

    1.    Access to FREE housing statistics narratives on the WHAR website, as well as content ideas and links on our Facebook page so you can quickly access LOCAL information for your marketing. 

    2.    Help marketing your homes through caravans, along with relevant educational opportunities and legislative monitoring. Find out more here!

    3.    Legislative Advocacy- When the Hawaii County Short-Term Vacation Rental bill (STVR) came up this year, WHAR representatives were there to educate the Council members about the ramifications to private property rights. We were able to lessen the impact of the bill on existing and future homeowners. 

    4.    WHAR and HAR worked to help pass the “Handyman Exemption” to raise the threshold from $1000 to $1500 (labor only; materials separate) for non-licensed contractors for renovation projects where permits are not required. 

    5.    NAR lobbied for ten years to have the FHA make financing condominiums easier by making updates to its condominium rules. On October 15th, the revised guidelines went into effect which will now allow individual unit approval and other steps to loosen requirements that make these properties eligible for FHA financing. Here's more valuable information

    Benefits? Did you say BENEFITS? 

    Did you know NAR Benefits Program gives you discounts on healthcare, renting cars, buying cars, accessing free education webinars and more? Learn more 

    Your Hawaii Association of REALTORS® (HAR) benefits include discounts on services, access to digital contracts and forms, advocacy on the state level, professional development and more.

    We are working hard to help you be successful!

    Dues are $785 ($815 with $30 RPAC Contribution)

    until December 31, 2019; after that a $100 late fee applies

    Pay your 2020 DUES HERE 

  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019 10:49 AM | Karin Shaw (Administrator)

    If potential homebuyers saw the year over year sales statistics from October 2018 to October 2019, they would be very surprised to see that home sales had climbed 41% from last October.  If they were unfamiliar with the recent volcanic events on the island, which ended in early August 2018, they may think that the housing market was on fire. Well, it is not on fire, but it is a market with high demand, and lack of inventory. 

    We are not alone. Nearly all—93%—of the largest metros in the U.S. saw home prices rise in the third quarter over the past year. A shortage of homes for sale, combined with higher demand, continues to push home prices higher, according to the latest quarterly report from the National Association of REALTORS®, released at the NAR Convention and Expo on November 7, 2019. 

    “Incremental price increases are to be expected, but the housing market has been seeing re-acceleration in home prices as more buyers want to take on lower interest rates in the midst of insufficient supply,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Unfortunately, income and wages are not rising as fast and will make it difficult to buy once rates rise.”

    For single family homes in North Kona, 41 homes sold in October 2019, compared to 29 in October 2018, a 41% increase and for the historical record, that is compared to 53 homes sold in October 2017. 38 condos changed hands last month compared to 43 in 2018 and 39 in 2017. 

    The median price of a single family home in North Kona is $655,000, a12.93% gain from $580,000 in 2018 and almost the same as 2019 with $645,000 in 2017. The median price of the condominiums in North Kona in October was $350,000 as 12.9% increase from 2018 when the prices were $310,000 and lower than they were in 2017 when they hit $390,000.  Another look into the market is year to date figures which state that the year to date median price for a single family home is $649,000 and condos are $345,000. 

    According to real time real estate data reports from Altos Research, the single family and condo market remains in a relative stasis in terms of sales to inventory. Prices have not been moving higher for several weeks. However, inventory is sufficiently low to keep Kailua Kona in a seller’s market. 

    South Kohala single family home prices have remained flat year over year at $580,000 and condo prices year to date are $345,000 a 6.15% increase from last October. 

    In general, sales statistics around the island show a decrease, but an uptick in pricing which is mostly attributed to lack of inventory. 

    For the full October statistics, click on link below. 

  • Tuesday, October 22, 2019 9:04 AM | Karin Shaw (Administrator)
    Stop chasing better splits! It's your net that truly matters  by Jeff Glover, a REALTOR®  with Jeff Glover & Associates in Michigan

    You have to ask yourself: Are you making the right decision based on your net, or are you making the decision based on your ego?

    Over the years, I have witnessed or have been involved in many conversations with agents who are constantly chasing or looking for a company that will give them a higher split.

    Anytime I get asked what my thoughts are on that, I sort of chuckle inside and think to myself “Boy (or girl), do you have a lot to learn.” You see the question you should be asking the broker or leader of a company is not “What is my split?” But instead, it should be “What is my net?”

    And, quite frankly, net doesn’t always have to mean money. The veterans and mature business people understand that net is more important than split.

    Time and time again, I see agents who make a decision to leave a successful company or team to do their own thing or to have their own company. And what I observe, in 90-plus percent of those cases, is the agent actually ends up netting less money or even worse, spending less time with his or her family (and making less money).

    I heard a long time ago from one of my first mentors that you can feed your ego or you can feed your family — pick one. So what does “net” actually mean?

     Here are five places where your net matters more than your split:

    1. Your taxable income at year’s end

    Not what your 1099 says, but your income minus your expenses. This is an important one because many agents who chase a higher split are so desperate in their attempt to find it that they forget to calculate what everything else will cost them.

    You see, if you are paying a split to a company, you are generally getting something in return. If a company offers a higher split to the agent, there’s no money to offer anything in return, thus increasing your actual expenses. I’ll never forget a conversation with an agent a few years ago … he was sitting in front of me asking what his split would be given his years of experience.

    Of course, he asked in an entitled way expecting that he should be favored.

    Before I responded, I asked him what his current split is and he responded with “I pay my broker $15,000, and after that I get 100 percent.” I said OK, that’s fair and then asked him what his GCI was last year, and he responded proudly with “$140,000.”

    I congratulated him and then asked if he pays taxes. And, of course, his response was “yes,” so I followed it up by asking him what his taxable income is after paying all his expenses, and he responded with (not as proudly) “$72,000.”

    I said, “OK great.” And then I pointed out to him that he’s essentially on a 50/50 split, and he started to shrink in his chair and finally got it and said, “What would my net be here?”

    Just then, he started to understand what it means to be a business person.


    2. Your ability to learn and grow

    I have yet to find a discount broker that also offers a training and coaching program designed to increase your net. Want to know why? Because it doesn’t matter how much you sell, they will never make more, so what’s the incentive for them to make sure you succeed? That’s right, there isn’t one.

    I know some of you might laugh at this one, but you actually want to be with a company that has a vested interest in every transaction you do. What’s amazing about that is you’ll actually do more because of the support, thus increasing your net.

    3. Your support and help resources

    I don’t care whether you’ve completed 100 or 1,000 transactions, you will always have a situation where you need questions answered or help with a task.

    Generally speaking, companies that offer a higher split have a very lean budget, and therefore, one of the first positions to go or not get filled at all is in the support department.

    Salaries are the No. 1 cost of a successful real estate company, and if there’s no money to pay talented staff, unfortunately you are on your own.

    4. Your conversion rates will net you more money

    Think about this: If you are with a company or team that no one has heard of (and studies say that consumers relate better to companies they recognize), then do the math.

    By brand they recognize, I don’t necessarily mean a franchise. There are many teams and independent brokerages that have just as well-known names in communities as the franchises that have been around for 30-plus years.

    If you go on 10 appointments with a “no name” and 10 with a name that is recognizable, will your percentage of contracts signed be higher? Of course, it will!

    You could go from getting 5 out of 10 to 7 out of 10 just from that alone. Pretty sure if you do the math on an extra few contracts, per 10 at bats, your net will be higher.

    5. You can actually get more of your time back, which is the ultimate ‘net’

    Solo agents or agents with companies that promote high splits just simply do not have the resources to provide the world class systems and people that are there to help you be more efficient.

    The nice thing is, once you decide what you want to net, you can actually work smarter and not harder because all of the systems and people have been trained to make your life easier and ultimately give you back more time!

    So what is your time worth? $30 an hour? $50 an hour? $100 an hour? Regardless of your answer, I betcha it’s worth more than an extra 10-20 percent!

    I hope you take the above thoughts into consideration and more importantly, start thinking like a mature business person and not an amateur agent starving for more commission.

    So you have to ask yourself: Are you making the right decision based on your net, or are you making the decision based on your ego?

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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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