Selling Your Home in Oahu: A Guide to Maximizing Your ROI

Imagine living near a vacation paradise with gorgeous beaches, stunning views, and vegetation as far as the eye can see. Oahu offers all this and more, with the perfect blend of high-end downtown exploration and tropical paradise. Who wouldn’t want to buy a home on an island aptly known as “The Gathering Place?” Also called “The Heart of Hawaii,” Oahu merges high-tech downtown spaces with ancient historic and natural sites that will have you in awe.

Even with the monumental appeal of living in an island getaway full-time, selling your Oahu home can be challenging. With the housing market in flux, getting the maximum return on investment (ROI) for your Oahu home is critical. Now more than ever, ensuring you do everything you can to raise your home value can significantly impact your overall ROI, especially as home values go down

Even with the market readjusting, we have plenty of expert advice to help you weather this real estate turbulence and come out on the other side with a profit. From staging your home to working with professional agents to market your home, here’s our in-depth guide to maximizing your ROI on your Oahu home. 

Maximizing ROI on Your Oahu Home

  • Invest in Staging
  • The Importance of Curb Appeal
  • Choose the Right Time to Sell
  • Work with the Professionals 

Invest in Staging

According to the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP), staging can help sell your home up to 30 times faster than non staged homes. On top of this, good staging can boost the overall sale price by 20% on average, meaning there’s always a chance for higher returns. 

For those unaware, staging is placing furniture and decor in a home to sell the house. Staging targets key areas, like the living room, dining room, study, kitchen, and bedrooms, to give the appearance of a lived-in home while still showing off everything the space offers. 

Working with staging professionals is a great way to boost the overall sale price of your Oahu home and highlight crucial selling points in each room. However, if you want to DIY your staging, a few tips and tricks can streamline the process:

  • Reduce clutter: Remove all pictures of your family, personal items, magazines, and other items. Clutter can crowd a space and take away from the home, giving buyers the impression you’re not fully moved out of the house yet. A staged space acts like a blank canvas, allowing potential buyers to see themselves living in your Oahu home. With clutter, that canvas gets muddied, making it harder to sell your space. 
  • Add artwork: Artwork brings the eyes through a room, highlighting key features. Scatter artwork in high-profile locations, but don’t overdo it. Focus on a few blank walls and place decorative items on empty shelves to give the appearance of use. 
  • Choose nice furniture: Bisectional sofas are excellent for staging, as they morph to fit into several spaces. Focus on neutral furniture colors in a room, and move any furniture back from the walls to create the illusion of a larger area. Make sure any furniture is clean, sleek, and doesn’t distract from the overall aesthetic of your staging. While you may love an excellent floral couch, aim for something more reserved with your home. 
  • Update lighting: Open curtains, get new light bulbs, and emphasize natural lighting throughout your home. Now is a great time to replace those dark curtains with light, gauzy window coverings that scream, “buy me!” The proper lighting can transform a space, so channel bright, warm light throughout your home for the best results. 

The Importance of Curb Appeal

Another critical thing to consider when selling your Oahu home is curb appeal. A home’s exterior is one of the first things potential buyers see, and increasing overall curb appeal can boost your eventual ROI. Things like well-groomed lawns and landscaping, a garage, updated siding, and more can all positively impact your home. 

An excellent way to assess your home’s curb appeal is to work with a professional real estate agent to discover salable points of interest. For example, if your home has property attached, sprucing up your landscaping and removing dead plants can significantly increase your home value. 

It’s also a good idea to check on the status of your roof and gutters and see if any pavement needs a deep cleaning. Pressure washing can increase curb appeal and revitalize older areas of your home with little investment on your end. 

Choose the Right Time to Sell

While there is no right time to sell your home, some months are better for listing than others. For example, listing your home in January may not be the best bet for a more considerable ROI since fewer people are looking to move during winter, especially with school in session for kids. 

However, spring is a crucial time to sell your home, as many people are looking to move into new homes at the start of summer. Remember, with more popular selling seasons. The market can be inundated with homes, making it harder to profit. 

Work with an accredited real estate agent or listing service (like us) to choose when your home stands out. High-quality, HD photos can elevate your overall ROI due to perceived value and increase buyer interest in your home. 

Work with the Professionals 

Selling your house is a lot of work. That’s why professional help can significantly increase your profits and streamline your entire process. Working with a real estate agent can make filtering potential buyers and offers much more manageable. In addition, listing your home on one of Oahu’s trusted real estate sites, like ours, can significantly increase interest in your home and drive up your overall profits due to interest. 

OahuRE has helped sell over 1,600 homes, and working with professional listing services can help get your home in front of potential buyers. Increasing buyer interest can potentially earn more for your home, upping your overall ROI. In addition, even with fees and investments towards your home, your house’s market value increases with each step you take to increase the salability of your home, putting more money in your pocket. 

Oahu is a gem among the Hawaiian islands, so selling your home should be as easy as a tropical breeze. If you’re looking for a surefire way to get buyers interested in your house or condo in Oahu, list with OahuRE. HD photos with less cropping show perfect angles of your slice of paradise. With transparent information buyers can trust, countless seller testimonials prove that working with a professional is a great way to increase your ROI and sell your Oahu home. Get in touch with us today to find out more. 

Should I Buy a Condo or Single Family Home in Oahu?

If you’ve vacationed in Oahu, you’ve likely hiked along the Diamond Head State Monument trails, toured the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, and relaxed at the infamous Waikiki Beach. You’ve probably thought that living in Oahu could be a dream come true, and you’d be right. 

Also known as “The Gathering Place,” Oahu is home to over one million people and is the third-largest Hawaiian Island. While it’s known for its amazing tourist attractions, there’s much more to do when you’re a local, like finding hidden gem beaches, trails, and restaurants. So whether you’re looking to retire in Kailua or need housing near your job at the Airbase, there is real estate for you in Oahu. 

So if you’ve decided to move to Oahu, the next decision will be to figure out what type of housing you want. If you search for houses online, you’ll see several different varieties. Typically these housing types will be single-family homes, condos, multi-family, and land. Condos and single-family homes are the two most popular kinds in Oahu. However, there are pros and cons to both, which we’ll discuss in this article.

What’s the difference between a condo and a house?

There are two main types of properties when buying real estate: condos and single-family homes. Both are great options, but there are some essential differences between them.

Condos are built in clusters and found in more urban areas. Condos are generally individual units in a larger building and share walls with their neighbors. If you don’t mind having multiple neighbors, this may be ideal because they are more affordable than single-family homes and have amenities like pools and gyms.

Single-family homes are typically located in more suburban areas and owned by families. These homes can vary from split-level, ranches, colonials, and cottages. There is no shortage of different styles, shapes, and sizes. These homes are often large enough to accommodate multiple generations of the same family. These homes usually are purchased with the land they sit on.


Who should live in a condo?

Condos are great for young couples looking to buy their first home, empty nesters looking to downsize, and busy professionals who often travel for work.

What are the pros of condos?

More choices: Currently, on Zillow, there are almost 900 condos on the market in Oahu. There are 450 more condos than single-family homes on the market. Most are in high-cost cities like Honolulu, where purchasing a single-family home would be more challenging.

Less expensive: Condos are significantly less expensive than single-family homes, especially in Oahu. Condos are on average $600K less than single-family homes on the island.

Less driving: Most condos in Oahu are in or near Honolulu. Having a condo in an urban area opens up the opportunity to walk, bike, or use public transportation. With gas prices rising, this could save costs and put more money in your pocket.

More amenities: Unlike most single-family homes, condo communities have amenities like ample parking, pools, gyms, and security.

Less maintenance: Condos typically handle most exterior maintenance like lawn mowing and cleaning the gutters. By paying your Homeowner Associations (HOA) fees, you would have access to other types of maintenance like plumbing, electrical, and roofing.

What are the cons of a condo?

Less privacy: You’ll have many neighbors living in a condo community, and you’ll be sharing walls with them. Condos are less quiet than single-family homes.

Rules: Want to decorate? You may not be able to do as much as you’d like. HOA’s make the rules, and you’ll have to abide by them.

HOA fees: To handle maintenance, upkeep, and other expenses, HOAs charge a monthly payment that you must pay to live in the condo community. These fees are not something you would need to pay while living in single-family homes.

How much do Oahu Condos cost?

The market for condos in Oahu is hot right now. In March 2022, the number of condo sales was up 7.3% (672 vs. 626), and the median sales price was up 14.3%($515,000 vs. 451,000) compared to the previous year. 

Single Family Homes

Who should live in a single-family home?

Single-family homes are great for families because they offer privacy and space for everyone. They’re also ideal for parents who want to raise children in a safe environment outside urban areas. Finally, they’re perfect for those who don’t mind driving to work, school, shopping, restaurants, parks, and other amenities.

What are the pros of single-family homes?

Make it your own: Unlike condos, you can decorate or renovate just about anything in your own home. Your home could and should fit your personality.

More room and privacy: Single-family homes are larger and more spacious than a condo. They are also more spread out from your neighbors. So you won’t have to worry about a neighbor’s loud music or TV keeping you up at night.

Easier to sell: Single-family homes are in-demand and very desirable in the current market. Unlike condos, you won’t need to deal with the HOA before selling your home.

More areas to choose from: There are more condos for sale in general, but there are fewer locations. Condos are typically in more urban areas like Honolulu. Single-family homes are available in more scenic Oahu regions compared to condos. Single-family homes have that advantage if you’re looking for homes with better scenery.

What are the cons of single-family homes?

More expensive: In Oahu and throughout the US, single-family homes are typically more costly than condos.

More maintenance: Unlike condos, the homeowner is responsible for the maintenance of the house. This maintenance will add costs like buying a lawnmower or a power washer. Not to mention hiring a roofing contractor to install a new roof. However, it has become easier for homeowners and skilled contractors to find each other using apps to complete these projects in recent years.

Less built-in amenities: Your house in Oahu may not come with a pool, gym, or security. If you want these things, you’ll have to pay for them. 

More driving: Since more single-family homes are outside of urban areas, there will be fewer options for walking, biking, and public transportation.

How much do Oahu single-family homes cost?

Single-family home sales were down compared to the previous year, but prices increased. In March 2022, the number of single-family homes sold went down 11.1% (321 vs. 361), but the median sales price increased 21.1%($1.15M vs. 950,000) compared to the previous year. If you’re looking to purchase a single-family home in Oahu, you can get a 20% rebate to help offset some of these increased costs using an OahuRE real estate agent.

Final Thoughts

Oahu is a fantastic place to live, with beautiful beaches, mountains, and bustling Honolulu. However, if you want to live here, you’ll have to decide on the best housing type. The two major housing options are single-family homes and condos. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. 

If you don’t mind less privacy, a condo may be right. There are various options in Honolulu that are less expensive than a house and come with amenities like a gym and pool. However, one downside is that you will have HOA fees. 

If you don’t mind spending more, buying a single-family home may be perfect. Unlike condos, you have more scenic options that are outside of Honolulu. In addition, this option will have more privacy and space for the whole family. However, you will be responsible for all the property maintenance, unlike in a condo.

With this being such a complex decision, you should discuss your options with an experienced real estate agent. The team at OahuRE can help you navigate the current real estate market in Oahu, simplify the process, and help you find a home in “The Gathering Place.”

Author Bio:

Jamie is a professional content writer passionate about real estate, home remodeling, and design. Jamie has been remodeling his first family home for fun. But, life isn’t all about writing, design, and real estate for Jamie. Taking trips to the dog parks with his two Boston Terriers occupies most of his time.