Frequently Asked Questions

How is agency defined in Hawaii?

Know Who Represents You in a Real Estate Transaction: It’s important to understand what legal responsibilities your real estate salesperson has to you and to other parties in the transaction.

Seller's representative (also known as a listing agent or seller's agent) A seller's agent is hired by and represents the seller. All fiduciary duties are owed to the seller. The agency relationship usually is created by a listing contract.

Buyer's representative (also known as a buyer’s agent)
A buyer’s agent is hired by prospective buyers to represent them in a real estate transaction. The buyer's rep works in the buyer's best interest throughout the transaction and owes fiduciary duties to the buyer. The buyer can pay the licensee directly through a negotiated fee, or the buyer's rep may be paid by the seller or through a commission split with the seller’s agent.

Disclosed dual agent
Dual agency is a relationship in which the brokerage firm represents both the buyer and the seller in the same real estate transaction. Dual agency relationships do not carry with them all of the traditional fiduciary duties to clients. Instead, dual agents owe limited fiduciary duties. Because of the potential for conflicts of interest in a dual-agency relationship, it's vital that all parties give their informed consent. In many states, this consent must be in writing. Disclosed dual agency, in which both the buyer and the seller are told that the agent is representing both of them, is legal in most states. A separate Dual Agency Addendum (attached to the purchase contract) is required under Hawaii law.

How much are conveyance taxes in Hawaii?

Conveyance Tax: Conveyance Tax is imposed at the following rates depending on whether the buyer is an owner-occupant or not:

Sales PriceOwner Occupant Tax Rate Per $100Investor Tax Rate Per $100
Less than $600,000 $0.10 $0.15
$600,000 or more but less than $1,000,000 $0.20 $0.25
$1,000,000 or more but less than $2,000,000 $0.30 $0.40
$2,000,000 or more but less than $4,000,000 $0.50 $0.60
$4,000,000 or more but less than $6,000,000 $0.70 $0.85
$6,000,000 or more but less than $10,000,000 $0.90 $1.10
$10,000,000 or more $1.00 $1.00

The minimum tax payable on any conveyance is $1.00, however, there are certain classifications of conveyances which are exempt from the payment of conveyance tax. For example: Transfers between spouses, parent and child, in satisfaction of an Agreement of Sale, etc. For more information on exemptions and/or updates please visit www.hawaii.gov and search for “conveyance tax”.

What is the difference between "prequalified" and "preapproved"

A prequalification consists of a discussion between a home buyer and a loan officer. The loan officer collects basic information regarding the customer's income, monthly debts, credit history and assets, and then uses this information to calculate an estimated mortgage amount for the home buyer. The prequalification is not a full mortgage approval, but estimates what a home buyer can afford.

A pre-approval, on the other hand, is a comprehensive approach using basic information as well as electronic credit reporting. Pre-approvals, in most cases, are true mortgage commitments. The lender commits to financing your home and indicates the total mortgage amount available to you.

Should I sign a Buyer's Representative agreement?

A Buyer Representation Agreement is a legal document that formalizes your working relationship with a particular buyer’s representative, detailing what services you are entitled to and what your buyer’s rep expects from you in return. While the language used in the document is formal, homebuyers should view it as an important and helpful tool for clarifying expectations, developing mutual loyalty, and most importantly, elevating the services you will receive.

What are the different flood hazard zone designations and what do they mean?

Zone A

Zone A is the flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to the 1-percent annual chance floodplains that are determined in the Flood Insurance Study by approximate methods of analysis. Because detailed hydraulic analyses are not performed for such areas, no Base Flood Elevations or depths are shown within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.

Zone AE and A1-A30

Zones AE and A1-A30 are the flood insurance rate zones that correspond to the 1-percent annual chance floodplains that are determined in the Flood Insurance Study by detailed methods of analysis. In most instances, Base Flood Elevations derived from the detailed hydraulic analyses are shown at selected intervals within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.

Zone AH

Zone AH is the flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to the areas of 1-percent annual chance shallow flooding with a constant water-surface elevation (usually areas of ponding) where average depths are between 1 and 3 feet. The Base Flood Elevations derived from the detailed hydraulic analyses are shown at selected intervals within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.

Zone AO

Zone AO is the flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to the areas of 1-percent shallow flooding (usually sheet flow on sloping terrain) where average depths are between 1 and 3 feet. Average flood depths derived from the detailed hydraulic analyses are shown within this zone. In addition, alluvial fan flood hazards are shown as Zone AO on the Flood Insurance Rate Map. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.

Zone A99

Zone A99 is the flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to areas within the 1-percent annual chance floodplain that will be protected by a Federal flood protection system where construction has reached specified statutory milestones. No Base Flood Elevations or depths are shown within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.

Zone D

The Zone D designation is used for areas where there are possible but undetermined flood hazards. In areas designated as Zone D, no analysis of flood hazards has been conducted. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements do not apply, but coverage is available. The flood insurance rates for properties in Zone D are commensurate with the uncertainty of the flood risk.

Zone V

Zone V is the flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to areas within the 1-percent annual chance coastal floodplains that have additional hazards associated with storm waves. Because approximate hydraulic analyses are performed for such areas, no Base Flood Elevations are shown within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.

Zone VE

Zone VE is the flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to areas within the 1-percent annual chance coastal floodplain that have additional hazards associated with storm waves. Base Flood Elevations derived from the detailed hydraulic analyses are shown at selected intervals within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.

Zones B, C, and X

Zones B, C, and X are the flood insurance rate zones that correspond to areas outside the 1-percent annual chance floodplain, areas of 1-percent annual chance sheet flow flooding where average depths are less than 1 foot, areas of 1- percent annual chance stream flooding where the contributing drainage area is less than 1 square mile, or areas protected from the 1-percent annual chance flood by levees. No Base Flood Elevations or depths are shown within this zone. Insurance purchase is not required in these zones.

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Question 6

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Question 7

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Question 8

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Question 9

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.