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Sellers’ Guide: The Art of Timing a Home Sale in Diamond Head, O’ahu

Buying a new house

As is often said, timing is everything, and this is especially true when it comes to selling your home in Diamond Head O’ahu. If you’re planning to sell your home but aren’t sure about when and how, here’s our in-depth guide to Diamond Head houses for sale and how you can time your listing right:

Which is the best season to sell a house in O’ahu?

Different seasons come with different opportunities and challenges for those putting up their Diamond Head house for sale. Peak seasons can come with higher sales prices and short days on the market, but they can also come with more competition. Off-seasons, on the other hand, can provide more negotiating power despite the seasonal decrease in buyer demand.

Here’s an overview of the pros and cons of each season and how you can use them to your advantage:


Usually considered the peak time of real estate transactions in most areas in the US, spring is when buyers come out in full force, with the pleasant weather making it the ideal time to travel and view homes. Families with school-age children also aim to relocate during summer vacations, meaning they’ll begin their home-buying process as early as March.

With the influx of buyers driving demand, it is generally considered to be the best season to list your home if you want to take advantage of higher selling prices, shorter days on the market, and opportunities to receive multiple offers.

Real estate growth chart pattern drawn with white chalk and blooming flowers

However, this also means that there is heightened competition for Diamond Head houses for sale since many homeowners are also looking to cash in on the high demand. If you want your home to stand out, it’s important that you emphasize the best features of your home, price it competitively, and work with an expert local Realtor.


Summer in O’ahu offers some of the same advantages as spring, with the added bonus of longer days and a reduced number of competitors, with most of the houses listed in spring already sold. It is also a good season to market your property to buyers who are looking for a vacation property or investment property.

Longer daylight hours technically provide more opportunities for showcasing your property, but the high temperatures in Hawaii during this season can deter many buyers from touring houses, potentially delaying the selling process.

To mitigate the effects of the heat, you should consider scheduling your showings in the morning or in the evening, when temperatures are cooler. A nice touch is to offer potential buyers refreshments when they arrive and always ensure that your home has the AC on or is well-ventilated.


There is usually a shift in demand and supply for the O’ahu housing market during this season. On one hand, it may bring some urgency for buyers trying to settle before the school year which means that the buyers that do come your way may be more motivated to make a deal. There are fewer homes on the market during this season compared to spring and summer, so you’ll be facing less competition.

On the other hand, it is an off-season for the real estate industry because many people – both buyers and sellers – are focused on the upcoming holidays. If you want to sell your Diamond Head home at this time, you’ll likely have to list at a lower price than you would have just a few months earlier or make concessions to entice potential buyers.


Unlike most areas in the US, winter can be a great time for home sellers in O’ahu and the rest of Hawai’i. Many tourists and seasonal residents choose this time of year to visit the area, and there’s a good chance that some of them are using the trip to scout for potential vacation and investment opportunities.

However, take note that because it is still the off-season, sellers might still need to contend with lower demand, price adjustments, and longer days on the market.

What do the numbers say?

We can look at two market factors to determine which seasons may be the best time to list your home: the median number of days on the market and the median sold price. Here are some insights based on data from

  • In 2021, the month when O’ahu properties spent the shortest time on the market was July (34 median days on the market), while the month when properties spent the longest time on the market was January (77 days on the market). In that same year, September had the highest median sold price at $700,000, while April had the lowest at $610,000.

  • In 2022, May was the month when O’ahu homes for sale spent the shortest amount of time on the market (32 days), while in December, properties spent the longest time on the market (56 days). In terms of home prices, November recorded the highest median sold price in the year at $720,000, while the lowest median sold price was in March, at $670,000.

  • The same pattern seems to hold for 2023. The lowest median number of days on the market was in June, at 50 days. September recorded the highest median sold price this year so far, at $735,000. The amount of time properties spent on the market was relatively short as well, with a median of 53 days on the market.

Since 2021, summer and early fall are generally the best times to sell your home in O’ahu, with homes tending to sell more quickly and for higher prices during these months.

What market trends do you need to take note of?

Miniature House on A Financial Graph

The real estate market is always changing, so selling your home fast and for top dollar means staying up-to-date with the latest news in the O’ahu housing market. Aside from understanding seasonal trends, here are recent economic trends that you need to know when it comes to Diamond Head houses for sale:

Strong demand despite rising mortgage rates

Interest rates have been on the rise. While it is seen as the best move by the Federal Reserve to counter inflation, it has also left a big impact on the US real estate market. With mortgages becoming more expensive, buyers find themselves with less buying power, potentially leading to either lower property prices or houses spending longer periods on the market.

Fran Villarmia-Kahawai, president of the Honolulu Board of REALTORS®, noted that although rising mortgage rates have presented challenges to the market, strong demand for O’ahu properties persists, with many sellers receiving offers above the original asking price.

However, overall there are fewer real estate transactions happening in the market. In September 2023, the O’ahu housing market witnessed a decline in sales volume as mortgage rates continued to rise and as we entered fall. Single-family home sales experienced a year-over-year decline of 16.5%, with 232 properties sold last month. Condo sales volume fell even more sharply, with a 24.2% decrease compared to September 2022, marking the first time the 12-month sales average dipped below 400 sales since January 2021.

Low housing inventory

Low inventory has been a persistent characteristic of the Hawaiian real estate market for many years because of its unique geography, which includes protected conservation areas and properties owned by part-time residents. However, this is generally good news for sellers as it keeps demand higher than there is supply, and subsequently, sellers can receive a higher price for their properties.

Above-average house prices

Because of its natural beauty, high investment potential, and gorgeous climate, O’ahu real estate commands high prices, and its median sale price can significantly exceed the national average.

For example, while the September median sales price for single-family homes dipped by 4.5% compared to the previous year, it still reached $1,050,000 by month-end. Condos experienced a 6.0% year-over-year increase, with a median sales price of $532,500. Both market sectors are higher than the national median sale price of $412,502.

The HBR September 2023 market report also highlights that single-family home sales in the $700,000 to $999,999 price range accounted for 36% of the month’s transactions. In the condo market, sales volume increased at higher price points and decreased in more affordable price ranges. For example, condo sales in the $900,000 to $1,999,999 range experienced a 31.0% increase, while sales in the $200,000 to $599,999 price range dropped by 30.2%.

Is now the right time to sell?

Here are the three main points to consider when determining if now is the right time to sell your home in Diamond Head, O’ahu:

  1. Financial well-being

    Firstly, selling your property in Diamond Head should improve your financial situation, not worsen it. It’s important that your decision to sell is based on your home’s equity, which is the difference between your home’s current market value and the amount you owe on your mortgage.

    Ideally, you should have enough equity to pay off your current mortgage and secure a 20% down payment for your next home. Consider selling when you have a surplus to cover other expenses like closing costs and moving. This ensures that you are not taking on extra debt and that you have a financial cushion in case unexpected issues come up during the selling process and the buying of a new home.

    Make sure to prepare a budget for your move, including expenses such as transportation, movers, and temporary housing.

  2. Emotional preparedness

    Big life events like selling your home is a deeply emotional process, especially if it’s a place that you’ve stayed and made memories in for a significant period of time. However, it is also a process that requires effort and dedication. Ensure that you are emotionally ready to put in the effort to prepare your home, navigate negotiations, and keep your property in a show-ready condition, which may be necessary for weeks or even months.

    Securing a new place to live before you sell can also give you some peace of mind. While it’s not advisable to buy a new home before selling your current one – as this can lead to financial strain and mortgage complications – you should consider options like short-term rentals, staying with other family and relatives, rent-back agreements, or flexible contract contingencies that allow you to stay in the property until you’ve found temporary housing.

  3. Current market conditions

    Work with an experienced O’ahu Realtor who knows the Diamond Head market well. They can provide insights into local market trends, assess supply and demand, and guide you on the best time to sell.

    Ideally, you should consider listing your home when demand is high and supply is low since this will help you get the best possible price for your home. It’s also good to list when interest rates have stabilized since many home buyers will jump on the chance to lock in good rates before they get higher.

Tips on how to sell your home fast and for top dollar

For sale sign in yard of house

Selling your home in Diamond Head quickly and at an attractive price hinges on accurate pricing, effective marketing, and a well-prepared home. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Price your home strategically

    Having a local O’ahu Realtor on your side can provide you with valuable insights into the Diamond Head real estate market, as well as provide you access to real-time data for accurate pricing. They can also help you evaluate various features of your property such as beach access, ocean views, and property leasehold status, which should be factored into your pricing strategy.

  2. Take captivating photos of your home

    High-quality photography plays a pivotal role in drawing potential buyers. With around 96% of home buyers using online tools during their property search, it’s important to make a strong visual first impression. Professional photos are a must as experienced photographers will know how to highlight the best features of your home and make it stand out from the competition.

  3. Invest in a pre-listing inspection

    Pre-listing inspections are essential to prevent unexpected issues during the due diligence stage, which can lead to delays or canceled contracts. In Hawaii, one of the most common problems is foundation corrosion, which is often caused by drainage problems and moisture from the humid environment. Addressing these issues proactively can streamline your transaction process and instill confidence in your potential buyers.

  4. Elevate your outdoor living space

    While kitchen and bathroom remodeling helps a lot when selling a home, Hawaii’s tropical climate makes outdoor living spaces just as – if not more – appealing to buyers. Features like sliding windows, inviting outdoor gathering areas, and beautiful landscaping can significantly enhance your property’s curb appeal and value.

  5. Entice buyers with virtual tours

    Your Diamond Head home for sale should utilize virtual tours, a powerful tool for showcasing your home, especially to out-of-state buyers. They offer an immersive experience that can let buyers explore your home at their own pace, getting a better sense of its layout and flow without having to make extensive travel plans. However, make sure to have proper staging before creating a virtual tour so that your home looks its best and most inviting.

Let our experience and expertise do the work for you

Experience the difference with Taniguchi and Associates, one of the top real estate teams in Hawaii and O’ahu. With a focus on luxury sellers, buyers, and investors, we have earned our reputation for excellence in this unique market.

Mature couple meeting financial advisor for investment

Our affiliation with Keller Williams, the world’s largest real estate company, ensures you’re backed by a global network of real estate expertise. The island’s unique market requires a specialized touch, and we, as a team of 6 licensed professionals with deep roots in the O’ahu community, are here to deliver the ultimate customer experience.

Your success begins with a team of specialists, not just one agent. Connect with us today to start your home-selling journey. Call us at 808.596.2888 or send us an email here.

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