Hawaii Real Estate | Hawaii Relocations | Hawaii Home Buying & Selling




Was I nervous of my very first Real Estate transaction?  To say the least!  Real Estate verbiage is a whole different language let alone trying to put that verbiage into use. A spiel doesn’t just come naturally and for a new agent it is hard to say that they should put their trust into me to sell or purchase a home.  I was brand spanking new!

Lucky for me, my first client was a friend’s brother!  He was retired military and he was relocating with his family to Hawaii from Georgia. He was going to work at his now civilian government job at Hickam AFB. LUCKY LUCKY ME!  He was willing to put his trust in me and gave me the chance!

Aloha Aina Realtor awardWho was going to help me with my first transaction?  If just so happened that the townhouse they chose to buy was my Broker’s listing!  Okay, so no help there.  It created a Dual Agency!   I asked another agent in my office to help me with the transaction process and she said YES! She took me under her wing.

From start to finish, this agent walked me through my transaction. From the start she explained the contract in detail to my clients and me. We presented it to the seller’s agents (My Brokers) and it was accepted! Then, we kept tabs on the loan process, the escrow process, the termite inspection. final walk through to signing all loan and escrow documents….to recording.  Sounds easy?  I could not have done it without her!

I caught on quick from that very first transaction. Like a sponge, I absorbed every piece of information from start to finish. Okay, so I took notes like you wouldn’t believe and went over the timeline process over and over to use for my next transaction….which occurred the next month after closing the first!  I learned the RIGHT way and no cutting corners. What more could I have asked for??

crsTo this day, I am still friends with my client and his family. I watched his son’s grow up through their high school years and one graduated from college and the other is in the Air Force!  He even came in to the office to show me his progression after hip replacement surgery. They remain….good friends!

To this day, I am still friends with the agent that helped me but she got out of the business. That was about 4 years ago.  She could not handle that real estate was now an internet based industry.  I don’t blame her as it was hard for her to catch on…and it was time for her to retire. She sold their home …her last transaction….and they moved to Arizona.

I understand the concept of helping other new agents with THEIR transactions. I have explained that same real estate process (with updates of course) and ensure that they learn ….the RIGHT way.  It’s been almost 11 years now and I have seen the boom, the decline in the market and now the stabilization of our market on Oahu. 

It’s been a long journey and well worth every step. I have earned my CRS® (Certified Residential Specialist) designation in 2011 and ePRO (internet real estate technology specialist) in 2004. 

This is my career….I am a REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® --Member of the National Association of REALTORS®  Honolulu Board of REALTORS® and Hawaii Association of REALTORS®.   I also won the 2012 Aloha Aina REALTOR Award I have been a Residential Real Estate Sales Agent with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani since my VERY FIRST TRANSACTION in Real Estate.




Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.


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Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

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Comment balloon 28 commentsCeleste "SALLY" Cheeseman • April 13 2014 12:44PM


Sally - You were fortunate in many ways - to have the help of a generous, seasoned agent, and to begin your career in a good agency. Oh - and to have been blessed with a "sponge-like" brain!

Congratulations on your much deserved success.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 5 years ago

Marte:  I added on to that statement.  lol  'Okay, so I took notes like you wouldn’t believe and went over the timeline process over and over to use for my next transaction'.  I started in real estate in my mid 40's and I was already past the point of ... absorbing ...so I took MANY notes. Still do.. lol.

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 5 years ago

Sally,,,it's all downhill from now on...Congratulations and tks for sharing.

Posted by Ronald DiLalla, No. Orange Cty Real Estate (Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824) over 5 years ago

Sally you were very fortunate to have a kind, smart agent teaching you through the ropes. And of course I can see you listening to every word, taking notes, asking a lot of questions and working until you got it perfect.  Awesome!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) over 5 years ago

Ronald.. this post was an entry for the contest ...my first transaction about 11 years ago lol

Anna:  I sure was....and she happens to be in town visiting.  Saw her a couple times...they are doing well!

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 5 years ago

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Posted by marti garaughty, a highly caffeinated creative type... (garaughty.com) over 5 years ago


You got started off on the right foot and took it from there. Just think how far you have come since then! Great story!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) over 5 years ago

Sally, There is nothing like being given an opportunity and learning how to do things the right way from the start. I feel that when we establish friendships with our clients it is a great testament to us personally and professionally. 


Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 5 years ago

Sally having the right support at the start is so important.   I can tell you are appreciative of what that agent did for you.  he transaction went well, you can still call the client a friend.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) over 5 years ago

I know exactly how you felt:) I have three years in the business now, studying for my broker license, and still learning! Thank you for sharing your honest story. Best of luck to you-Aloha

Posted by Victoria Ray Henderson Marshall Henderson, Real Estate for Home Buyers with Buyer's Edge (Buyer's Edge Company Inc) over 5 years ago

Sally, you just can't diminish the importance of having a great mentor!

Posted by Stephanie Joines, Professional Commitment, Personal Solutions (BHHS Florida Properties Group) over 5 years ago

One of our favorite places. While we live in Arizona we have a place in Ko Olina, HI where we stay as often as possible during our summer months in AZ. 

Posted by Jane & Jeff Daley, PhD, Scottsdale Real Estate Arizona (Luxury Valley Homes Scottsdale) over 5 years ago

Sally, We were all so nervous and unsure of ourselves those first few transactions.  My office assigned a mentor to our first three transactions and we paid a percentage of our commissions to our mentors.  Well worth it!

Posted by Gail Robinson, CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT (William Raveis Real Estate) over 5 years ago

The helping hand is what our Brokerage is all about.  I switched to Keller Williams just because that was their philosophy and have never looked back after 4 years.  It is so important to help all agents to get to be the best they can be.  Great post and good luck with your career.

Posted by Ric Mills, Integrity, Honesty, and Vast Real Estate Knowledge (Keller Williams Southern Az) over 5 years ago

Sally, thank you so much for sharing your story.  Maintaining that client friendship shows you are a great agent and doing a good job with repeat business I bet.  Congrats on earning your CRS.  That is my next step as well.  You go girl!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) over 5 years ago

I have found there are a lot of very helpful people in this business.  They helped me when I was starting out.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Sounds good Sally.  I can't imagine you not loving real estate.  It's fun, the relationships are wonderful and, if you work hard, it pays well.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Sally-first transactions are always memorable. It is great to have a helping hand to keep us on track. 

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) over 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing Sally.  This is an encouraging post to those of us who are new in the business.

Posted by Michelle Drewry, Realtor - Signature Real Estate Group (Signature Real Estate Group ) over 5 years ago

I remember my first listing presentation, 3 1/2 hours long, I had to throw water on the sellers in order to wake them up and let them know I still was not finished, and you are correct in your thinking "bet he did't get the listing".

Posted by Jim Miner, Loan Modfication & Short Sale Specialist (Miner Noh & Associates) over 5 years ago


very interesting success story on your first real estate transaction.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 5 years ago

You got it from the start Sally - relationships is what it's all about. Thanks for participating in the April Contest! 

Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 5 years ago

Mentors are vital, as are the relationships we build. I'm sure you've done your share on mentoring others by now. Pass it on, right?

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 5 years ago

Having a mentor in your first transaction is such a great help.  I am so happy to be that person to new agents coming up now.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 5 years ago

I am so grateful for the mentoring I have received. Invaluable!

Posted by Christi Hacker, Your Omaha Area Real Estate Specialist (Keller Williams Greater Omaha) over 5 years ago

Great story, a great mentor is vital to one's success.

Posted by Pete Xavier, Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide (Investments to Luxury) over 5 years ago

Great post Sally!  It's always great when you have agents/colleagues that share their knowledge- Pay it forward.  Well done!

Posted by Dawn Welch (The Real Estate Consultants) about 5 years ago

That's a great beginning!  It's nice to hear of agents helping others.

Posted by Beth Bromund, REALTOR (248) 651-3500 (Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel) over 2 years ago

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