Mahalo for the great question!
As a 24 year resident of Maui and broker/owner of my own real estate firm, I am very familiar with properties here and have had many transactions where the initial selection phases are without ever really seeing the property. It's best to get a feel for the island as there are so many options here with several microclimates that may affect your life style. For instance, if you want acrage and cool summers yet be on the island, you may want to be what we call "up-country" or perhaps you want to own a vacation rental oceanfront which will give you several other choices.
It's important to sift through the information and after you are familiar what the island has to offer, then begin the process of working together to find the top three to five choices.
Some people are able to purchase without having seen the property although I do not recommend it. I think that during the process of the contract and prior to the deadline for the inspection, then a visit is a very good idea. If you can't or do not want to come to Maui to find your property, then making sure you are working with someone you can trust who has your best interest in mind is so very important.
Feel free to contact me with your concerns: Teri@TeriSherrow.com