How To Prep Your Home For An Open House, Room By Room.

If you have your Lake Tahoe home listed for sale, an open house is probably in your near future. While communicating with your Lake Tahoe Realtor on what to do is going to be the most beneficial way to achieve success, there are a few things you can do in each room to help make your home more appealing to buyers. Are you wondering where to start? Read on below for how to tackle a few of the main rooms buyers are most interested in and how to make them appealing.

The Kitchen

When you’re selling your Lake Tahoe home, the kitchen is not only one of the first rooms a buyer sees after walking in, it is also the room most buyers feel can make or break the deal. Making sure it shines for an open house needs to be a top priority and you don’t have to make it too hard on yourself either.

-This seems obvious, but clean the floors. Don’t forget the crumbs in the dark corners under the cabinets.

-With appliances, go beyond making them shine and streak free and also degrease them as well. Same thing goes for granite. Granite polish is an awesome way to make your counters look like they were just installed.

-Speaking of counters and making them spotless, take all the appliances you use, like the blender, mixer, toaster, etc. and store them in a cupboard. Having clean counter tops will make it look like you have more counter space.

-Since buyers like to go through cabinets to see how deep they are and how much space they are working with, make sure you get rid of stuff you no longer use and wipe them down. The extra space is appealing.

-If your kitchen is in need of an upgrade but you are on a budget, update your knobs. This affordable quick fix can make a world of difference.

-Think about smells. You don’t have to make cookies or muffins to lure in a buyer but on the other side, you don’t want to cook a smelly meal that lingers or overly spray with air freshener. A simple bouquet of fresh flowers on top of a deep clean can get the job done.

The Bedroom

Another important room that buyers are interested in seeing is the master bedroom. That is a place of rest and relaxation, so making sure it looks spacious and is clean and appealing is important.

-First and foremost, make the bed. This is an obvious that doesn’t need an explanation yet so many people don’t do it. Next, make it stunning with matching sheets, pillows (don’t forget to fluff!) and duvet.

-Just like the kitchen, be aware of smells. Don’t go overboard with air fresheners and sweet scents. Try to stick with a light and fresh scent which can be achieved with a decorative diffuser.

-Buyers love their natural lighting and while you may sleep in the dark, try and make the room look and feel as light and airy as possible. Pull back the drapes and turn on the lamps.

-Stage the bedside tables and dressers with books, candles, a vase or piece of art work. Be sure to remove phone chargers, that bag of cough drops, your reading glasses, the water glass and old magazines from the night stand.

-Big closets are very appealing when marketing your Lake Tahoe home for sale, so go through yours and organize it. Get rid of old clothes and accessories you no longer wear. Add more shelves if the space allows. The goal here is to make it look as big as possible.

-Hide jewelry and other small valuables. If your Lake Tahoe open house is full of people, some may be walking through unattended if your Lake Tahoe real estate agent is busy answering questions for other potential buyers in a different room.

The Bathroom

While the bathroom isn’t exactly the most fabulous room in a house, buyers are interested in as many bathrooms as their budget will allow. While it is a no brainer that cleaning prior to an open house is crucial, there are a few extra things you can do in this space to make these rooms stand out.

-Get rid of the gunk and mildew. Hair in the shower, a ring around the toilet, mildew around faucets are all something that could turn a buyer off. Take a few extra seconds to make sure those things are not an issue.

-If your cabinets look like a pharmacy, you should probably relocate your prescriptions to a different location of the house that is under lock and key.

-Close the toilet seat. Lid included.

-Check the water pressure and make sure there are no drips. It is very common for potential buyers to turn on faucets and flush toilets. If you are experiencing either one of these issues, call your plumber.

-Put toiletries away. Clutter on the countertops takes away from a buyer being able to envision this bathroom as theirs.

-If you have a ton of magazines and books, think about recycling them or moving them to a more discreet place.

-If the shower and tub have some unique features that you think a buyer would like, show them off by staging and pulling the curtain back. Making it look like a relaxing place for them to unwind after a long day at the office will go a long way.

-Check your textiles. Fluffy new towels are a great and affordable way to make the bathroom look great. Also check your rug. If it is dingy and faded, maybe remove it for the open house. A clean bare floor can also look more spacious.

If you have questions about preparing your home for sale in Lake Tahoe, call us at (530) 308-4762. Stay tuned for more ways to stage your Lake Tahoe home for sale!

Waiting To Buy Your Lake Tahoe Home? This Is Why You Shouldn’t Wait.

If you have been thinking of buying a home in Lake Tahoe recently, you are not the only one. First Time home buyers have been purchasing in numbers that are higher than they have been in 3 years. If you are a first time home buyer, it may be time to take the plunge in to the Lake Tahoe Real Estate market. We know, we know. It takes a lot of work and time to buy a home. First you have to get approved for a loan, then you have to search for a qualified Lake Tahoe real estate agent, then you have to search for the home and the list goes on. Trust us, we have been helping Lake Tahoe buyers and sellers for years and we know it can seem a bit intimidating and stressful the first time you buy a home. Part of a Realtors job is to help you navigate the waters of this unchartered territory in a way that is not only seamless and easy, but helps you understand the process step by step. You may love where you live or renting might make you feel like you have more flexibility, so what is the harm in waiting to buy? Read on as we break down what you could face if you put this off even for just another year based on expert predictions.

Let’s say you find a darling little Lake Tahoe cabin in your favorite South Lake Tahoe neighborhood within your ideal budget of $250,000. With today’s mortgage rate of roughly 4%, you would be looking at a monthly payment of about $1200, principal and interest only and give or take a few dollars. Chances are, you are probably spending pretty close to that in your rent. You may wonder what the harm in waiting is. Well, experts predict that within the next 12 months, home prices will go up about 5%. This means the home that was within your budget is now almost $13,000 more. Interest rates are also predicted to go up to 5%. So your payment would go up roughly $200 more a month. $200 doesn’t seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things but you can look at it a couple different ways. You could look at it like waking up and just throwing $8 in the trash every single morning. Or you can look at it in the form of other payments. $200 is a car payment on a new vehicle, a couple of those monthly massages, those Saturday night dinners out, or the money you have been shoving aside each month for that Hawaiian vacation you have been dreaming about.

Now let’s jump to the bigger picture. Annually that number will be about $2600 more. What is this number at the end of your 30 year loan? A little over $78,000. Sure, $200 a month seems like a number worth waiting for, but is $78,000? There is a reason why so many millennials are flocking to the Lake Tahoe housing market, and it is a good one. Not only are you still getting in on historically low interest rates, but you are saving yourself an ample amount of money in the long run. If you are ready to buy a home in Lake Tahoe, give us a call at (530) 308-4762.

Selling and Buying A Lake Tahoe Home At The Same Time? Read This.

So you’re thinking of buying a Lake Tahoe home….and selling at the same time? It is a little different compared to when you were a first time buyer and didn’t have another mortgage to think about. In a perfect world you could buy a home and then have the home you are selling get snatch up by a full price buyer as soon as you get unpacked and comfortable in the new digs. While this process isn’t the most desirable way to go, sometimes it is the only way to go and you can get through it with some helpful tips and of course a qualified Lake Tahoe realtor.

First thing is first-you must know the market. This is crucial before you can put your home on the Lake Tahoe real estate market, or start searching for another Lake Tahoe home to buy. Before you can come up with a game plan, you need to know if the market is a buyers or seller’s market. Knowing this information will help you know what to expect on both sides and help you understand the importance of pricing your current home properly. After all, who wants to pay 3 months of double mortgages because you had your home priced too high in a buyer’s market?

Speaking of the game plan, schedule your strategy carefully. Know both the risks and rewards of buying first and then selling, or selling first and then buying. Buying first can throw off your debt to income ratio which could be a hassle when trying to qualify for another mortgage loan. You also run the risk of more than one mortgage payment for a few months. On the plus side, moving is a lot easier. Now if you sell first, you can rest assured getting a mortgage will be easier but then you will most likely need to find a temporary home to rent and deal with moving multiple times in just a matter of months. Also remember, you are not the only one in this deal. You have to keep in mind that you are going to be negotiating with a buyer and a seller and their timelines as well.

Now let’s talk money. You must be aware of your financial options if you choose to sell first. We have seen a lot of Lake Tahoe sellers and buyers do a rent back agreement. This is where the seller negotiates a time period after close of escrow where they can stay at the property and pay rent to the buyer. The typically time period is 1-3 months but it allows a little bit of leeway on finding another property and hopefully not having to move multiple times. If you are buying first, you also have some options. There is a bridge loan which is a short term loan that allows you to own two homes at the same time and needs to be repaid upon the sale of the first house. You can also do a contingency on the contract. This is when the purchase of the new home is dependent on the sale of the old home. If the market is competitive, this may not work out in your favor, however it is an option worth looking into.

Another key thing to keep in mind is do not let anxiety or stress motivate you into compromising things simply because you have to find a home as soon as possible. You also do not want to take an offer that is too low because you are feeling the burden of two mortgages. While simultaneously selling and buying can feel overwhelming, it is not the end of the world. You can cut down on a lot of the head ache by making sure you have a reputable Lake Tahoe Realtor who can walk you through the process. Make them aware of the game plan and make sure they have a finger on the pulse of the market. If you are looking to sell and buy at the same time, call me at (530) 308-4762 to discuss your options.

Your Dream Home Is Pending-Now What?

It is every buyers real estate nightmare. You have  likely searched far and wide for that dream Lake Tahoe home for sale that has all your wants and needs and miraculously is located in your favorite Lake Tahoe neighborhood and budget. So what is wrong? It is pending. While you may want to continue with your search, this doesn’t mean you have to wave the white flag just yet. After all, pending does not mean sold. It simply means there is an offer on the property, but the deal is not done and you could still potentially make this home yours. Here is how!


  • Let them know you are interested. If your Lake Tahoe realtor and the seller’s Lake Tahoe realtor know how much you love this property, chances are you will be the first person they call if something falls through.
  • Get the details. Your agent could obtain some information, like parts of the contract that are not firm yet or concerns about the first bid. This can be used for your own benefit.
  • Do your homework and learn as much about the property and neighborhood as possible. Tax records are a great resource and while you may never need this information, you could come across something that could swing the pendulum in your favor in the scenario that things go awry with the first offer.
  • Negotiate to beat out the other buyer. If this is your dream home and you can’t bear the thought of losing it to someone else, you may have to play some hardball. This doesn’t mean placing a higher back up offer, although that has been known to sweeten the pot a bit. You can come up with an offer that includes terms the seller finds way more convenient. This is the part where the intel on the home and seller comes in handy. By offering a more flexible moving date, waiving certain contingencies or offering to pay the closing costs, you are making your offer look pretty presentable. Being open to ideas and negotiations looks great for you, especially if the buyer in front of you is playing hard to get. It also ensures you are a serious buyer.
  • Get personal. If you want this home, tell the seller. We have addressed the benefits of a hand written letter detailing why you love the property and how you see your life progressing in the home. It is a very simple touch that can go a long way.
  • Cue the high school cheer and get aggressive. Don’t think of it as pushy, think of it as tenacious. Even if this isn’t your personality, if the original deal falls through, your obvious interest will have you next in line.

If you are looking for information on the Lake Tahoe real estate market, call me at (530) 308-4762.

November 2015 Lake Tahoe Events

November 1st-8th: World Series of Poker Circuit Event at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe. For more information call WSOP hotline at (775) 588-2411 or click here

November 3rd: The World Expo & The Future of Culture at Lake Tahoe Community College. 7:00pm, free. Sociology and anthropology instructor Dr. Scott Lukas will present “The World Expo and the Future of Culture: Reflections from World Expo 2015 Milan” in LTCC’s Board Room. This presentation will focus on the  importance of the world exposition and how it showcased culture, technology,  architecture and the overall effect on culture and politics. For more info, click here.

November 4th: Barton Wellness Lecture on Orthopedic Winter Injury Prevention. 6:00pm, free at Lake Tahoe Community College. This monthly wellness topic will be hosted by Terrance Orr. He will be discussing the different types of common winter sports injuries and how to prevent them as well as treat them. For more info, click here.

November 6th: Film showing of Wrenched at Unity of the Lake. 7:00pm-9:30pm. This documentary about Edward Abbey covers his anarchist spirit and his influence on the emerging environmental movement of the 70’s and 80’s. For more info,click here.

November 7th: Missoula Children’s Theatre & Tahoe Art’s Project Presents Peter & Wendy at South Lake Tahoe Middle School. Showtimes are 3:00pm & 6:00pm. Adults are $10 and children are $5. For more info, click here.

November 7th: City of South Lake Tahoe’s 50th Anniversary Gala at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel. 5:00pm reception, 6:00pm dinner. Tickets are $65 per person. The Gala includes an appetizer reception, a delightful full course dinner, desert, and program including a video presentation of the city’s 50 years. Event attendees will be given a copy of the City’s new “A City is Born – Our 50th Anniversary,” commemorative book. For more info, click here.

November 7th: The Yardbirds at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. 7:30pm, $46. The Yardbirds are an English rock band known for their string of hits in the mid-1960s. For more info, click here.

November 8th: Barton Memorial Hospital’s Annual Holiday Faire at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church. 9:00am-3:00pm, free entry. Lunch, soda and desserts will be available for purchase, along with the Auxilary’s famous cheese balls. Santa will be there from 10:00am-2:00pm and there will be all kinds of treasures from crystals to holiday decorations to winter wear to more. Proceeds benefit Barton Memorial Hospital. For more info, click here.

November 13th-14th: Tahoe Blizzard Fest-Pray for snow. This unique 2 day celebration will feature live music, movie screenings, eclectic lakefront art installations, activities and more. For more info, click here.

November 13th-22nd: American Theatre Classic’s Death of a Salesman at Lake Tahoe Community College. Show times vary & tickets range from $5-$10. Death of a Salesman is considered to be one of the greatest plays in the American Theatre and has won the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for Best Play. For more info, click here.

November 14th-15th: Tahoe Arts Project Holiday Festival at the South Lake Tahoe Middle School’s Multi-purpose room. 10:00am-4:00pm, free entry. A fundraiser for Tahoe Arts Project, this event features handmade arts and crafts vendors, activities and face painting for children, raffle and silent auction, a visit from Santa and so much more. For more info, click here.

November 14th: Bubbles & Bowties at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. 7:00pm-11:00pm, $40 in advance and $50 at the door. This fundraiser for Camp Buck and the Nevada Diabetes Association gives you a chance to dress up and relive prom while raising money for a good cause. There will be prizes for best dresses, best shoes, best hair and more. For more info, click here.

November 14th: Diamond Rio at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe in the South Shore room. 7:30pm, $38.53. Diamond Rio is an American country and Christian music band founded in 1982 as an attraction for the Opryland USA theme park in Nashville, Tennessee. For more info, click here.

November 18th: Tahoe Talks Brown Bag Lunch Series at the Lake Tahoe Community College. 12:00pm-1:30pm, free. The Tahoe Metro Planning Organization and partners host this monthly lunchtime forum to share ideas that strengthen our Tahoe communities. Topics focus on transportation, environmental, and economic ideas that are pertinent to issues we face today at Lake Tahoe. Bring your lunch or enjoy the snacks that are provided. For more info, click here.

November 20th: Heavenly Opening Day. Try & catch the first chair and ring in the 2015/2016 ski season! For more info,click here.

November 20th-22nd: Annual Valhalla Holiday Faire at Valhalla Grand Hall. 5:30pm-8:30pm on Friday, 10:00am-5:00pm on Saturday and 10:00am-4:00pm on Sunday. Free entry. Come support the local vendors and artists and buy local for Christmas this year. There will be mulled cider, raffles, Santa Claus and local school choirs and music groups. For more info, click here.

November 21st: South Tahoe Turkey Trot Fun Run at Bijou Community Park. 10:00am, kids are $15, adults are $30 and families are $80. Put on a costume and come run it out for a chance to win a turkey or pie. For more info, click here.

November 21st: Winter White holiday party at Riva Grill. 6:00pm-10:00pm, Presale prices are $25 for TRYP members/$40 for non members. This fundraiser for Live Violence Free will feature a silent auction, food, drink specials, raffles and more. For more info, click here.

November 28th: Pablo Cruise at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. 7:30pm, $38.53. Pablo Cruise is a pop/rock band that formed in 1973 & released eight studio albums and had four singles reach the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. For more info,click here.