Buying This Winter? Avoid These Mistakes!

If you are buying Lake Tahoe real estate, you probably hope to get the best price on a home for sale in South Lake Tahoe.  In most markets, winter is considered “The Buyer’s Market” due to less demand and lower prices. As Lake Tahoe is a destination market and winter real estate can be very busy, that is not always the case for our area.  Especially with today’s current conditions. Homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe may not be pending with multiple offers within 24 hours of being listed, but there are still serious buyers trying to take advantage of current interest rates and less competition. if you are buying South Lake Tahoe real estate this winter, there are some blunders you should try to avoid.

Expecting A Screaming Deal

In the winter, prices are usually a little lower, the sellers are typically motivated and bidding wars only happen in the summer……right? Not quite. While historically this has been the case, and may still be in certain areas, this summer’s tight inventory kept a lot of buyers from getting into a home for sale in South Lake Tahoe. Which means there are a lot of serious buyers still looking to purchase South Lake Tahoe real estate. If you are a buyer, do not underbid hoping that a motivated seller will settle and take it. We are no longer in that kind of market and the last thing you want to do is offend a seller and lose the house you were hoping to purchase.

Being Inflexible

In this market, you need to make like Gumby and bend. When a home for sale in South Lake Tahoe within your search parameters comes on the market, run! Don’t walk! Seriously, as a South Lake Tahoe realtor, I know the feeling all too well of simply wanting to go home and kick my feet up after a long day. With today’s current conditions, you could miss out on a home if you don’t strike while the iron is hot. So if that means running to a new home during your lunch break or at night when your favorite show is on, do it.

Ignoring Your Imagination

Speaking of being inflexible, try to use your vision when it comes to searching for South Lake Tahoe real estate. So the property isn’t “Pinterest perfect” and it may have heinous wall paper, shag carpeting or a sad looking yard. Don’t write it off! If it has the desired beds, baths and is in your dream neighborhood within your price point, think about the possibilities. Most yards don’t look great in the winter and cosmetic stuff can be done over time. By looking for the already perfect and not looking at the potential, you could miss out on a fabulous home for sale in South Lake Tahoe.

Holiday Debt

From Halloween to January 2nd, you may feel like all you are doing is swiping the plastic and you are not alone. From gifts to purchase and outfits to wear to parties, the holidays are a very expensive time. If you are purchasing South Lake Tahoe real estate, you should keep an eye on how much you are charging. Even if your credit is perfect, a high debt to income ratio can have a bad impact on your approval. Either set a strict budget or pay things down as quickly as possible to make sure there are no last minute changes to your loan.

Not Paying Attention To Closing Delays

In life, things rarely go as planned and South Lake Tahoe real estate is no different. When it comes to closing delays, keep a close eye on tasks that need to be finished or completed so you can move ahead per schedule. There are certain things that could pop up, such as repairs that can’t be done during heavy rain or snowfall. Pay attention so that you aren’t dealing with a delayed closing.

For more information on buying or selling South Lake Tahoe real estate, call me at 530-308-4762.

Buying On The Fast Track: Tips For A Fast Close

With interest rates on the rise, buyers are scrambling to scoop up South Lake Tahoe real estate for sale. I feel it is important to note that while the interest rates have risen (as predicted in the beginning of 2016), they are still historically low. Also worth noting that along with an interest rate increase, prices on homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe have also gone up. These two variables combined change the overall cost, so if you had a strict budget in mind and haven’t yet purchased, you may need to revisit what you can afford. So what do you do if you need to buy a home for sale in South Lake Tahoe fast? Check out these tips!

  • Pick your South Lake Tahoe Realtor® with care. We have touched on this in several blogs but choosing a local realtor in South Lake Tahoe, CA is critical. When you go with someone who has worked in this market for a long time, you are choosing someone who has an established reputation, knows the market conditions and if there are any pocket listings or homes about to come on the market. Not to mention, they can recommend the neighborhoods that are best suited for you AND help you navigate any hiccups with the local government agencies, such as TRPA rules and regs.
  • Ask questions. The real estate process can be super confusing, especially to newcomers. A quality South Lake Tahoe realtor isn’t going to mind answering questions. They want you to be as informed as possible and have your best interest at heart. By asking questions up front, it can make the rest of the process go smoother as well as give you an idea of what to expect. Especially if the South Lake Tahoe real estate track you are on is expedited.
  • Get pre-approved…not pre-qualified. We have said it before, and we will say it again: There is a difference. When you get pre approved, you know exactly how much your loan amount is for and it helps with the underwriting process. When you are pre-qualified, you simply have a rough idea of what you could get in terms of a loan. By getting approved ahead of time, your offer looks much stronger to the seller.
  • Speaking of offers, make yours a strong one. In this market, lowball offers likely won’t even be looked at, let alone considered. We are in a seller’s market and the inventory is low. Whether you think the property is overpriced or not is irrelevant. Chat in-depth with your South Lake Tahoe realtor about what would make a strong offer and do it.
  • Seek out slow sellers (try saying that 5 times fast!). Usually, the most motivated sellers are those who have had their South Lake Tahoe real estate sitting on the market for a while. What is considered longer will vary based on the market and the time of year. There also may be some variables for WHY the home has been sitting so long that could help or hinder your offer. Get as many details as you can, but generally if a home has been sitting for a while, the seller will be willing to work with a buyer.
  • Consider (key word here) waiving contingencies. If you are new to South Lake Tahoe real estate, this simply is a clause that allows you to drop the deal if certain circumstances are present, without giving up any of your cash. It is typically standard to have at least a couple of these associated with each offer. If time is of the essence, you may have to bypass a contingency or two. However, and this is a big however, choose wisely and listen to your South Lake Tahoe realtor on this one. Contingencies are in place for a reason. Waiving them can cause major headaches and financial woes down the line depending on the scenario. Proceed with caution. 
  • Get your ducks in a row. And by ducks, we mean paperwork. Regardless of whether or not you got pre-approved, there is a boat load of paperwork. Get your bank statements, pay stubs, taxes, gifted money documentation, etc, all dialed in ahead of time. Ask your realtor in South Lake Tahoe what is needed and what the timeline is for handing these documents over so you can have them ready to go. If something is held up in a real estate transaction, it is usually due to paperwork.
  • Do not tell the seller you need to close quickly. This puts you at a disadvantage during the negotiations. Play hard to get. If you let it be known you are desperate and want to close quickly, you could get worked by the seller.

For more information on buying and selling real estate in South Lake Tahoe, give me a call. I would be happy to help you navigate the exciting journey of South Lake Tahoe real estate.