To lowball or not to lowball? That is the question.

So you are searching for homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe and you are thinking of making an offer below asking. But how low do you go? After all, everything has a price and everything is negotiable, right? Not so fast. Before you make your first impression on a seller a potentially bad one, let’s look at a few things that can help you determine whether this is really the best way to break into the South Lake Tahoe real estate market.

  • What does your South Lake Tahoe realtor say? If you are working with a qualified realtor in South Lake Tahoe, they will be able to not only advise you on the neighborhood market conditions, but also on these key details as you put together a competitive offer. Also, a professional realtor in South Lake Tahoe is NOT going to advise you to make a bad deal. So if you know you are working with the best, you can have confidence that every move you make will be backed by experience.
  • A South Lake Tahoe realtor can also tell you what kind of market you are in, which determines when a lower offer may be acceptable. In a seller’s market? Don’t even try it. There are multiple other serious buyers who are willing to pay over asking. The homeowners control this kind of market and coming in under asking will not be the best way to land homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe. In a buyer’s market? You may have a chance. This is the kind of market that is more flexible for buyers because inventory is really high and demand is really low. Some realtors in South Lake Tahoe will recommend around 10% below asking as the max for offering under asking price. Since South Lake Tahoe real estate varies so much, it is recommended you discuss this in depth with your realtor.
  • Find out how long the listing has been active. This can give you a little insight, although it is important to know that every situation is different so a longer market time doesn’t necessarily mean the sellers are desperate and the South Lake Tahoe home for sale has something wrong with it. Especially if it is luxury, since let’s face it, not everyone has millions of dollars lying around. The South Lake Tahoe home for sale in question could also be a super custom home that isn’t the right fit for everyone. If the seller is motivated, which a realtor in South Lake Tahoe will usually make known, they might be more willing to negotiate. But definitely don’t come in $50,000 under asking if a home for sale in South Lake Tahoe has been in the MLS for less than 24 hours.
  • What are the comps for similar homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe? The thing about comps is they are based on actual SOLDS. Not active properties. This means that we know what people are actually willing to pay because they already did within the last 6 months. So if the area comps tells us similar South Lake Tahoe homes for sale are going for $500,000, it is not advisable to offer $400,000. Now if similar homes are selling at $400,000 and they are listed at $500,000, well then, that is a different story.


How bad do you want the home? If you aren’t serious and just want to try your luck, then by all means, roll the dice. But if you REALLY want a home and they are priced according to market, offer asking or a little more if you want to seal the deal. Keep in mind that selling a home is not cheap. PLUS! Lowballing can be taken offensively as you are telling someone their home “isn’t worth it”. That can sting. So work closely with your realtor and let their knowledge on the market help guide you as you search for that dream home in Lake Tahoe.


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