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.