If you are currently in the market to buy South Lake Tahoe real estate, you probably have already toured a LOT of open houses. While this can seem fun at first, it may feel exhausting if you have been at this a while. Of course, it all depends on the market. If it is a seller’s market, you could be touring multiple open houses due to the fact that properties are pending before you can put an offer in. If you are in a buyer’s market, you may be touring multiple homes trying to find “the one”. Whatever the reasoning, you can make the most of your time touring homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe by asking some pertinent questions. Of course, going over these questions with your South Lake Tahoe realtor is suggested as some of these questions may not be appropriate for every property you tour. But, if valuable information is what you are looking for, going straight to the source is a great way to get it!
- How many offers have been made on this home for sale in South Lake Tahoe? The answer to this question will most likely be an honest one as the seller’s South Lake Tahoe realtor will hope that you make a competitive offer. This question is key as it provides some valuable information you can use to your advantage. Let’s say it is a little over your budget, but you really like it. If it has been sitting for a while and no offers have been made, you may be able to get a good deal. Of course, at the time this blog was published, our current market conditions are in favor of the seller, so that likely won’t work as it would in a buyer’s market. If there are several offers on the house, you can either make an over asking offer OR keep looking at other real estate in South Lake Tahoe.
- Have their been any price changes? This answer gives you an idea of how flexible the seller is, as well as how motivated they are. If there have been several, don’t assume the home for sale in South Lake Tahoe is a lemon. It could be as simple as the seller needs to move asap due to a new job or they own other property and want it sold. It is easy to stereotype, but each real estate in South Lake Tahoe is unique. Don’t assume the worst.
- How long has this South Lake Tahoe real estate been on the market? Your realtor in South Lake Tahoe can answer this for you ahead of time, but just like the price change question, there could be a reasonable explanation if it has been sitting for a while. It could have gotten an offer, but the buyer’s financing could have fallen through last second. Or there could be something about the property that is unique and not a fit for every buyer.
- What’s the seller’s timeline? Timing is everything. Sometimes it is a pain, and other times it is perfect. Regardless, it plays a huge role in everything, real estate in South Lake Tahoe included. Sometimes a seller will pick an offer simply because of similar timelines. Once again, this could be due to a new job, school start/end dates, etc. Whatever it is, knowing this can help you “sweeten the deal” when putting your offer together. Which is important when making an offer on a home for sale in South Lake Tahoe during a seller’s market.
- Why do the sellers want to move? If the answer to this question is bad (like the schools aren’t the greatest, or the neighbors aren’t the best), their South Lake Tahoe realtor isn’t going to tell you. However, this is research you can do on your own simple by looking up the local schools and checking our how they rate compared to others. Go introduce yourself to the local neighbors and tell them you are thinking of buying and get a feel for them. You can also drive around during different hours just to see what the area is like after dark. You can even go to your local police department and inquire about how much criminal activity there is in that area. Likely, they are selling for other reasons, such as they want to upgrade, downsize, job transfer, etc.
- What can you tell me about the neighborhood? Speaking of the neighborhood, finding out if the nightlife is pretty active, or if it is a quiet community will give you insight on whether or not this area is a good fit for you.
- When was the house last updated/are there any issues? The seller is required to inform potential buyers of any issues via a disclosure, whether they be structural, electrical, a code violation, etc. This information could help you with the initial offer price. While granite and shiny new appliances are pretty to look at, making sure all the important stuff is in working order is not only extremely important, but will save you money down the line. Not to mention, if you make an offer and it is accepted, there will be an inspection that will share any negatives. If something unsavory comes back, you can renegotiate the offer price.
- What is the general cost of utilities? If the house you are about to make an offer on is bigger than your current home, you will want to get a good idea of how much of an increase you are going to see. Of course, some bills are going to be higher some months than others, but it is a good idea to find out what utilities cost on average just to calculate it in when you are planning financially for the buy.
As always, consulting your realtor in South Lake Tahoe is the best way to go before you go around interviewing a sellers agent. However, you should make the most of your time at each property. Ask your realtor in South Lake Tahoe for an MLS print out of each property you will be touring so you can jot down the answers to some of these questions or note your pros and cons of each one. This will help you keep track of the properties you have gone through. For more information on buying and selling in South Lake Tahoe, give me a call. I would be happy to help!