Buying or Selling Lake Tahoe Real Estate? What you Need to Know

Written by Posted On Thursday, 19 February 2015 14:56
Lake Tahoe Real Estate Lake Tahoe Real Estate GP Martin


Whether you are listing your Lake Tahoe home for sale or looking to purchase a second or primary home, here are some real estate tips that every buyer and seller should know about Lake Tahoe real estate.

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What to do Before you Sell

Become a Real Seller

Putting your Tahoe home on the market can be a very emotional process, so prepare yourself before listing your property. Begin viewing your home as an investment and business transaction rather than your personal home. Do not take your realtors tips for selling personally and it will make the process much easier.  This is not easy, but your Realtor should be empathetic yet willing to help educate you to make the sale process as smooth as possible.

Price it Right

No matter how well your Tahoe home is advertised, if it is not priced right, it won't sell. Pricing your Lake Tahoe property just above market can leave room for negotiation, but pricing it too high will risk missing out on your buyer pool and increase the marketing time significantly. Another popular strategy is listing your home just under market value, creating a sense of urgency. Depending on your personal goals for getting your home sold, coming up with a successful pricing strategy is key.


Take down any personal family photos or children's artwork to allow buyers to see themselves in the house. The less clutter, the easier it is for buyers to imagine themselves living in your home.

Always be Ready to Show

A potential buyer may be ready to walk through your door at any time so always keep your home in showing condition.  If a Lake Tahoe home is easy to show it will get shown more often resulting in higher buyer activity and offers will come in more quickly.

Don't Over Upgrade

Extreme upgrades are unlikely to produce a positive return in value so before you pay big bucks for a custom-built pizza oven or glass bottom tub, think again. Kitchens, flooring and bathrooms offer the best return on investment.

Kitchens Sell

The kitchen is the gathering space of any home, especially in Lake Tahoe, so it's worth spending money on upgrades if necessary. Stainless steel appliances and granite countertops typically produce a return of 1.5 times the money spent on these upgrades.

Half-Empty Closets

Showcase how much space is in your closets and cabinets by clearing out old clothes, toys, and pots & pans.

Light It Up

Turn on the lights, open the blinds and drapes and possibly even paint the walls with a fresh coat of bright paint to make your Tahoe homes show as light as possible.

Here are some additional tips for selling your home in the current market: TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR LAKE TAHOE HOME

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What to Do Before you Buy


Get Pre-Qualified for a Loan

If you are obtaining financing for your Lake Tahoe purchase make sure to get pre-qualified with your Mortgage Broker. Buyers that are pre-qualified know what they can spend on a home and the pre-qualification letter will help get your offer accepted once you find the right property.

Know the True Cost of Ownership

Your monthly mortgage payment is just of of the many costs of home ownership so make sure to look into the costs of insurance, HOA fee's, water, sewer, electricity, gas, snow removal and additional maintenance costs.  During the inspection process don't be afraid to ask for utility bills so that you can get a better idea of what the true cost of ownership will be.

Figure Out What Neighborhood is Best For You

Each Lake Tahoe neighborhood is different and unique offering buyers everything from lake access, HOA amenities, private settings, views, proximity to ski resorts, close to hiking and mountain biking trails.  Work with your agent to determine which factors are the most important to you and learn about what each neighborhood offers.  Location is one of the most important factors when purchasing a Lake Tahoe property, so make sure you get a location that suits your needs.

Visit the Home at Different Times of the Day

As a Tahoe buyer, you want to find out everything about your possible future home. See how much light it gets in the morning vs. afternoon, how much traffic it gets and observe the neighborhood.

See the Storage

It's easy as a buyer to get caught up in the finishes of a home, but don't forget to check out how much storage it offers. Check out the pantries, closets, and other storage options to make sure it will work for you.

Get a Home Inspection

It's worth every penny to get a home inspection before the purchase of your home to uncover any serious issues such as structural issues, drainage problems, improper electrical wiring, etc.  The most common issues that I see are plumbing issues and electrical problems which are often difficult to detect without the help of professionals.  If you discover issues with a given house make sure to hire the appropriate tradespeople to look into the issue to determine if the problem is easily cured or if it's an expensive fix.


Want to know what your Lake Tahoe home is worth?


David Westall, Realtor
P: 530-448-9882
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
CA BRE# 01796995

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Dave Westall

Dave Westall is an experienced Truckee and Lake Tahoe Realtor who has been providing clients with professional consultation and exceptional results since 2003.  As one of the top producing Lake Tahoe Realtors, Dave takes a different approach to real estate sales and as an advocate helps his clients achieve their goals by listening to their needs, educating, and providing insight into the various intricacies of the  Lake Tahoe Real Estate markets. By enabling his clients with knowledge and resources, Dave allows his clients to make educated real estate decisions when the timing is right.

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