The real estate market in the Tahoe area has never been hotter. With COVID-19 restrictions allowing more people to work from home, residents of the Bay Area are flocking to the Tahoe area for a better work-life balance. An unprecedented influx of buyers means Lake Tahoe’s real estate market is favored towards sellers. Just because more people are discovering the beauty of our mountain community, though, doesn’t mean that you can’t have a chance to submit an attractive offer to any seller. In this competitive time, the right homework and the right real estate agent with deep roots in the local market can make all the difference. There are tips to compete and win as a buyer against multiple offers.
The majority of today’s buyers are from out of the Tahoe area and are a mix of families looking to live in Tahoe full-time as well as second-home buyers. Many are cash buyers. This competition among buyers with very few homes for sale can work for you with the right support system and Real Estate Agent.
I have experience in following Tahoe’s ever-fluctuating housing trends and am prepared to help you pique the interest of a seller looking for a painless selling process. Especially in a saturated market that would make an average buyer flounder, an agent familiar with what it takes to navigate today’s market flows can leverage you where you need it.
UNDERWRITE ANY LOANS
A pre-qualification is an unofficial assessment of your budget. In a less-competitive market, a prequalification would safely and sufficiently begin the process to qualify for a mortgage loan. In today’s rapid market, prequalification is simply not enough. A pre-approval is the more-airtight next step to take after receiving a prequalification. A pre-approval includes providing tax returns, proof of other income, down payment funding, bank statements, and any additional documents that pertain to your financial situation. This creates an authentic portrayal of your assets and debts instead of just an estimate. An underwriter must review your preapproval to ensure all information is accurate, such as your financial numbers, down payment sources, and relevant dates. Between an offer with prequalification and an offer with underwritten approval, sellers will be drawn to the latter and can reduce your escrow period by weeks. In Tahoe’s current market, sellers are slow to accept a loan and appraisal contingency which leads us to the next topic.
COUNTER THE CASH
Last year, nearly 40% of real estate transactions were made with cash. With the market already moving more quickly than normal, competitive buyers need to remove their loan and appraisal contingencies even if they do intend to use a loan. I make it a priority to talk with each buyer’s lender to make sure they are in a secure place to do so. Nothing is wrong with needing a loan to purchase a house, but it needs to be done in a way that reduces the stress and hassle on a seller’s end. I am here to make sure you are able to do so by syncing up with your lender.
Only 44% of today’s prospective homebuyers plan for preapproval in advance, so one of the most beneficial moves buyers can make is to preapprove with their lender. Removing your financial contingencies is the only way to compete with the cash offers prospective Bay Area buyers are so quick to provide.
PUT IN A NON-CONTINGENT OFFER
The fewer contingencies you have attached to your property offer, the better your chance is for acceptance. Similar to Bay Area markets, sellers are doing a lot of their work ahead of time by filling out a full disclosure package and providing a home and pest inspection upfront. This proactive approach in providing the details needed to evaluate a property tightens the possibility of negotiation once in escrow. With these packages completed, sellers are expecting non-contingent offers. So, contingencies on your end, including previously stated underwritten preapprovals, other house sales, or insurance matters, should be pinpointed and taken care of ahead of time.
A seller will always be drawn to the buyer with the easiest process, so take it upon yourself now to work with a real estate agent to navigate contingencies you may have before you put in an offer. I understand and am eager to work with individuals, couples, or families to ensure that their wants and needs can be resolved in time to confidently submit an attractive offer.
BE OPEN-MINDED AND QUICK-THINKING
Buying a home shouldn’t be a decision taken lightly. In the current Tahoe climate, a three-to-five-day window is usually available to submit an offer on a property. Even in the $1-million range, having a strong head on your shoulders and an agent to back you up can help you handle the whiplash and hurdles that come with securing your dream property on the fly. Though the time to submit an offer may move quickly, the right agents are familiar with this fast pace and are ready to seize the quick opportunities.
Knowing your competition. Submitting a contingent-free and competitive offer is essential right now in Tahoe real estate. Do your homework ahead of time. I have navigated waters through smooth and turbulent selling periods over the last 25 years, and even in this bustling market, we can find and secure the property you and your family deserve.