Listing Season in Full Swing While the month of May is the second slowest time of the year for vacation rentals and tourism, at Lake Tahoe it generally signals the start of a new listing season for the Incline Village and Crystal Bay real estate market. During just the past three weeks we have seen more than 50 properties listed for sale in our community. And while the pace of sales remains strong with 26 properties going under contract during the same time frame, this is the season when the inventory traditionally increases from the wintertime low. Properties coming on the market in Incline Village and Crystal Bay run the gamut from a 960 square foot 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath condo in Incline Manor priced at $189,000, all the way up to an asking price of $15.4 million for a spacious 8900 square-foot lakefront property at 565 Lakeshore Blvd. Factored into the mix are 16 condos with offering prices stretching all the way up to just under $3 million for a luxurious lakefront condo in the Lakeshore Terrace complex. While the vast majority of the new condo listings are priced under $800,000 this is the time of year when we see a wide array of new properties hitting the market, most of them for the first time. Buyers looking for single-family homes in Incline Village and Crystal Bay will find that only 42 of the 117 houses for sale – as of this writing – have asking prices under $1 million. With our local real estate scene having achieved a dramatic turnaround during the past 18 months, we are seeing a return to a more normal market where approximately two thirds of all the houses for sale have asking prices over $1 million.
Bargain hunters who were thriving during the recession are now finding themselves having to compete in multiple offer situations from time to time. This is especially true for houses with asking prices under $700,000. Budget priced properties could soon become a rarity as the primary geographic areas in California – that feed the majority of buyers to Incline Village and Crystal Bay – are showing strength, especially in the moderate and higher price ranges.
Local real estate agents are working hard every day to do all of the tasks necessary when putting a new listing up for sale. Whether they are performing a comparative market analysis, working with sellers to stage their properties or creating promotional materials and advertising there are between 15 and 25 steps that need to be completed when an owner decides to list their property for sale. It is typical for real estate agents to work off of a checklist to ensure that each part of the process is properly attended to and that no stone is left unturned in the quest to get their listings noticed by other agents and the general public. An important part of getting a new listing noticed is putting each property on the weekly Tuesday morning MLS tour for all of the agents to preview. Since the vast majority of buyers live at least a couple of hours away (if not further), it is absolutely critical for sellers to provide an opportunity for Incline Village and Crystal Bay real estate agents to see each new listing and determine whether or not there are prospective buyers already waiting in the wings. Out of area buyers rely on the expertise of their local agent to inform them of the new listings that may be of interest, since pictures on the Internet don’t tell the whole story. And with demand having ramped up considerably during the past two years it is more important than ever for agents to preview properties and inform their buyers in a timely fashion.
Many buyers miss out on writing an offer for what could have been their dream home at Tahoe simply because they live too far away to personally visit every interesting new listing before it gets snapped up by someone else who is more closely monitoring the market. Sometimes, buyers need to write offers sight unseen but contingent on their viewing and approval within a relatively short time frame if they don’t want to get aced out. With for-sale signs going up on a regular basis and sellers busily preparing their properties, there is a lot of activity keeping all of the support services humming along on a steady basis. There are a lot of positive side effects to the local economy during new listing season as architects, contractors, landscapers and repair people of all types perform services to get properties in showing condition. As sure as the spring flowers start to bloom and the Aspen trees turn green, the North Lake Tahoe economy welcomes new listing season each year with the joy and anticipation that winter is over and the summer season will soon be upon us.