If you are selling homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe, you may think you hold all the cards. After all, most neighborhoods on the California side are in a seller’s market. In this kind of market, demand is high, inventory is low and seller’s just get to kick back and relax while multiple over ask offers are made. Right? Not so fast. Yes, across the nation inventory is low, demand is high and properties are moving quickly with multiple offers and for over ask. However, while that is the case for some homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe, that is not the case for a majority of them. You see, the average sold price for South Lake Tahoe homes for sale is currently at $530,818. The national average is $213,146 according to Zillow. Zillow isn’t exactly the most accurate, but it points out that the average sold price for homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe is (give or take), double the national average. Which means that while the cost of living is certainly less than our neighbors in the Bay area, it is still a higher price point, which changes the dynamic a bit. Which means you can’t just throw a sign in your yard and expect to be in escrow by the end of the day. You still need to prepare your South Lake Tahoe real estate just as you would in a buyer’s market. Especially for open houses! Your South Lake Tahoe realtor will advise you on how to best prepare your property for the South Lake Tahoe real estate market, but just because your professional photos have been completed, doesn’t mean you get to be a slob for open houses and showings. In fact, The folks over at realtor.com put together a wonderful blog on how to make your best impression at an open house. Below are some highlights if you don’t feel like leaving our website.
- Keep your personal preferences, personal. That means no hot sauce in the bedroom (seriously). Listen, you can eat your food in peace in your bed all you want, just put things back in their respective places for the open house. Put away all personal items, including family photos, religious or political signs/figures, unusual collectibles, memorabilia, etc. You want people to focus on the potential your real estate in South Lake Tahoe has, not the quirks that make you, you!
- Get out. Unless there is a medical condition or your car wouldn’t start and you are stranded, clear the real estate in South Lake Tahoe so the potential buyers can view the home in peace without feeling like they are being watched or judged. Ask any South Lake Tahoe realtor and they will tell you that buyers feel like they are invading your personal space even more so when you are there. They will likely move through it quickly to get out of your hair, not really seeing the home. Plus, it doesn’t allow the clients and their realtor in South Lake Tahoe to have an open conversation about your property. While they could chat about it later, chances are, if they are seeing other homes that day, yours could become an after thought never to be seen again.
- Speaking of clearing out, do the same with your closets and drawers. Buyers love storage, which means every door and drawer will be opened. You have to pack up anyway, so use this as an opportunity to pack up, throw out, donate and de-clutter. Even though everyone has that one random kitchen drawer filled with some really weird stuff, no one actually wants to see yours.
- Let there be light! Dark & dusty is not in. Neither is a million window treatments that prohibit light. While there is something for everyone, a dungeon like atmosphere is not a great first impression. So remove the heavy, dark drapes, open the blinds, turn on lamps, leave doors open and remove screens from the windows if you have to. Also be sure to dust, remove spider webs, whatever it takes to make the home “light and bright”.
- Give them some snacks. Listen, you don’t need to create an expensive charcuterie board with imported cheese and organic fruit, but ask your South Lake Tahoe realtor and they will tell you: buyers can get hungry. A day filled with a tight schedule of viewing real estate in South Lake Tahoe doesn’t always leave room for a sit down meal and depending on where their route is, they may not have the option of driving through or grabbing something quick. The goal is to get them to stay and really see South Lake Tahoe homes for sale in all their glory. If they are starving, they may rush through. So leave out a basket filled with fruit, bars, freshly baked cookies, individual snack sized bags of crackers or chips and some water bottles.
- Leave out a binder of all the home’s recent upgrades, manuals on appliances, monthly utilities, schools and local amenities. When viewing so many properties, having as much information up front as possible can really help you stand out from the crowd.
- Last, but certainly not least, make it easy for them to see it. Make sure access and entry points are cleared (especially during winter) and parking isn’t complicated.
If you are wondering how you can make your property really stand out during an open house, be sure to chat with your South Lake Tahoe realtor. As an expert on the market, they are the best to advise on what buyers are looking for.