The inventory of properties on the Incline Village MLS has continued to decline during the previous year and now sits at its lowest level since 2006 with around 140 houses, condos and freestanding condos currently offered for sale. We have seen prices rise in all sectors of our market and are occasionally witnessing multiple offer situations.
Generally speaking, it is not a good idea to list your property for sale too early in the season and have it languish for months before the summer crowds arrive. However, with sales activity continuing at a steady pace even during the dark winter months, it may be advantageous to sign that listing agreement sometime between mid-February and late March.
Considering that 10 properties went into escrow and 10 places closed escrow during the last week of January, the Incline Village real estate market can easily handle many new listings every week in early 2018.
There are certain benefits to listing your property on the MLS earlier this year in what is traditionally a highly seasonal marketplace on the Nevada side of North Lake Tahoe. First of all, there is very little competition, especially when compared to the inventory levels that we normally experience during the busy summer months.
For example, buyers will find just 12 single-family homes listed on the Incline Village MLS priced under $1 million. Condo shoppers will discover that there are only two places for sale in Third Creek and zero units on the market in McCloud, L'Ermitage, High Sierra, Creekside East and West.
There were only 77 houses, 41 condos and 16 free standing condos for sale as of the start of February. With so few properties to compete against, sellers who list their property prior to the peak time from late May to the end of July have an excellent chance of getting lots of showings and reasonably priced offers. If you wait until July or August to list your property for sale this year, you will likely be late to the party.
With savvy buyers beating the bushes in the winter of 2018 combined with the onerous tax burden in the Golden State, many buyers from California will be making a special trip to Lake Tahoe in late winter specifically for the purpose of writing an offer ahead of the summer crowds. While many sellers will take a long time to contemplate just what to do this year, those who are proactive will find they have less head-to-head competition than in previous years. If you have a good location and floor plan, the laws of supply and demand dictate that you want to be on the market before other similar properties are listed for sale.
Another reason for listing your property a bit earlier this year is the mild winter and minimal snowpack. Most properties are going to be free of snow much earlier than normal making them more attractive for buyers to view. The lack of snow also will make it easier for property owners to do exterior repairs and landscaping. Photographs taken in late winter and spring this year will probably not show your property covered in a deep snowpack.
The exact timing of when to put your property on the market will depend on your personal situation and also performing a thorough analysis of your competition. This includes taking a close look at the properties you are competing with before determining an asking price for your property. Some of the expired and withdrawn listings from 2017 will not come back on the market because the owners either will choose not to sell in 2018, have rented them to a tenant, or have other plans for their place.
Serendipity also plays a role in getting many properties sold. Listing your property for sale a little bit earlier this year could make all the difference in finding a buyer and help you avoid head to head competition during the busy summer season.
Sabrina Belleci and Don Kanare are the owners of RE/MAX North Lake. Read their blog and find weekly stats on their website at http://www.InsideIncline.com.