Lake Tahoe real estate: Smart buying, selling tips for 2016 | SierraSun.com

Lake Tahoe real estate: Smart buying, selling tips for 2016

Avis Cherry
Special to the Sun-Bonanza

Experts predict this year is going to be an active year for residential real estate, possibly the best year since 2007. It is expected that sellers will welcome increasing home prices and a high level of interest in their listing, and buyers should be prepared to move quickly when they find a home that meets their needs.

Here is a brief list of tips for buyers this year:

Tips for Buyers

Don't wait too long: Most people who plan to buy a home this year say they will wait until the spring or summer to start looking. However, buyers who start their search early typically face less competition and should still have a good selection to choose from.

Shop around for a mortgage: Since a lower interest rate could equate to thousands in savings over the life of a loan, don't take the first quote you receive. Talk to more than one lender. While interest rates are still at record lows (just under four percent) Realtor.com is predicting that mortgage rates may reach 4.65 percent by the end of the year.

If you are renting, consider buying: Currently, rents are high and availability is limited. Last year, rents outpaced home values in 20 of the 35 biggest housing markets. Additionally, according to the 2015 Rent.com Rental Market Report, 88 percent of property managers raised their rent in the past 12 months, and an 8 percent hike is predicted for this year. In many areas, rent is comparable to that of a monthly mortgage payment, so it makes good sense to put that monthly investment into your own appreciating asset.

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Top Tips for Sellers

List during prime-buying season in your area: Generally speaking, the height of home buying activity usually begins in April and reaches a peak in June. According to Realtor.com, sellers who list their home during the prime spring and summer months benefit from a larger population of buyers and potential bidding wars, which often result in higher prices and faster closings.

Price your home to sell: Home prices are expected to rise approximately 3 percent year-over-year, with a few markets expected to see up towards 10 percent increase in this year alone. If you are considering selling your home this year, it would be wise to take the advice of local Realtors in regards to adequately pricing your home based on your immediate market conditions and comparable sales in your neighborhood.

Consider offering an incentive: Keep an open mind with varying offers. Sellers who are open to negotiate beyond just price may have the best success in securing a solid buyer. Last year, 37 percent of all sellers offered some type of incentive.

Avis Cherry is President of the Sierra Nevada Association of REALTORS and is a REALTOR with Charles Kitchen Realty in Carson City. Visit snar.org to learn more.