The Reno/Sparks Real Estate Wire

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from market statistics and home values to community happenings in the Reno/Sparks and surrounding areas. That’s because we care about the community we work in and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Sept. 17, 2018

When To Fall In Love With A Home



When it’s okay to fall in love…


Okay so you are ready to buy a house. You’re super excited, shopping online, looking at what area of town you want to be in, thinking about what kind of house you want. It’s usually about this time that you pick the first house that you know is “the one” and you call a Realtor. You do need to see the inside before you make an offer after all, right?  And in our current market, this is also about the time you find out that that house is no longer available, maybe even received multiple offers.  So you cry a little, get a little discouraged and then pick yourself up again – kind of like dating.  After the obligatory wait period (different for everyone LOL) you keep looking and find a couple others that may fit the bill. It’s official – you are now shopping for a home!

It’s super important to understand the home buying process though and at which point that house is really going to be yours, for real. Just making an offer and getting it accepted does not mean that this is now your house. There are still a few things that need to happen – when you have an accepted offer it is NOT the time to fall in love with the house.

Now that you have your dream home on the hook it’s time to make sure that this really is the one. Just like any relationship you have to go through some history and baggage and decide if you are still willing to take this partner on. A house has a story all its’ own and to be an informed buyer you need to do inspections. You want to make sure that there are no defects or issues that would rule this house out for you. Once you have completed inspections you now know what you are dealing with and you can decide if it’s still the one for you….but you still can’t fall in love yet.

Next you must make sure that the value of the home is in line with what you are willing to pay for it (unless you’re paying cash). Your lender makes sure you are qualified to get the loan – but the house also has to pass the test. An appraiser will go out and assess the property and its’ improvements and make sure the bank is making a sound investment. If that value is at or higher than what you are in contract for, only then can you really FALL IN LOVE!

After the contingency period has past – that’s what Realtors call it – you can start talking paint and picking furniture. Though you still have to wait for the loan documents to come through you know that you are acceptable to the condition of the home, you know the value of the home, and you know you still want it! It can be hard to try to stay objective about one of the biggest investments you will ever make and the place you will now be spending a lot of time but it is important for your mental to know these steps when going through this process because no home sale is complete until the house is recorded in your name. There are a lot of hoops that need to be jumped through and processes that need to happen to make that dream a reality. Especially in a competitive market like ours where inventory is low and demand is high.

Posted in Market Trends
Sept. 13, 2018

Does Experience Matter When Buying or Selling Real Estate?



Does experience really matter? 

A hot real estate market like we are experiencing in Northern NV, makes people excited. The gears start turning as they hear about their friends buying or selling, signs are popping up everywhere and maybe they start thinking about joining the real estate ranks and getting their license to sell. That is all well and good, especially if you have had a passion for real estate, however there are the other people entering the market for financial gain alone. In the last year we have had well over 1000 new licensees join the Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors. I am sure that you know at least one person who either just got their license or working on it now. I think it is important to consider who you are working with when selling or buying a home as this is one of the most major transactions people have in their financial lives. Just because your cousin got their license or your best friend is getting in the business does not mean that working with them will be the best for you. You cannot let relationship pressures put you in a negative negotiation position. In a hot market like ours, the negotiation is stiff and we are seeing problems and issues that we haven’t had to deal with since 2006; having an experienced agent working for you can make all the difference in how the transaction goes. 

No matter who you are choosing to work with there are a few questions you should ask when hiring an agent:



1.    How many Buyers are you currently working with? This will let you know their level of experience and the amount of time they will have to spend with you. Sometimes too few or too many can impact your experience in a negative way.

2.    Do you have a reference list of clients I could contact? See how it was for other people working with the same agent. For at least 45 days you and your agent are going to get close and be talking on a daily basis. You want to align with someone you like, trust and will do what you need.

3.    What makes you different? Why should I trust you to help me find the right home? Agents have their own selling style and also their own levels of professionalism. Some have special designations for working with Buyers, or have taking negotiation certification classes etc. This can make a difference when you are one of five offers on a property.


FOR SELLERS: Though the questions above can apply when selling a home too there are a couple of other things to consider when listing your home for sale.

1.    What have you sold in my area? Though agents usually work in all areas of town, sometimes it takes an agent who really knows your neighborhood to present the home in the right way and get top dollar. The more the agent knows about a neighborhood the more they can do with marketing and finding the right buyer.

2.     On Average, when your listings sell, how close is the selling price to the list price? This will let you know if the agent knows how to price a property correctly and also how their negotiation skills are.

3.     What is your marketing plan for my home?Though are market is hotter than ever it still takes marketing to get a property sold for top dollar. The more interest you have the higher you can push the bar. Just putting the house on the Multiple Listing Service and Zillow can get a property sold, but it’s all the other things you can do to generate interest that keeps the money in the seller’s pocket.

If you have any questions about real estate or anything related to buying or selling we're happy to help and just an email or phone call away. Protect yourself and your investment because it is in this kind of market – fast moving and ultra-competitive – that mistakes get made.



July 5, 2018

The Reno/Sparks Real Estate Wire July 2018

3 Reasons To Invest In A Home That Isn’t Your Dream


I think everyone knows the Reno/Sparks real estate market is booming.  Not only are prices continuing to go up, but inventory is at historic lows.  The market is very competitive, we are seeing multiple offers on almost every home that is priced correctly (even multifamily property), and sellers are getting an average of 99% of their list price.  If you are ready to buy a house this climate might feel a bit intimidating but there are still opportunities to make your dreams come true.  Especially if you are willing to be flexible and open-minded about the home you are buying.  Here are 3 reasons why you should get your starter home now.


1. Inventory Is Getting Tighter Daily

We are so behind on new construction that we are really feeling the crunch this year.  Though you are seeing new homes going up all over town we are still about 10,000 homes behind schedule according to the Builder Association of Northern Nevada.  That means that homes that are hitting the market are being snatched up quick!


2. Interest Rates Are Still Reasonable

Did you know in 2000, the average mortgage rate on a 30-year fixed loan was 8.05%?  In 2008 it was 6.03% and right now it’s 4.625%.  This is going to change though.  We have been seeing the rates creep up over the last couple of months and it looks like this will continue throughout the year.  As the economy gets better, the rates will go up.  We have no way of knowing what the market will look like in a year, so if you have been thinking about buying you should check out financing options now.


3. There is Still FREE money available to buy in Nevada

If you have been saving money to buy a home but need a boost to cover your down payment or closing costs there are still grant programs available to make this happen for you.  One such option is the Home Is Possible, the Nevada Housing Division’s home buyer program that will give you up to 5% of your loan value for closing costs or down payment.  There are a few things you have to do and criteria to meet to get the grant but if you qualify this can really help you out.


So if you have any questions, if you have been looking online and are ready to take action, or you have a home you want to see-get on it!  Maybe the homes in your price range are not your dream, but you can make it work for you.  Over time you can make any house into a home, and just getting into the market now can benefit you greatly and help you move towards your dream property.  We believe everyone who wants to own a home should get one and where there is a will there is way.



Posted in Market Updates
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

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You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates