Buyers at Lake Tahoe need to ask about pocket listings |

Buyers at Lake Tahoe need to ask about pocket listings

Don Kanare & Sabrina Belleci
Special to the Tribune
Don Kanare and Sabrina Belleci, ReMax Realty

Winter season at Lake Tahoe brings mountains covered with snow for the skiers and snowboarders, traffic jams for weekend visitors and a much lower inventory of properties for sale than at any other time of the year.

In winter many properties that have been on the market through the autumn months are no longer listed on the local MLS, but that does not mean they are not for sale.

A good percentage of these property owners would still like to sell and their agent maintains an ongoing relationship with what is called a “pocket listing.” There is still an active contractual listing agreement between the owner of the property and the broker and agent, but the property is not listed on the MLS and it may or may not be actively marketed in print or through other media.

The inventory of houses, condos and freestanding condos at the start of January on the Incline Village MLS is hovering right around 150. This is a very low by historical standards, even for this time of year.

As the available number of properties listed on the local MLS continues to shrink, buyers who cannot find what they want should ask their agent to do some scouting around and see if anyone has a pocket listing that would meet their needs.

It’s very important for buyers to have an agent who actively networks with other local real estate agents in an effort to make transactions happen. In any given year you will find local real estate sales occurring that are either private transactions or sales of pocket listings due to the networking and marketing activities of professional real estate agents.

Buyers who feel they have looked at every property in their price range and cannot find something that meets their needs would do well to ask their agent to contact other local agents and see if anyone has a pocket listing that might work for them. There are also a significant number of properties rented on long-term leases where the owners would really like to sell if a willing buyer would pay a fair and reasonable price.

But many of these property owners do not want the tenants bothered on a regular basis. However, when a qualified buyer seriously interested in their specific property comes along it is usually possible to make arrangements to view the place.

You never want to disturb tenants unnecessarily especially those who signed a lease not anticipating that the property might be getting shown to prospective buyers. So, it is always best to do your research and learn as much as possible about a place before making arrangements to visit an occupied property.

Nevada law requires that tenants be given at least 24 hours advance notice unless otherwise agreed to in the lease. And you cannot expect a tenant to keep a property that is not actively advertised for sale in perfectly staged showing condition. So, be kind to the occupants and also bring your best visualization skills when viewing these types of places.

Incline Village and Crystal Bay are communities of custom homes and wildly diverse condos providing buyers with virtually limitless opportunities to find the property of their dreams. There is an enormous variety of locations, architectural styles, floor plans and views among the 150 or so properties currently for sale.

If you can’t find what you want among the active, withdrawn or expired listings, then it’s time to ask your agent to do some networking within the real estate community and see if anyone has a pocket listing that you would like to see.

It’s kind of like mining for diamonds, looking persistently in the right areas just might result in finding that gem you have been seeking.

Don Kanare is the founder and Sabrina Belleci is the owner and broker of RE/MAX North Lake in Incline Village. You can follow their blog at

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