It's not really a surprise that leading online real estate search, REALTOR.com, is reporting that this July's Las Vegas web traffic for home searches is up 93.9% over last year's results. Home sales in Las Vegas have been increasing each month since the beginning of 2008. With the continued growth and new jobs being created over the next few years, the interest is understandable. For homes that offer exceptional value it's been typical here in the Vegas valley to have multiple offers at and above listing price.
I'd also have to add that Las Vegas isn't the only area that has this increased traffic. It ranked #2 behind Stockton-Lodi CA, and overall they are experiencing a 29% year to year gain in traffic nationwide, with 26% more time being spent on the site to search. Page views at REALTOR.com are also up 22%, and the sister site MOVE Network has page views up 11%, indicating a lot of interest across the country. To see the increases in other areas, you'll find a list by clicking here.
A National Assn of REALTORS® survey reports that 84% of home buyers search online. I think you'll also find that most agents offer their own web searches for their market. Speaking for myself, I offer free Las Vegas real estate searches without any registration required, for both new and resale homes, MLS resales only, and another option for resales in a different format that some may find easier to use. These are all excellent tools available for today's home shopper to browse at their convenience.
For those that are ready to take a closer look or feel ready to buy, I'd recommend contacting an agent for a number of reasons. On some real estate search sites there are listings that don't exist, or at prices that aren't real. As more homes are selling here in Las Vegas, there are many times that a listing may already be under contract or pending approval. Agents have access to even more information than these online tools provide, and can put you on a personalized search specifically to fit your needs, with the results conveniently arriving in your email.
While we're at it, I'd also strongly suggest home shoppers get pre-approved for a mortgage. A REALTOR® can also help you with that, and a fairly simple process. For those self funding, you should have a bank letter of proof of funds available. Remember there is no obligation to buy, or does pre-qualifying tie you to a specific lender. I've heard of some buyers that 'just wanted to browse to see what is available'. Then they stumble into an incredible deal, only to miss it because they weren't prepared and someone else beats them to being accepted.
Having this financial information also gives you an idea of the price range you need to be looking at, instead of wasting your time looking at those that aren't a fit. That may not only be for the amount you qualify, but more importantly what will be affordable to your personal budget. Other considerations are the add-ons to a monthly payment. Property taxes and insurance, and Homeowners Assn or Assessment fees if any, that may have you wanting to adjust your range.
Typically in Las Vegas an offer will only be accepted if accompanied by a pre-approval. In some cases a buyer must be pre-approved before a listing agent will allow the home to be shown. With the bank owned foreclosures the lenders not only mandate it, but some may want you to also qualify with them before submitting an offer. Even if not required, having one makes your offer much stronger and can improve the negotiating position. Put yourself in the seller's shoes, receiving offers that have financing in place and those that don't...which would you accept?
In any case it doesn't make much sense for a buyer to create their own limitations on such a major purchase. Leisurely finding a home online, then rushing to find an agent and financing, could be costly.
If you are interested in relocating to Las Vegas or would like information on Las Vegas real estate, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 702-354-8988. I look forward to hearing from you!