Prepping your home for sale

As our market enters the busy spring home buying season, many homeowners will be placing their homes for sale. If you are one of these homeowners, consider these tips for preparing your home for sale…

Maximize Curb Appeal
Getting them through the front door starts at the curb. Manicure the lawn, trim the trees and shrubs. Pull weeds and plant some colorful flowers. Clear the walkways. Fix peeling paint and wind up that hose. Paint the address number on the curb.

Make Repairs to Visible Blemishes
Is there something that’s an eyesore, but an easy fix? If looking at it bothers you, it could bother a potential buyer and reduce the appeal of your home. Replace burnt out light bulbs, fix that loose door handle, make needed paint touch-ups.

Make a Buyer’s Entrance Inviting
Freshly paint the front door with a color that contrasts the house. Add a new welcome mat. Hang a fresh wreath on the door.

Let the Light Shine In
Removing heavy window coverings to let in the natural light we all crave. Add lamps to brighten up darker areas to add more cheer.

Remove the Clutter
This serves two purposes. First, you want your home to have an open and inviting appearance. Removing clutter will make rooms appear larger and more appealing. Second, it helps YOU prepare to move. Going through the clutter and getting rid of what you don’t need will make your move much easier.

Remove Personal Items
It will be much easier for a potential buyer to imagine your home as theirs when they can envision their own items in it.

Highlight Special Features
Use accents and color to draw eyes to special features that you want potential buyers to notice—throw pillows, plants or other eye-catching accessories.

Add Mirrors
Use mirrors to make rooms look larger and lighter. Position opposite windows for best effect.

Clean Out Cabinets and Closets
Buyers are nosy and they WILL open the cabinets. Make sure your contents are orderly and organized.

Eliminate Odors
Clean to remove any odors and do not cook any meals with heavy, lasting smells before a showing.

Add Aromas
You can easily add appeal by quartering an orange and adding it to a pot of water with a cinnamon stick. Simmer on low for an inviting aroma. Or bake a fresh batch of cookies (and leave a plate of them on the counter for visitors).

– Home sale prep tips courtesy of Corefact.

Considering selling your home? Give me a call. I’m here to help.
Guy Johnson, REALTOR®

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January median sales price and other market metrics

Reno-Sparks median sales price jumps 2.8 percent in January; closed home sales median price up 12.2 percent year-over-year; pending sales rise

Median Sales Price

January’s median sold home price for Reno-Sparks was $405,000 for the month — a 2.8 percent increase over December’s median sales price of $394,000.

Year-over-year, January’s median closed sales price was up an impressive 12.2 percent.

January’s median sold price per square foot (PPSF) receded a bit — coming in at $216.01, or $0.18 below December’s $216.19/sq.ft.

Year-over-year, January’s median sold PPSF is up 2.7 percent.

Homes Sold

Home sales fell to 380 units sold in January — representing a 26.5 percent decrease from December’s 517 homes sold. However, it should be noted that unit sales typically are at their lowest point of the year in January. Several factors contribute to January’s low unit sales — weather, low inventory, etc. — but an often overlooked factor is (the preceding month of) December somewhat cannibalizing January’s sales (See The housing market’s “January Effect”).

The more informative number to which to compare January sales is the preceding January. Doing so here shows us that, year-over-year, January’s number of homes sold was up an impressive 16.6 percent over the 326 homes sold in January 2019.


Currently 621 homes are available for purchase in the Reno-Sparks market. This number is down a sobering 20.1 percent from the 779 homes available for sale this time last month. Year-over-year, current available inventory is down a staggering 35.4 percent.

Pending sales are showing a healthy uptick. Presently, 712 homes are pending sale in the Reno-Sparks market. That number is up 31.6 percent over the 541 homes pending sale this time last month. As pending sales rise expect unit sales to climb as well.

Current pending sales are up 8.7 percent over the number of pending sales this time last year.

Days on Market

January’s median days on market (DOM) clocked in at 87 days — a increase of 5 days over December’s median DOM. Year-over-year, January’s DOM number is up 1 day over January 2019’s number.

DOM typically peaks in January/February and then begins to recede as we enter the spring home buying market.

Sales by Type

January sales by type, break out as follows:

  • REO sales: 0.3% – down from December’s 1.0%
  • Short sales: 0% – down from December’s 1.0%
  • Subject to Court Approval sales: 0.8% – down from December’s 1.2%
  • Relocation sales: 0% – down from December’s 0.6%
  • Equity sales: 98.9% – up over December’s 96.0%

Sales by Price

January sales by price band, break out as follows in the table below…

Sales by Price Segment
sales price ($000’s) units sold % of sales cumulative % of sales
0 – 99 1 0.3% 0.3%
100 – 199 5 1.3% 1.6%
200 – 299 42 11.1% 12.6%
300 – 399 133 35.0% 47.6%
400 – 499 98 25.8% 73.4%
500 – 599 36 9.5% 82.9%
600 – 699 25 6.6% 89.5%
700 – 799 12 3.2% 92.6%
800 – 899 12 3.2% 95.8%
900 – 999 6 1.6% 97.4%
1M+ 10 2.6% 100%
total 380 100%

January’s median sold price for houses and condos combined was $384,820 — a 4.0 percent increase over December’s median sold price of $370,000 for combined sales of houses and condos.

The table below contains the past 13 months of data[1]

Past 13 Months of Home Sales Data
Month Year # Sold Median Sold Price Sold Price per Sq Ft Median DOM # of Actives # of Pendings
Jan 2020 380 $405,000 $216.01 87 621 712
Dec 2019 517 $394,000 $216.19 82 779 541
Nov 2019 453 $400,000 $216.66 73 956 683
Oct 2019 562 $399,997 $216.64 76 1,090 773
Sep 2019 579 $395,000 $218.24 68 1,283 814
Aug 2019 623 $399,000 $213.78 64 1,342 898
Jul 2019 606 $406,000 $217.39 60 1,367 906
Jun 2019 570 $400,000 $219.78 55 1,252 915
May 2019 680 $390,000 $220.27 54 1,163 911
Apr 2019 531 $375,000 $213.73 65 996 923
Mar 2019 458 $369,000 $207.92 78 867 815
Feb 2019 363 $372,300 $208.63 90 888 774
Jan 2019 326 $361,000 $210.31 86 961 655

Thank you for taking the time to read this market report. As always, your comments and questions are welcomed.

1. The “Past 13 Months of Home Sales Data” table above is updated on a monthly basis. The median home price data reported covers the cities of Reno, Nevada and Sparks, Nevada [NNRMLS Area #100]. Residential data includes Site/Stick Built properties only. Data excludes Condo/Townhouse, Manufactured/Modular and Shared Ownership properties. Data courtesy of the Northern Nevada Regional MLS – February 6, 2020. Note: This information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

For historical home sale data dating back to 1998 click here.

Click here to see Reno Homes for Sale.

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Incline Village housing market

From the most recent housing market report for Incline Village, Nevada…

This week the median list price for Incline Village, NV is $3,165,000 with the market action index hovering around 25. This is less than last month’s market action index of 26. Inventory has held steady at or around 33.

The Market Action Index answers the question “How’s the Market?” by measuring the current rate of sale versus the amount of the inventory. Index above 30 implies Seller’s Market conditions. Below 30, conditions favor the buyer.

Inventory levels have been relatively consistent relative to sales. Despite the fact that there is a relatively high amount of available inventory, this Buyer’s market is still seeing prices move higher. Given inventory levels, these price conditions are relatively fragile. If the market cools off further, the price trend is likely to reverse.

Click on the Market Segments table below to access the entire market report for Incline Village.

Click here to see homes for sale in Incline Village.

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A closer look at Nevada’s and Washoe County’s inflow population migration

Californians driving Nevada’s population growth

More than 50,000 Californians moved to Nevada from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019, according the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates 2018 – 2019 State-to-State Migration Flows. This number is a 6.7 percent increase over the 47,513 Californias that moved to Nevada the previous year. And, according to a recent Planetizen piece, “There are more adults in Nevada that were born in California than born in Nevada…”

Of course, Nevada received new residents from all over the country (and even the world for the matter), but the vast majority, nearly 40 percent, came from the Golden State. (See the table below.)

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates 2018 – 2019 State-to-State Migration Flows

Nevada a top growth state

In total, more than 141,000 people moved to Nevada from July 1 2018 to July 1 2019. Subtracting from that, the nearly 90,000 people who left the state during the same period, results in a net inflow of 52,815 to the state — making Nevada one of the top-10 states in the U.S. for numeric growth. (See table below.)

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates 2018 – 2019 State-to-State Migration Flows

What is remarkable about Nevada’s inclusion on the top-ten list in the table above is its relatively small population base. In fact, of the ten states listed above, Nevada’s state population is, by far, the smallest.

For this reason, Nevada was again ranked one of the nation’s fastest growing states — 2nd only to Idaho. (See table below).

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates 2018 – 2019 State-to-State Migration Flows

Why are people moving to Nevada?

Well, the reasons are varied, but the most common reason cited is Nevada’s very favorable tax situation, especially when compared to California’s. (See The Wall Street Journal’s January 25, 2020 story: So Long, California? Goodbye, Texas? Taxpayers Decide Some States Aren’t Worth It — After new tax law made it costlier to own a house in many high-price areas, some residents are pulling up stakes)

When you take Nevada’s zero state income tax, relatively lower home prices, lower property taxes, and lower cost of living, it’s easy to see the attractiveness of The Silver State. And these favorable attributes appeal to retirees and job seekers alike.

According to a recent United Van Lines Movers Study, of those people moving to Nevada, nearly 37% cited “retirement” as their primary reason for moving, and one-third cited “job” as their primary reason for moving. Other reasons cited included “family” and “lifestyle”. (See United Van Lines interactive migration map below.)

Inflows to Washoe County

Utilizing the U.S. Census’ Flows Mapper tool, we’re able to take a closer, county-to-county look at migration flows. For Washoe County, Nevada we see that 3,398 people moved in from Clark County, Nevada — making Clark County the top contributing county in the U.S. to Washoe County’s population.

The top-20 counties contributing to Washoe County’s inflows include:

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau 2013-2017 5-Year American Community Survey

Outside of other Nevada counties, it is those California counties along the “I-80 corridor” and also in southern California that are the greatest contributors to Washoe County’s inflow migration. (See the map below.)

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau 2013-2017 5-Year American Community Survey

Thank you for reading. I would love to read your comments and thoughts below. And if you have questions regarding the above, please let me know in the comments below.

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This week’s real estate headlines

Here are a few national real estate-related stories and news pieces that came across my screen this past week…

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A few of my recent Facebook posts

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In addition to posting on this blog, I also maintain a Facebook Page where I post daily content on the Reno, Sparks, Incline Village, and northern Nevada real estate market, economy, and other related topics.

Below are a few recent posts from my Facebook Page.

To see my Facebook posts in real time as I post them please Like my FB Page

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Washoe County home sales by zip code

One of this blog’s most frequently searched-for topics is “home sales by zip code”. As such, each January, I post an analysis of the prior year’s home sales broken out by zip code.

It’s that time of year again, but before we dive in, here are some aggregate numbers for Washoe County, Nevada: 2019 saw 7,877 homes (both condos/townhomes and houses) sold county-wide. These home sales exhibited an overall median sales price of $372,000. Unit sales were up 5.5 percent year-over-year, and the median sales price was up 3.6 percent year-over-year — resulting in an increase in 2019 total sales volume of 6.9 percent over 2018’s.

Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at Washoe County’s 2019 home sales by zip code.

Number of Homes Sold

Of the 22 zip codes reported on in this analysis, just three accounted for nearly one-third of all home sales in 2019. And just five accounted for nearly half of all units sold.

89436 (Wingfield Springs) in Sparks, Nevada took the top spot with 985 home sales in 2019. 89521 (South Meadows) in Reno took the 2nd spot — with 855 homes sold; followed by 89506 (Stead/Lemon Valley/Golden Valley) with 709 unit sales.

The chart below shows the top zip codes in terms of unit sales. The top-four rankings are unchanged from last year.

Greatest increase in units sold

I typically don’t report this metric, but this year one zip code jumped out in terms of year-over-year increase in units sold. 89439 (Verdi) saw an unprecedented 368 percent increase in home sales in 2019 — jumping from 19 homes sold in 2018 to 89 homes sold in 2019.

Taking a closer look at Verdi’s 2019’s sales revealed that more than two-thirds were new home sales through the new developments being built there.

The zip code with the next best increase in units sold was 89433 (Sun Valley) with a 22 percent year-over-year increase.

Highest Median Sales Price

Not surprisingly, it was the Lake Tahoe zip codes that exhibited the highest median sales price. 89402 (Crystal Bay) took the top spot with a median sales price of $1,784,500. 89451 (Incline Village) came in 2nd with a median sales price of $848,000.

In Reno, Nevada, the top zip codes were 89511 (Montreux, ArrowCreek, Saddlehorn, et al) coming in 3rd with a median sales price of $697,000, followed by 89519 (Caughlin Ranch) with a median of $625,000.

The chart below shows the top zip codes ranked by 2019 median sales price.

Lowest Median Sales Price

89512 (Reno – North) exhibited the lowest median sales price in the county in 2019 — with a median home price of $231,000. 89442 (Wadsworth) had the 2nd-lowest median — with $240,000 for the year; followed by 89431 (Sparks) with a median of $270,000.

The chart below shows the zip codes with the lowest median sales price in 2019. For reference the Washoe county-wide median was $372,000.

Home Price Appreciation

In 2019, median sold home prices in Washoe County increased 4.8 percent overall year-over-year. However, this increase was not uniform across all zip codes. In fact, some zip codes saw a decrease in 2019’s median sales price compared to 2018’s (see the Data Set below).

89441 (Spanish Springs – West) took the top spot this year with an impressive 11.8 percent increase in its 2019 median sales price over 2018’s. In a very close 2nd-place was 89402 (Crystal Bay) with an equally impressive 11.7 percent appreciation; followed by 89451 (Incline Village) with a 9.6 percent growth.

The chart below shows the top zip codes in terms of year-over-year median sales price increase.

The Data Set below contains metrics for all 22 zip codes, including a column showing the highest priced home sale for each zip code.

Are there other housing market metrics you would like to see by zip code? Do you have questions/comments regarding the above? Please let me know in the comments below.

And, as always, thank you for reading the Reno Realty Blog.

Data Set

The table below shows the data for all Washoe County zip codes used in this analysis. [Click on the column headers to sort by that column.]


Washoe County, Nevada encompasses 41 zip codes, however many of these zip codes are for P.O. boxes only and contain no homes. The analysis above applies to only those zip codes containing homes. Data in the charts and tables covers both site/stick built and condo/townhouse sales in Washoe County, Nevada for the 2019 calendar year. Data excludes manufactured/modular homes.

To see all the zip codes within Washoe County, Nevada click here.

For an interactive zip code boundary map for Washoe County click here. Use the + and – buttons to zoom in and out, respectively, on the map.

Note: The home price reported above covers the zip codes of Washoe County, Nevada. Residential data includes Site/Stick Built and Condo/Townhouse properties only. Data excludes Manufactured/Modular and Shared Ownership properties. Data courtesy of the Northern Nevada Regional MLS (as January 22, 2019), and the Incline Village REALTORS® Matrix system (as of January 25, 2019). All information herein is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

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Housing market forecast 2020 for Incline Village, Carson City and other norther Nevada markets

According to the latest CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI®) Report: National home prices increased 3.7% year over year in November 2019 and are forecast to increase 5.3% from November 2019 to November 2020.

Recently I published a blog post where I attempted to forecast where Reno-Sparks home prices would be at the end of this year (2020). See Reno housing market forecast 2020

My methodology consisted of applying CoreLogic’s 2020 forecast for home prices nationally to the current median sales price for the Reno-Sparks market after adjusting for the relative difference in home price appreciation for Reno-Sparks compared to that of the U.S. [Again, see Reno housing market forecast 2020 for additional detail.]

Because many readers of this blog are also interested in home prices in other northern Nevada housing markets, I employed the same methodology to other area housing markets in order to derive 2020 forecasts for those markets.

The table below shows the results of that exercise (click on the table to enlarge).


The table above contains data for housing markets surrounding the Reno-Sparks metro area. These markets include: Carson City, Dayton, Fernley, Gardnerville/Minden, and Incline Village. I also separated Reno and Sparks, and included data for each in the table.

For each market I reported the median sales price for the 12-month periods: December 2017 – November 2018; and December 2018 – November 2019. I chose time periods ending on the month of November in order to correspond with the time period reported on in the aforementioned CoreLogic report.

After determining the median sales price for each of the 12-month periods, I calculated the percent increase in median sales price appreciation for each of the markets in the table.

Given the rate of home price appreciation, I then calculated two home price forecasts for 2020 [see the last two columns in the table]. One forecast assumed a market’s identical rate of growth as observed in 2019; the other forecast utilized a revised (upward) rate of home price appreciation that was based off of CoreLogic’s projection for home prices nationally after adjusting for the relative difference in home price appreciation for Reno-Sparks compared to that of the U.S.

Forecasts / Findings

While the two forecasts [see the last two columns in the table] provide a range where the 2020 median home price for each market may land, it is the differences in home price appreciation observed across markets that is particularly noteworthy.

Dayton, Nev. saw the largest home price appreciation with a 10.2 percent increase in the median homes price in 2019 over 2018. After Dayton was Carson City, Nev. with an 8.1 percent increase in the median homes price in 2019 over 2018; followed by Fernley, Nev. with a 6.0 percent increase; followed by Incline Village, Nev. with a 5.7 percent increase in its median sales price over the same time periods. Each of these markets saw substantially higher rates of increase over Reno and Sparks 3.7 and 3.6 percent increases, respectively.

At the lower end of the appreciation scale was the Gardnerville/Minden market, which saw a 3.1 percent growth in home prices — below the national home price year-over-year appreciation of 3.7 percent for the same time period.

Is there a northern Nevada market in which you’re interested that I did not include? If so, let me know in the comments below.

Thank you for reading the Reno Realty Blog. – Guy

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