Las Vegas Home Buyers Here is a general outline for home buyers that will help make you purchase more streamlined. While the internet can offer a lot of information, there is often much that is either wrong or somewhere between confusing and misleading. This is true for both home listings and ‘advise’ that may even come from media sources. This is why I believe shopping for a knowledgeable agent is key. Not only for representing you in your real estate transaction, but for being able to inform you of all available options within the community. That is one of the reasons I chose not to specialize in a specific area or price range. I feel it would limit my ability to help my clients find what is best suited to their needs. Lawyer’s Title has made their own Home Buyers Handbook with their perspective and suggestions from a title insurance company’s point of view, and has details on their typical closing procedures.
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage.  Home shopping without knowing how much you can spend, or afford, is a huge mistake that often leads to disappointment and wasted time. One of the reasons we’ve had the foreclosure crisis is because financial concerns took a back seat in the home buying process. Also remember that a pre-approval doesn’t obligate you to a specific lender, you’re still free to shop for your best mortgage. When purchasing bank owned properties, it may be that the bank owning the property will insist you to be pre-approved with them before submitting your offer, and could possibly extend a home loan to you. I have  yet to come across a listing that didn’t require a pre-approval letter for submitting any offers. Or for those self-funding, you should be prepared with a bank letter proof-of-funds that is current within the past 90 days. In either case, if you should find a home that you’re interested in purchasing, it would be a shame to lose it by not having one of these in place.
Understand Dual Agency It’s a practice that has been banned in some states, but is still legal in Nevada. It means that one real estate agent can represent both buyer and seller. This would possibly be the case when calling the listing agent about one of their advertised properties, or from purchasing from a builder’s agent at a new home site. NOTE: Registering online, requesting more information, or a first visit to a home builder without your agent present will eliminate your right to have your own representation. In my opinion, dual agency would be like asking a prosecuting attorney to defend you in court. In a best case scenario it would be difficult to offer their best representation to both sides. Understand that in real estate, the norm is for the seller, or a builder, to offer a set commission as negotiated in a listing agreement. Whatever the amount, it is typically presented as a co-op, meaning the amount will be divided between listing and selling agents... unless the listing agent retains the entire commission in dual agency. This is why you’ll often see that an agent’s services are free to a buyer. Those that think they’ll be getting a ‘better deal’ by using one agent are usually mistaken, and have lost their ability to independent negotiation.  
Communicate with YOUR Agent  Buyer’s Agents are representing YOU. If you hold back, it makes our job much more difficult. Don’t hesitate to be open and honest throughout the process, and I know I’ll return the favor.  Ask questions, and by all means keep me informed of any changes to your home search. It’s not at all unusual to make adjustments as you start to physically look at homes and weigh wants and needs from what you’ve seen.
Don’t catch Las Vegas ‘Foreclosure Fever’ Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against foreclosures. I own one myself, bought in the boom years, so a very difficult find. BUT... with all the media attention to foreclosures, the late night infomercials, and many websites ‘listing’ foreclosures at prices that aren’t realistic, many seem to ignore that home sellers and even builders have had to lower their prices to remain competitive. It makes no sense to shut out a home that’s fits your needs and in your price range, simply because it doesn’t have ‘foreclosure’ attached to it. Because of the competition from the hype, foreclosures usually get multiple offers. They are sold as-is and often with little to no room for negotiation. You’ll need to sign a waiver due to the banks not offering any disclosures for known faults. Weigh that against a normal resale with disclosures, or new homes with builder’s warranty. If nothing else it gives you more to compare when determining your best home value.
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Roberta LaRocca REALTORŪ Greater Las Vegas Assn of REALTORS Multiple Listing Service Las Vegas MLS REALTOR