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Steps to buying a home in Las Vegas

1. Six months before you plan to buy a home, check out your credit report.  If you find any problems or errors on it, take steps immediately to clear them up.  A good credit rating can mean a lower interest rate and a lower payments for your new home -- saving you a great deal of money over the years.

2. Talk to a lender--before you start house-hunting--to find out the amount of a loan you can qualify for.  When you apply for a home loan, ask for a document called a "Good Faith Estimate".  This is a government-mandated estimate of your actual loan costs.  This should prevent any last minute surprises when your loan closes.

3.  Make up a "Dream Home" list.  Be sure to include how many bedrooms, how many baths, one-story or two-story, how many garages, the overall size of home, and what neighborhoods in the Las Vegas Valley you want to live in.  Then decide if you want a pool, a home near a park or near schools, or any other features that are important to you. 

4. Start your home or condo search.  Your agent can provide you with detailed e-mails of all the listings that match your requirements in your chosen areas.  Then you can then go out and look at any or all the homes or condominiums you wish to see.

5. If you walk into a new home or new condo development to look at models (or even just contact a new development by phone or e-mail), as far as the builder is concerned from that moment you are "their client".  They will not allow you have a real estate agent represent you.  As nice as the on-site agents are, they are hired by the  builder to represent the builder's interests -- not yours.  Most new home developments here in Las Vegas welcome prospective home buyers who are accompanied by a real estate agent   To protect your interests, you should have your own agent who will represent you -- not the builder!  And the new home prices in the Las Vegas Valley are the same whether you work  with an agent or not.

6. Find a home you like! Write your offer on the home and negotiate the terms and conditions of the purchase agreement contract with assistance from your real estate agent..   

7. Negotiations -- and then the seller agrees to your offer!

8. Your agent will open escrow at an Escrow Company and deposit your earnest money check.  

9. The Escrow Company handles much of the paperwork involved in completing the sale.  It also keeps all money until the date that both seller and buyer sign the final paperwork to finish the deal.  Toward the end of the escrow period, you give the down payment to the escrow company and your lender submits the loan amount. 

10. After all the terms and conditions are satisfied, and paperwork signed, the Grant Deed and other documents are recorded with the Clark County Recorder -- making the sale official.

11.  You get the keys and the home is yours!! And the escrow company pays the seller.

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