Here is the most common path to buying a home in Las Cruces, NM.
SECURE YOUR FINANCING
If you are paying cash for the home, then have a price range in mind. If you are getting a mortgage then talk with your bank, or mortgage company and get pre-qualified. The loan officier can help you come up with a maximum purchase price for your new home.
CREATE LIST OF FEATURES
Make a list of the features you want in your Las Cruces home and then prioritize the list.
CHOOSE A REALTOR
Select your real estate agent by interviewing several. Look for someone with experience, a good track record, and someone with whom you feel you can communicate. Since the main tool that all real estate agents use is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), and all realtors have access to the same properties, then it makes no sense to use more than one real estate agent. Pick one with experience and local knowledge. It is ok to ask for references. (Note: Las Cruces has over 650 agents. More than half of them have less than one or two years experience. The Pinkerton Woman has more than fifteen years experience right here in Las Cruces, NM.)
PREVIEW THE HOMES
Your realtor will give you a list of homes that fit your price range and features. This information will come from the Las Cruces Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database which is accurant to the minute. If this list is very large, then you might want to review the list and set higher standards or add more features. When the list is manageable, then go see the homes. Here in Las Cruces I recommend that you view no more than 4 to 5 homes at one appointment which will takes approximately 3 hours. It is possible that a second or third appointment will be necessary for you to find the home of your dreams.
THE PURCHASE AGREEMENT
You and your agent will write a contract to purchase the home of your dreams. All the terms of the contract must be agreed upon by both the buyer and the seller. You will continue to negotiate with the seller through your realtor until the contract is agreed upon by all parties in writting. I recommend that you start with the contract you would like to have, and then see what changes the seller will require. The contract should be accompanied with a earnest deposit check. Here in Las Cruces, NM we do not ask for huge earnest deposits. I generally recommend the amount be approximately 1% of the purchase amount.
Congratulations, you are under contract to purchase a home!
Warning: The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is accurant to the minute. That means that the availabily of the property is accurant to the minute. Only a realtor that is a MLS member has access to this database. The real estate magazines, newspapers, and other advertising material may be inaccurate as to the availability of the property. This includes the for-sale sign in the front yard. Many Las Cruces real estate agents do not put up a sold sign so that they can receive all the possible sign calls.