The Buying Proces

Getting Started

The Las Vegas area is growing by leaps and bounds!  With so many Las Vegas real estate options to choose from, you need an agent to help you make the best real estate decisions.  You’ve definitely come to the right place. I’m the local expert and I’m ready to put my experience to work for you.

Whatever your reason for buying, know that finding the right home, in the perfect neighborhood and at the cost that is within your budget, is not a small task.

There are many benefits you receive from working with a licensed professional with specialized skills:

·         I know the local market and can quickly narrow it down to few areas where you are likely to find your home at the price you want.

·         I can save you time by doing a lot of the legwork. By knowing your needs, I can eliminate homes that do not meet your criteria.

·         I will make appointments, preview homes with you and help you determine the pros and cons of each home.

·         I can help you maximize online home search tools available to you.

·         I can provide information and make appointments to see almost any property listed for sale.

·         Once you find the home you want to buy, I will guide you through the negotiation, legalities, and details of purchasing a home.

You’ve come to the right place to find your dream home in Las Vegas, or in the popular surrounding areas of Clark County.  Whether you’re looking for an estate, an executive home, a luxury condo, a retirement villa, a historic home, a downtown loft, or anything else in the greater Las Vegas area, I can help you!

Beginning the Process

Get ready to Buy

You’re ready to buy – or maybe you’re just ready to start seriously thinking about buying. There’s a lot you can do to prepare. With so much information available at your fingertips, you may already be doing a lot of your own research. Here are a few things to keep in mind while you get started.

Organization is the key to finding the home you want while spending the least amount of time and energy. For most families, choosing a new home is the biggest financial decision they will ever make. There are many complicated decisions involved in choosing your new home.

Contact a Real Estate Agent 

That’s where I can help. I’d be more than happy to arrange a time to meet with you and speak with you regarding why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your plans for the future. We’ll talk about everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Las Vegas area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that may affect your buying decision today or in the future.

As your agent, my focus is on getting you the best possible home at the best possible price. I will work hard not only in finding you potential new homes to see but also in keeping you informed of everything that takes place. As your agent and a top expert in the local market, I’ll negotiate the best prices and terms for you and answer all of your questions as they arise. I’ll be representing you, not the seller. This assures that my experience and expertise in the local market will be used in your best interests during the negotiation process.

Get Pre-Approved.

Determine Your Price Range

Find out how much house you can afford. It’s a good idea to do this before you go house-hunting. As a reference, visit our Financial Calculators page. Also, we can refer you to a loan officer who can assist you with determining how much of a down payment you can afford, along with a monthly payment you are comfortable with, and the type of loan that fits your needs best. Serious buyers who are highly motivated should go through the effort of getting pre-approved; not only will this allow you to focus your home search, but it will also position you as a serious buyer in the eyes of sellers when the time comes to make an offer. 

I can refer you to a loan officer who can assist you with determining how much of a down payment you can afford, along with a monthly payment you can handle. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Las Vegas, and I work with a lot of them, so you’ll be in great hands. They’ll help you decide which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

What is the difference between Pre-qualified and Pre-Approved?

These terms refer yo your status in the loan approval process. Prequalification is a determination of your probable ability to obtain a Loan. To become prequalifies, meet with a loan officer or mortgage company. They will you determine the price you can afford, based on your monthly income and your current debts, as well as the cash you have for a down payment.

Preapproval means that the mortgage lender has already verified and approved your credit and income. Obtaining preapproval early in the process will make your offer more attractive to the seller.

What Is Status Contingent vs. Status Pending?

When searching the market for a new home, you’ll run across properties in several states of activity. What do you do when the home you’re interested in is marked as “contingent” or “pending”? What’s the difference between the two, and what are your options for making an offer?

What Is Contingent?

When a property is marked as contingent, an offer has been accepted by the seller. Contingent deals are still active listings because they are liable to fall out of the contract if requested provisions are not met. If all goes well, contingent deals will advance to a pending state.

What Is Pending?

When a property is marked as pending, an offer has been accepted by the seller and all contingencies have been satisfactorily addressed or waived. Pending deals are no longer considered active listings. A home will remain in the pending state until all legal work has been processed.

Find the house you’ve been looking for

I’m positive we’ll find your dream house in Las Vegas. Your agent’s knowledge of the Las Vegas market is a crucial aspect in your house search.

Imagine your ideal home and community. Now make a list of everything you envisioned. Then take that list and break it down from high to low priority. High-priority items are the things you cannot live without in your new home. Lower-priority items are those that are an added bonus, but not necessary.

·         Make a list of everything you want in a home and prioritize. How many bedrooms? How many bathrooms? What about closer space? Do you need a yard or patio? Do you prefer a single story or a multiple-story house? Are schools, shopping or access to public transportation important? Style of Home? House Sq Ft? Lot Sq Ft? Zip code or favorite Area? Prioritize and be open to compromise.

·         Assure that you see all the properties in the area that meet your criteria. Not just those listed on the local MLS, but also many un-listed properties that I find through my local contacts and affiliations.

·         Tour Homes In Person and Online. Some people look at several homes before finding just the right one. And others find “the one” immediately. Thanks to the internet, you can streamline your search process significantly by checking out homes for sale online. And when you’re ready, your Windermere agent can tour homes with you on your schedule and create a personal checklist for each one. If you’re not quite ready to start working with an agent, you can visit open houses and preview everything that’s for sale in your market on

·         Keep good notes as we look at homes. After a while, it becomes difficult to remember which features belong to which home.

·         When selecting a home, look beyond cosmetics. Make sure the home is in good physical condition and that you understand the cost of repairs. Man

·         Look at additional homes, even if you love the first one you see. Many times, it takes looking at several homes before you find the one that is really right for you.

·         As your Agent, I’ll check with you regularly. Keeping in contact allows us to establish a good rapport, and helps me learn how to help you effectively.

·         Make sure you don’t pay too much for your new home. As a real estate expert in this area, I help people negotiate and make home purchase decisions every day. I can help you avoid costly mistakes.

Let me help you find your dream home and assure your best interests are protected throughout the entire process. Feel free to call or e-mail me with any questions you may have at any time.

What is a Comparative Market Analysis – CMA? 

No two homes are identical, which is why choosing a sales price or offer price for a home can be challenging. That’s where the comparable market analysis, or CMA, can be useful.

The CMA is a side-by-side comparison of homes for sale and homes that have recently sold in the same neighborhood and price range. This information is further sorted by data fields such as single-family or condo, the number of bedrooms, the number of baths, zip codes, and many other factors. Its purpose is to show fair market value, based on what other buyers and sellers have determined through past sales, pending sales and homes recently put on the market.

CMAs are generated by a computer program supplied by your real estate agent’s multiple listing services (MLS). The MLS is available to licensed members only, including brokers, salespeople, and appraisers, who pay dues to gain access to the service’s public and proprietary data, including tax roll information, sold transactions, and listings input by all cooperating MLS members.

Listing agents generate CMA’s for their sellers, and buyer’s agents create them for their buyers so both sides know what current market conditions are for the homes they’re interested in comparing.

How accurate are CMA’s? The CMA is a here-and-now snapshot of the market, based on the most recent data available, but it can instantly be rendered obsolete by a new listing, or a change of status in a home with the same criteria.

Why? The market is constantly changing – new listings, pending sales, closed sales, price reductions, and expired listings.

CMA’s can vary widely, depending on the knowledge and skill of the person inputting the search parameters to the software as well as the number and type of data fields that are chosen. That means some features may not be included.

As informative as the CMA is, it should only be used as a tool and should not substitute for your real estate professional’s knowledge and advice.

The Earnest Money Deposit

The earnest money deposit is an important part of the home buying process. It tells the seller you are a committed buyer, and it helps fund your down payment.

Without earnest money, you could make the offer on many homes, essentially taking them off the market until you decided which one you liked best. Sellers rarely accept offers without deposits.

Assuming that all goes well and your offer is accepted by the seller, the earnest money will go toward the down payment and closing costs. In many circumstances, you can get most of your deposit back if you discover something that you don’t like about the home.

How Much Should You Put Down in the Earnest Money Deposit?

The amount you’ll pay for the earnest money deposit will depend on a few factors, such as policies and limitations in your state, the current real estate market, and what the seller requires. On average, however, you can expect to hand over 1-2% of the total purchase price as earnest money.

In some real estate markets, you may end up putting down more or less than the average amount. In a real estate market where homes aren’t selling quickly, the seller may only require 1% or less for the earnest money deposit. In markets where demand is high, the seller may ask for a higher deposit, perhaps as much as 2-3%. You can sometimes win a bid if you give the seller a large deposit. In fact, the seller may be willing to come down in price a little if you make a bigger deposit.

When Do You Pay the Earnest Money, and Who Holds It?

In most cases, after your offer is accepted and you sign the purchase agreement, you give your earnest money deposit to the title company. Always check the credentials of the firm or broker taking the deposit and verify that the funds will be held in escrow.

After turning over the deposit, the funds are held in an Escrow account until the home sale is in the final stages. Once everything is ready, the funds are released from escrow and applied to your down payment at closing.

Can You Get Your Earnest Money Back?

To be on the safe side, make sure the purchase agreement covers how a refund would be handled. Keep in mind that even if you are pre-approved for a mortgage loan, you can be declined when you apply for one. In such cases, standard contracts allow you to recover your earnest money deposit. You can also usually get your money back if you find problems with the property.

If the deal falls through, a small cancellation fee is usually taken out of the deposit, but the remainder remains in escrow. Whoever holds the deposit determines whether you should get the money back under the terms of the purchase agreement. Make sure that the purchase agreement covers how a refund is handled.

Having trouble deciding?

7 Factors to help you decide between 2 homes

Cost. There’s more to consider than just the price tag of the home – like how much will you need to spend on maintenance and utilities, or how much will homeowner’s insurance be on each home.

Space. Not just the overall square footage, but think about the size of each bedroom, yards, and whether or not your family is likely to grow over the next decade

Community. Evaluate the school districts, public transit, parks, and crime statistics of each

Condition. Does one house need more upgrades or repairs than the other?

ROI. Consider the likelihood of each property to accrue value

Logistics. Compare your daily commute from each – can you save significantly more gas, time and money from one home over the other?

Add-on-fees. What are the HOA dues, if any, on each home?

Gilma Andersen at Windermere Prestige Properties Cell: 702-742-0969  Email: