Home Buyers Guide For Las Vegas
This step-by-step home buyer Las Vegas Guide will help you. If you are looking for Las Vegas homes for sale, there is no better place on earth for you than Las Vegas. This resort city in Nevada is famous all over the world for its casinos, gambling, nightlife, and features of entertainment. Also referred to as Sin City and Entertainment Capital of the World, Las Vegas attracts millions of tourists from all parts of the globe every year.
The Las Vegas metro is home to more than 2,227,050 + people and this population is increasing with each passing year. After all, who wouldn’t love to live a life that feels like a permanent vacation? As locals like to call it “staycation.” This article is meant to help you in buy house Las Vegas & be a guide for all home buyers in Las Vegas and the larger Las Vegas Metro Area.
The process of buying a home in Las Vegas & Henderson remains the same irrespective of the city or county where you are buying it. From the house hunt to making an offer and then going through contingencies of inspection, appraisal, and financing, you must go through all these important steps when buying a home in Las Vegas.
What really makes home buying in Las Vegas different is the competition faced by house buyers and the small numbers of inventories available to them. You need to be prepared and alert to make a move at the right time whether it is your credit, financing, or the step of making an offer for a home.
Median home prices in Las Vegas Nevada are around $300K though you may have to spend a lot more if you wish to purchase a big house in a posh locality. Once you have a rough idea of the price tag you need to prepare well so that you have the money in your bank account to pay for the down payment as well as all associated closing costs.
One thing that is important for all home buyers and not necessarily those trying to buy a home in Las Vegas is to utilize the services of a local and experienced Las Vegas realtor. Remember that you are not required to pay the fee of a buyer’s agent. His fee usually comes from the proceeds of the sale and paid by the seller of the home.
Even if you think you can find your Las Vegas dream home on your own without hiring the services of a realtor, never commit the folly of going all alone without a professional representing you. The skills, knowledge of the market, experience, and art of negotiation of a buyer’s agent prove invaluable when facing competition from other buyers in the market.
There are several steps involved in home buying processing in Las Vegas area. Understanding all these steps and remaining prepared keeps you in good stead as you know what you must do when searching for Las Vegas homes for sale.
Know your priorities and make plans accordingly
In their excitement, first-time home-buyers spend a lot of time and effort in seeing homes that they either do not have the capacity to buy or do not match their requirements. It is really a waste of time and effort that can be avoided if you know what you want in your dream home.
From price range and neighborhood to living area and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, every feature of the home should be clear in your mind before starting your house hunt. Not only does it save you and your agent’s time and effort but also keeps your home buying exercise smooth and hassle-free.
It is almost criminal to tell your agent that you should have a look at apartments after seeing many single-family homes. Similarly, visiting a few homes in the price range of $500000 and then realizing you have down payment to qualify for a home valued $300000 is a mistake that leads you nowhere when buying a home in Las Vegas.
Know your priorities and make plans accordingly to succeed in your Las Vegas home buying endeavor. You will find that the same buying exercise that can test the patience of any ordinary buyer has become a pleasant one with very high chances of success.
For many, this is the most crucial step in a home buying process. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer, experienced buyer or an investor, having a qualified professional by your side when drafting the offer letter and later negotiating on price with the seller’s agent makes the task of home buying in Las Vegas that much easier.
It doesn’t take long for anyone to realize the importance of a realtor in a home buying exercise. This battle-hardened professional is not there just to find your dream home in Las Vegas inside your budget. He will do much more than that which includes
- Making sure all legal formalities are fulfilled
- Ensuring all paperwork is duly completed
- Helping in drafting offer letter
- Negotiating with the seller’s agent on price
- Guiding you through financing
Remember, half the battle is won if you can find a local, experienced, and good quality realtor to represent you in this transaction. Take your own time in finalizing the agent as you cannot afford a hobby realtor or someone who doesn’t match your requirements. You do not buy a home every now and then.
Buying also involves spending a huge amount of money and committing to pay your lender for a long time to come. Stay away from realtors who agree to a very low commission. It is better to wait for a while than signing the contract with a second-choice realtor.
Check out the knowledge of the market, experience, and past record before finalizing a realtor to represent you in your home buying exercise in Las Vegas. Find someone with whom you are comfortable dealing with and who understands your requirements and point of view.
Look at your credit and improve if necessary
One thing that decides whether your mortgage will be cheap or costly and whether you will even get a mortgage is your own credit. Therefore, it is very important for you to take a close look at your latest credit report and take corrective action if you find that your credit is not good enough to get a low-interest rate from a lender.
Many home-buyers in Las Vegas go ahead with their house hunt without checking their credit first. They believe they can get a low-interest mortgage. They also believe they can get the required money for the purchase of a house for sale in Las Vegas. But their dreams are shattered when they find that the lender is not providing as much loan as they need to buy their dream home in Las Vegas.
Even a slight increase in the mortgage rate can translate into higher EMIs that can make the mortgage affordable. Paying these EMIs for a very long time period also earns the buyer pays a very high price for his home.
Do not apply for a mortgage when you feel your credit is below average. Instead, you should take corrective steps to make sure that your credit improves over a period. It is possible to see your credit improving when you start to follow fiscal discipline. Pay off costly debts like credit card balances and start to pay your bills on time.
Improving your credit can be a time-consuming exercise. You need to exercise patience all this while and wait till the time when your credit has increased sufficiently to get a low-interest mortgage from a lender.
Secure pre-approval from a lender
If you are a first-time home-buyer, chances are that you have not heard about the pre-approval letter. Many buyers forget, ignore, or simply do not know about this important document that can make their home buying endeavor smooth and successful.
A preapproval letter is simply a document issued by a lender which states that the lender is ready in principle to disburse a certain amount of mortgage to you at a certain rate of interest for the purchase of a house in Las Vegas. To secure this letter, you need to submit your financial statements to the lender.
The lender also pulls your latest credit report before issuing the pre-approval letter. With this document in your hand, you can move ahead in your house hunt with confidence.
You know the amount of money lender is ready to disburse. Also, your offer is taken seriously by the sellers as they know you have your financing in order. They give your offer preference over the offers of other buyers.
These are the reasons why you must obtain pre-approval letter from a lender before starting your house hunt in Las Vegas.
Start your house hunt and finalize the home
Now that you know your credit and obtained a pre-approval letter from a lender, you actually feel confident when starting your house hunt. You have a clear idea about the kind of home you want for your family and in which neighborhoods of Las Vegas.
You also have a rough idea of the price you must pay for such a home. With a qualified and experienced realtor by your side, you see a few homes and compare their features, pros, and cons along with their asking price to decide which one is most suitable for your family’s requirements.
Please keep in mind that you will not get a second chance when buying a house in Las Vegas once you have signed the contract with the owner. So, make sure that you have understood everything clearly from the asking price to the features and amenities that you will get in the house that you have finalized for your family.
Experts say that they key to selection of right home is ‘knowing what you want’ in your home.
If you know it must be an apartment with X bedrooms and X bathrooms in a certain locality of Las Vegas, you will never become confused between an apartment and a single-family home available at a similar price point.
Make a list of must-have features in your new home before starting to look at homes available for sale in Las Vegas. These are the features that you cannot compromise upon while you also have a list of features that are desirable but also negotiable.
With more than 90% of home buyers in Las Vegas starting their search online, you are right to begin your search online on popular realty websites like Trulia or Zillow.
You can take a close look at the homes and their features and get an idea about their price tags. You can take video tours wherever provided and get to know about the neighborhoods in general.
However, the house hunt becomes serious only when you start to view homes in person. You may be a little surprised by how the same homes look in real life than they do in photos and videos on realty websites. You also realize that homes can differ a lot even if their details are nearly the same on the internet. This is where the knowledge and experience of your realtor come into play.
Request your agent for a showing only when you feel that the house comes pretty close to be your dream home in Las Vegas. You know which one is good enough to make an offer upon when you take pictures and note down important features of all the houses that you see personally.
No one will tell you to take pictures of the interiors and the exteriors of different homes you are visiting on the home sites. But it is a fact that it is literally impossible to visualize and compare the features of different homes you have visited after some time.
If you have noted down important details and taken pictures, it becomes easier for you to compare and decide in favor of one or the other home you have seen.
Of course, your realtor helps you in making a decision when it becomes hard for you to choose between two or three homes. He understands your requirements and he is in a better position to finalize a home-based upon his knowledge of the neighborhood and the house.
Making an offer after finalizing a home
Once you feel you have found the dream home that you have been searching for your family for a long time, it is time to act so that you can realize your dream. You cannot take a long time thinking about which home is a better choice for your family.
Las Vegas is a hot and vibrant housing market with strong demand from buyers, many of whom happen to be cash-rich investors. In order to wrest the house, form their claws, it is important that you make a tempting offer for the house that the seller finds it hard to turn down.
Making an offer is a seemingly simple task where you draft a letter specifying the price at which you are ready to buy the house along with other terms and conditions of purchase.
How do you beat others in the line when you are offering the same or even a smaller amount of money for the purchase of the property? Well, the answer lies in the skills and knowledge of your realtor for whom it is just another task in the office.
If your realtor is experienced and understands the sentiments of the housing market, he will help you in drafting the offer letter in such a way that the seller agrees to it. How does he achieve this objective? Well, a good quality realtor knows that while money is most important for the seller, he also wants to sell his property to someone who is reliable and honest. All sellers want the exercise to be quick, smooth, and hassle-free.
This is when your pre-approval letter comes handy as it conveys the impression that you can arrange financing quickly and easily to pay the asking price to the seller.
Your realtor will word the offer letter in such a way that it appears attractive to the seller. He will keep minimum contingencies in this offer letter to reassure the seller about the smooth and quick completion of the transaction.
Go through the clauses included in the offer letter by your realtor so that you know what you are expected to do and in what time frame to successfully close the deal.
As houses for sale in Las Vegas are lesser in numbers than the number of buyers, a lot depends upon the offer letter that is written by the buyer. If your offer is rejected or the seller comes up with a counteroffer, you must be prepared to take the next step.
The best scenario of course is when the seller accepts your offer as you must sign the sale contract with the seller.
If the seller rejects your offer, you cannot do much except to move forward and prepare offer letter for another property. If the seller comes up with a counteroffer, it means the stage is set for a round of negotiations where you either agree to his counteroffer or present your own counteroffer.
This is where the negotiation skills of your realtor come to the fore as he deals with the seller’s agent to lower the price and accept your counteroffer.
Securing the finances to buy a house
As soon as negotiations are over and the seller agrees to your suggested price tag, it is time to sign the contract of sale with the seller. This contract clearly mentions the date by which you will arrange the financing to close the deal.
You must go to your chosen lender to initiate the process of mortgage. So many home buyers have failed to arrange the financing in time to fulfill the contingency of financing mentioned in their sale contract.
This is the reason why you need to work with people who you can trust. You know that you need to fulfill all the terms and conditions of the contract according to the timeline mentioned in it to be able to close the deal successfully.
Any delay in disbursal of funds or shortfall in the amount can prove disastrous for your home buying exercise as the seller has the right to walk out of the deal signed with you.
Home inspection and appraisal
Inspection and appraisal are two significant steps in the process of home buying. A home inspection is an exercise that is necessary to get a clear picture of the condition of the structure and features of the house you are buying. This exercise is carried out by a neutral professional and his fee is also paid by the buyer.
The sale contract signed by you and the seller mentions the date by which the contingency of home inspection needs to be completed. You must contact a qualified home inspector and request him to conduct the inspection of the house.
You can accompany the inspector during this inspection and ask questions about the condition of the house. However, you must wait for his detailed report to know the real condition of the structure and features of the house.
If the report of the home inspector does not reveal any big flaws on the structure and features, you can move ahead and close the deal with the seller.
However, if the report contains adverse remarks and observations, it is a red flag for you, and you have to decide whether to continue ahead with the deal or walk out of it.
Your sale contract gives you the freedom to walk out of the deal signed with the seller if you are not satisfied with the findings of the home inspector. After all, you need not buy a home that you believe will require costly and time-consuming repairs in the near future.
However, if you feel that you can go ahead with the deal, you can ask the owner to undertake the necessary repairs before the close of the deal. If he agrees to such repairs or lowers the purchase price so that you can undertake repairs on your own later, you can choose to allow the deal to move forward as per the mutually agreed schedule.
Home Appraisal is another important part of the process of home buying. It is demanded by the lender to make sure that the market value of the house it is financing is not less than the money it is disbursing to the buyer.
This appraisal is done by a neutral party and his fee is usually paid by the buyer. You must pay the fee of the appraiser before the close of the deal or agree to this amount added to your mortgage.
House Appraisal is important mainly for the lender but there have been instances where the deal has fallen through because of the appraisal value of the house turning out to be less than the sale price agreed upon by the seller and the buyer.
For example, if the lender has agreed to finance 80% of the purchase price of a house that is $500000, the lender pays $400000 while the buyer pays a down payment of $100000.
If, the value of the house turns out to be $400000 during the appraisal, the lender finances only 80% of this value which is $320000 and there is a shortfall of $100000 that must be fulfilled by the buyer and the seller. If no compromise is reached between the seller and the buyer, the deal falls through.
If both home inspection and appraisal go off smoothly as per the plan, you can breathe easily and move ahead to close the deal on time.
ACCESS THE LAS VEGAS MLS
Closing the deal on you Las Vegas home
This is the last and the most important step of the home buying process. You and the seller sign all the necessary legal documents and the ownership of the house is transferred in your name. The lender issues the check in the name of the seller and you get the keys of the house.
As close of the deal involves transfer of ownership and taking the possession of the house, it is important to complete all the steps involved with close diligently.
You can ask your agent to be present by your side at the time of closing. His presence calms down your nerves. He also makes sure that all paperwork is done, and all legal formalities are completed.
In addition to singing all the forms and legal documents, you also pay various closing costs at the close of the deal. You also pay various kinds of fees associated with the transfer of ownership records.
It is at the time of closing that you receive the title of the house and all other documents related to purchase of the property.
Get title search done by a professional title search company
This is a historical review of the documents related to ownership of the house that you are about to buy. It is a very necessary exercise to make sure the title is clear, and you do not face the problem of claims over the property by third parties in the future.
Many real estate experts also recommend buying title insurance in addition to title search to make sure you have not hurt financially in case the title search was faulty or the records of past ownership were full of errors.
Final walk through
Before the close of the deal, you are given a chance to take a close look at the house from inside so as to make sure that it is in a good condition similar to what you saw at the time of signing the sale deed with the owner.
If you see something that is unusual or a flaw that was not brought to your attention earlier by the seller, this is your final chance to get it rectified. Once you make the final payment, you will have no upper hand over the seller, and he will not listen to your complaints and grievances.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is average credit score is needed to buy a house in Las Vegas Nevada?
Buying a house in Las Vegas or Henderson? You will need a minimum credit score of at least 620 or above to buy a house in Clark County Nevada. The higher your credit score the better rate you will receive.
How much is a down payment on a house in Las Vegas?
The average house buyer in Las Vegas will need a down payment of approximately 3.5% down of the homes sale price. That number may vary depending on your loan type & credit score. These are some major factors for requirements to buy a house in Las Vegas Nevada.
What are the best months to buy a house in Las Vegas?
On average, the best time to buy a home in the Las Vegas area is December, late summer, or fall. You can get an amazing deal on your Las Vegas dream home if you can to time it right.
What is the average price for a home in Las Vegas?
The average price for buying a house in Las Vegas is approximately $300,000 You can still find homes & condos for sale in Las Vegas priced well below that.
Is it expensive to live in Las Vegas?
On average Las Vegas valley is not too expensive compared nationwide. The Las Vegas strip is the most expensive part of town. Buying a home close to the Las Vegas strip may be more expensive than home further away from the strip area. Henderson, Summerlin, Southwest Las Vegas, Northwest Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Spring Valley, Enterprise are more affordable.