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| Process Overview |



Buying a home is a big decision and there is a lot to learn. Based on the Bruder Real Estate Team's 30 years of experience in helping Las Cruces Home Buyers, we have prepared this Reference Guide  to provide you with the information, tools, and references you will need to help you find the home that is just right for you.

We have divided the entire home buying process into 10-Steps. As you follow the steps, you will chart a personalized map that will help you find, purchase and finance a home that meets your wants and needs.

As you get further along in the proces you may want to use your VIP Access Login or Create a VIP Account to get all the details that go into the homebuying process by accessing our full step-by-step comprehensive Buyer's Guide, as well as our Ultimate Guide to Home Finance.

The 10 Steps

Step 1. Are You Ready?

The link above goes to our NAV BAR PAGE which discusses the three factors for you to consider in deciding whether you are really ready to be a homeowner:

  • Is it better for YOU to Rent or Buy?
  • Have you considered the Pros vs. the Cons of Homeowership?
  • Can you afford do be a Homeowner?


Step 2. Get  Your Own Las Cruces Buyer's Agent REALTOR

  • It's critical that you make the right decision about who will handle what is probably the single largest financial investment you will ever make.

  • Be sure that your Realtor is your "BUYER'S REPRESENTATIVE."Your Buyer's Representative works for you, the buyer, and has your best interest in mind throughout the entire Las Cruces real estate process. A real Buyer's Representative is not influenced by any seller, builder, or by any incentives to sell you a specific home. You and your wants and needs come first.

  • If you have chosen well, you can consider your Buyer's Representative as your Trusted Advisor, Skilled Negotiator, and Expert Facilitator.

  • With a Buyer's Representative, you should get the home of your dreams at a price and terms that substantially exceeds all of your expectations

For more details click on "Step 2. Get Your Own Buyer's Agent REALTOR above."

Step 3. Get Loan Pre-Qualification & Pre-Approval

The link above goes to our NAV BAR Home Financing Page which will provide an overview of the financing process.

  • To get pre-qualified, you give a mortgage specialist information on your income, debts, and perhaps a quick credit check. That means the resulting estimate of the maximum mortgage you can obtain is exactly that - an estimate.

  • Pre-approval is different: you must authorize your lender to obtain detailed credit reports, verify your income and debts, obtain employment history, and determine your income-to-debt ratio along with other underwriting steps. This puts you much closer to obtaining a loan and locking in a rate and term.

  • You'll enjoy an advantage over other prospective buyers if you've gotten yourself pre-approved for a loan before you even start your home search or at the very least early in your home search.

  • Pre-approval generally means that you are good to go, subject to the lender's approval of your chosen house being approved as security for the loan. The appraisal of the property you want to purchase is one of the last crucial steps because it validates the home's value for the lender.

  • The above process allows you to focus your home search in the correct price range, saving a lot of wasted time and frustration, but it can also give you an edge when competing with other offers on a home that you find. It essentially makes you a cash buyer.


Step 4. Look At Homes

Before you look for your dream home you need to understand these 4 points:

1.    You need to get Pre-Qualified so that you know the price of the home you can afford to buy, and limiting your home search to that price range.

 2.    You can be sure that your dream home is available, because within every price range homes there are available homes that include what you are looking for including: age, square footage, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, interior and exterior styles and designs, types and arrangement of living areas, lot sizes and landscaping.  

 3.    Your wants and needs are very specific to you, and vary as widely as the available housing options.

 4.    A good Las Cruces Realtor working with an informed Buyer will reduce all of these wants and needs to writing on a "Home Hunter Worksheet" like this one. There is no question that this is the key to looking for, and finding, the best possible home for you.  As part of this process, you must that prioritize your wants vs. your needs, and what trade-offs you are willing to make since no home will be absolutely perfect.

NOW, You Can Start Looking At Homes.

If you have selected your Buyer Agent REALTOR, and together you have established your home buying criteria, these are entered into the Multiple Listing Service Computer Database, and you will receive E-mail updates of all the homes that meet your criteria as soon as they come on the market.

You are in charge. You can pick whichever of these homes you want to look at, or you can adjust your criteria to get listings that are closer to what you are looking for.   Your REALTOR should be available at your convenience to show you all homes you have decided that you want to see.

Step 5. Choose A Home


There's no doubt that choosing a home is a big decision and you want to do it right. How do you decide if this is just the right house for you? 

Probably the best approach is to look at as many homes as possible that appear to be what you are looking for. some these homes you will reject right away, but others you will like. Use your Home Hunter Worksheet as journal recording pluses and minuses of the homes that you are considering.,

You should then narrow your choices to just a very few. You and your REALTOR® can then meet and go over the specific information about each home, and help go over sample offesr to purchase each of these finalists. Once you see these you will be better able pick one home you actually want make an offer to buy

A word of warning:
Before making a legally binding offer you want to be sure you can afford this home. Now is the time you will be very happy that you have gone through the pre-qualification / pre-approval process. Pre-approval is not a loan commitment, but it is a reasoned, careful analysis of what you can afford.


Step 6. Get Financing

The link above goes to our NAV BAR Home Financing Page which will provide an overview of the financing process.  This is the basic information which you need for this essential step.

Many buyers consider the financing process as complex and confusing. If you just understand that this is a multi-step process within the overall  home buying process, and take each step in turn, you will remain organized and reach your goal with as little stress and confusion as possible.

The Step in the Financing process are:
Step 1. Determine How Much Can You Afford?
Step 2. Selecting A Lender
Step 3. Selecting A Loan
Step 4. Shop. Compare. Negotiate.
Step 5. Loan Pre-Qualification & Pre Approval
Step 6. Final Loan Approval and Funding

This is the time you will want to use your VIP Access Login or Create a VIP Account to get all the details, worksheets, calculators and reference resources  that we provide in our Ultimate Guide to Home Finance. We hope this will enable you to successfully obtain the best home loan for you in terms of lender, type of loan, and the best interest rate and terms.

Step 7. Make An Offer

In New Mexico standardized forms are used to make an offer to purchase a property. These forms allow the buyer to insert the price, terms, and conditions under which they are willing to purchase that property.Then your REALTOR-Agent will present that offer to the Seller or the Seller's Agent.

Prior to submitting an Offer To Purchase you and your agent should work together to determine an offering Price, terms, and conditions. While most buyers are concerned with the offering price,  in some cases, the terms and condition can be more important. They can represent thousands of dollars in additional value and savings for buyers.  An offer with poorly thought out  terms can add thousands in additional costs.

How much should you pay?
You will hear many theories about the amount of your offer as a percentage of asking price, or it should be some percentage below what you are really willing to pay. You need to have a Realtor with very up to date knowledge about the "Market," and an offer should be the fair Market Value of a property. That is really the way that you get the best home at the best possible price and terms - not by any crazy formulas.

How do you make an offer?
You and your Las Cruces REALTOR complete the  Offer to Purchase."
Be sure that it accurately reflects the price, terms and conditions under which you are willing to purchase that property. Once it is presented and signed by the seller it is a legally binding Purchase Contract.

When you select your Buyer's Agent Realtor Representative you need to be sure they are a "Skilled Negotiator."  Because, now that the offer is presented, the seller may accept your offer, reject it, or make a counter-offer.  It is important that your Realtor  negotiate a final contract the seller accepts with price, terms and conditions most favorable to you.

  Any change in a Buyer's offer by the seller is considered to be a "counter-offer." Until both parties sign the Offer and all Counter-offers there is no contract of sale, and another Buyer can step in and present an offer, and the Seller can accept that offer instead of yours.

You should be aware that many counter-offers can go back and forth until a "deal" is struck between the parties. Again, you depend heavily on the skilled negotiations of your Realtor.

Once both parties sign the offer and all the counter-offers you are "Under Contract."


Step 8. Contract to Closing

The time between a signed contract and final closing is known as Transaction Managment. This is when you want your REALTOR or Transaction Coordinator for the TEAM to be an Expert Facilitator.

There are many things that must be done to meet all the terms in the Contract, and each has to be done according to a strict timetable in order to assure your transaction is sucessfully completed.

The Transaction Manager must take care of:

Financing -  They have to make sure that the lender and the buyer and seller all arrive at closing with the correct funding.

Surveys and appraisals

Inspections and Insurance coverage

Structural inspections / General Inspection determine if there are material physical or mechanical defects and whether repairs and replacements are likely to be required. Other inspections are often needed - septic, well, termite, radon, mold, lead based paint.

Title insurance:  Purchased with a one-time fee at closing, title insurance protects owners in the event that title to the property is found to be invalid. Coverage includes "lenders" policies, which protect buyers up to the mortgage value of the property, and "owners" coverage, which protects owners up to the purchase price. Typically the Sellers pay for the Owner's Title Policy and the Buyers pay for the Lenders Policy. Title Insurance Details


Homeowners'' insurance: Homeowner''s insurance is rrequired by the lender and protects the buyer as well with fire, theft and liability coverage.The Insurance Institute provides this explanation of homeowner's insurance:

Flood insurance:: Generally required in high-risk flood-prone areas, Flood insurance is provided by FEMA. Everything you need to know and FAQ's can be found at


Home warranties:
Home warranties bought from third parties by home builders (for new construction) are generally designed to provide several forms of protection: workmanship for the first year, mechanical problems such as plumbing and wiring for the first two years, and structural defects for up to 10 years (2-10). Many homebuilders only provide a one-year warranty, but some do provide the 2-10 warrantee. You need to check.

Home warranties for existing homes are typically one-year service agreements. In the event of a covered defect or breakdown, the warranty firm will step in and make the repair or cover its cost.  This Website provides  informative articles about homeowners warranties.


Step 9. Closing

The closing process is also known as "settlement" or "escrow," is increasingly computerized and in many cases, buyers and sellers don''t need to attend a specific event; signed paperwork can be sent to the closing agent via overnight delivery.

Settlement is a brief process where all of the necessary paperwork needed to complete the transaction is signed.  Either in person or via mailings. Each party completing their papers separately.

Title to the property is transferred from seller to buyer. The buyer receives the keys and the seller receives payment for the home. From the amount credited to the seller, the closing agent subtracts money to pay off the existing mortgage and other transaction costs.

Deeds, loan papers, and other documents are prepared, signed and filed with local property record offices.

A Complete explanation of the Closing Process can be found using these two links:


Step 10. Moving Guide PLUS What to do before and after moving in.

You still need to move in. Visit our Relocation / Moving Resources Pages where you will find Moving Guides, checklists,  and information  to assist you move to Las Cruces.

There are several more steps you''ll want to take either before your move or shortly after.

* Those papers you received at settlement are extremely valuable especially for tax purposes.

* Utilities such as water, sewage, gas, electric, phone, cable, internet, etc. need to be turned on and billing transferred to your name. For more in formation see our Essential area Services Reference

* About two weeks after closing, contact your local property records office and confirm that your deed has been officially recorded. Mistakes happen .

* For Security and for insurance purposes, many owners make a photo or video record of the home and their possessions for insurance purposes

* You want to obtain fire, theft and liability insurance.

Lastly, enjoy your home. Owning real estate involves contracts, loans, and taxes, but ultimately what''s most important is that home ownership is a wonderful accomplishment. Enjoy!


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Evelyn Bruder
Evelyn Bruder Las Cruces Real Estate Dream Team
(575) 650-7224

141 Roadrunner Parkway Suite 141
Las Cruces, NM 88011

Steinborn & Associates Real Estate (575) 522-3698

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