Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ - Buying Property in Santa Fe, NM

How does the process of searching for homes work? How do I make an offer? Check out the questions and answers below for an overall summary of the process.

What can a buyer's agent do for me?


  • A buyer's agent's goal is to find the best home available to meet your needs, and represent your interests. A listing agent's main goal is to sell their listing, and get the seller the best price possible.
  • Agents work on commission. If you buy a house, the seller will pay the buyer's agent's commission.  If you do not buy a property, the buyer's agent does not get paid.
  • We can help you get pre-qualified by giving you lender recommendations.
  • We research homes and neighborhoods that meet your criteria.
  • We help to define and identify the types of property that would be a good fit for you based on your criteria.
  • We get additional info and documentation on homes you are interested in.
  • We schedule showings and arrange to take you to see properties and neighborhoods you are interested in.
  • We tell you about known defects in properties you may be interested in.
  • Before writing an offer, we will give you the best data available to help you to determine the best offer price.
  • We'll prepares a written offer on your behalf.
  • We'll negotiate with seller's agent to get the best possible price for you.
  • We'll arrange the inspection, and meet the inspector at the property to let him/her in.
  • We'll manage and negotiate Inspection Objections between buyer and seller.
  • We coordinate all paperwork between buyer, seller, the lender and the title company.
  • We'll put together the contract, lisase wih the seller's agent, the lender, the inspector and the title company to ensure a smooth transaction.
  • PLEASE NOTE:  All the listings you see on this website are not necessarily mine - they are fed through my website from the Santa Fe Association of Realtors MLS. All listings will have a notation under the main picture which indicates who the listing agent. As a buyer's agent, I am able to show you ANY house that is in the Santa Fe MLS!

Why do I need to get pre-qualified by a lender before seeing properties?


  • Before going out to see properties with your realtor, it is important to get pre-qualified by a lender. That way, if you see a house you love and want to make an offer, you will be ready with a pre-qualification letter to submit with the offer. Without this letter from the lender, sellers will not consider your offer serious or credible and may just dismiss it.
  • Contact a lender to make sure that you pre-qualify for a loan. If you need the names of some lenders, I would be happy to give you the contact information. Getting pre-qualified doesn't take long, and it will save you time and aggravation in the long run. With some lenders, you can even apply online.
  • A lender will need to take a look at your credit history. Lenders have minimum credit scores that need to be met before lending money for a house.
  • You might think that you can afford a certain amount, only to learn you have to look at homes that are a lot lower than you expected. Conversely, maybe you can qualify for more than you thought, and your dream house just became more attainable. Looking at homes that you could never qualify for is not a good use of your time.

I want to see some properties. How does this work?


  • Once we have determined the properties you want to see based on price and criteria, I will schedule them for a specific day and time.
  • Please note that all showing appointments need to be made at least 24 hours in advance, so the sellers have time to make arrangements, get their property ready for the showing, and then leave the property during the time we will be there.
  • In general, showings can not be set up at the last minute unless the property is vacant.
  • Please be on time for appointments.  All properties are scheduled for a specific time period. If you are going to be late, please call me and let me know so that I can alert the sellers.
  • If you are already working with other realtors, please use them to show you properties you would like to see.

I want to write an offer. How does it work?


  • It's important to realize that an offer is an official, legal document. Once we write an offer and it is accepted by the seller, any changes will need to be signed off on by both parties.
  • Time is of the essence:  This is in the contract to convey the fact that we must stick to the dates stipulated in the contract, or we could be in breach of contract.
  • When submitting an offer, you will need to also submit a pre-qualification letter (if you are getting a loan). If you are paying cash, within 5 days of the contract being accepted, you will need to supply "proof of funds"
  • Once the offer has been submitted, in most cases, we have 24 hours to respond to any counter offers. It is important to stay on top of your email / phone calls during this period.
  • All the dates in the contract start as soon as the contract is agreed to by both the sellers and the buyer.
  • All contracts have contingencies. These include Financing, Insurance, Inspection, Appraisal, and Survey. Once all the contingencies have been satisfied and removed, you will not longer get your earnest money back. However, if for some reason, a contingency can not be removed (you can't get financing for example), the contract can be terminated, and you will get your earnest money back.
  • Once the contract is accepted, all the contractual dates kick in and I will send you a visual calendar with key dates.
  • If you are here in Santa Fe, we can write the offer at the office, and have you sign it there. If you want to wait until you get home, I can send all the documents to you electronically, and have you sign via "Docusign" which allows you to sign the docs online without printing them out and faxing or scanning them back to me. Very convenient!

What are the fees I have to pay at closing when I buy a house?


Mortage Fees

Lenders and brokers will include a list of fees in their Good Faith Estimates
that a borrower will pay when he closes on a home. Lenders and brokers may try to tack on extra costs, so look closely at application and processing fees that could be bogus. When working with a mortgage broker, ask them about they calculate a yield spread premium. Each lender and broker will have their own list of fees, but here are the most common:

  • Appraisal fee: the cost to have an appraisal of the home for the loan underwriter, usually around $300 – 500.
  • Origination fee: The cost to create your loan, usually 1% of its total value.
  • Processing fee: A fee for all the tasks involved in creating your loan such as ordering the title
    and homeowners-insurance.
  • Underwriting fee: The cost involved in verifying all your documents, title, insurance and the appraisal
    to finalize your loan. When working with a mortgage broker, make sure there isn’t a charge for both a broker underwriting fee and a lender underwriting fee. A broker’s processing department will send the loan to the lender for underwriting, so this fee should only be paid once.
  • Flood certification fee: All lenders must certify that the property you are purchasing is not located in a flood zone by checking the tax records. If the property is in a flood zone, the lender requires the borrower to purchase flood insurance.
  • Tax service fee: A maintenance charge ensuring that tax information from the assessor’s office is sent to both the home owner and the lender.

Excerpt from the Barker Real Estate Website

For any additional questions, please feel free to call me at

505.795.9512 or email me at



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Nancy Chiriboga | Associate Broker | Santa Fe Properties | 505.982.4466
1000 Paseo de Peralta | Santa Fe, NM 87501 | 505.795.9512 |
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Nancy Chiriboga, e-Pro Certified Realtor in Santa Fe, NM