Start by talking to a lender and getting pre-qualified. Pre-qualified means, based on the information you give to a lender, they will tell you approximately how much of a house you can afford.  What good is it to look at a $400,000 house and find out you can only afford a $200,000 house.  How frustrating!  One step better, is getting pre-approved by a lender.  This means you actually turn in all your information, paystubs,W-2 forms, bank statements, etc…
With all this information turned in, the lender will than turn around and pre-approve your loan, almost guaranteeing to the seller that your loan will go through.  Trust me, when I’m sitting across from a seller , presenting your offer, I have been known to get them to come down quite a bit on the price based upon my buyers pre-approval.


Talk about a real estate agent's biggest peeve, someone who will not commit to one agent!  You will get back what commitment you put into your agent.  If you don’t commit to one agent, none of them are going to give you the best service.   When my client tells me they are committed and motivated, they in return get me looking aggressively for a property.  If it means writing an offer on Sunday at midnight to get my client a home, then that's what I'll do!


Once you’ve been pre-approved, its time to pick a good agent. Hmmm… what is a good agent?  The following are all my opinion.

  • Communication!  Knowing what is going on, good or bad, is so important.  My clients have joked with me they will miss my nightly phone calls after they're settled in their new home.  I keep my clients informed either through e-mail or phone calls.
  • An agent who presents offers in person when possible.  This has so many times, been an asset to my clients.   Bringing personal pictures, telling stories about little Johnny playing in his new backyard, all these things set your offer apart from the others.  Most sellers are human and respond to a presented offer much better than a faxed offer.
  • Someone who knows how to get tough when needed.  That's why you hire an agent.  A good agent makes sure that their buyers do not get taken advantage of.  I take this very personally and fight hard for my buyers.  Remember an agent should act in YOUR interest.