Find a good real estate agent. Working with an experienced agent is an important first step. It pays to work with an expert who knows how to navigate changes and challenges in the housing market.
Work with a loan officer you trust. Choosing a local lender with a proven track record for quality service makes a difference. Your loan officer can guide you through the financial aspects of buying a home and applying for a mortgage. They can help figure out how much home you can afford and prepare all the documents you need early in the process
Get a preapproval letter. Getting preapproved for a mortgage puts you in a strong position to make an offer on a home. A preapproval letter from a reputable financial institution shows that you’re a qualified buyer ready to close the deal
Set your priorities. Work with your real estate agent to identify the top features you want in a home - and where you’re willing to compromise
Be ready to move fast. Your real estate agent has access to the latest listings and can notify you when new homes hit the market. When you find a home that meets your criteria, be ready to act quickly to make an offer.
Make a strong offer. A good real estate agent will find out how much homes are selling for in the neighborhood and reach out to the seller’s agent to find out what’s important to the seller. Doing this research can give you an edge when it comes to making a competitive offer. It’s a good idea to discuss your strategy for a counteroffer so you’re prepared for a range of scenarios.
Be patient. Resist the urge to make decisions based on emotion or get carried away in a bidding war. Decide on your maximum bid ahead of time and be prepared to walk away if bidding goes beyond your financial comfort zone. Sometimes waiting can give you the perspective you need to move forward when the time is right.