For home buyers, buying a home will probably rank as one of biggest personal investments one can make. Being organized and in control will contribute significantly to getting the best home deal possible with the least amount of stress. It’s important to anticipate the steps required to successfully achieve your housing goals and a plan of action that gets you there.

Before you can build a plan of action, take the time to lay the groundwork for your decision-making process.

Finding A Lender and Getting Pre-Approved

It used to be that buyers could go out house shopping and when they found their dream home, then they would go get pre-approved. However, in today’s market, that has proven to be one of the least effective methods for landing that dream home. Most lenders can pre-qualify buyers over the phone. Based on general questions such as income, debt, assets, and credit history, lenders can estimate what a buyer would qualify for. However, being pre-qualified and pre-approved are two different things. Pre-approval means you have applied for a mortgage; you have filled out the mortgage application, you have received a copy of your credit report, employment and assets have been verified. When you are pre-approved you know exactly the maximum amount the loan can be.

A pre-qualification letter is not verified and in essence, does not count for much if you are competing with other buyers that that been pre-approved. When you are pre-approved you and the sellers know how much house you can afford. It gives you credibility and lets the seller know that you will qualify for the loan to purchase their property.

Use A Buyers Agent

It is important for you to choose an experienced Realtor who is there for you. Your agent should be actively finding you potential homes, keeping you informed of the entire process, negotiating on your behalf, and answering all your questions with competence and speed. First, find an agent that represents you and not the seller.