Are you going to be a homeowner? Congratulations...let's get started. Find a realtor. Make sure the realtor is full-time and has time for you! Experience is important. You are new so select someone who has experienced up and down markets; lists and sells home; knows lenders, vendors and knows how to communicate will serve you well as you travel through your process. Ask for recommendations. Visit open houses and by all means ask questions and check out the person's website.
You cannot purchase a home without a prequalification or pre-approval letter. No one including the realtor or the seller will take you seriously. If the market heats up like it probably will this Spring with interest rates low and expecting to rise, many areas can expect to see multiple offers on good homes. A strong pre-approval letter may just put you in the driver seat along with a great credit score, a decent earnest money deposit and a little flexibility.
Know the latest apps and use them. Most importantly realize that technology can only get you so far. Real Estate is still about relationships. A good experience will require a good working relationship between all parties which include realtors, buyers, sellers, lenders and other people who may be needed to complete the transaction. Ask the realtor what sets them apartment from their competition. That answer may end up getting you the home of your dreams! Finally, make the purchase a great and fun one!
Associate Broker/Accredited Stager