Buying a home is the biggest purchase most people ever make, so it understandably comes with some apprehension! First you want to be sure that you are comfortable with the agent you choose, because you will be working together A LOT and need to trust each other. You can meet with a few agents and see who is a good fit for you. Don't feel that you have to sign a contract the first time you meet them, but be honest if you are talking to a few different agents.
As for the process itself, I always recommend all buyers start by talking to a mortgage specialist about getting preapproved, as Christina said. This serves you in a few ways:
1. when you find something you love, you'll be ready to make an offer (you will need to submit a preapproval with your offer to prove to a seller that you have the financial ability to buy their home);
2. This helps you narrow down the price range you should be looking in. You wouldn't want to be looking at 300k homes and find out later you only qualify for 200k... the homes in your price range might not stack up to the "ideal" you saw at the higher price!
For First Time Buyers I also suggest sitting down for a First Time Buyer Consultation where you review the home buying process, from pre-approval to making an offer, inspections, settlement, and everything in between, so that you know what to expect as you move through the process.
And as for your question about which area, as you work with your agent and narrow down your style, price range, and location preferences, you will likely find pretty quickly that your list shortens and you can focus more on the area you really want!
I'd be happy to help answer any questions you have. Please give me a call or email if you would like to discuss further.
- Hilary Weinbrecht
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
Fox & Roach REALTORS
Media Home Marketing Center
601 E. Baltimore Pike
Media, PA 19063