Preapproval has got to be the first step. That way, you know what you can afford, what to look for and where to look. Once you have you preapproval, interview some buyer agents with the intention of finding the agent that will listen, knowledgeable of the market, and above all else professional. Find someone you're willing to have a relationship with, because you're going to be spending a lot of time together. Above all esle, make sure you maintain your preapproval status during your home search, which means maintaining your credit score.