You actually have two options. First would be to get pre-approved by a reputable lender so that you could be ready to make an offer should you decide to purchase that particular home. You could also, as Leonardo suggest, locate a top agent. However, the quandary in both scenarios is to be able to determine just who is "reputable" or "top". Word of mouth isn't always the best solution. My recommendation would be to go with the agent first. They are knowledgeable enough to be able to recommend a great mortgage lender. In order to find that great agent, interview several. Ask the following: How many years have you been an agent? (not a huge determinant, however, you won't want to work with someone only a few years in the business), how many homes have they sold to buyers in the last 12 months?, what professional designations have they earned (look for ABR, CRS,GRI) and how many hours a week do they work at real estate, in other words, are they full time? Will you be able to call them when you have questions and actually get them? These will all help you find the right agent. Then get pre-approved by their recommended lender and allow them to help you with your purchase. Good luck!