Hi Meg, The very first step is to get yourself pre approved for a mortgage from a reputable lender or broker. The loan officer will take some basic info, social security #, income, etc and use this information to determine how much the bank will lend you. Once you get pre approved you can now start deciding how much you want to spend and exactly what you are looking for. I am an Accredited Buyer representative and I always recommend to my buyers to make a list of absolute must haves and a list of things you are willing to compromise on. Once you get a feel for what you are looking for and areas you may have interest, you can contact a few agents to meet with. Choosing an agent is always about who has sold the most homes but who will do the right job for you. Look at it as a relationship, you will be working with this person so you want to make sure you like them and respect their work. I also conduct a no strings attached buyer counseling session where we discuss the entire process and help you narrow down your search. This is a greta time to get to know eachother and help you get focused.
If you need a referral for a top noth agent I will gladly provide you with a few. I am part of a national network of Buyers Agents.
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
GREEN Designated Agent
William Raveis Legends Realty Group