This a very good question and one that can be kept simple. Our recommendation is that you first get preapproved so you have an idea of the price range you should be considering and have a approval letter on hand once you find a home you want to make an offer on.
Your next task is to identify the type of home you prefer and the location(s) you are primarily interested in.
The final step is finding a real estate professional to support your search and lead you step by step through the process. May buyers feel it is important to have someone other than the bank's listing agent working with them.