The 3-Step Process That Successful Home Buyers Follow

Home buyer competition is fierce. The buyers who win are the buyers who prepare.

The most successful home buyers do the same three things.

  1. They know their monthly housing budget
  2. They get pre-approved early in the journey
  3. They avoid dual agency with real estate agents

Knowing your monthly budget means knowing how much money you can spend on housing, comfortably.

For a lot of first-time home buyers, their monthly housing budget is similar to what they pay in rent. Your number may be higher or lower, but you can't shop for a home without knowing what you can afford to spend.

Once you know your budget, get pre-approved to buy.

Getting pre-approved to buy means that a mortgage company performed a dry run on your purchase, and determined you'd be approved for a loan given your chosen monthly payment.

Lenders issue pre-approval letters to verify your approval status, which tells a seller, paraphrased, “This home buyer can afford to purchase your home, and their mortgage will be approved.”

Sellers also don't accept offers from buyers who aren't pre-approved.

Once you're pre-approved, join forces with a really good real estate agent.

Good real estate agents will help you identify homes, guide you through your offer, and uses its experience to negotiate your best possible deal. Bad real estate agents do none of those things.

Neither does the seller's real estate agent.

Home buyers should not be represented by the same agent as the seller because the real estate agent's duty is to the listing. When the same agent represents both sides of the transaction, it's called Dual Agency, and Dual Agency favors the seller.

Do these three things and you'll do great.

Ask us your budget and pre-approval question in the chatbox. We're here to help.

Dan Green

Dan Green

Dan Green is a former mortgage loan officer and an industry expert. He's appeared on NPR and CNBC, and in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and dozens of local newspapers. Dan has helped millions of first-time home buyers get educated on mortgages, real estate, and personal finance. Have mortgage questions? Ask Dan in the chat.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Receive real estate and mortgage news by email weekly. Personalized for you & your specific homebuying goals.