We surveyed several hundred real estate professionals and industry experts to determine the top home buying tips they would recommend to their clients.

Home Buying Tips

The Ultimate List of Homebuyer Tips

by Andy Fulton on April 21, 2014

Get a Home Inspection Get a home inspection to evaluate the safety and overall condition of your new home, even if it appears flawless.

Get Preapproved for a Loan Before you start house hunting, get preapproved for a mortgage loan. Read more: 5 Steps to Obtaining a Mortgage

Communicate With Your Agent When you want to ask or tell the seller something, always go through your real estate agent.

Put the Deal Into Writing Get the seller to put every component of the deal and any verbal agreement in writing.

Include Contingencies With Offer Include essential contingencies, such as financing and property inspections, with your offer.

Develop a Wish List Come up with a realistic wish list. Find out what you can afford regarding house size, neighborhood, and amenities.

Know Your Local Market Know as much about the local market as you can. Use your agent’s CMA to learn about the selling price of comparable homes and the strength of the local real estate market.

Prioritize! Decide what’s most important to you before the negotiation, so you know what parts of your offer you’re most comfortable giving up.

Look Into Government Programs Look into programs for first-time homebuyers. See if you qualify for the lower interest rates, low down payment options and down payment assistance programs some banks and governmental organizations offer first-time homebuyers.

Research Real Estate Agents Don’t just work with the first real estate agent you come across! Do your homework and find one you’re comfortable with.

Keep Other Houses in Mind When you begin negotiating on a specific property, know of other houses you’d be interested in buying. You don’t want to be so desperate to buy a particular house that you give in to whatever the seller wants.

Be Smart With Your Contingencies Avoid including unnecessary contingencies in your offer. Doing so will make it less attractive.

Keep Negotiations Short Avoid lengthy, drawn-out negotiations, which can negatively affect the chances of your offer's acceptance. Read more about the negotiating process

Shop around for Mortgages Shop around for at least several mortgage quotes before choosing one.

Ask for More Than You Want Ask for more than you want during negotiations, without asking too much. You can “give in” to the seller without actually giving up the things you want!

Scope out Neighborhoods and Neighbors Talk to neighbors to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to live in the neighborhoods of homes that interest you. While doing so, gauge if you would like to live next to these people for the foreseeable future. Bad neighbors can affect your property’s value.

Connect With the Sellers Establish a connection with the sellers. You may be able to get a better deal if the sellers see you as a person, not just an opportunity.


This post was authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.