1. Get your finances in order.
Before you ever step foot in a prospective home, you should make sure that your credit is in order and that you’re able to secure a loan. Pre-approval for a mortgage amount will not only signal sellers that you’re a serious buyer and make them more apt to negotiate with you, it will also help you get an idea of what types of property you’ll be able to afford. Do crunch the numbers on your own and figure out how much mortgage you feel comfortable paying.
If you find that your credit isn’t ideal, then take a few months to pay down your debts before you start the pre-approval process with your lender. Never make big ticket purchases when your trying to get your credit in order, and remember that big ticket purchases and job changes are two areas that will ultimately affect your pre-approval since most lenders will do another check on these areas right before closing.