The Everygirl Podcast

3 Secrets for First-Time Home Buyers, According to Top Real Estate Agents

written by EMMA GINSBERG

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It’s one of the biggest steps of adulting. When you decide you’re finally ready to start looking to buy a home, it can feel impossible to know where to begin. We’re here to help. This week on The Everygirl Podcast, Alaina chats with Emily Haddad and Giavanna Silva, real estate agents from Compass’s Olympus Group. They discuss everything that first-time home buyers absolutely have to know. This episode is property purchasing 101. From getting pre-approved for a loan to finding a real estate agent to perusing the market and closing on a place, Haddad and Silva give advice on it all.

Whether you want to start thinking about this major step or you’re looking to buy a home sometime soon, there are a few essential things to keep in mind. Read on for three expert tips for purchasing a home, and check out this week’s episode of The Everygirl Podcast for more.


1. First step: Talk to a real estate agent

Although it’s common to get pre-approved for a mortgage first, Haddad and Silva recommend talking to an agent as your very first step. “Talk to a few real estate agents. Interview them and ask how they like to communicate, about their experience, and to tell you a success story they’ve had working with a buyer or a seller to gauge how this agent works,” Silva said. Haddad agreed that first finding an experienced agent means you can easily tap into that agent’s network of lenders to find one that will best fit your needs.

Starting the conversation in the right place with the right people can make all the difference down the line when settling on a house that you love. So taking those first steps with an experienced real estate agent is a great idea. A good agent can explain many different loan and mortgage options to you. They can also teach you the best ways to build equity when you buy a home.


2. Stay on top of your financial situation through the entire process

Silva and Haddad explain a common mistake when you’re trying to buy a home: making other major purchases. “So many people buy new appliances ahead of time,” Haddad says. “When you run your credit, or you add additional debt prior to closing, that affects your loan. Don’t do it.” That also means you should avoid buying a car, going on an expensive trip using your credit card, and making major furnishing purchases. But it’s not only about spending money. Surprisingly, getting a raise or switching jobs can also affect your loan.

According to Silva and Haddad, making more money can potentially have a negative impact on the rate of your loan. (This may come as a surprise, so tune into our podcast for details!) You want to stay as stable as possible throughout the home-buying process. If big financial changes come up, they recommend consulting your lender before anything else. However, if possible, try to keep big purchases at bay until you close on a property.


3. Keep an open mind when perusing the market

Congratulations, you’ve reached the most fun part of home buying! Once you are finally able to shop around for the best home, Silva and Haddad have a few tips for what to consider. “It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with the product and seeing what’s on the market,” Silva said. “You can get discouraged when you’re like, ‘I’m not seeing what I want to see for what I want to see it for.’ Be open-minded.”

Haddad recommended writing down your real estate goals so you can prioritize what you need as you look through the housing market. Ask yourself if you care most about having a short commute, having more space, or the street that the home is on. At the end of the day, finding a home that meets everything on your wishlist may not be possible. Prioritizing the wishlist will set you up to find a home that you absolutely love.