It can be difficult to navigate the waters of the housing market not only in your first, but in any real estate transaction. There aremany moving parts, active times, waiting times, and it can be tough to know if you are doing everything you can to ensure a successful deal! Having a better understanding of the process, and finding the right agent to lead the way are the best ways to guarantee a successful transaction.Here are five key tips to keep in mind:1. The Pre-ApprovalA pre-approval is a written estimate from a lender stating how much you will likely be able to borrow based on an initial review of your credit and financial information. Typically for a pre-approval, you will need to provide a lender with several financial document including pay stubs, tax returns and bank statements. Getting pre-approved in the very beginning of the process is important as it is the only way that you can make an offer on a house, and the only way that you will know what you are able to spend!Pre-Approvals do expire, make sure that yours is up to date, many people like to see one that has been issued within 30 days.2. Visit Several Properties to get a True Idea of what you want. There are so many boxes to check when deciding on your first home: Price, neighborhood, immediate street, size, views, condition, monthly carrying costs, etc. You may think that you know what you want, but may start the search and come to find that you end up with something completely different! Searching online is incredibly valuable, but it is important to physically walk the neighborhoods and floor plans to get a better feel. I have seen many times where a buyer thinks that they know what they want, but when you walk 5-10 houses with them it is easy to see what is really important to them. Finding an agent to help start the search with you can really help to give them the best opportunity to help you along the way.3. Select a Buyer’s Agent Right from the StartYour real estate agent is to provide you with the vast experience that they have gathered, listened to your concerns, gather data from your searches and areas of interest. They can let you know where your dollars will go furthest, and when there is a great bargain or a completely over-priced home. The better your agent knows you both in terms of personality, financials, and the better that she understands your preferences, likes and dislikes, the better she can serve you. It is important to give your agent as much feedback as possible to get the most from their services.4. Determine your Budget and Stick to It!Don’t start shopping before you know what you can spend! The last thing you want to do is go look through a bunch of high priced homes to find out that you can’t afford them. That is just raining on your own parade. Make sure to speak to you lender to understand closing costs and down-payments for the price point you are looking. It is also very important to discuss with your lender what you need to have for reserves, what NOT to do with your finances before buying a home, and also consider additional expenses that may be necessary surrounding your move.5. Have your Agent Review the Comps with You.When considering making offers with your agent, it is important to understand the values in the area that you are shopping. It is helpful to understand the values of homes that have recently sold that are similar in nature, updates, architecture, beds/baths, to your prospective home. Those, along with the newly pending homes, will determine the appraisal value of the neighboring properties. Your agent is there to gather this information and walk you through market values and how they will impact your purchase.If you have any questions at all, feel free to call/text/email absolutely any time. I’m always here to help you find homes for sale in Fenton, Michigan 48430Happy House Hunting!If you have any questions that you would like me to answer for you in the next edition, please email to SOLD@jenniferlasco.comJennifer LascoYour local Real Estate Expert248.840.6059http://www.jenniferlasco.comAlways with the happiest clients on the block.