Kathleen Fitzgerald, CBR, LMC | Medford Real Estate, Stoneham Real Estate, Malden Real Estate


Buying a house may prove to be a long, complex journey, especially for a first-time homebuyer who decides to pursue a residence on his or her own. Fortunately, many real estate agents are available to help first-time homebuyers make their homeownership dreams come true.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that first-time homebuyers can use to find the right real estate agent in any housing market, at any time.

1. Go Beyond a Web Search

In many instances, it is easy to conduct a web search of real estate agents in a city or town. However, a diligent first-time homebuyer will know to look beyond a simple web search to discover the ideal real estate agent.

Take a look at a real estate agent's website. By doing so, a homebuyer can learn about a real estate agent's industry accomplishments and experience.

Also, don't hesitate to contact a real estate agent's office directly. This enables a homebuyer to have a brief conversation with a real estate agent and find out exactly what this housing market professional is all about.

2. Host a Face-to-Face Meeting

A face-to-face meeting may prove to be exceedingly valuable for both a first-time homebuyer and a real estate agent, and for good reason.

During a face-to-face meeting, a homebuyer can ask questions and learn about a real estate agent's industry expertise. Plus, a homebuyer can receive comprehensive insights into what it will take to acquire a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price.

Meanwhile, a face-to-face meeting helps a real estate agent learn about a homebuyer's goals. A homebuyer can provide information about what he or she wants in a dream home, and a real estate agent can offer details about what a homebuyer should expect at each stage of the property buying journey.

3. Receive Client Referrals

Although a first-time homebuyer may feel comfortable with hiring a real estate agent after a face-to-face meeting, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Thus, a homebuyer who requests client referrals from a real estate agent ensures that he or she can make the best possible decision.

A real estate agent should have no trouble providing you with multiple client referrals. Then, you can reach out to this housing professional's past clients to find out how he or she has helped homebuyers achieve their desired results.

Spend some time reaching out to a real estate agent's past clients – you'll be happy you did. With additional client insights at your disposal, you can improve your chances of choosing the perfect real estate agent.

Lastly, it is important to remember that a real estate agent should be available to guide you along the homebuying journey. This housing market professional boasts in-depth industry experience, and as such, can share deep insights to help you make informed decisions as you go from homebuyer to homeowner.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and a first-time homebuyer can employ a first-rate real estate agent and gain unparalleled support throughout the homebuying cycle.


Pursuing a house can be difficult, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. Thankfully, homebuyers who plan ahead may be better equipped than others to enjoy a quick, seamless and successful homebuying experience.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to prepare for buying a house, and these include:

1. You can determine where you want to live.

A homebuyer who knows where he or she wants to live can tailor a home search accordingly. As a result, this buyer can speed up the process of acquiring his or her dream residence.

When it comes to planning ahead to buy a home, it generally helps to know where you want to go. If you make a checklist of home must-haves and wants, you may be able to hone your home search to specific cities and towns. Then, you can pursue residences in these areas and find your dream house faster than ever before.

2. You can enter the housing market with a budget in hand.

You know that you want to buy a house, but you still have no idea how you will pay for a residence. Fortunately, if you plan ahead for the homebuying journey, you can get your finances in order and enter the real estate market with a budget at your disposal.

Generally, it is a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to pursuing a residence. A mortgage provides you with a set limit that you can spend on a house. Thus, a mortgage can help you minimize the risk that you'll spend beyond your means to acquire your dream residence.

Obtaining a mortgage can be quick and easy too. Meet with banks and credit unions, and these financial institutions can teach you about a broad array of mortgage options. Next, you can choose a mortgage and kick off your home search.

3. You can find an expert real estate agent to help you along the homebuying journey.

If you plan to enter the housing market, you may want to hire an expert real estate agent sooner rather than later. With an expert real estate agent at your side, you can streamline the homebuying cycle.

A real estate agent knows exactly what it takes to purchase a superb residence at a price that fits your budget. He or she first will learn about your homebuying goals and provide insights into the local housing market. This housing market professional then can customize a home search to ensure that you can achieve your desired results.

Let's not forget about the comprehensive support that a real estate agent delivers throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent will set up home showings and offer homebuying recommendations at each stage of the homebuying journey. And if you discover your ideal residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer.

There are many great reasons to plan ahead for the homebuying journey. And if you start planning today, you may be able to enjoy a stress-free homebuying experience.


Regardless of when or where you search for a house, a home buying checklist is essential. With this checklist in hand, you can quickly and effortlessly discover a residence that suits you perfectly.

Now, let's take a look at three factors to incorporate into your home buying checklist.

1. Your Home Buying Timeline

Account for how much time is available to find and purchase a house. That way, you can boost the likelihood of getting the most out of the time and resources at your disposal.

As you create a home buying checklist, consider how much time you have before you need to relocate from your current address. Then, you can see how much time you have to pursue your dream home and evaluate the steps you will need to take to make that process run smoothly.

2. Your Home Must-Haves and Wants

Consider what you absolutely require from your new home. For instance, if you need a house that is close to your office in the city, you should check out homes in or near the city itself. Or, if you require a home that offers ample space for you and your children, you should hone your search to residences that have two or more bedrooms.

Of course, it helps to create a list of home wants and needs when you develop a house buying checklist. With the ability to evaluate your home needs at any time, you will be better equipped when deciding if a particular house is right for you.

3. Your Home Buying Budget

You know you want to purchase a house, but your current financial situation may be limited. Fortunately, if you prepare a home buying budget, you will know how much you can spend on a residence and map out your search accordingly.

Oftentimes, it helps to meet with credit unions or banks before you begin a home search. Credit unions and banks can teach you about different types of mortgages and how they work. Plus, these financial institutions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage.

For those who want to streamline the home buying journey, it's a good idea to hire a real estate agent, too. A real estate agent can help you craft a home buying checklist, as well as provide tips and guidance as you search for your ideal house.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to find a terrific house at a budget-friendly price. First, a real estate agent will help a buyer evaluate the local real estate sector and narrow their home search. A real estate agent will also help a buyer discover a home that matches their expectations. Finally, a real estate agent will work with a buyer to put together a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

Craft a home buying checklist today – you will be happy you did. Once you have a home buying checklist, you can more seamlessly navigate the house buying journey.


A homebuyer who considers the seller's perspective may be better equipped than others to enjoy a successful property buying experience. In fact, this buyer should have no trouble submitting a competitive offer to purchase – something that may lead to a fast home purchase.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you analyze the seller's perspective.

1. Review a Home Listing

A home listing provides a great opportunity to learn about a house. It also enables you to analyze how long a house has been available, a residence's features and other factors that may dictate your decision to pursue a residence.

Assess a home listing closely. If you believe your expectations fall in line with a seller's after reviewing a listing, you may want to consider setting up an in-person showing. Or, if you believe a home does not match expectations, you may want to continue to look for your dream house.

2. Check Out a House In-Person

If you find a home you may want to buy, it generally is a good idea to set up an in-person showing. At this point, you can see how a seller has maintained a house and determine if a home is right for you.

Typically, a real estate agent is ready to respond to a buyer's concerns and questions during a showing. This housing market professional may be able to provide insights into why a seller has listed his or her residence. And as a result, you can use these insights to make an informed decision about how to proceed with a house.

3. Understand the Local Housing Market

The local housing market fluctuates, and it may favor buyers or sellers. If you study the local real estate sector, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market – or vice-versa.

In a buyer's market, there may be an abundance of quality houses available at budget-friendly prices. On the other hand, in a seller's market, there may be a shortage of first-rate houses, and those that are available may be in high demand among buyers.

Keep in mind how a seller's perspective may vary based on the current housing market's conditions as well. If a buyer's market is in place, a seller may be ready to accept a competitive offer to purchase his or her residence. Conversely, in a seller's market, a seller may be reluctant to accept an offer to purchase that falls below his or her initial home asking price.

Lastly, as you get set to embark on the homebuying journey, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can teach you everything you need to know about buying a house. He or she can help you analyze the seller's perspective and make an informed home purchase too.

Ready to navigate the homebuying journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can assess the seller's perspective and boost the likelihood of enjoying a successful homebuying experience.


Ready to submit an offer on a home? Putting together a proposal that stands out in a home seller's eyes is key.

With the right home offer, you can improve your chances of securing your dream house without delay. Plus, dedicating time and resources to put together a home offer that works for both you and a home seller is sure to accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.

How can you improve your chances of submitting an offer that a home seller is sure to accept? Here are three tips to help a homebuyer submit a standout home offer.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage.

In many instances, a home offer may be contingent upon financing. And if a homebuyer has to secure financing after submitting a proposal, this individual could risk missing out on an opportunity to purchase his or her dream house.

Comparatively, a homebuyer who gets pre-approved for a mortgage will have the necessary financing in place when he or she submits an offer. As a result, this individual's offer may stand out from other proposals, particularly to a home seller who wants to speed up the home selling process.

2. Consider a Quick Home Inspection.

Don't ask the home seller for 15 or 30 days to conduct a home inspection. Instead, be ready to conduct a home inspection as soon as possible.

You may need only a few days to set up a home inspection. As such, if your offer includes a request for five or 10 days to complete a home assessment, it may stand out from others.

Also, if you find your dream home, you may want to consider purchasing the house "as is." Doing so may allow you to forgo negotiations between a homebuyer and home seller after a home inspection.

If you submit an "as is" home offer, you will be able to learn about the condition of a property before you buy it. However, after a home inspection, you will be unable to ask the home seller to complete repairs. At this point, if you find the house fails to meet your expectations, you can either walk away or buy the home in its current condition.

3. Add an Escalation Clause to Your Offer.

An escalation clause can help you compete against other homebuyers in a fierce real estate market. It enables you to increase your offer by a set amount over any other bids to a certain level. As a result, including an escalation clause in your home offer can help you avoid the risk of overpaying for a house and improve your chances of securing your dream residence at the same time.

Ask your real estate agent to include an escalation clause in your home offer. Your real estate agent can help you submit the perfect proposal, and ultimately, boost your chances of getting a "Yes" from a home seller.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you can bolster your chances of getting the right house at the right price.