Claire Rainville, Broker Associate, REMAX


For those who want to enjoy a quick, seamless homebuying experience, it helps to prepare as much as possible. In fact, those who plan ahead may be better equipped than others to avoid various challenges throughout the homebuying cycle.

From struggling to obtain home financing after a seller accepts your offer to purchase to struggling to find the right home in one of your preferred cities and towns, myriad issues may make it tough for you to achieve your desired results on the homebuying journey. Fortunately, we're here to help you minimize risk as you pursue your dream residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid a homebuying fiasco.

1. Establish Homebuying Criteria

If you enter the housing market with criteria in hand, you can narrow your house search. As a result, you may be able to accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.

Think about where you want to live. Then, you can hone your home search and focus exclusively on houses in specific cities and towns.

It also may be beneficial to establish a list of home must-haves and wants. This list can help you determine exactly what you want to find in your dream house so you can map out your home search accordingly.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

There is no need to wait to get a mortgage. Thankfully, lenders are available that can help you get approved for a mortgage before you kick off your home search.

Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions – you'll be glad you did. This will allow you to learn about the ins and outs of different mortgage options.

Furthermore, don't hesitate to ask questions about all of the mortgage options at your disposal. Because if you understand exactly how a mortgage works, you can make an informed mortgage decision.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to avoiding problems during the homebuying journey, it generally is a good idea to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional will offer comprehensive support at each stage of the homebuying journey. By doing so, a real estate agent will ensure you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the housing market.

For example, if you want to find a house in a small town, a real estate agent will help you explore residences that match your expectations. He or she will set up home showings and keep you informed about open house events. Plus, if you identify your dream house, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase.

Let's not forget about the housing market expertise that a real estate agent possesses, either. If you ever have concerns or questions as you pursue your dream house, a real estate agent is happy to address them at any time.

Want to discover your dream residence? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can reduce the risk of encountering problems as you search for your ideal residence.


A homebuying budget can make a world of difference, particularly for those who want to streamline a house search. If you have a budget at your disposal, you will know approximately how much you can spend on a residence. Then, you can narrow your house search accordingly.

Establishing a homebuying budget can be simple. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you do just that.

1. Evaluate Your Finances

Your income and savings can have far-flung effects on your ability to acquire your dream house. If you perform an in-depth review of your finances, you can find out exactly how much money you have available before you launch a house search.

It often is a good idea to consider your long-term finances as you prepare to kick off a house search, too. A house usually is a long-term investment. And if you account for your long-term finances in your homebuying budget, you may be better equipped than ever before to conduct a successful home search.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Banks and credit unions are happy to teach you about different types of mortgages. Plus, they can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage without delay.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with several banks and credit unions. Of course, if you have mortgage questions, you should address them before you submit a mortgage application. Once you have a mortgage in hand, you can establish a price range for your house search.

3. Examine Your Potential Closing Costs

Attorney fees, house inspection expenses and other closing costs may surprise some homebuyers. Yet if you understand your potential closing costs, you can plan ahead for these expenses.

Closing costs generally range between 2 percent and 5 percent of a house's purchase price. They also may be incorporated into the overall cost of a house. However, if you evaluate potential closing costs early in the homebuying journey, you can account for these expenses in your property buying budget.

As you get ready to launch a house search, you may want to hire a real estate agent, too. This housing market professional understands what it takes to find and acquire a terrific home at a budget-friendly price. Therefore, he or she will do everything possible to help you accomplish your homebuying goals as quickly as possible.

If you want to purchase a house close to your office in the city, for instance, a real estate agent will offer tips and recommendations to help you find a first-rate house in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you aspire to own a home that boasts multiple bedrooms, a real estate agent will help you hone your house search to residences that fall in line with your expectations.

Ready to launch a successful home search? Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can prepare an effective homebuying budget. As a result, you could speed up your quest to discover and purchase your dream house.


No two vacation residences are alike. As such, it pays to be diligent as you conduct a search for the optimal vacation home. Otherwise, you risk purchasing a vacation house that fails to accommodate your long-term needs.

Ultimately, there are lots of things you can do to find a vacation home that complements you perfectly, such as:

1. Establish Vacation Home Must-Haves

Think about the features you want in your vacation home. By doing so, you can hone your vacation house search to residences that offer the features you want.

For example, if you want a vacation home that includes a state-of-the-art heating and cooling system, you can focus on finding a house that offers this system. Or, if you would prefer a vacation house that boasts an in-ground swimming pool, you can explore residences that offer this amenity.

Don't forget to make a list of preferred cities and towns for your vacation home, too. With this list in hand, you can check out residences in cities and towns that meet your expectations.

2. Create a Homebuying Budget

A homebuying budget is crucial, particularly for an individual who wants to purchase a vacation residence as quickly as possible. Because if you know how much you can spend on a vacation residence, you can focus on houses that fall in line with your finances.

To establish a homebuying budget, it often helps to meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who can help you evaluate different mortgage options for a vacation home. Plus, if you have any mortgage concerns or questions, these specialists are happy to respond to them.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to searching for a vacation house, there is no reason to work alone. In fact, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can help you take the guesswork out of finding and acquiring a quality vacation residence.

A real estate agent works with a homebuyer and helps this individual achieve his or her desired results. Thus, if you want to find a vacation home in a warm-weather destination, a real estate agent can help you do just that. On the other hand, if you would like to purchase a budget-friendly vacation residence, a real estate agent will help you map out your house search accordingly.

Let's not forget about the guidance that a real estate agent provides throughout the vacation homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent goes above and beyond the call of duty to help a homebuyer achieve the best possible results. They will work closely with you throughout the property buying journey, and as a result, will make it simple for you to purchase a first-rate vacation residence.

Kick off a successful vacation home search – use the aforementioned tips, and you could accelerate the process of purchasing a superb vacation residence.


Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Once you decide you’re in the market for a new home, one of the first decisions you’ll make is whether you should hire a real estate agent to shop for a house or go out your own. While buying a new home without a professional representative is possible, there is no disadvantage to working with one, here’s why.

It Doesn’t Cost You Anything

Generally, the seller pays the commission fees to any agents representing both sides of the sale. From a buyer’s perspective, they really have nothing to lose by working with an agent since they won’t have to pay any out-of-pocket costs.

Additionally, REALTORS® are members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), which means they are bound to adhere to a specific code of ethics. This means you’ll have a representative who has pledged to abide by this code and approach every transaction honestly.

Bring Expertise to the House-Hunting Process

As a buyer, unless you’re fully versed in the finer points associated with real estate purchases, along with a certain level of legal expertise in contractual law, you’re better protected if you work with a professional agent. Agents are well-versed in the most up-to-date information associated with the housing market. Skills trained agents bring to the house-hunting process include:

  • Understanding of all the variables associated with real estate purchases.
  • Strong familiarity with regions, towns, and specific neighborhoods.
  • Ability to instinctively know if and when homes are over or under-priced.
  • Access to “pocket listings” not available to the open market or even to a large number of agents.
  • Keen ability to pinpoint a home’s potential problems or flaws not visible to the average buyer.
  • Essentially, working with an experienced and licensed professional means you’ll have someone on your side who can do the bulk of the leg work while helping you find the house of your dreams.

    Strong Knowledge in the Bidding Process

    Investing in a major purchase, such as a home, usually comes with some stresses, along with a few bumps along the road. Once you reach the negotiation and bidding stage, your agent can ensure these go as smoothly as possible. They bring many valuable attributes to the table when it comes to sealing a deal.

  • Ability to share strong negotiation techniques once a house is found (purchase price, closing costs, repairs, etc.).
  • Thorough knowledge in appraisals, title searches and inspections.
  • Skilled in navigating the burdensome paperwork associated with real estate purchases.
  • Able to quickly identify any potential problems that might affect or delay the closing process.
  • Buying or selling a home can be an emotional process. An agent can make sure negotiations are conducted with a levelheaded approach to make certain a fair deal is made.

    In addition to the above reasons, it’s important to remember, your real estate agent is always on your side. They can provide you with both guidance and objectivity as you seek to find your new home.


    If you're on the fence about whether to attend an open house, there is no need to worry. Ultimately, it is always better to err on the side of caution, especially if you're on the hunt for your dream home. And if you attend an open house, you may be better equipped than ever before to determine whether a particular residence is right for you.

    There are many reasons why you should attend an open house, and these include:

    1. You can assess a house both inside and out.

    An open house provides a stress-free opportunity to walk through a house and examine it on your own. As such, an open house is a can't-miss event, particularly for a homebuyer who is actively seeking the perfect residence.

    Of course, an open house enables you to learn about a home's condition both inside and out. And if you find that you like a home after you attend an open house, you can always set up a one-on-one home showing with a seller's agent or submit an offer to purchase.

    2. You can envision what life may be life if you purchase a particular home.

    It's one thing to look at pictures of a home and imagine what it would be like to live there. However, homebuyers who want to do everything possible to find the right residence should attend an open house to fully capture what it may be like if they purchase a particular residence.

    Remember, how a home makes you feel can have far-flung effects on your decision about whether to submit an offer. And if you attend an open house, you may quickly discover whether you can picture yourself as the owner of a residence. Or, if you find that you are uncomfortable with a home, you can instantly move on and pursue other houses.

    3. You can obtain home insights that you won't necessarily find in a house listing.

    A home listing often contains details about a home's age, recent house upgrades and other pertinent information. But a home listing alone rarely provides you with all of the insights you need to make an informed decision about whether to submit a homebuying proposal.

    During an open house, you can ask a seller's agent lots of questions about a residence. This will enable you to obtain insights that you otherwise may struggle to discover in a home listing. And as a result, you'll be able to make the best-possible decision about how to proceed with a residence.

    Clearly, there are many reasons to consider attending an open house. If you need extra help as you pursue residences and debate whether to attend open houses, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer expert guidance throughout the homebuying journey. By doing so, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to find your ideal residence in no time at all.