The home-buying process can be very exciting but also sometimes scary at the same time.

Before you start shopping, you may want to consider the following tips.

Hire a buyer agent

You want somebody that is going to be on your side who is an advocate looking out for your best interests, such as helping you find the right property, writing a winning offer and negotiating.

During the buying process, there can be a lot of unexpected things that pop up that a good agent can help you through very easily. Local agents have the experience you’ll want to take advantage of.

Don’t assume you’ll save money by going it alone. When you talk with the listing agents of the houses you are looking at, those agents are working for the seller — not you!

A buyer agent will probably cost you nothing, as the commissions are paid by the seller in just about every instance.

The perfect house doesn’t exist

You’ll start your home-buying journey out with a list of needs and wants. If that list is small, you may be able to find what you are looking for, but keep in mind that that perfect house probably doesn’t exist.

Many times when you finally find a house or two that hit most of your criteria, you just need to go with your gut feeling.

Many of your “must haves” or “wants” can be added or changed later, so keep that in mind. Some can even be very inexpensive projects.

Interview multiple lenders

Checking out a few lenders is recommended.

Get some quotes.

Ask your buyer agent what lenders they might recommend as they may have relationships with some lenders.

Make sure that the lender offers the right loan program that meets your needs.

Avoid big purchases

Don’t make any big purchases that will require you to take on new debt before buying a house.

We know it’s easy to get excited about the new house you are buying and you might want to buy things for the house, but your best bet is to have patience and wait until you close on your new home. This will prevent any last minute hiccups in your financing.

Of course, if you’re not financing, then this won’t matter for you.

Be prepared to be competitive

We all like a great deal and you certainly don’t want to overpay, but once you find the home you want, be ready to compete.

Competing with other buyers can be extremely stressful, but this is where a good buyer agent is important. They help you navigate this process and give you the best chance at getting your offer accepted over other buyers without paying more than you should.

Hopefully you can use these pieces of advice to land the home you really want.

Shannyn Pinkert is a realtor and owner of Property Shoppe Realty, a member of the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association. House Calls is submitted by association members. For more information call 715-835-2526 or email

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