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12 Realtors Share Crazy-Helpful Advice For House-Hunting

There are lots of people you go to for advice: your mom, your best friend, your cool hippie aunt... But when it comes to buying a home, you shouldn’t get advice from just anyone. You should Get REALTOR®.

1. "Pick the right agent..."

"When you're buying a home, it is a very emotional process. The relationship with the agent can be a lot like a marriage, so you want to make sure you can understand each other — their wants, their needs — and know you can vent, yell, tell funny stories to, and not be embarrassed."

—Jennifer A. (Smiths Falls, ON)

2. "Finding the right house is like meeting someone special — you know it when you see it for the first time in person..."

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"Shopping for a house online is like online dating — everything looks better in photos."

—Todd S. (Edina, MN)

3. "Bring all the parties involved in the transaction — parents/special friends/advisors — to as many showings as possible..."


"If you don't, then we often end up reshowing everything or starting over because the advisor or earnest money provider doesn't believe we found the best one. If they don't see the 'junk,' they don't appreciate the 'gem' when we find it!"

—Mary S. (Bismarck, ND)

4. "The age of the house can be found on the toilet..."


"If you lift up your toilet, there is a date stamp in there. Unless the toilet has been remodeled — but usually one bathroom has the original toilet."

—Kyle K. (Springfield, IL)

5. "Meet the neighbors..."

"They are a good source to discuss the area and also any issues they might know about the house you are looking at."

—Marianne B. (Spokane, WA)

6. "Make sure you visit the house at different times of the day..."

"What might seem like a quiet neighborhood at 2 p.m. in the afternoon might not be so peaceful at 5 p.m. during rush hour."

—Marianne B. (Spokane, WA)

7. "Compromise on things that you can change, like not having a finished basement..."

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"Don’t compromise on things like the location. That’s something you can never remedy. Buy the worst house in the best location, and you’re always coming in with the potential to have equity in that."

—Krista C. (Urbandale, IA)

8. "Get the best inspection you can..."

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"I'd rather spend the money upfront to find out that there's not a problem than skip it to save money only to find out there's a big issue later."

—Piper B. (Denver, CO)

9. "Don't overspend on a home..."


"Can you afford to live your life, do the things you love to do, and have that $300,000 house? Do you go out and do activities on the weekend? Do you like to travel? Do you spend a lot of time outside? Can you still do all of that and make the payment you were preapproved for?

"At the end of the day, I want you satisfied with this purchase, and I don't want you 'house poor' so you can't enjoy the home you just purchased."

—Chris A. (Birmingham, MI)

10. "Every buyer who has wept over a home that got away..."

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"...without exception, says they are glad to have the one they finally ended up with. It always works out for the best. Every time."

—Sher P. (Nashville, TN)

11. "Whenever writing an offer, accompany the offer with a personal letter..."

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"Talk about your circumstances and how much you like the house, area, etc. Most sellers like to know that the people buying their house will love it and care for it as much as they did."

—Jim H. (Los Gatos, CA)

12. "The deal is not sealed on a home until the check clears..."


"Many homeowners think that once they have a verbal agreement to buy that the rest of the home-buying process is a piece of cake, but there's plenty of work left to be done."

—Amy H. (Houston, TX)

Advice you can trust — just one of the many advantages of having a REALTOR® by your side.