If you’ve made the decision to buy, the first person you should talk to is a REALTOR®. Real estate professionals will help you with virtually every aspect of your home ownership needs. From putting together a ‘buying blueprint’ that details your specific housing requirements, to giving advice on what you can afford, a REALTOR® can cut through the complexities.

A REALTOR® will scout properties for you and make recommendations on homes that suit your needs. Once you begin viewing properties, your REALTOR® will accompany you, offering advice on matters such as the amenities of the neighborhood, repairs or upgrades that could be necessary, building inspections, carrying costs and so forth.

Much of the early search with a REALTOR® can be done through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) and preliminary discussions. As you visit and react to each home that you see, your REALTOR® will have an increasingly better idea of what you want and don’t want.

Your REALTOR® can assist you in evaluating the many mortgage options. When deciding which financial institution or lender to deal with, begin with your own bank, credit union on trust company – they already know who you are. You may also want to shop around and compare what different lenders have to offer.