Excellence in Real Estate
Let your agent know what you expect.It's up to you to tell your agent what you want and how you want to be involved in the home search process. Some buyers prefer their agents to handpick properties for their consideration; others want to receive the hot sheets on a daily basis so they can comb through the new listings themselves. You should listen to your Realtor's advice, but always remember that you're the boss. And speaking of bosses, it's a good idea for ALL decision-makers to visit the properties your Realtor shows you.
Always get an inspection.Any purchase offer you make should be contingent upon your approval of a qualified home inspector's report, even when buying a new or almost new home. Friends, family, or your Realtor may be able to refer you to a good inspector, or you can contact the Better Business Bureau for a list. Even if your lender does not require it, you may want to consider conducting a full land survey--property line disputes could potentially cost you thousands down the road, and are typically not covered by title insurance.
Get everything in writing.This is especially important during any kind of contract negotiation. Verbal commitments are hard to prove after the fact, so make sure that all the small details are added to the purchase contract. If the seller says you can have the curtains, make sure the contract says so!