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Take out your credit card, go on-line, and buy your next home sight unseen! Sound like a good idea to you? Maybe not.

Sure, there are plenty of websites that introduce you to available homes. It's possible to compare real estate agents, get a feel for home prices in your area, and even take "virtual" tours of some properties. Wow - impressive!

Is there enough information on the web to cause you to take out your credit card? Probably not. So . . . after all your surfing is done, the first step when buying a home is still choosing an agent to conduct your home search.

Be prepared to meet with the agent before setting up appointments to see homes. Explain your objectives, deadlines, and financial expectations. Ask the agent to introduce you to a mortgage lender. You can pre-qualify for a home loan improving your buying power once you begin your search.

Let the agent know about preferred neighborhoods, desired features and amenities, and other factors that will influence your final decision. The more the agent understands your preferences, the sooner suitable properties will be identified.

Can the internet play a role in locating the right home? Sure, but only as a general tool to acquaint you with the local real estate market. When you're really ready to make a purchase, contact an agent first. The rest will be easy!

 

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