While searching for a home, there are key habits that help a homebuyer be successful. Below is how we suggest you face the often overwhelming task of making smart, sustainable decisions in a volatile real estate marketplace. Be Proactive: Success of purchasing a home can be defined by closing escrow on a home that meets the needs of the buyer and their family, and not ending up in mortgage distress. The best house hunters know that the ultimate responsibility and success of their home purchasing experience falls on themselves. The ultimate responsibility does not fall on their agent, mortgage broker, the home seller or the market. During and after the transaction, the home buyer should know that it is up to them to be diligent about viewing homes and reading inspection reports, taking care of their household financials, and following up on things as needed. Prioritizing: First things first – making sure the homebuyer is financially ready to purchase a home and takes the steps necessary to ensure this. This step looks different for everyone. Signs of not being financially ready to purchase a home might look like trouble with debt or a struggle to save money. However, being ready to purchase a home might look like nothing more than being able to pay off your debts, and creating functional habits around spending and saving your money. For other homebuyers, they simply need to be approved for the loan to purchase a home before their search begins. It is important to know how much house you can afford before house hunting. You want to make sure you are looking at homes that you can actually afford. As a buyer, one should not take on a mortgage that does not align with the family’s savings and income. Focus on the bigger picture: Looking at your vision for the future and how your house fits in that vision is more important to focus on than details like square footage, bedrooms, etc. It is important to ask yourself what your life will look like after you buy this home. Buying a home is an important life event that could strongly influence many aspects of your life. These areas include your family, extracurricular activities, finances, and work life. Homebuyers should always consider what their vision of life will be like after they purchase their home. Think win-win: Just because the buyer gets a good deal does not mean the seller should feel like they received the short end of the stick. Both parties want to move on to the next phase in their life and would like it to be a positive transition. Many great agents realize this and do their best to accommodate both parties while protecting the interest of their own clients. Many sellers care about their home and neighborhood and enjoy passing their home onto someone who will flourish there. This does not mean that the buyer should overpay and not take advantage of market dynamics when they are in favor. Simply put, it means that negotiations from both parties should be respectful; flexibility during sticky situations and creativeness in problem solving are key. Happy house hunting!