Buying a first home is a complex process, and it’s particularly challenging in a seller’s market when homes sell quickly and often over list price. In this type of market, it’s common to lose out on a home as others outbid you. Your Berkshire Hathaway Home Services network professional can set you up for success by sharing what’s working and not working for buyers navigating a seller’s market.

Many first-time buyers don’t realize how important getting representation is, whether they hire their own agent or use the seller’s agent. Hiring an agent affords buyers a fiduciary duty on the part of the real estate professional to protect interests of his or her client. When buyers purchase a home using the seller’s agent, the seller’s agent owes fiduciary duty to the seller, but also has a duty to be fair to the buyer.

The first thing an agent will do is get you financially prepared to make a successful offer. He or she will give you the names of some good mortgage bankers so you can get prequalified for a mortgage. In fast markets, you may need at least 10 percent down to be competitive.

Your agent will help you find the best value, neighborhood, and quality for your budget and requirements, as well as assist you through the search process, comparable homes sold, making an offer, inspection, repair, and appraisal processes.