When you are buying a property, you have a lot of work ahead of you. While getting a real estate agent to work with will take a lot of the burden off of you, there will still be a lot on your plate. One thing you want to make sure you have done is to prepare for common occurrences that are known to come up with the home shopping and buying processes.
Expect to actually 'shop' before finding the right place
Never go into buying a home expecting to look at the houses on the market today and expecting one of them to be the one for you. Instead, prepare to look at houses over a longer period of time. While it's fine to have a plan of being in a home within the next few months or so, you don't want to cut things very close or you may find yourself in the position of needing to buy a home that you aren't as excited about as you would like to be. Increase your chances of finding a place sooner by being pre-qualified, by being as descriptive as possible with regards to telling your agent what you must have, by jumping to look at homes as soon as your agent can have them shown to you and by bringing all decision makers to the first showing of every house you check out.
Don't think that going into escrow means smooth-sailing
If you are lucky, you can have your offer accepted right away and find yourself going through an escrow process that sees no hitches and that has you closing escrow and getting the keys to your new place in 30 to 45 days. However, if you expect this to be exactly how it goes, then you may be extremely disappointed and even stressed when you find your escrow doesn't go like this. During escrow you will need to provide necessary documentation and information to your lender and go through an underwriting process. The need for more things and questions regarding other things can always cause escrow to be prolonged.
You should always have inspections done
No matter how new a home is or how great it looks, you should never pass on having an inspection done. In fact, some buyers even decide to have a couple inspections done by different inspectors, just to be on the safe side. When you have the inspection done, you want to prepare yourself for news that they have found some issues with the house. Keep in mind, if there are issues found then you can always ask for help from the sellers that comes in the form of allowances, so problems that come up don't automatically mean that you won't be getting that house.