Posted in: Buying a home, Getting a mortgage, First time homebuyer tips

If I plan to buy this spring, what should I be doing now?

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Key insights

  • Spring buyers can get ahead of the competition by getting pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage loan.
  • By setting up automated search alerts, you can ensure you never miss a house that goes up for sale in your desired area.
  • It may feel awkward to interview a real estate agent, but there are several questions you should be sure to ask before starting a professional relationship.

Even though it feels like warm weather may never come, the spring market has already started! If you plan to purchase a home this spring, here are some insights you can use to get prepared before the snow melts.

Set your mortgage budget

Before you start the house hunt, you’ll want to determine your mortgage loan budget. If you’re still a few months out from your search, you may want to start by getting pre-qualified. Pre-qualification is a quick process where you supply your financial information to a lender and they offer an estimate on the assumed mortgage amount for which you would qualify.

If you want to be fully prepared to buy the instant you find your dream home, you may want to get pre-approved. Pre-approval is a more thorough process where you provide a detailed financial history to the lender and in return, they provide a pre-approval letter. This letter states your assumed mortgage loan approval amount, plus an estimate of your expected interest rate. Buyers who are pre-approved may be taken more seriously in negotiations and throughout the buying process.

Start researching locations

Once you know your assumed budget, the fun can begin! Create a few saved searches on or Edina Realty’s mobile app. Begin by setting your anticipated budget and the city, neighborhood or hand-drawn area where you’d like to put down roots. Save your favorite properties so you can return to them instantly (and show them off when you meet up with friends for coffee).

Play around with the variables in your saved searches to see how far your dollars can stretch if you live south of the river or in the school district you’d prefer. You can also set up automated hourly or daily alerts, depending on how serious you are — and how competitive your preferred market area is.

Worried about daily stop-and-go traffic? Save addresses for work, school, daycare and more in the Edina Realty mobile app and our integrated INRIX Drive Time™ feature will estimate your daily commute times for each location.

Interview and hire a REALTOR®

Get a leg up on the competition by hiring a Realtor before you are ready to tour homes and make an offer. That way, you’ll have developed a trusted relationship and communications standards you can employ in your search and purchase.

There are many questions you can ask a Realtor when buying, but you’ll especially want to confirm that they:

  • Intimately understand the city or neighborhood where you hope to buy
  • Have deep insights about the local market and how it will impact your purchase
  • Have past client references they are willing to share with you — or mentorships if they are new to the business
  • Have the time and desire to work with you, regardless of your timeline or budget

Need help getting started?

Whether you need assistance finding a lender, real estate agent or just want to learn more about how the buying process works, we can help. Reach out today to get connected with Edina Realty’s customer care team — they answer questions from buyers just like you seven days a week.

For more tips on how to buy a home, follow #BuyerInsights on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings