A crucial piece in the home‑buying process can be finding the right real estate agent. Your agent represents you in negotiations and should work hard to get you the lowest price on the home you want. If you have referrals from people you know, start there, but keep going. Look for someone you like and trust to work with your best interests in mind.

Look up agents online, just as you would with finding the home itself. Find someone who really knows the area you've decided on. Read up on agent reviews and/or testimonials and don't be shy about asking for references. You might want to screen several agents before you decide on one.

If you decide to skip the real estate agent and buy directly from an owner, a real estate attorney can provide you with all the advice and counsel you'll need to go from offer to closing. Look for someone local who'll be familiar with your town's real estate‑related ordinances, state disclosure and tax laws. A lawyer can also coach you through the offer negotiations.