Get a mortgage pre-approval
Before you start shopping for a home, get preapproved for a mortgage. Heres why:
First, it will let you know how much of a home you can buy. (If you cant get the financing, you cant buy the property.)
Second, most home sellers and their brokers (at least, the savvy ones) arent going to take your offer seriously (or very likely, wont accept any offer you make at all), unless you have a mortgage pre-approval. Why? Again, if you dont have the financing, you cant buy the property.