Like a good Scout you need to be prepared before you starting working with a Realtor. Primarily, in this market, you need to have your financing options taken care of, and you need to get an idea of what you need for closing, as well as a downpayment. Without this information you are setting yourself up for disaster! Nothing is more frustrating than finding something you really want to buy, only to find out you don't have the necessary funds to close on the property. When you know in advance, your agent will know exactly how much they need to ask for when negotiating Seller paid closing costs in your offer. Find a reputable mortgage company, make sure they work with you (not just when you call them), and know what to expect upfront. Staying within your budget, having realistic expectations of what you will get for your money, and being prepared with your financing will safe you a lot of heartache and frustration! Happy house hunting!