Looking for a home
Use a Realtor.
Use an agent that is representing your interests by getting a written “agency” agreement stating that they are acting as a “buyer’s agent” for you.
Pre-qualify for a loan.
Get an idea of what you can borrow so you don’t waste your time shopping for homes you can’t afford.
Most lenders can do this for you. (Make sure the only up-front fee you pay is for your credit report and do not obligate yourself to the lender in any way.)
Do not look at the most expensive home in the neighborhood. It’s best to have the other homes bring up the value of your home.