Make Some (Initial) Choices

Build Your Lists

You’re preapproved, ready to go, now what? Keep it organized. Make your lists. List out the top five (could be more, could be less) things you want in your first home. Do you want a hint for the first item? Location is a good one. Next, and just as important, make a list of what you don’t want in a home. Examples might be that you don’t want to live in a high rise, or you don’t want to live on a busy street.

Here’s a list we saw recently:

Must have (minimum):

Location: Palatine, Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2 baths
  • 1 car garage
  • basement
  • decent backyard

Would be nice:

  • Fireplace
  • Updated kitchen
  • Within one mile of Metra


  • Corner lot

  • Split level home

  • Busy street

Next choice? Your real estate agent. Interview three real estate agents and ask pointed questions (see attachment on the right side of this page for some pointers), check their references, then decide on the professional that’s going to be with you from step A to step Z. Feel good that you don’t have to write a check for their services, the seller’s agent covers their costs.

A solid agent will get your path started the right way and watch your back throughout this ride. A framework could be built to what exactly a real estate broker should do for you, but one deviation off this plan can change the job description, quickly. And this happens 99% of the time. Quality agents are responsive, proactive, investigative, and problem solvers. You don’t know what you’re doing, your broker is the one that will keep you protected and ensure the best deal you can get.

Download Questions for Potential Agent