Although you may be tempted to spontaneously make an offer on a house that triggers happy memories of your childhood, it’s usually best to approach house buying in a methodical, dispassionate way.

Your emotions will come into play as you visit different listings, but they should be tempered by a realistic budget, a list of personal requirements, and a sprinkling of “wish list” items — ones that will help make your new home extra special!

A lot will depend on whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned home owner. In all likelihood, the more houses you’ve owned, the higher your expectations will be. That’s certainly not a hard-and-fast rule, but it does lend itself to reason. As is the case with most things in life, experience tends to clarify our needs, our tolerances, our quality standards, and our lifestyle preferences.

Buying a home is a huge decision for two reasons: It not only impacts our financial situation (both immediate and long term), but it effects our quality of life for the foreseeable future. So, similar to the institution of marriage, buying a house is a commitment that should not be taken lightly!

Fortunately, there are several effective ways to help ensure that the home you buy will live up to your expectations. One of the most steadfast “anchors” you can have in your search for the ideal home is a seasoned real estate agent. They have the training, knowledge, and communication skills to help you find the house, the right property, and the optimal location that will best suit your needs.

Your agent will work closely with you to create a list of house hunting requirements and preferences. Although the location, school district, and number of bedrooms will probably have a major bearing on your decision, there are literally dozens of other features and characteristics that will influence your final choice. Among those will be square footage, number of bathrooms, and the property’s tax rate.

Standard checklists that include a wide range of home buyer requirements are available online and through your real estate agent. These checklists will help you rank each house you visit and objectively compare the homes you like the best. While flexibility is a necessary part of a successful house-hunting campaign, there will invariably be items you won’t want to compromise on.

By deciding in advance what your new home should include, you’ll create a clear vision of the type of living environment you and your family will find the most satisfying. Whether you’re looking for a home with an open floor plan, a screened-in porch, one or more fireplaces, a finished basement, a two-car garage, or ample space between neighbors, getting your requirements down on paper is the first step to turning your house-buying goals into reality!

You may be ready to sell your home. However, before you add your residence to the real estate market, you should consider involving your neighbors in the home selling process.

There are many quick, easy ways to connect with your neighbors and ensure they can help you sell your house, including:

1. Meet Face-to-Face with Your Neighbors

Although you’ve enjoyed many wonderful years in your neighborhood, you may determine that now is a good time to relocate. As such, you should meet with your neighbors to share the news.

A face-to-face meeting with a neighbor usually is a good idea. At this time, you can provide details about your future plans and respond to your neighbor’s concerns or questions as well.

Plus, you can ask your neighbor if he or she knows anyone who may be interested in your home. And if your neighbor answers, “Yes,” encourage him or her to share the news that your house will soon be available.

2. Provide Neighbors with a Copy of Your Home Listing

Ultimately, you’ll want to provide your neighbors with as much information about your home as possible. By doing so, you can make it simple for your neighbors to keep colleagues, family members and friends up to date about your residence.

If an online home listing is available, feel free to share a link to the listing via email or social media. Then, your neighbors can copy and paste the link to the listing to share it with anyone they choose.

Also, if your neighbors prefer a paper copy of your home listing, you should be able to provide them with a print-out that outlines your house’s features. Be ready to provide paper copies of your home listing to your neighbors at any time, and you can boost your chances of selling your home quickly.

3. Be Available to Respond to Home Selling Concerns and Questions

After you share details about your home with neighbors, it may be only a matter of time before your residence sells. Meanwhile, neighbors may return to you with additional concerns and questions about your residence.

Be available to your neighbors via phone call, text and email. This will ensure you can provide your neighbors with the home information they request, any time they need it.

Lastly, it is important to remember that home sellers should try to do everything they can to promote their residences to the right groups of homebuyers. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can improve your chances of connecting with the right homebuyers, regardless of the current housing market’s conditions.

A real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals and work with you to ensure you can achieve them. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses and respond to your home selling concerns and queries to guarantee you are fully supported throughout the home selling journey.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in your residence.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.