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Buying a house is a big decision. Make it wisely with these helpful tips.

> Do get an attorney before settlement.
Most mistakes happen before you close. If you have legal concerns, an attorney will be best equipped to help you before settlement. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

> Don't think big real estate companies are always better.
When you are ready to buy a home, you need a realtor that can provide the individual attention you deserve. You need someone who knows the area and that can help you find exactly what it is you are looking for at a price you can afford.

> Do make sure the agent represents your interest.
Often times homebuyers can be confused by the role of the real estate agent. Agents typically represent the seller. Their job is to sell a home, not to find a home for you to buy. Discuss whom your agent represents at the outset and know who is on your side.

> Don't be fooled by the numbers.
Most realtors won't tell you this, but sales numbers don't always tell the full story. Instead of comparing realtor's ability by dollars and cents — amount of property sold — compare them on their knowledge and ability to meet customers' needs. Interview them. And only choose someone you feel listens to you, that you are comfortable with.

> Do ask your family, friends, and neighbors who they recommend.
Word-of-mouth advertising is still the best. Ask around your prospective neighborhoods and see who used who and why.

> Don't use someone who doesn't use MLS.
The Multiple Listing Service (you'll hear it referred to as MLS) is an invaluable resource … only if it's used properly. Houses are listed on the MLS for all agents to see. And your new house might be on there, but if your agent doesn't check, you'll never know.

> Do make sure you're ready to buy.
It's a good idea to know what your goals are before you set out to buy. Knowing why you want to buy will help you know what you want to buy. Discuss this with our agent, and make sure he or she shares your goals.

> Don't get in over your head.
When buying a home, it's easy to let your imagination run wild with possibilities. But, sometimes, it's not so easy to get a house to where you want it. Know your tolerance for, and ability to do, home improvement before you commit to a fixer-upper.

> Do go Solo.
As a family-owned business, Solo Real Estate understands the value of personal relationships. Our expertise in and knowledge of Center City real estate helps us help you get the most home for your money. Go Solo before you go out looking for your dream home.


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