New York, New York – who doesn’t dream of living in the city? The glitz and glam of the NYC life has been cast into iconic movies, quotable Broadway plays, and favorite TV shows. Native New Yorkers and visitors alike dream about living amid the bustle and excitement that characterizes the city. For first-time buyers, the search for a home in NYC can be invigorating, thrilling, and – often – stressful. In a city with 8.5 million residents and an average home price tag of just under $1 million, it’s no surprise that competition for great apartments in the city is fierce. As a practicing real estate operative, I’ve seen firsthand how frustrating and rewarding the search for home can be in New York. Below, I’ve outlined a few best practices for first-time buyers to consider during their search.


Be Prepared for the Long Haul

There is a (very!) slim possibility that you might waltz into your dream home and call it yours in a matter of weeks; however, that outcome is highly unlikely. The search for a home can eke on for months at a time, and visiting ten, twenty, or even forty properties over the course of the process isn’t uncommon. Moreover, simply expressing interest in a property you like will not guarantee you ownership if you find yourself in a bidding war or amidst challenging negotiations. To improve your chances, make sure that you have all of your financials in order before you reach out to a seller.


Don’t Get Attached

Your dream home probably looks awfully similar to someone else’s. Don’t get attached! Competition for great homes in New York is fierce. You’re likely to find yourself outbid a few times in your search – so be prepared to compromise! Consider what you are and aren’t willing to give up in a home, and try not to be overly selective when you start looking for a place. After all, you may come to love a property, even if it wasn’t what you envisioned when you started searching.


Find a Good Real Estate Agent

A capable realtor can do wonders during the home-hunting process. That said, you will need to make sure that the agent you choose is equipped to meet your specific needs for location and price range – so do some legwork! Reach out to friends or acquaintances who live in areas you like and ask them about their home-buying representation, or ask residents and doormen for buildings you like about real estate agents they know. A little research can do wonders in the long run!


Trust Your Real Estate Agent

Once you’ve found an experienced realtor, trust in their expertise! Odds are, they’ve been on similar hunts before and know how to get you the home you want. Once you’ve fully communicated your interests, price range, and ideal home types, take a step back and let the agent take the lead in finding your dream home.