Due Diligence for Home Buyers


Links to practical resources on most every aspect of home buying, from establishing credit to negotiating the final contract.


We've already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

Consideratio​ns and Step-by-Step ​Guides

Home Buying in Six Steps, (National Association of REALTORS®, Sept. 22, 2014)

Home Buying Process Resources, (CreditLoan)

First-time Home Buying, (Money Under 30)

The Millennial Home Buying Guide, (SmartAsset blog, May 22, 2013)

Considering a Home, (Freddie Mac)

A Short Guide to real Estate Lingo and Acronyms, (realtor.com®)

10 Ways to Prepare for Homeownership, (REALTOR® Magazine)

Establishing Or Cleaning Up Credit

How to Perfect Your Credit Score, (Wall Street Journal via realtor.com®)

How Credit Scores Affect the Price of Credit and Insurance, (Federal Trade Commission)

Credit Bureaus and Credit Scoring, (USA.gov)

FHA Requirements: Credit Guidelines, (Federal Housing Authority)

The Importance of Good Credit, (Freddie Mac)

5 Factors that Decide Your Credit Score, (REALTOR® Magazine)

Determining​ Budget

How much house can you afford? (Interest Blog, Jan. 17, 2014)

How Much You Should Spend on a Home, (Wall Street Journal)

Preparing for Homeownership: Calculators, (Freddie Mac)

How Much Do I Have to Save to Buy a Home?, (realtor.com®)

Calculate Your Income vs. Debt, (realtor.com®)

Mortgage Calculator: How Much House Can You Afford?  (Bankrate)

Hiring a Real Estate Agent and Lawyer

Why You Need a Lawyer When You Buy or Sell a House, (FindLaw)

Home Buying Agent vs. Real Estate Attorney  (FindLaw)

The Art of Home Buying: Hiring Professional Help During the Home Buying Process, (New Home Buyers Network, Inc., 2011)

Questions to Ask When Choosing a REALTOR®, (REALTOR® Magazine)

Why You Should Work With a REALTOR®, (REALTOR® Magazine)

Why Use a REALTOR®? (realtor.com®)

What Can You Expect From a REALTOR®?

Buyer Agents: Working for You Free of Charge (realtor.com®, 2015)

Listing Agent vs. Buyer Agent: Who Works for You? (realtor.com®, 2015)

184 Tasks Agents Do For You, (Ohio Association of REALTORS®, n.d.)

Using an Agent when Buying a Newly Built Home, (Westport News, Jan. 19, 2015)

Find other buyer agent articles from realtor.com®

Home Inspections

Frequently Asked Questions on Home Inspections, (American Society of Home Inspectors)

Ten Important Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector, (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Hiring a Home Inspector, (realtor.com®)

Goodbye Inspection, Hello Trouble, (realtor.com®)

10 Questions to Ask Home Inspectors, (REALTOR® Magazine)

Making an Offer and Negotiating

The Bottom Line on Contract Negotiation, (SRS Council)

The Basics of Making an Offer, (realtor.com®)

Negotiating to Yes, (SRS Council)

Closing Documents You Should Keep, (REALTOR® Magazine)

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

The 106 Common Mistakes Homebuyers Make (and How to Avoid Them), (eBook)

The Complete Book of Home Inspection, (eBook)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buying a Home, (eBook)

Financing Your Condo, Co-Op, or Townhouse, (eBook)

Home Buyer's Checklist, (eBook)

Home Buying for Dummies, (eBook)

Home Buying without the BS!, (eBook)

How to Get the Best Home Loan, (eBook)

The Mortgage Answer Book, (eBook)

Mortgage Myths, (eBook)

The Real Estate Process, (eBook)

A Survival Guide for Buying a Home, (eBook)

Tips & Traps When Buying a Home, (eBook)

The Unofficial Guide to Buying a Home, (eBook)

Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.

The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.