If you are a first time home buyer, a checklist should be your top priority. Log all the steps you'll be taking, from educating yourself, to home shopping, all the way thru to closing. Next, put together a good budget, know what you want & what you have to work with. Use references from family and friends to find a good, reputable agent that will have your best interests at heart. Experts say you can expect the process to take at least 3 to 4 months. Your agent will be better able to help you find homes that fall within your criteria & price range more quickly.