For many people, buying their first home is a dream come true. But the actual process of buying a house can be frustrating for a first time buyer who doesn't know what to expect. Understanding the home buying process can go a long way in reducing the amount of stress you experience when buying your first home. If you're a first time buyer who will be purchasing a house soon, use the following tips:

Arrange Financing in Advance

Few people have enough cash on hand to pay for their first house in full, so most first time buyers rely on getting a mortgage loan to make the purchase. If you need a mortgage, it is important to get pre-approved for a loan before you begin looking for your first house. When you're pre-approved, you will know exactly how much a financial institution is willing to lend you, and what interest rate you will be charged. This will ensure that you can move quickly into escrow after you find the perfect property and have an offer accepted.

Choose the Right Real Estate Agent

A great real estate agent is essential when you're a first time buyer—he or she will be able to answer all of your questions and guide you through the buying process. It is in your best interest to meet with several real estate agents before deciding who to work with—you'll want to work with someone who you are comfortable with. If possible, try to find an agent who is very experienced in working with first time buyers in your area.

Be Willing to Compromise

Most first time buyers do not have the budget to buy their dream home, so it is important to be willing to compromise on features and amenities that a house has. Think about things that are "musts" for you, such as location and numbers of bedrooms, and let your real estate agent know about them so he or she can find homes to show you that best suit your needs. It is also a good idea to have a list of things that you would like to have in a house, but are not absolute necessities.

Expect Some Bumps in the Road

As a first time buyer, try to prepare yourself for some bumps in the home buying process. You may find a home that you love, but the seller may accept an offer from someone else. Escrow can sometimes take longer than expected, and closing can be delayed. You're likely to feel less frustration if you know that real estate transactions don't always go exactly as planned.

For more information about buying property, contact a real estate agent near you.