If you’re a first-time home buyer, you may think that there’s no need to start talking with lenders until you’ve found the house you want to purchase. However, one of the most important first time home buying tips is to make sure you’re pre-approved for the loan you need before you even start looking at potential homes. This can allow you to act quickly when you find the home of your dreams with several offers already on the table. It can also help you focus your search on houses within your actual budget based on your qualifications, which may differ from your original assumptions. Keep in mind that pre-approval involves a credit check, while pre-qualification is simply a letter of recognition from your lender. Some sellers may require proof of one or both before even scheduling a tour of the property.