Best Kept Secret: Real Estate

Finding and buying a home can be complicated. Take it from Hadi Atri, President and CEO of RE/MAX in the Charlotte area. He has been in the real estate business since 1980.

"When I first started, there was one piece of paper that you had to sign," said Atri. "And that was the contract and everything was in that one piece of paper. Today, we have disclosures, we have the contracts, we have the due diligence, we have the agency relationship. There are so many documentation that has to be executed before you even start looking for a home."

Atri says whether you're buying for the first time, or the tenth time, it's important to find a good realtor.

"Someone they can trust and you can get their advice," said Atri. "Usually, a realtor - a good realtor - will sit you down and they basically interview you and they ask you certain questions about bedrooms, bathrooms, how important is the yard and how important is the kitchen."

Atri says if the realtor does not meet your expectations, don't be afraid to find a new realtor.

He also says to figure out your budget *before* you buy - you can do that by getting prequalified.

That way, you don't fall in love with a house that's just too expensive.