Buying your first home is a great experience, but it can be full of confusion as well. The job of your real estate agent is to help you get into your first home successfully, and part of this process is helping you be most prepared for the experience.

Here are things your real estate agent wants you to know when you buy your first home. The more you know, the more prepared you'll be for whatever comes your way, especially if you're on a budget and there aren't many homes available in your price range.

What you think you can afford and what you can afford are not the same

Your budget for buying a home might be different than what your lender believes it to be, and in the end, it's your lender who will decide how much home you can afford. Your real estate agent wants you to know what you're pre-approved for before you look at any houses so you don't accidentally look at homes on the market that are outside your max budget.

In general, lenders decide how much home you can afford based on your income versus your current expenses. They typically allot a certain percentage of your income to a potential mortgage. Your real estate agent will help you understand what your pre-approval note means.

What earnest money is

When you put an offer on a home, you put down what is called earnest money. This is a small deposit on your offer that backs your offer up and shows how serious you are about buying the property. As a first-time home buyer, your real estate agent will want you to put an impressive yet affordable amount of earnest money down along with your offer to help it stand out better.

Don't worry: the earnest money you put down with your offer will only be taken if the offer is accepted, and it will go to the purchase of the property in the end. Your real estate agent will suggest an earnest money amount based on what's common on the local market and what your offer amount is.

The house you want might not be the one you get 

The house you want may not be the one you get, which is true in many cases for many first-time home buyers. Many people look at and put offers on several homes before they get one that is right for them. Your real estate agent wants you to understand that you're likely to look at several homes and even put in good offers on them before having one accepted. Buying a home takes time, but if you stay the course, your new home might come to you sooner than you think.   

Contact a real estate agent in your area to learn more.