Know what you can afford! It is a good idea to have your mortgage broker or bank qualify you beforehand so that you know the price range you should look in.
Make a list of your needs and wants.
Contract your Realtor to work for you. I work with your schedule, and am accustomed to working outside normal business hours, and at weekends.
Give me your list: your budget, needs and wants, neighbourhoods and any properties that interest you. I can then verify the availability of properties currently for sale, and also provide you with the sale prices of comparable properties.
Remember, the buying price reflects just part of your overall cost. The other opportunity for saving is getting a good deal on your mortgage.