Athena Brownson, Compass Real Estate

DENVER – Athena Brownson is a lifelong resident of Colorado and was born into a family of real estate developers, builders and interior designers. Having learned the ropes of real estate from a young age, she is passionate about helping millennials and first-time home buyers navigate the process.

“Purchasing a home is a huge milestone, yet most of us are never taught how,” said Athena. “This is why I want to provide value and insight to people who are buying their first home, as they may be overwhelmed having no idea where to begin.”

For buyers who are looking to purchase their first property, here are five tips that will get them on the right track:

Find an experienced real estate agent. “The first and most crucial step is finding a Realtor who has the experience, knowledge and ability to guide you through the home-buying process,” said Athena. “This person is guiding you through one of the largest purchases of your life, so you should feel comfortable in their abilities. Do your research and interview Realtors. Look up their production online and read through testimonials from their past clients.”

Get pre-approved by a Lender that you and your Realtor trust. Before you start looking at purchasing a home, you must get pre-approved for a mortgage which will help determine what your budget is, what type of loan is best for your financial situation, and what you can expect your monthly mortgage payment will be. Similar to interviewing your Realtor, you should do your research and ask what percentage of their pre-approvals are not able to close. Athena says, “You must be able to trust this person to get you to the closing table.”

Take advantage of the slow seasons. “Real Estate is historically seasonal and is less competitive for buyers between November and February,” said Athena. “Plan to start looking to purchase your home during this slow season to reduce your chances of getting into a bidding war.”

Keep an open mind. Start off your home search with an open mind and a broad search criteria. If you keep your options open in the beginning – such as location, size and price – it will help you get more familiar with the local market and how prices change from neighborhood to neighborhood. This will help you educate yourself about the market so you can narrow in on the ideal property with your agent.

If you see a property you like, don’t delay. Your Realtor should set you up on a home search that e-mails you properties that match your criteria as they become available on the market. If a property catches your eye, chances are other buyers will see it too. Have your Realtor schedule a showing as soon as you’re able so you don’t miss out.

Athena Brownson is a Colorado native and Realtor at Compass Real Estate in Denver. She takes pride in assisting her clients with pivotal moments in their lives through purchasing or selling their homes. To contact Athena, call 303.919.9344 or visit