Buying a home is a major undertaking and a huge investment. It helps to have a seasoned expert by your side as you negotiate the process - and it could hurt if you make one of these three mistakes.

Whether you're in the market for your first home or looking to move up to something better, it helps to do your homework and have the right people on your side as you negotiate your purchase. A home is usually the biggest investment a person makes, and you need to make sure you have the knowledge and advice to make the right investment. Here are three ways buyers often make the wrong one:

1. Hiring the Wrong Agent

There are tens of thousands of licensed real estate agents out there, and most of them lack real experience in buying and selling properties. Your agent should also be your partner in your search for the right home. Great agents build relationships with their clients, getting to know their needs and desires and following up with them to make sure they continue to have homes that meet their needs and desires as they change.

2. Not Having a Plan

It may be an old cliche, but those who fail to plan plan to fail. You should have a good idea of what sort of home and neighborhood you want, and you should discuss your goals with your agent at the start.

And you should be ready to seize opportunity if it strikes, even if the opportunity isn't Your Perfect Home. Your agent can alert you to outstanding values in the market that may satisfy your wants without breaking your budget, especially in highly-sought-after neighborhoods.

3. Being Uninformed

There's no excuse for not having at least some idea of what the real estate market looks like in the areas where you would like to live, given all the resources available online, including ours. You will have a better home shopping experience with your agent if you know at least a little about your target areas going in.

But a great agent will have a deeper knowledge of the market and trends affecting it, and the agent can help you refine your search or modify it if needs be more effectively than you could on your own.