Prospective buyers want to enter their home search totally prepared, according to a new survey of more than 2,500 Americans. These buyers plan on getting pre-approved prior to the home buying process and intend to make sizable down payments.

Read more3 in 10 Americans Looking to Buy

Overall, slightly more than half of those surveyed – 52 percent – say they are likely to purchase a home in the next five years, according to the 2015 BMO Harris Bank Homebuyers Report. What's more, the majority say they're willing to pay an average of $296,000 on their next home purchase and intend to make an average 21 percent down payment.

Of the likely buyers, 78 percent say they plan to get pre-approved for a mortgage before seriously searching for a home. Three quarters of home owners said they set a budget before looking for a home. Sixteen percent said they stuck to that budget and ended up spending less while 13 percent of those who recently purchased said they ended up spending more than their budget.

"Getting pre-approved helps buyers understand their budget as they start their home search," says Alex Dousmanis-Curtis, group head of the U.S. Retail and Business Banking at BMO Harris Bank.

About 63 percent of the home owners surveyed spent less than six months searching for a new home before making a purchase. Eight percent of those surveyed said they bought a home without even participating in an active real estate search or planning to buy but ended up buying because a specific property caught their attention.

Source: BMO Harris Bank