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But First, Get Pre-Approved!

You are scrolling through Facebook one afternoon when you see this new listing shared from a local Realtor® page you follow. This is it! The one you've been waiting for. The property has everything you've wanted in a home and you rush to the phone to call the Agent so you can schedule a time to go check it out in person.

Your excitement quickly turns to frustration when the Agent says, "I'd love to show you this home, but first... Get Pre Approved"! You hang up the phone completely annoyed. What is a pre-approval? Why can't they just show me the house? What's the big deal?? This makes no sense!! Grrrr.

As Real Estate Agents, we hear these exact questions & frustrations often. We do NOT like turning away prospective buyers, however our experience has shown us that without a pre-approval (or proof of funds for cash offers) prior to showing homes, a buyer is setting themselves up for a lot of wasted time, frustration, and also heartbreak. Additionally, if the property is bank-owned (REO, Foreclosures, etc) the seller may require pre-approvals and/or proof of funds prior to all showings.

So, what exactly is a pre-approval?

First and foremost, a mortgage pre-approval letter from a lender assures you, sellers, and real estate agents that you have the ability to complete the purchase of any home that meets the lender's guidelines. It shows you what you can afford to spend. The reality is that not everyone can get pre-approved. It's important to know what, if any, financing you qualify for before spending your time (and your Agents time) driving around looking at houses you cannot obtain financing for.

I have a pre-qualification letter. Isn't that the same thing?

Mortgage pre-approval shows you what you can afford to spend and what your monthly payment will look like and is not merely pre-qualification. Many lenders issue "pre-qualification" letters after asking about your income, debts and assets, and perhaps checking your credit. While a pre-qualification letter is better than nothing (at least you put some thought into your prospective purchase), it can't compete with an offer from a pre-approved buyer.

Do yourself, and your Real Estate Agent, a huge favor and spend the time to secure a pre-approval BEFORE you begin searching for your dream home!

FYI: You don't have to go with the lender from which you receive your pre-approval letter. Get your pre-approval, get an accepted offer on a house, and from there shop your mortgage to get the best rate you can (making sure the lender you choose can close on time!)

Don't let mortgage rate shopping deter you from getting a pre-approval letter first. After all, the best rate in the world will do you no good if you can't buy the house!

Final Thoughts

Buying a home is a big deal & there are certain steps you should take in order to be successful. A real estate agent who requests a pre-approval from a buyer before showing them homes is only attempting to represent the buyers best interests.


Ready to get started? Feel free to use the tools available on our website to assist you in figuring out your mortgage payments, getting a quote, pre-qualification, closing costs and more!


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