In working with buyers, I am often asked why or if it is important for them to get pre-approved. The answer is that is it always important and always preferred. This article will stress the different reasons one should be approved.
The first reason one should be pre-approved is that it helps establish a comfort level. Notice I did not say a qualifying level. Yes pre-approvals do tell you what loan amount you can qualify up to, but is that the most important thing they do? No. The most important thing pre-approvals give us is a comfort level. You may be able to qualify for a $200,000 loan but the payment may force you to make sacrifices you aren't prepared to make. So based on the qualifying amount, you can determin your comfort level. The amount that you can comfortably afford to borrow and still do the things you like to do. Remember our contracts do not say that your offer is contingent upon you liking your payment but that you can borrow that amount of money.
The second reason is that it helps determine what loans you can qualify for. Not every buyer can qualify for every loan and not every home can qualify for every loan. With each loan type there are certain procedures, paperwork and costs associated with that loan. It is better to know up front what your challenges and procedures are going to be instead of trying to re-work and existing contract. Changes in loan types during the contract period can cost the buyer, seller or both more money and can cost you the home of your dreams.
Third, it helps you focus on the homes that you can both afford and are comfortable with. There is nothing worse than finding the right home that has everything you wanted and not being able to get it. At that point, it will be hard to find another home that will make you as happy. If you keep to your goals established by your comfort level, you will be much happier long term.
Another reason to get pre-approved is there may be a slight glitch in your credit that needs to be addressed prior to closing on a home. Sometimes this can be handled quickly and sometimes it may take a little longer. Knowing where you are helps address where you want to be. This gives both you and your lender time to take care of anything that may delay your closing.
Lastly and most important for the seller, a pre-approval letter tells the seller you are serious. You have taken the time to get your pre-approval letter and are committed to buying this home. With all of the credit issues out there today, this helps ease their mind that if they sign your offer and take their home off the market for you, that you will be able to purchase their home. There are too many buyers out there for a seller to spend time on someone not pre-approved.
I hope this explains the need for all parties involved. I have several lenders that will work with you on getting you pre-approved so call me today at 615-406-9988.