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Pre-Approval Don’t Leave Home Without It

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So, you are ready to buy a home? Congratulations! You are eager, you start to go to open houses, scour home décor magazines, and excitedly tell your friends and family.

You are imagining the smell of metal as they place your new keys in your hands. All of this is fantastic and don't stop, but pump the brakes a little bit.

Why? You see I don't want you to find your dream home and get into a tug of war with a seller who believes that your contract is a waste of time or worse yet you are in a bidding war with a scorned seller.

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Real Estate Hath No Fury Like A Seller Scorned! So, heed my loving advice. Please go and get a pre-approval before starting your home search.

Why should I do that? I don't want my credit pulled. I am not ready for that.

Well, my friend if you are not ready, then perhaps you should ask yourself whether you're really in the market to buy right now.

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Home searching without a pre-approval is like going to the store without a wallet. You are just window shopping, not that there is anything wrong with this. Although, don't be too surprised that the clerk does not take you too seriously when you go up to buy.

So, what exactly is a pre-approval and how exactly is this different from a pre-qualification?

Okay, let me give you a little analogy. Suppose you are going on your first date. You ask questions to try and find out if the two of you will be a good match, right? The questions will usually be quite superficial, after all, you are just trying to find out if you want to see this person again.

Prequalification works this way. You see the bank is asking superficial questions trying to find out if it might be a good match. The hard questions are not forthcoming right now.

Much like on a first date, if the bank started the date by asking you how many children you wanted, you might be asking for the check!

During prequalification, the bank essentially tells you the likelihood that you might qualify for a loan. It is not a promise and could change once they pull your credit.

Pre-Approval, on the other hand, takes it a step further. You are no longer on that first date. The bank is past the getting to know you stage and now wants to know if you are marriage material. So, the harder questions come.

When a bank begins the pre-approval process they are formally verifying that the information you gave them is accurate such as:

  • Credit history

  • Financial obligations

  • Job History

  • Financial Stability

An underwriter then takes all this information and comes up with an amount that you qualify for. This is as close to cash that a buyer can get.

This announces to the potential seller that barring any unforeseen issues you will be able to buy the home that you are putting in an offer for. This is music to a seller ears' and if you should be in a bidding war for a home, your offer will be taken a lot more seriously.

So, don't be the buyer putting in an offer without a preapproval. Your time is precious you don't want to leave your next home to chance. Do the legwork beforehand.

Buying a home is stressful enough. There are a lot of things out of your control, don't add to it by having a seller give you the side eye because you are not prepared!

How has your experience been with getting a preapproval?

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