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Why is getting Pre-Approved for a mortgage important?
A pre-approval letter is a document provided by a licensed mortgage broker stating that a buyer can afford a property purchase up to a specific amount. Essentially, it answers the question that many sellers have when talking to potential buyers: Are You Good For It?
What are some specific benefits of getting pre-approved?
As a potential home buyer, a pre-approval letter gives your offer credibility: Offers from pre-approved buyers carry more weight…because a home finance professional is putting their stamp on what that buyer can afford. It’s so important that some sellers won’t even waste their time showing their home to buyers UNLESS they're pre-approved.
A pre-approval letter means, you’ve taken a big first step towards securing financing… putting your offer ahead of the pack: Remember that most sellers want to close the sale asap. Getting a pre-approval letter early helps you front-load a lot of the work on the financing side…giving you an advantage over other buyers. When you see a property that fits your needs, you want to be able to make an offer quick.
HOT TIP: if the seller has already vacated the property, they’re losing money every second it’s on the market. That puts a buyer who’s able to close the sale quickly, in an amazing negotiating position to ask for price reductions.
Some mortgage experts (ahem!) know the right buttons to push: For example, when my clients make an offer, I connect with your agent re-assuring our confidence in your finances and that the loan can fund within the necessary timelines. At offer time, this goes a long way because of the reputation for reliable pre-approvals and getting deals funded on time.
Is there a difference between pre-approval and pre-qualification?
Unfortunately, these terms get used interchangeably often. They both relate to the assessment of a homebuyer’s finances by a mortgage professional to see how much a buyer can afford. The main difference is that a pre-approval requires that the mortgage pro actually sees documentation verifying the buyers finances. Some pre-qualifications may only be based on the buyer’s self-reported finances. If you are serious about buying a home, these docs will be needed at some point in the process, so I prefer to get them upfront. That way I can provide a reliable pre-approval letter that will reduce problems further into the homebuying process (when issues and delays are typically MUCH more costly).
How do I get pre-approved?
Easy! Just go here