Shopping for a home is always an exciting experience. And, with todays technology it’s never been easier or more enjoyable. No matter where in the world you are you can shop for a home in a new area. You can find a new home and never leave your old comfy couch. The access to available homes is as easy as it is exciting.
However, the ease of access does not come without some dangers. Shopping for a home is easy- but buying a home can be hard in today’s marketplace. If you’re considering buying a home with a mortgage don’t make the mistake of submitting an offer without being pre approved or pre qualified.
In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.
Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.
Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:
One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional like myself is that I have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Depending on your needs and situation I can refer the right lender.
Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”
Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:
Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.
The importance of being pre approved can’t be over emphasized. In a competitive marketplace where there are more buyers than homes finding a home and submitting an offer WITHOUT a pre approval letter is likely a huge waste of time. The seller is going to discount the value of your offer in terms of your ability to close. The seller will NOT take your offer seriously in comparison to the other offers in consideration. Why should a seller take your offer seriously if you’ve not done the work to obtain pre approval. Submitting your offer with a pre approval or pre qualified letter enhances the value of the offer and shows the seller your serious. It removes one of the sellers greatest worries- do you have the money to close?
Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. Getting a referral to a lender that helps you get qualified is an important early step in the home purchase process. Without pre approval you’ll have a very frustrating experience.
On the other hand, if you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so. And, you’ll know your offer is received and given full consideration because you’ve done the proper work ahead of time.