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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Want to Buy A Home? Get Pre-Approved First!

If you've read my other blog postings you'll see that there is an order of things with regards to purchasing a home.  You need to get your ducks in a row.  And, to quote an old standby, you shouldn't go off half-cocked.

My last posting talked about finding a agent before trying to find a home.  Are you with me so far?  What's next?  Start looking at homes?  Absolutely not!  The next thing you need to do, unequivocally, is to find a good mortgage lender and get pre-approved!

One would think this be obvious.  Why would anybody look at homes (or anything, for that matter) if
they don't have enough money, or don't have any money?  This is not just about common sense, mind you.  It's about getting yourself in a position to be able to move on a property when you find what you want.  It's about being strategic in your quest to find a home and making sure you are in a position to actually buy the home you want when you find it.

There are several reasons why you should be pre-approved by a qualified lender before you look at homes.  What are they?

1. You know you are able to purchase a home.  There is little doubt that you will get final approval from a lender if you are able to get a pre-approval.

2.  You will know what you can afford.  Do you want to spend a bunch if time looking at homes that you cannot afford?  I can assure you, your agent does not want to show you homes that are out of your price range.  You time is valuable and so is your agent's.

3.  You look like a ready, professional buyer when you make an offer.  What's the seller's biggest fear with most buyers?  That they won't offer enough?  No.  A seller's greatest fear is that you won't get approved for a loan.  A pre-approval removes almost all doubt from even the most fearful seller.

4.  If you are in a bidding war with another buyer who does NOT have a pre-approval which offer do you think the seller will take?  This one is obvious.  If you don't think this is true go make an offer on a property against another buyer who has a certified, valid pre-approval.  You will loose.

 5. Being pre-approved gives you more flexibility on the closing date.  Why is this important?  Because if the seller wants to close in (3) weeks and you aren't pre-approved it probably ain't gonna happen.  So will the seller kick your offer to the curb?  Most likely.

Do yourself a favor if you are considering buying a home: get pre-approved.  It usually doesn't cost anything and many lender can do it over the phone.  What possible reason could you  have for not doing so?

One last thing:  don't confuse the terms "pre-approval" and "pre-qualification."  Pre-approval is what you are looking for. Pre-qualification isn't worth the paper it's written on.

Good luck, and as always, happy hunting!

    

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