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Should I get pre-approved before looking at homes?

  • November 28 2011 - Warrenton
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Answers (13)

It is always best to get preapproved first. This takes the guess work out of your home search. You know that you are a QUALIFIED BUYER, you know HOW MUCH you can spend and you know what your monthly payments will be from the start. You also position yourself as a STRONGER buyer when you do put in your offer as you already have your preapproval letter ready to go!

 

Real estate financing is available from many sources, Choosing the right lender is just as important as choosing your home. Without a good lender backing you, your home purchase could have snags in the process that no one wants to happen.

 




  • November 28 2011
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Profile picture for Shannon Rose
Definitely! In our current market, having a pre-approval letter when submitting an offer is almost necessary. When submitting an offer on a bank owned property (REO) or a short sale, where the lender will be reviewing the offer, a pre-approval letter is required before the lender will accept the offer. Banks do not want to ensure that the potential buyer is actually qualified to purchase the home before accepting an offer. Due to these changes in our market, regular sellers are having pre-approvals submitted with their offers as well. A seller may be more apt to select and offer with a pre-approval letter versus one without, as lending timelines and requirements have also changed, and we are seeing more delays and hiccups within the lending, so buyers want to be one step ahead when writing their offers.
  • November 28 2011
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Yes, you should get pre-approved that way you know how much house you can afford and narrow down exactly what you are looking for.  Also most sellers will not consider an offer without a pre-approval letter. 

  • November 28 2011
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Any foreclosure will not even look at an offer without a pre-approval letter.  With foreclosures sometimes there is a time crunch because there may be multiple offers.  I have seen people miss out on a great deal because they did not have a pre-approval before they looked at the house.
  • November 28 2011
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Getting Pre-Approved is an important step in the home buying experience, I always recommend doing it sooner rather than later.  Once you speak with a mortgage professional they will be able to tell you what price home you will be able to afford.  You definitely don't want to waste time looking at homes outside your price range.  Another important reason to get pre-approved is because most of the time the Sellers will not accept an offer without the Pre-Approval letter from the mortgage professional. So to answer your questions, YES you should get pre approved before looking at homes, although it is not mandatory.

Hope this helps!  If you have any other questions please let me know.

Stuart
  • November 28 2011
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Absolutely;  there is no better way for your buyers broker or your realtor to know what your budget is going to need to be !  How else do you know what price range of homes and which homes to focus on if you dont have a clear idea of what you can borrow and what type of loan you can be approved for.  there are many different loan programs based upon your credit and income and debt... so that is something I would want to know before i get ready to look at houses.. and then you can be ready  to make an offer on the one you choose without delays in finding a lender that offers the program you need ! 

good luck 
  • November 28 2011
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Yes!  If you are pre-approved, you will not be disappointed by looking at homes you can't afford. In addition, when you find a home you want to buy, you will have the the pre-approval ready to attach to the purchase agreement.
  • November 28 2011
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You can make an offer on a property without pre-approval....it just might not be taken seriously.
  • November 28 2011
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Profile picture for NinaHarris
Absolutely.  First of all you want to know if you qualify for a loan and the amount you can spend to purchase a new home.

When shopping for homes, if you are not pre-approved you cannot make an offer on a property.  If you find the home of your dreams there are probably others who are interested as well and any bleep in time could cost you that home.

Lastly, as a real estate agent I know that I as well as most will not spend time finding what you are looking for until I know you are pre-approved.
  • November 28 2011
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Yes, for a number of reasons.  First to see if you qualify for a loan and how much you can afford to spend for a home.  You will also be able to make a budget based on the mortgage payment.  Also, you need a pre-qualification to submit an offer  on a home.
  • November 28 2011
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You bet, there is no other way a Realtor should take you to homes.  
  • November 28 2011
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Yes, but don't stop there. Check the pre-approval amount and get an approximate monthly amout it will be. If this amount does not include taxes and insurance, then make sure to add those in based on an average for a home of that price in the area(s) you want to buy in (for insurance, call your insurance agent for a range; for taxes, look at similar-priced homes in the geographic region on ZIllow or county records). Then do a monthly household budget including this mortgage and an allowance for repairs and purchases needed to maintain the home. Make sure you are comfortable with that amount before you go look at homes. If it is out of your budget, work with your lender to reach a monthly payment you are comfortable with THEN go look at houses in that price range. This will help keep you from getting into a situation where you are house-poor because everything in your price range wasn't as great as those few houses you looked at before you knew what you could afford. Remember, what you qualify for is not always the same thing as what makes financial sense for you.
  • November 28 2011
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In my opinion, it is a good idea to get pre-approved prior to looking for a home. By doing this you will know what price range to look for and will also alert you if you may have any credit issues that could prevent you from buying a home.
  • November 28 2011
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