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Should I start looking with just being pre qualified?

I got pre qualified threw the mortgage lender and stopped by yesterday to fill out all my paper work to get pre approved. Mortgage lender said it will be 2-3 weeks before I know if I'm pre approved but judging by what he has gathered that I should have no problems.

Should I contact a real estate agent now or wait for the pre approvel? I was all for just waiting but at the same time I'd like to try to find a house as soon as I'm approved so I don't lose out on grant money.
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February 19 - Independence
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Judging from your lender's comments, your credit scores are good and he/she will be moving forward with obtaining pre-approval for you. You have made a major first step in the home buying process, meeting with your lender! It would be a good idea to contact a Realtor at this point to begin a search meeting the criteria of what you hope for in a home, "weeding out" homes of no interest and saving you lots of time. You will be able to save homes that are suitable to you and begin driving through those neighborhoods to check them out and to see if the outside of the home is something you might like. Home buying is a process, one that can be trying, but not so much if you have the right guidance with a Realtor who is willing to work along side you. The end result will be a smooth transaction and a very happy home buyer! Best of Luck to you in your endeavors! Bj Schenck, Realtor NKY
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February 19
I have to ask as a mortgage lender, what paper work are you filing out? wy us it taking 3 weeks to issue a pre-approval? Pre-approval is soley based on income and credit. When I do a pre-approval, I look at the credit report, paystubs and tax returns. As long as everything is in line I will issue the pre-approval within a few days. There is nothing to sign..

After and only after, you are under contract with a proeperty you find You will then fill out the application paper work and the underwriting process will begin.

This just seems a little odd that's all but good luck and best wishes!

-Scott
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February 19
It is definitely a good idea to contact an agent.  You can have an initial consultation where you discuss what you are looking for, new construction vs re sales, and what areas you prefer, e.g. close to shopping, rural etc.  A good agent can give you a wealth of information e.g.,  the buying process, growth or decline in certain areas, but most importantly, helping to narrow down the type of property that would really suit your needs.
Make a list of what you want or don't want and try to stick with it.  After all, it is an emotional process and a  huge financial decision.  Make sure you feel comfortable with the agent and they will  look after your best interests. 
It's an exciting time but can also be very stressful.  An experienced and knowledgeable agent can help relieve some of that. 

Remember .... have fun too!

Phil Fowler
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February 19
Most lenders will usually tell you what's up with your credit/financial situation up front.  After reviewing your information more than likely they think you'll be able to get pre approved.  Most real estate agents will begin to show you houses at this point.  If you run into any problems with your agent, just have them contact the lender.  Happy house hunting!
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February 19
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Thank you very much
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February 19
 
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