So you’re thinking about buying a home?! Congratulations! First home or not, it’s a scary, but very exciting process! Beginning the process of buying a home, usually begins with light browsing online. You want to see what the market is like. You want to see what options are out there and price compare in your ideal market. Maybe you see a home that you think is ideal in a price range you’re looking for and you want to see it immediately. Your Realtor takes you and you fall in love. What’s not to love? It has everything on your checklist, is on a great street and is in a price range you’re looking for. Of course, you know that everything in real estate can change in a minute so you advise your Realtor to write up a contract and submit an offer. There’s only one problem; you haven’t been pre-approved for a mortgage!
Why is this a problem? Most agents won’t accept an offer without a pre-approval. A pre-approval verifies for a seller that you have the funds to purchase the home and thus, your offer is reliable. Without a pre-approval there’s no proof that you are in fact able to pay for the home and your offer is not strong.
Alright, so it’s clear that you need to get the pre-approval. Guess what? It takes a few days. By the time you’ve been pre-approved, the home you fell in love with is under deposit. Your chance is gone. Or worse, you find out that what you thought you qualified for, you don’t. You actually qualify for $30k less. Now, you’ve wasted yours and your Realtors time looking at homes outside of your price range and you’ve fallen in love with a home that’s far above your qualified price point. No home will compare and your standards need to be lowered. All of this makes this once exciting process, now much longer, more frustrating and overall, less exciting.
As Realtors who have learned this lesson with their clients the hard way, we request that clients obtain a pre-approval as soon as possible and ideally, even before we go to view houses. You deserve to fall in love with a home. You deserve to purchase that home. You deserve to purchase that home at a fabulous price that keeps you on a manageable budget. However, none of that is possible without that pre-approval.
Let’s start over…….so you’re thinking about buying a home?! Congratulations! It’s a scary, but exciting process. While the finance side of it may be the most scary (and even boring to many….who wants to talk numbers, let’s look at paint colors!), it is the most important. It should, without any doubt, be your first step. Get pre-approved first and avoid surprises or heartbreak later. Keep the process exciting and fun!