Should I Obtain a Mortgage Pre-Approval Before Buying a House?
Some homebuyers find the house they want, sign a contract and then look for a mortgage loan. Problem: They find out later that they were declined or only qualify for a much lesser amount than their dream house! The homeowner then promptly rejects their contract. How could this have been avoided? By first getting pre-approved for a mortgage. This saves both the homeowner and buyer a lot of wasted time and money. Many Real Estate Agents require a homebuyer to get pre-approved before helping them shop for a house.
Don't confuse being "prequalified" with being "pre-approved". Prequalification for a mortgage simply
means a lender may give you a loan for a set amount contingent on the lender checking the your credit history, employment history, down payment source, etc. Prequalification doesn't guarantee a loan commitment. In other words, if your "ducks are in a row" they may give you
In contrast, a pre-approval lets the buyer know exactly up to what dollar amount they can receive when shopping for a house. Homeowners will accept a contract offer if a mortgage pre-approval letter is included over a prequalification letter. It's a much stronger offer. With a mortgage pre-approval, the buyer already has gone through the approval process. This gives the homeowner peace of mind, knowing that a buyer can actually buy their home instead of tying up their property for several weeks, only to realize later they can't get financing.
In order to obtain a pre-approval, a mortgage loan application needs to be completed. Items needed:
Bank statements, most recent paycheck stubs and last two years of W-2 tax forms. A credit check if also performed.
Once pre-approved, the homebuyer should receive a pre-approval letter. This letter is a commitment from the lender to fund a loan for your home purchase.
Also, an approval may be contingent on the home appraisal and the homeowner's ability to transfer the title to the homebuyer. Always make sure the letter is not just a prequalification letter. This has no value when making an offer to buy a home.
And lastly, a signed sales agreement must be included to complete the approval process.This
agreement must be signed by the homeowner and the homebuyer.
About the Author: Desmond Primus is author to several articles and is the webmaster of a financial services website. To read more articles, please visit: www.FasterPropertySales.com