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Mortgage Pre-Approval – Is it Really Needed Before I Can Search for a Home?

We recently received this question from a friend of a past client:

Do I really need a pre-approval before I go out to look at homes?

Here’s the candid answer.

If you’re paying cash for a property, you don’t need a pre-approval, but you do need documentation showing that you have the money to buy the home. (This is called Proof of Funds.)

If you’re getting a mortgage, it’s a great idea to get a pre-approval letter before we go out to look for homes. Here’s why: 

First, you need to know “how much house” you can afford. You need to know what you can buy. It’s more than just the principal and interest of the mortgage that you need to consider. Lenders take taxes and HOA or condo dues into consideration, too. So there’s a bigger picture in addition to what monthly obligations you have today.

So, once we know how much you can afford or buy (and by the way – it doesn’t mean we’re going to spend up to that limit, that just gives us a range!), we go out and look at homes. If we’re out looking at homes and you don’t have a pre-approval and you fall in love with a home, you risk losing it. Any listing agent who understands his business is not going to take an offer from a buyer getting financing without a pre-approval from a lender. 

It’s also important to note that a pre-approval from one lender is not the same as a pre-approval from another lender – and experienced agents know this.

So, pre-approvals need to have some teeth behind them to be helpful. If they’ve run credit, they’ve seen tax returns, and it’s pretty far along in the process, it has more meaning to a listing agent, and he is more likely to advise sellers to accept your offer. 



What we don’t want to happen is this:

You go out, we find the perfect home, you fall in love, and someone else swoops in to make an offer and get it under contract because you’re now working to get your pre-approval.

Bottom line: It’s a good idea to get the pre-approval up front.

If you don’t have a lender whom you trust and respect, we refer to people who we’ve worked with for years that we would recommend. 

If you have someone that you’re already comfortable with, we’d love to work with them as well. It’s a great idea for us all to get together on the phone or in person, help us understand that lender’s pre-approval process, and get the right documentation. This way, we make an offer, and we get it accepted.

We would be happy to talk to you further about this subject and help you find (and secure!) just the right home for you and your family. Give us a call at (561) 571-2289 or email us at amyandnoreen@allaboutfloridahomes.com with questions or for assistance.

How do I make my offer stand out – and get the house under contract quickly?

Today we’re addressing a wonderful question we received from a social media follower who is planning to house hunt soon. She asked:

How do I make my offer stand out? How do I get the house under contract quickly?

I love this question. Of course, that is our job when we represent you, as the buyer. Finding the right home for you is only the beginning. Helping you make the right offer, getting it accepted with the right terms… and getting you to the closing table… those are the trickier parts – and the parts that we excel at, in all honesty!

So, how do we help you get that offer noticed, and accepted – in a difficult market for buyers?

1) We leverage our relationship with the listing agent. This makes a big difference. We’ve been doing this a long time in the same market, and we have a reputation and relationship with agents. They know we partner well with them to get the right deal for both parties… and to make the deal actually work – and it does make a difference.

Of course, we can help your offer stand out – based on many criteria, NOT simply based on an offer price. How?

2) With a deposit. The deposit tells a listing agent and a seller that you, the buyer, are serious about this. You’re willing to put money up, and that means you will see this through.

3) By offering a desirable closing timeframe. How quickly you can close may make a big difference to a seller, depending upon their situation.

4) By offering an inspection period that works for both sides. This means considering how long we want and need for inspections, and what the seller needs too.

 

There’s many factors of an offer – not just the dollar amount. We can work with you to write the proper offer to get this home that you want – at the right price – under the right terms.

So, we’d love the opportunity to sit down with you, help you find the right neighborhood, find the right home, get it under contract, and get you to the closing table – and then we have the opportunity to celebrate with you! Give us a call at (561) 571-2289 or email us at amyandnoreen@allaboutfloridahomes.com with questions or for assistance.