This topic can be the elephant in the room for some, but it’s important to understand even if you’re just looking.

  1. People hear what they want to hear… Some lenders will tell people that they’re “good to go” for up to $X without giving them any details on the kind of loan, down payment, interest rate, etc. With a pre-approval letter in hand, you can see exactly what the terms are and know the details up front. It also forces the lender to give you a solid commitment.

  2. Online calculators don’t mean anything… Don’t assume you can get a loan with a payment that is comfortable when you find the right house. Millionaires with 800+ credit scores get turned down for loans. Maybe it was that one credit card payment they missed last year, that one side-job they didn’t pay taxes on, or their debt-to income ratio didn’t quite work out. The past will always pop up at the worst times. Get the loan. Then get the house.

  3. You need to know what kind of loan you qualify for… Certain homes will only qualify for certain types of financing. Some homes will only qualify for FHA, some for VA, some Conventional, etc. You also want to know how much you’ll have to put down and what your estimated payment will be after taxes & insurance. Part of a realtor’s job is to make sure you’re only looking at houses that match up to your financing.

  4. You need help finding the right house… 65% of the listings shown on public websites (Zillow, Trulia, are already sold or under contract. They don’t accurately display whether a listing is a regular sale, a short sale, or a foreclosure. They also don’t list what kind of financing will work for that listing. The only way to weed out all of that accurately is to work with a realtor such as myself. It doesn’t cost anything to work with a real estate agent, but we’re busy helping people who have already proven that they can complete a purchase. If you don’t have a solid pre-approval letter, we can’t spend days, weeks, & even months trying to help. Any realtor is going to need to know what kind of loan you’re working with in order to help you. I can refer you to a mortgage lender best suited for your situation as well. Different lenders are ideal for different things.

  5. An offer doesn’t mean anything without the proof to back it up… Desirable homes sell quickly in this market which often means you may have to compete against other buyers for the same home within a day or two of it hitting the market. So put yourself in a seller’s shoes… If you had two identical offers on the table; one with proof that they can complete a transaction and one without, which one you would take? A seller is not going to wait on someone to get their finances in order. If you’re a buyer in this market, being able to pounce on the right opportunity when it presents itself is going to be your biggest advantage. That means having your ducks in a row ahead of time.

Different lenders fit different situations. CALL ME so I can refer you to the right lender! 904-624-9730