The Most Important Step To Buying A Home

12 Feb

Although this seems like such a small thing, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can be one of the biggest road blocks to buying a home. Read on – especially if you don’t know the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval!

Via Dan and Amy Schuman- Cleveland OH Luxury Real Estate (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services):


If you were taking a home buying class, this would be the first thing you talk about. Basically real estate 101, getting pre-approved.

It may seem simple, yet many potential buyers are making a huge mistake by either neglecting this step or only getting pre-qualified, which is much more watered down version.

Failure to get a firm pre-approval may end up costing you the home of your dreams.



When the real estate market was slow, the sense of urgency to get financing was not very high. Buyers figured they could take their time to find a home, and then they’d firm things up with their lender afterwards.  However, with the market starting to really heat up and inventories still low, buyers must change this lackadaisical mindset.

The problem isn’t that buyers are totally forgetting to speak to a lender, although some still do not do this up front. They are simply getting pre-qualified instead of pre-approved, and there is a big difference.

A pre-qualification is just the initial step, typically a phone conversation about your overall financial picture. The lender may discuss income, debts, and go over different payment options, but it should not be confused with a firm pre-approval. The problem is that many buyers only do this initial step, and have the false sense of security that getting a loan will not be a problem. Some find out the hard way.

In order to grant a full pre-approval letter,  a lender will likely complete a formal application, pull credit, and collect specific documentation from you such as pay stubs, W-2’s, or tax returns. This will allow them to better define your maximum price range. It may not seem like a big deal but this extra step makes all the difference in the world.

I have seen cases when a buyer gets pre-qualified over the phone, and then ends up not qualifying once the lender verifies all pertinent information. Don’t let this happen to you.



Getting pre-approved will make you a stronger buyer and allow you to move quickly if needed. In an active market, you never know when that special home will come on the market, and when it does, you will need to act with a huge sense of urgency. Waiting until after you find your home to get your financing in order may be too late.

With multiple offer situations becoming common, having a solid pre-approval letter may even help you win out during a bidding war.

The difference between getting pre-approved and pre-qualified is merely time and a little effort on your part but is well worth it. In fact, it could ultimately determine whether or not you get the home.


Posted by on February 12, 2013 in Real Estate News


3 responses to “The Most Important Step To Buying A Home

  1. Sharon Sapp

    March 13, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    That’s great. It’s so important to choose a Realtor that you get along with because it is such an important purchase. I wish you all the luck in the world!

  2. homes for sale in Mooresville NC

    March 13, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Thanks for sharing this post. My husband and I buying our first home and are interested in looking at homes for sale in Mooresville NC. Because we’re first time buyers, we just realized how complex the process can be. Fortunately, we found a real estate agent who’s been more than helpful.

  3. pauguste2008

    February 18, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Reblogged this on Pauguste2008's Blog.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: