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Buyers Be Ready!

It’s so easy to shop for a home these days. Almost all real estate transactions start with searches on the Internet. With multiple real estate websites at their fingertips, many homebuyers get pulled into the search for the perfect home, without first doing one very important step. Before you get in the car to actually view homes:  get pre-approved from your mortgage lender.  Typically, buyers have done the on-line calculations and know approximately how much their monthly payments will be, so they know how much they can spend. Okay, that’s a good start. Here is the reality:  in certain price points, you may have competition when making your offer. If you don’t have a pre-approval letter in hand from your mortgage lender, it could mean NOT being selected over another buyer.

I had a call yesterday from a buyer interested in a listing that I’d had on the market for six days. She’d seen the sign and would love to live in this particular neighborhood. The Sellers had just received an offer and needed to respond in two days. The caller had not been pre-approved for a loan, it was the weekend and my Sellers would be making their final decision by Sunday. Even if she was ready to make an offer after viewing the home, why would my Sellers choose her offer over another offer from a pre-approved buyer? Well, they probably wouldn’t. Too risky.

Getting a pre-approval will take more time and effort than a pre-qualification. Your lender will verify information that you have provided, but you will be much more informed about loan programs available and the process. Plus, you will have a document that carries more weight with the Seller of your next home.

If you don’t know a mortgage lender, ask your real estate professional, a family member or friend who has had a recent experience with buying a home for a referral. Don’t wait until you see the perfect home online – be prepared!

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