A Pre-Qualification Letter Doesn't Equal Being Pre-Approved

by Sterling Realty Group LLC 12/01/2019


 Photo by Tayeb Mezahdia via Pixabay

When you start looking for your dream home, you need to know how much mortgage you will qualify for. Your real estate agent might ask you to get a pre-qualification letter. However, just because you are pre-qualified doesn’t mean that you will get the loan. You need a pre-approval for that, and even then, the mortgage company might not approve your application.

Pre-Qualification

A pre-qualification letter just tells you how much loan you can afford. The lender does not check your credit, your debt-to-income ratio or other factors before issuing a pre-qualification letter. Additionally, a pre-qualification letter is dependent on the information you provide to the lender. The pre-qualification essentially gives you an estimate of how much home you are able to afford so that you do not look at homes that are not within your range.

To get a pre-qualification, you supply the lender with your assets, debt and income. Because the lender bases its decision on the information you provide, rather than information from outside sources, a pre-qualification is not a guarantee that you will get the loan.

Pre-Approval

Getting pre-approved for a loan usually takes longer than getting pre-qualified. The lender pulls your credit report and might ask for additional documents, including tax records and bank statements. To get pre-approved, you must complete a loan application and provide your social security number. The lender might charge an application fee for a pre-approval.

With a pre-approval, you will have a closer interest rate assessment, that is usually not finalized until the loan goes through underwriting. Once the lender pre-approves you, it will send you a conditional commitment for the loan amount. You can look for homes at or below that price.

In a market when buyers bid against each other – a seller’s market – having a pre-approval letter might give you a step up with the seller, who will more likely choose an offer by someone more likely to get the loan. Thus, if you and someone else submit a bid on your dream home, but the other person only has a pre-qualification letter, the seller might accept your offer, even if it is not as good as the other buyer’s offer, simply because you are more likely to get the mortgage.

For a pre-approval, you will need to:

  • Complete the lender’s mortgage application;

  • Possibly pay an application fee;

  • Supply your social security number and allow the lender to pull your credit;

  • Provide financial information to help the lender make a decision; and

  • Tell the lender how much you plan to put up as a down payment.

After you are pre-approved and the seller accepts your offer, you will then have to provide the rest of the documentation to the lender, including the accepted offer, bank statements, retirement account statements, taxes for up to two years, proof of income and other documents that will help the lender come to a concrete decision.

About the Author
Author

Sterling Realty Group LLC

Here's what I can tell you as a tenured licensed associate real estate broker in Michigan. 

- Dedication and continuous real estate education keeps me at the top of my profession. 

*FOR SELLERS- Many qualified buyers are looking to buy a home like yours right now! We have more buyers than properties available.
Why don't you reach out to me and let me guide you in researching putting your home on the market? 

*FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS - Let me help you get pre-approved. Banks are offering low rates. Many loan programs are available, some Zero down. Owning a home could be cheaper than rent! Why don't you reach out to me and let's talk through the different financing options available. 

*INTERESTED IN PURCHASING A LAKE FRONT HOME? Sterling Realty Group LLC serves the hundreds of lakes in Hillsdale, Lenawee, Jackson and Branch Counties. Specializing in the "Irish Hills" (US 12 from the northeast corner of Hillsdale County, taking in the northern portion of Lenawee County and most of southern Jackson County into Washtenaw County) The beautiful Irish Hills contains many lakes, state parks, and Michigan International Speedway. What kind of lake are you considering? ( all-sports=speed boats/jet skis or a fishing=no wake rule) What acreage, depth, base, or lake chain do you want? Want kind of fish can be reeled in? Approximate distance from my metropolitan area? 

Here's what sets me apart from other real estate agents.

From saylesmm; Belle is fantastic, very personable, knowledgeable and she communicates in a very timely manner! She made selling our home an easy experience. We highly recommend her and would definitely use her services in the future.

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