These days it’s easy to begin comparing loan products and monthly payments projections with online lenders. Many buyers, however make the mistake of only focusing on interest rates when choosing a potential lender. There are many other important factors to consider, as well.
In markets like Seattle, it’s imperative that your lender also has great communication and is available to provide revised documents and answer questions for the buyer’s broker and also for the seller’s broker promptly…even on weekends. Working with a lender who may only be available during normal business hours on Monday–Friday, and may also be in another time zone can be a frustrating dynamic when preparing an offer and throughout the entire home buying process.
I can provide you with many optional lending resources who are both competitive and have a track record of excellent communication skills and the ability to close loans on time for my clientele.
Some buyers assume that it makes sense to begin looking for a home first, before starting the loan qualification process. However, there is nothing more frustrating than investing your valuable time and efforts in locating your dream home only to lose it to another buyer, because you are not fully prepared to submit a viable offer to a seller.
In a market like Seattle, sellers typically expect a pre-approval letter accompanying an offer and the seller’s broker will also have questions for the lender to verify the strength of the buyer, before they will consider accepting any offer.
You will either need to become “pre-qualified or pre-approved” before getting serious about purchasing a home. While many people use those terms interchangeable, they are certainly not considered the same to a seller or a listing agent.
Pre-Qualified vs Pre-Approved
Pre-Qualified: Is a simple process, which is usually done over the phone or online. It doesn’t include credit history reports or other related information that would further qualify you. A lender or mortgage broker will likely be able to give you an answer within only a few days.
It’s important, however to understand that a pre-qualification is basically just a rough estimate of how much a buyer might be able to borrow, based on the limited information given to the lender. In some markets, being pre-qualified is all that is required to submit an offer. In Seattle and other competitive markets, however, it doesn’t carry as much credibility with a seller, as being pre-approved.
Pre-Approved: To accomplish this process, will require the submission of an application and the lender will ask you for documents of proof of income, etc. Your application will then go through the lenders underwriting loan approval process. As a result, getting pre-approved will provide both the buyer and the seller with a more definitive answer, regarding how much you can actually qualify to borrow. It will also significantly speed up the closing process for all parties later.