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Why Cutting Corners Won’t Get You to Your Destination Faster

December 14, 2016 By: Great Midwest Bank
A middle-aged couple speaks to a real estate agent in front of a home while standing next to a 'for sale' sign.

Have you started looking for your dream home without seeking a mortgage loan pre-approval? Many buyers believe they can begin searching for houses now and worry about obtaining a letter of pre-approval later. It’s time to shed some light on the importance of seeking pre-approval before the home search begins!

Discover Your Lender Options

A best practice for the first step of the pre-approval process is to meet with a few different banks to discuss mortgage lender options. The pre-approval process should ALWAYS include submission of your pertinent documents – pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns if necessary.  I’m still shocked that some Lenders will still issue a pre-approval based on a phone call and quick check of credit.  Insist that the loan officer you are working with look over this information ahead of time.

[What is Common Sense Lending?]

Stand Out from the Competition

Competing on a home with another buyer?  Your chances of getting an offer accepted are higher with a locally-run provider.  Agents know that the pre-approval process is thorough and the underwriting and closing stand a much better chance of remaining on track.  And local banks will most often service your loan locally after the closing, too.

The pre-approval process may seem tedious, but it will save buyers time and frustration throughout the searching and buying stages and get them into their new home quicker.

[How to Build Credit When You’re Just Starting Out]

Streamline the New Home Search Process

Receiving a letter of pre-approval before the home search begins is the first step to get you into a home you love and can afford. The pre-approval process takes many parts of your financial profile into account in order to set your price level for a new home. It provides other important information, such as the exact loan amount you can receive and the interest rates you can expect on that loan. Having this information on hand when you start working with a real estate agent allows for a more focused search.

Your realtor may have a better idea of what neighborhoods to look in, what price range to stay within, the size of house and amount of property you can afford, and more. This saves both agent and buyer precious time that might otherwise be spent looking at homes that may be just out of reach.

Besides saving time for all parties involved, having a pre-approval letter can also motivate your realtor to find the best potential homes possible within your budget. Your pre-approval gives realtors and sellers the confidence that you are a serious buyer with verification of financial support to complete a purchase at the end of the search process.

[How a Great Real Estate Agent Can Help You Buy Your Next Home]

Fast-Track the Buying Process

It is not uncommon for a seller to receive multiple offers on a home. Pre-approval plays a big factor when it comes down to which offer is accepted. While pre-approval is not necessarily a requirement for the acceptance of an offer, many sellers and realtors may not accept an offer without pre-approval.

Offers that are backed with a pre-approval letter are more attractive to sellers because there is proof that they can close the purchase quicker. This proof assures both the seller and the potential buyer that there will be no financial surprises while closing on an offer, such as loan rejection due to bad credit.

[From Start to Finish: The GMB Home Mortgage Loan Process]

Provide peace of mind for everyone involved in your home buying process, save time, and improve your chances of finding the home of your dreams by getting pre-approved before you start your home search. Stop in at any of our branch locations and meet with one of our loan officers to get started on your pre-approval journey!