Overview by Robert T. Lord
Pre-approval is often confused with Pre-qualification. The two are similar, but pre-approval is a much more complete process, establishing firmly the programs for which you qualify. If you are purchasing a home, your Pre-Approval (oftentimes in letter form) puts you in a "cash buyer" position and gives you substantial negotiating power with the seller, positioning you as a true BUYER, not just a PROSPECT to the seller. It eliminates searching for underpriced or overpriced homes in purchasing; in refinancing, it lets you know what your equity can do for you!
Getting pre-qualified is relatively easy. Verbally disclosing your monthly income, length of employment, amount saved for down payment (if purchasing), your current address and social security number will get you an estimated loan amount, with a probable interest rate based on your verbal disclosures; however, the information is not verified at this time. Thus, the matching of your telling your facts becomes documenting your facts in a pre-approval process.
With your financial data confirmed, oftentimes you will find that you will qualify for even more than you thought! Your financial possibilities become focused; underwriting guidelines are reviewed, & your credit history, employment information, assets and liabilities will be evaluated. If a refinance, resale values for homes comparable to yours are reviewed; down payment sources for a purchase are confirmed. The only thing left to be done will be the appraisal and title report of your prospective new home or your existing property prior to submitting the full loan package. We want you to have optimum understanding of all options available to you!
Your FREE EZ PreQual is great; it mirrors an actual Preliminary Approval status. In short, verbal discussion gives you an "IDEA" of your possibilities; Your FREE EZ PreQual gives you the perfect "EDGE" in your goals; IT IS THE KEY TO YOUR OPTIONS!
1. Prevents disappointment for prospective homebuyers in seeking homes for which they do not qualify.
2. Can boost a home buyer's bargaining power, as the seller no longer has to worry about the buyer's qualifying to buy their home. As such, the seller may become flexible about other items, including the selling price, any closing delays, or extras included in the contract, such as appliances.
3. Self-Employed individuals may benefit from pre-approvals that improve their financial standing on paper.
4. People who may be simultaneously buying and selling a home should consider a pre-approval. That's because many sellers do not want the sale of their home to depend on the sale of someone else's.
5. If you have a real estate agent, they will be more motivated to devote time and energy to you. In fact, some agents won't show property to buyers who don't have a pre-approval letter.
Pre-approvals are generally subject to an appraisal of the home you want to purchase or refinance and are time-sensitive.
If your financial situation changes, interest rates rise or a specified expiration date passes, your loan status will be reviewed and your maximum mortgage amount will be recalculated based on these changes.
It has been said that some things are not "written in stone." Mortgage financing certainly is not. Be prepared for a flexible and fluid experience, one that can be a pleasant adventure...not a stressful, frustrating experience.