Dated: 05/23/2019

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Whether you’ve found the right home, you’re just starting to look at homes, or getting ready to make some offers and want to make sure you’re really approved with no surprises you need to talk to a lender. The term “Pre-Approval” is probably the most abused of all mortgage terms. 

The term “Pre-Approval” is probably the most abused of all mortgage terms. Getting a Pre-Approval means making offers with Underwriter Approval on Credit, Income and Assets.  Lenders try to pass off Pre-Qualification as a Pre-Approval, and they throw the term around like a cheap suit. Be careful. Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval are not the same things. Which one is right for you?  You decide.


Pre-Qualifications are an issued opinion from a lender letting you know if you would qualify for a loan. A loan officer will analyze what you tell us you make and what you state your assets are. As long as what you state is accurate, a pre-qualification is generally accurate but still needs to be reviewed by an underwriter. If all you need is a quick answer to ‘can I afford this house payment?’ – then get a pre-qualification. If you’re ready to start placing offers on homes, you really should get pre-approved.


A Pre-Approval means that lender will fully underwrite your application, credit report, and income and asset documentation prior to you actually making an offer on a home. Here are the reasons why a Pre-Approval is a good idea:

  • Know Before You Go. Do you really want to spend two weekends in your real estate agent’s car, looking for homes, only to learn after you get a home under contract that you don’t really qualify for a loan of that amount?

  • There are literally more than 110 reasons why a loan could be declined. Sure, those 110 reasons probably won’t apply to you, but why risk it? Take all the guesswork and “hope” out of the loan process by getting a Know Before You Go pre-approval.

  • Sellers take Pre-Approved buyers more seriously. Imagine how much differently sellers will view your offer when your agent tells them that your loan has already been underwritten.

  • Close more quickly. By completing the Pre-Approval before you look for a home, you will have completed the majority of the work up-front. That means that you can close more quickly after your home is under contract.

  • Stronger negotiation power. If you can close more quickly, you may be able to negotiate a better deal with a seller, who will be more likely to consider your offer over comparable offers from buyers who still need to go through the entire loan process.

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