As a buyer you may ask, why do I need to get pre-qualified to look at homes? First, buying a home is very different than buying most anything else, as it is very personal. In many cases the person or persons selling the home have lived there for a long time meaning their children probably grew up in that house and the seller(s) have probably put a lot of time, energy, and money into the home. So, to have someone who has not taken the time to do even the most basic thing like get pre-qualified can be very frustrating or offensive to a seller. They rightfully ask, why would you want to see my house if you are not genuinely qualified to purchase it?
Secondly, a professional real estate agent should ascertain a buyer’s qualification before ever showing them a home. Why? Because showing you homes that could possibly be higher than you can purchase will do very little to help and will often create issue. As example: You see a home that is priced at $287,000 and you fall in love with it. You go to the lender and they can only qualify you for up to $250,000. You are now upset that you cannot afford the home you fell in love with and you realize after looking at other homes, in the new price range, that they do not measure up to that house. The new price range homes are fine but you really love the higher priced home. This will often take time (months or even years) to correct itself and will leave you unable to enjoy the process of purchasing or even cause you to stop looking altogether.
Lastly, it’s just good business to have your ducks in a row before you take the time of a professional real estate agent or the time of a home seller. It takes time to get the house ready and it takes time for the agent to set up showings (and costs are involved as well). In essence you making the agent a tour guide and the seller(s) a local attraction. So, I hope you'll really think about this and take the time to get pre-qualified or pre-approved (see below) before looking.
2 Primary Types of Qualification:
Pre-Qualification: The lender has run your credit and is taking everything else you say as fact (They’ll then begin the process of verifying what you told them.)
Pre-Approval: The lender has run your credit and has verified all the information needed to get the loan. You are just waiting for the right house and a good appraisal.
IMPORTANT: If at all possible, get a pre-approval as this can be used by your agent to leverage the offer for your benefit.
If you need a professional real estate agent to help you find or sell a home, please know I'm on standby to assist. Also, I can provide you with a list of professional lenders who do a fabulous job of making your dream of owning a home or another home a reality.