If you're out looking for a house and you haven't been pre-approved you're putting the cart before the horse. Especially in this market. There is a lot of inventory - and that means it's a buyers market. But sellers are hesitant to take their home of the market for you if you haven't been pre-approved yet. Bringing in an offer with a pre-approval also gives you a better chance of getting the price you want. Lets say there are two offers on the table - yours and one other. The other people aren't pre-approved and are offering $10,000 less than your offer. You are pre-approved but offering $10,000 less. Chances are, the seller will counter your offer first - trying to get you to the other price. If you stick to your guns - you have a better chance they'll take your offer. Who wants to take the chance that someones financing will fall through? Especially since lenders are more restrictive now in the loans they are willing to fund. So what's the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval? When you get pre-qualified you probably just talked to the lender on the phone, told him how much you make and what you think your credit score is. Takes 5 or 10 minutes. That's a nice first step, but keep going. When you get pre-approved, the lender checks your credit score, reviews your income information such as tax returns and w-2's and you actually fill out an application. The lender then matches you with a program to see what kind of loan you qualify for and the rate you can get. Do this - and you're offer really stands out from the crowd! Add a large earnest money check - and you are golden!
To get you started - here are 3 lenders I work with. Why would you want to work with one of these lenders? As a Realtor, I am out in the market every day. These lenders are people I have done deals with in the past. I have the utmost confidence in them to actually fund your loan and give you an honest picture of what this will cost you upfront.
Amy Buchanan - Professional Mortgage Partners. 630-598-2336. Yes, we're related. She's my cousin. She works for Professional Mortgage Parnters and she will get you the best deal possible!
David Worley - Vision Loan. 630-553-1033. Maybe the hardest working man in the mortgage business! He will work tirelessly to keep you updated and get the deal done.
Dawn Marquis - Draper & Kramer Mortgage. 815-436-6040. Dawn's a straight shooter. She'll tell it like it is. Whether you like it or not ;) And she'll make sure your loan funds!