In years past, it has been recommended that buyers get "pre-qualified" by a lender for a mortgage loan. This usually means that you spend a few minutes on the phone giving financial information to a lender so you can find out your maximum mortgage amount. Getting pre-qualified is helpful because you know the price range of homes you can afford. However, the process doesn't guarantee that your mortgage application will be accepted and unknown problems often surface after you have made an offer on a house.
If you want to be in the strongest negotiating position possible, get PRE-APPROVED! This happens when you provide the same paperwork needed for a formal loan application and the lender has checked and verified all of your information, such as credit, employment, debt/income ratio and verifying down payment funds. You are actually APPROVED for a loan. Once you have made an offer on a house, you will formally apply for the mortgage. Certain facts may have to be rechecked depending on how much time has passed since the pre-approval.
Being pre-approved certainly can't hurt...in fact, in today's real estate market, it's almost a must! First, you may be better able to bargain with the seller if you are pre-approved. Second, when a seller receives an offer from a pre-approved buyer, they know that the buyer can secure a loan. If there are other offers, who do you think the seller will be more likely to take seriously? Why take the chance on someone that is not pre-approved?
So, if you are serious about buying a home, talk with your mortgage lender now! GET PRE-APPROVED! When you are ready, I'll be glad to help you find homes for sale in Florence, AL and the surrounding area that will fit your needs and budget. Just give me a call or email anytime!