Always get pre approved and that means actually setting down with a lender of your choice and get the facts. You may be surprized at what you can buy, but none the less at least you will know.
I just thought I'd drop a reminder note to anyone of interest.
When you are about to embark upon the home buying process, PLEASE ask your Realtor for help locating a lender if you haven't already done so. Having a pre-approval letter from a lender is almost required when submitting an offer on a home.
When I was "new to the business" and someone would ask me to show them homes, I'd drop everything and pile them into my car and away we'd go. After a few very long days of showing houses to my prospective client and they'd find the home of their dreams, we'd prepare to write the offer.
Of course, the seller would ask, "where's their pre-approval letter"? The prospective buyer would then contact a lender only to find out they weren't able to obtain a mortgage due to an error or something on their credit report that prevented them from obtaining a mortgage.
Once this happened to me a few times, I decided, from now on when someone wants to take up hours of my time, gas from my tank and me spending the time to prepare the appointments and paperwork, I would always ask for them to have a pre-approval first.
Some people are offended about this because they think they are golden and that it's my job to do all of the above without me having to expect them to have THEIR affairs in order first.
Sorry folks, my time is very valuable and I will make every effort to find the right home for you, but you have to be willing to help yourself first.
Do you wanna buy a home? I can help, but, you gotta help yourself first!
I hope this helps to make everyones life and their expectations of a Realtor a little more simplified.
Have a great day and best of luck finding the right home, I'm here if you need me!