My real estate blogging colleague Judi Barrett in Oklahoma has written a wonderful piece on the many, many reasons home buyers should be getting pre-approval letters from their lenders before they look for homes.
Her message applies to everyone and it's just as important here in St. Louis' Illinois suburbs as it is in her territory to the west.
Your Edwardsville Realtor
Home Buyers, Please Don't be Offended... Just get Pre-Qualified.
Save Yourself Some Time. It Really Is For Your Own Good.
I've "lost" more showings due to one particular reason, more than any other. In fact, 90% of the time if I "lose" a showing, it's due to this reason. A buyer does not want to get pre-qualified.
I live and work in an area that is abundant with folks that are:
- hard working,
- been doing business with the local bank all their life,
- never been turned down for a loan,
- got good credit,
- family been here forever, may even own half the town...
.....kind of people.
I know these things.
When they call about looking at a home, they'll tell me these things.
I know, I come from a family that was the same way.
The salt of the earth, that's what my area has.
I love Southeast Oklahoma and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
BUT things have changed over the years. Some of those changes have come about more recently,
- like since you bought your home about 15 years ago..
- or that last 40 acres you added onto the place 4 years ago.
- They've even changed since you helped your daughter and new son-in-law buy their place 18 months ago.
- Or if you have never bought a home...it doesn't matter that grandpa's got money in the bank unless grandpa is going to co-sign your loan, or give you some of his money. His good credit does is not an inherited asset that he will pass to you.
SO PLEASE DON'T BE OFFENDED when I say to you,
"There's one thing that the seller has requested I get before I show you the house. I need a copy of your pre-qualification letter from a lender".
Like I said, don't get offended. Nothing personal. I have to say that to you, make that request, or I wouldn't be doing my job.
- I want to show you the house. I love showing houses. I love my job. I love helping folks buy a home.
- You want to see the house (or at least you say you do). You say you are seriously shopping for a home. You say you are going to buy one.
So why do you not want to get a pre-qualification letter? Do you believe that I doubt that you can borrow the money? Is that the way you're going to take it, as an insult?
THAT'S NOT IT.
If you've turned the tv on to a news broadcast during the last year or picked up a newspaper and read more than the headlines... well even reading the headlines might do the trick...
you should have figured out that the lending situation, including credit score requirements, down payment requirements, assets to close, etc etc have all gotten more difficult than it used to be.
Even your local bank where a hand shake got the deal done will take a lot more than that now. The documentation that your loan officer is going to ask you for, quite frankly is proably going to surprise you.
Now you ask me, "How is getting a pre-qualification letter going to save me time?" and "Why do you, the real estate agent, or the sellers want me get one?"
First question - How will it save you time?
- If you're serious about buying, you're going to have to get a loan. Getting a pre-qual letter from a reputable lender... a lender that you WOULD borrow money from.. is the first step in that process. (I'll even give you contact information for several lenders.)
The lender will check to see if you're credit worthy. When you find a home that you want, most financing supplementals to contracts default to a 10 day period to get pre-approval on your loan. Of course all things in a contract are negotiable but the seller is probably not going to want to allow much more time than that when/if they accept your offer. That 10 days can go by fast and you're going to have a lot on your mind at that time, like inspections, appraisals, moving... " If you're serious about buying a home, then act like it and get a pre-qual letter. Get the ball rolling for a loan pre-approval. It's just a matter of tending to your business.
- Second Question - Why do I and the seller want you to do it? See the the paragraph above... If you're serious about buying a home... why would I want to take my time to show you homes if you're not serious? There are only so many hours in the day and we're all limited, please don't waste mine. I'll go out of my way to help you with your transaction.. to the nth degree.. if you're serious about purchasing. BUT you gotta' do your part...get the pre-qual letter. The seller wants you to because they are going to make sure that the home is ready for you to look at and are going to have you, a stranger, in amongst their stuff. Getting pre-qualed tells them that you are a serious buyer and not just a lookey-loo wanting to see how they live or because you're curious and you've always wanted to see the inside of that house. A buyer with a pre-qual letter is probably going to get their offer looked at in a better light. :)
Now you tell me, doesn't it make sense to get at least a pre-qualification letter before you start looking at homes?
Pre-qualification letters are the best way to get scheduled to see the homes that you want to see and in a timely manner. They are an excellent boost to getting your offer taken seriously when you do find the perfect home, investment property, or land. They probably will help you get a seller to take an offer more seriously.
Got that pre-qual letter? Want to look at that house today? Call me... I'll be more than happy to show it to you.
Some photos courtesy of Morguefile.
I love sharing Southeast Oklahoma with you. The Country Life in Southeast Oklahoma is written to highlight our great area of Oklahoma, whether it's the beautiful scenery, the wonderful people, a happening or event, or maybe a restaurant or business that just does a great job.
Southeast Oklahoma is endlessly varied and has so much to offer. It's my desire to bring those things out.
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Judi Barrett, Broker, Integrity Real Estate Services, Office Address: RR 5 BOX 126, IDABEL, OK 74745 580-212-5946
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