Sitting in my office the other day I received an inbound inquiry from the switchboard. It was a prospective purchaser that was relocating from one of the "family islands" and wanted to see a home listing we had. As usual, I asked some qualifying questions to get a feel for the prospect's needs. After getting satisfactory answers to my battery of questions I asked the most important question of all, " Will you be financing your purchase and have you been pre-qualified at the bank for a loan?" You would have thought I asked the lady how much she weighed (which is a question that should never part your lips unless you are a physician)! Immediately following the uncomfortable silence on the other end of the phone, she proceeded to tell me that she owned other property and that qualifying for a loan shouldn't be a problem. That may be so, but I for one don't even put the key in the ignition, nor will I inconvenience my seller or another listing agent unless I know for sure that the prospect can qualify for the purchase price of the listing, or at least get real close! After diplomatically explaining my position and offering to recommend a couple of lenders that could likely do an over the phone pre-qualification, she abruptly said, "I don't want to go through all of that, I just want to see the home"! Well I'll be a monkey's uncle! Let me just stop what I doing, call the owner, or in this case the listing agent, ask them to stop what they are doing and make arrangements to show you a home that neither you nor I know you can afford, and all because you want to circumnavigate the natural order of things?!?! I was absolutely amazed, but regrettably not terribly surprised. In this case, the interested buyer didn't want to bother herself getting pre-qualified. In many other cases, it seems that banks would rather not go through the rigorous process of qualifying buyers before they begin shopping. All too often, the prospective purchasers tell us that the bank said, "go find a property you like, get an offer letter and/or contract and we'll see if you qualify." In either case, the buyer is clearly putting the cart before the horse!