I had this question today from a buyer that called me about a home that they viewed on Realtor.com. They had been visiting open houses and calling on signs all over town and every time, the listing agent just popped over there and SHOWED THEM THE HOUSE! This apparently happens a lot more than I thought!
So, I asked the potential buyer for the property address, their name and phone number, and then I told them that I would call them when I got back to the office. 30 minutes later, I called the buyer back with the information regarding the house that they had called about. Here was our conversation:
Potential Buyer: When can we see the inside of the house?
Karen: Are you working with a REALTOR?
Potential Buyer: NO. We are just starting to look and we just call the name or company on the sign and talk to the agent that has the listing.
Karen: Have you been pre-approved for a mortgage?
Potential Buyer: No, but we just want to see the house. All the other agents let us see their listings, so why won't you?
So, the question of the day is this: Why do I need to get pre-approved before you will show me houses?
Answer comes in three parts:
1. Whether you are asking to see my listing or any other agent's listing, it is courtesy to only set up showings for clients that are already pre-approved and qualified to purchase that home. Especially if the seller is occupying the home, we have a responsibility to only show their home to qualified buyers. You would feel the same way if it were YOUR home!
2. Since you are not pre-approved to purchase a home, it does not make sense for me to show you any homes. Being pre-approved and qualified to purchase a home shows a sense of good faith that you are truly in the market to buy. Right now, you do not know what type of loan that you best qualify for, you do not know what you can truly afford, and you have not committed to the home buying process with a REALTOR.
3. What if this home is THE ONE? You cannot make an offer without the pre-approval letter from the lender. And if there is another buyer that is prepared, they have already done that and will beat you to the punch by writing an acceptable offer before you can get the qualification process done. You cannot compete without that letter.
The last thing that you want is to find the home of your dreams and then find out that you cannot afford it. Sooner or later, you are going to find a house that you love and because you are not prepared to make an offer, one of two things may happen:
1. You may lose that house to another buyer
2. You may PAY MORE THAN YOU WANT because you are COMPETING with another buyer.
I would love to represent you for your home purchase! But we need to be prepared to write an offer if you find that perfect home--so we start with getting pre-approved with a lender!
Call me for your free home buyer consultation and we will figure out exactly what it will take for you to see all the homes in the Cedar Rapids area that meet your needs and price range.....AFTER you go to the lender!