Arizona Association of Realtors is going to be rolling out their new "pre-qualification form" in February. I saw the template yesterday and it is a great form for Buyers, Listing Agents and Buyer's agents. It is very detailed and really lets the buyer know everything such as the monthly payment including taxes, insurance, and HOA, what documents they have gotten to the lender and which ones they still need to get to them. It tells the seller that the lender has done their due diligence in researching this buyer and that they should feel comfortable taking their home off of the market for this buyer. It also lets the agents know what type of home they are approved for (such as HOA or no HOA, manufactured, or condo). It even talks about marital status which might help with title issues at closing. It is a great form and I think all parties involved will feel confident when they receive this form with an offer.
Here is my disclaimer and my most important part of this blog today. BUYERS- don't procrastinate to get pre-qualified with a lender. Buyers must talk to a lender at least a couple days prior to looking at homes in order for this to work. I know many buyers say, "well let's just see what is out there". The problem is often times a buyer finds a great house that day. If they wait too long, it may be purchased by someone else. That is why I am going to say it again. BUYERS- please talk to a lender before you start looking at homes.
There is nothing more sad to me than when we find a perfect home and we want to make an offer but the buyer's haven't officially talked with their lender. They have "sort of" told them what their income and credit is like, but that is not an approval. When this form goes into effect in February, there will be no way for a lender to do all of the research that they need to do in order to complete the form in a matter of an hour or two. In Arizona we can not submit an offer without this "pre-qualification form".
Let looking at homes be a happy and fun occasion. If you talk to a lender and submit the documentation needed up front, then once you find that perfect home, you will know that you can make an offer with confidence. Plus, you will feel comfortable because you have been educated about the mothly payment, closing costs that will be needed and any other issues that may arise with the loan process.
If you need a lender, I work with a number of great people who are knowledgeable, licensed and can walk you through the process step by step.