If you are looking to buy a house in Seattle (and thinking about completing the pre approval process) and you do not have extenuating circumstances when it comes to the variables that make up a mortgage application (e.g. credit, employment, assets, etc) that could be a real reason to delay moving forward with a complete pre approval process (e.g. credit pull, financial documentation gathering, etc)… then it is in your best interest to complete the pre approval process.
Of course, you will want to complete the pre approval process, preferably, with someone you trust and want to work with. But, as a Seattle home buyer, keep in mind that you are not bound to work with a lender just because you completed a pre approval with them. Sometimes, working through the pre approval process will give you more insight into what working with the individual (lender) will be like; this understanding can help reaffirm your desire to work with this lender, or dissuade your decision to work with a lender consequently.
You want to complete a pre approval with someone that is going to explain your different options when it comes to mortgage products, programs available to your unique scenario (i.e. MCC program through WA State, etc), and someone you can speak candidly with about your scenario, expectations, etc. With that being said, I know the pre approval is a bit of a step to take when thinking through the home buying process in Seattle, but if you are serious about buying in the next six months to one year, completing a pre approval is a step I strongly encourage you to take.
When you have completed the pre approval process, you will have a foundation of what you are looking to achieve form the financing side of the transaction and will allow you to move forward confidently into the home searching/buying process. Also, only after a loan officer completes a pre approval for you, can they truly then send you (the buyer/homeowner) a set of expectations that can be counted on when it comes to closing costs, eligibility, terms, etc. Call me anytime with questions.