Have You Spoken With a Lender Yet? It's Not a Trick Question.
It seems that nothings turns off a prospective home buyer faster than being asked the questions: Have you spoken with a lender yet?
For some reason, home buyers become defensive when asked this question which seems a bit odd since they are in the market for a home, you'd think that they would want to know how much a lender would loan them for a purchase.
It's very common for real estate agents to get the cold shoulder after asking this question of a buyer. It's not a matter of trust (although we don't know them enough to trust them), but it's merely a matter of having one's financials in order so that when presenting an offer, the buyers presents from a position of strength.
Of course as a buyer's agent, it's our responsibility to look out for the best interest of our clients and be upfront with our customers as well. However, calling a listing agent to schedule a showing, lying about a buyer being pre-qualified or pre-approved when asked "is the buyer is pre-approved......" well that's not really apart of what we do. When I let the listing agent know that we don't have a preapproval yet, s/he has every right to insist that only qualified or pre-qualified buyers be shown the home.
Not only that, but as a buyer's agent, knowing what you are pre-qualified to purchase only helps me to help you find the best possible home for our money. While conducting the home search, that precious tidbit of information helps me to help you stay within budget. You see, we may find a fixer upper for you, but based on the amount of your pre-approval/or pre-qualification, I'll need to estimate whether your loan has room in it for repairs.
I could go on and on about the famed pre-approval letter, but we'll go over all of that once we have our buyer consultation. Once we have our consultation, you'll be given a complete packaage containing all of the information you'll need to make your home search a success with the least amount of hassle.
Now, about that preapproval letter.