The Most Important Step To Buying A Home

Reblogger Sharon Sapp
Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Gold RS282296

Although this seems like such a small thing, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can be one of the biggest road blocks to buying a home. Read on - especially if you don't know the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval!

Original content by Dan and Amy Schuman



If you were taking a home buying class, this would be the first thing you talk about. Basically real estate 101, getting pre-approved.

It may seem simple, yet many potential buyers are making a huge mistake by either neglecting this step or only getting pre-qualified, which is much more watered down version.

Failure to get a firm pre-approval may end up costing you the home of your dreams.



When the real estate market was slow, the sense of urgency to get financing was not very high. Buyers figured they could take their time to find a home, and then they'd firm things up with their lender afterwards.  However, with the market starting to really heat up and inventories still low, buyers must change this lackadaisical mindset.

The problem isn't that buyers are totally forgetting to speak to a lender, although some still do not do this up front. They are simply getting pre-qualified instead of pre-approved, and there is a big difference.

A pre-qualification is just the initial step, typically a phone conversation about your overall financial picture. The lender may discuss income, debts, and go over different payment options, but it should not be confused with a firm pre-approval. The problem is that many buyers only do this initial step, and have the false sense of security that getting a loan will not be a problem. Some find out the hard way.

In order to grant a full pre-approval letter,  a lender will likely complete a formal application, pull credit, and collect specific documentation from you such as pay stubs, W-2's, or tax returns. This will allow them to better define your maximum price range. It may not seem like a big deal but this extra step makes all the difference in the world.

I have seen cases when a buyer gets pre-qualified over the phone, and then ends up not qualifying once the lender verifies all pertinent information. Don't let this happen to you.



Getting pre-approved will make you a stronger buyer and allow you to move quickly if needed. In an active market, you never know when that special home will come on the market, and when it does, you will need to act with a huge sense of urgency. Waiting until after you find your home to get your financing in order may be too late.

With multiple offer situations becoming common, having a solid pre-approval letter may even help you win out during a bidding war.

The difference between getting pre-approved and pre-qualified is merely time and a little effort on your part but is well worth it. In fact, it could ultimately determine whether or not you get the home.


If you liked this post, please subscribe to our blog. We always appreciate having new readers and more importantly, enjoy making new friends.


Here are some of our others posts that may interest you as well:

One Question That You Absolutely Must Ask Your Clients

5 Reasons Why Using A Local Agent Is Better

Cool Virtual Tool To Help Pick Out Paint Color

Is Social Media Killing Confidentiality?

Real Estate Agents Are Not Just Door Openers



About The Authors:

Dan and Amy Schuman are agents with Howard Hanna, the area's largest real estate company. They live in Solon Ohio and specialize in Cleveland Luxury Homes, working with buyers relocating to Cleveland, and first-time buyers.




Subscribe via RSS! Follow Me On Twitter! Follow Us On Facebook! Follow Us On Linkedin! Subscribe To Our Youtube Channel!


The Most Important Step To Buying  Home is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©February 2013

Posted by


Sharon Sapp, CDPE, GRI, e-Pro Realtor® and CGRN® Specialist

For Old Fashioned Service with Today's Results!

Century 21 Gold

Office: 610-898-6255   Cell: 484-955-1075; Fax: 610-921-5729; and Sharon Sapp, Realtor

I will treat the referrals you give me just like they were family!


Dan and Amy Schuman
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Solon, OH
Luxury Home Specialists

Thanks for the re-blog, Sharon. We appreciate it.

Feb 12, 2013 05:57 AM