Do I need to get prequalified?
A question that is often asked by potential buyers in every market. Unfortunately, there are many agents that will show homes to literally anyone in hopes of landing a sale. I prefer to hedge my bet and increase the odds in my favor.
My answer to the question, "Do I need to get prequalified?" is YES!
I require all potential buyers to CITO - Come In To Office! I can not stop what I am doing, jump into my car, and drive across town to show a listing if I get a sign call or internet lead. I explain to each buyer inquiry that I receive that in order for me to assist them they must meet me at my office first and I will assist them to get not just prequalified, but a much stronger preapproved!
At the signing of any listing, I explain to the sellers that this is my policy and why it is good for each of us. I don't waste my time showing the home to unqualified buyers and they don't have to cleanup and leave for a period of time which is likely to be unproductive!
My basic conversation with a buyer goes something like this:
Mr. and Mrs. Buyer I am sure you don't like to waste time.
Neither do I. I meet with all potential buyers at my office for several reasons.
The first is to see if we are a fit to work with each other and that I feel I can meet your expectations as a Realtor.
Second is safety, I feel more comfortable working with someone I have met prior to putting them into my vehicle or meeting them alone at a property.
Next, is finding out your wants and needs in your home purchase. This way we can eliminate homes that do not meet your basic criteria.
And, finally; to have you preapproved through my preferred lender so that we each are comfortable with the logical price range to be looking in for your next home. You may choose any other lender to close the deal. But, I need to be comfortable that you are able to purchase in a particular price range and I trust my lender to insure this requirement.
Obviously, there is discussion with a potential buyer on each point, I have, early in my career, shown homes to unqualified people and been burned. We all have! Since I adopted this policy, I am sure I have lost a few people who may have purchased, but refused to come to my office. So be it, that's life.
But, of the people who saw the light and met me at my office first, I am batting 1.000% or I am still working with them to improve their credit or situation and eventually they will make a purchase.
So, the answer the question, "Do I need to get prequalified?"is an unequivocal, YES! Not only will this be good for the buyer, but it puts them in a better bargaining position when making an offer.