Pre-qualified vs a underwritten pre-approval - I've been pre-approved
I hear this all the time..."I've been pre-approved!"
My response: "Great, please tell me about your pre-approval!"
This is when I usually receive the blank look. I ask, "have you provided bank statements, pay stubs and tax returns?" The answer 98% of the time is no. The buyer then goes on to explain that they made a 5 minute phone call or completed an online application. Now comes the hard part of explaining that they've been initially pre-qualified and it's worthless.
I was on a broker caravan last week and I was not surprised to find that three homes (of 12 featured in the pitch session) were back on the market. All three homes fell out of escrow because the buyer could not secure financing! The potential buyers had been pre-qualified NOT pre-approved by an underwriter. The seller and listing agents will not make this mistake again.
If you're a serious buyer, you need to seek out a mortgage bank for an underwritten pre-approval. It's an easy process and most lenders will not underwrite a buyer until they've identified a home. Most Realtors still think this is the process, and accept this for their buyers. First Choice Bank saw this would no longer work and allows files to be underwritten prior to a home being found.
We live in a beautiful part of the world, Southern California. When listings are priced correctly you should expect competition from other pre-approved buyers. What have you done to make your offer stand out? A pre-qualification will not give confidence to a listing agent or a seller. Work with professionals! I've seen good famlies hire the wrong team and miss out on their dream home. I work with the best agents in San Diego and Riverside Counties (and throughout Southern California) and am happy to refer you to someone who will help you accomplish your homeownership goals in addition to the commitment to lend that I can provide.
Next time you're asked about your pre-approval, I'd like to hear you say "I've been underwritten and pre-approved by First Choice Bank!" I will work closely with your agent to make sure your offer is accepted with a strong financing letter and I will be there every step of the way to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Contact me today to get started!