The "Wealthy" Don't Need Pre-Approval Status.

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP 0524642

Several years back one of the agents on my (then) team had a high end home for lease. The property was valued at over 2 million dollars. A few days after we listed it an agent submitted an application for her client, but left all the personal information blank and just wrote "HOUSTON ASTRO."

Wow, cool! A proffessional baseball player want's to lease one of our listings we thought. Terrific, now fill out the application. Period. All of it. Including your social, income, and proof of employment. In this situation this "Houston Astro" was not a house hold name like Barry Bonds, but he was in fact a "starter." To be honest, I had no idea who he was because I didn't follow the Astros. In fact, he was transferring here and was not a long-term pro or even someone that you'd see all over the news.

Regardless, his credit report was going to be a determining factor. If he had bad credit and a history of "breaking leases" we wanted to know about. The agent argued that his status should exempt him from providing his social. Hogwash. What if he ruined the place? What if he had parties and trashed the bedrooms? I don't care if they brought back Ted Williams, he too would be filling out a complete application. No one is too special. All tenants should be treated with equality when being screened. Period.

In another situation I had a brain surgeon inform me that he made over 1 million dollars a year and that his "physician status" was more than enough to buy a home and that when he was ready "to sign a contract" he'd provide his documentation to a lender. His initial desire was to buy a home between 800k-1 million. Against my routine I relented to his demands and showed him houses. I made a mistake.

When it was all said and done he bought nothing.

His monthly obligations lowered his monthly income so low that he did not qualify for anywhere near what he had hoped. It's not you that we don't trust, it's a process that we know that works. Get approved FIRST. Doing so allows you to better understand everything, even if you have bought and sold a dozen homes. Times, programs and regulations change. Your average (productive) Realtor can sell 30-50 homes a year. They're way more up to date on what you'll expect when buying and selling.

Posted by


Greg Nino
, Houston area Realtor®.
Helping residential buyers, sellers and tenants 7 days a week.
Available @ 832-298-8555 

RE/MAX Compass (Formerly RE/MAX WHP)




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Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

BINGO... policies in place and the process works. No playing favorites, no accusations of discrimination, and no regrets. 😊

Aug 17, 2015 10:25 AM #1
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Gotta treat em all the same - the pro athletes and the first time buyers at first time jobs.  Sometimes the most demanding ones are the ones who can afford/qualify for the least.

Aug 17, 2015 10:41 AM #2
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Greg...Some folks are even surprised to find out that they are able to purchase more than they thought. Not that they need to but it is nice to know what your max is so that you can stay at a comfortable level. Knowing definitively what you can (or cannot) afford helps everyone including those of us helping them.


Aug 17, 2015 10:50 AM #3
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

good pts.  Also, we need to treat everyone fairly/same...otherwise could be violation of fair housing act.

Aug 17, 2015 12:36 PM #4
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

When clients dismiss my requests for proof of funds with a hand wave and a roll of the eyes, that is a total red flag that they can't afford what they are telling me.  I've had to learn the hard way too many times.

Aug 17, 2015 12:36 PM #5
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Greg, You're so right on the mark with everyone getting Pre-Approval, or filling out that lease application. I too have learned the hard way, and many wealthy folks think because of their status that they're exempt.

Aug 17, 2015 12:43 PM #6
Sonja Patterson
Keller Williams - BV - College Station, TX
Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou

I had an agent tell me "her sweet little old gentleman client" wanted to lease one of my listings.  He was 91...and it turned out he had a long criminal record, seems he would lease homes for relatives and stop paying the rent. Oh, and he was self-employed...  :)  Credit/background checks are a must!

Aug 17, 2015 01:03 PM #7
Mike Rock
Complete Design - Granite Bay, CA
Granite Bay Luxury New Construction...For Less

prequalified is key. its like going to the checkout without any method of payment available.... WELL!! i have the money!!

Aug 17, 2015 02:00 PM #8
Joe Jackson
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH
Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert

Good post everyone needs to pass the same credit check

Aug 17, 2015 10:14 PM #9
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

Don't want a rental credit check? No problem! Pay the FULL lease AND security deposit upfront. This deflates the "I am a man of massive wealth" argument.

Aug 17, 2015 10:51 PM #10
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Oh Greg, you tickle my funny bone!!  I don't care if they brought back Ted Williams!  LOL  HILARIOUS!!   I've dropped my guard on a few occassions.  Fool me once, shame on you . . . fool me twice, shame on me as that saying goes.

Aug 18, 2015 06:59 AM #11
David Shamansky
US Mortgages - David Shamansky - Highlands Ranch, CO
Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg

I have found many of these loans and leases are the very ones that go bad. you were wise to not fall for that BS EVERYONE is to be treated equally

Aug 19, 2015 02:12 PM #12
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Greg Nino

Houston, Texas
Providing Real Estate Advice 7 days a week!
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