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.