Your Loan Is Approved, No It Isn't, Yes It Is, No It Isn't

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827

Here's another reason buyers need a professional Realtor in Louisville, and frankly anywhere;

Realtors understand the language the mortgage brokers and loan officers use when they give status updates.

It's amazing how many times the buyer can be told they are approved for the loan but then be told there's a problem or the underwriters need one more thing.

Here are signs the buyers are NOT approved yet for their loan:

  • "Congratulations! You're pre-approved!" That means you're not approved yet.
  • "Congratulations! You're approved! Now we're sending it to underwriting." Translation: You're not approved yet.
  • "Congratulations! You're approved with conditions." Translation: You're not approved yet.
  • "Congratulations! You're approved! We just need one more thing." Translation: You're not approved yet.
  • "Congratulations! You're approved! We're just waiting for clear to close." Translation: You're not approved yet.

The word "approved" has very little practical meaning

Your Realtor will work closely with you and your loan officer. Your Realtor will understand what the real status is. Your Realtor will help manage the roller coaster of updates. If needed, your Realtor will put the right pressure on the loan officer to get things done and to reveal what's really going on with your loan.


For relentless real estate representation in Louisville, Kentucky, Call Dave Halpern, Realtor (502) 664-7827


Keller Williams Realty Louisville East


Posted by



Dave Halpern, Realtor

The Dave Halpern Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty Louisville East


(502) 664-7827



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Comments (28)

Mick Michaud
Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107 - Granbury, TX
Your Texas Lifestyle is Here!

I've read this post and I approve it.  :)  Yep, any form of "but" after "you're approved" is not.  

Nov 28, 2017 07:02 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Terminology and how words are interpreted are critical to business transactions. Buyers need an agent and lender to guide them through the process and explain every step of the way.

Nov 28, 2017 07:42 AM
Eleanor Thorne
Equity Resources - Cary, NC
Equity Resources 919-649-5058

We have folks who call us saying that Rocket Mortgage Approved them, now they need to figure out the 3.5% down payment and want to know if we do that.  An online Approval is not an approval either... great point!

Nov 28, 2017 08:15 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Excellent education here, Dave. Buyers hear those words "you're approved" but don't understand what is REALLY meant by them. It's a multi-step process to true loan approval.


Nov 28, 2017 05:31 PM
Fred Sweezer Sr.
Hud Certified 203K Consultant - Long Beach, CA
Certified Home Inspector

Very good, amazing how "approved is used in a real estate transaction" you post is very timely!

Nov 28, 2017 07:17 PM
Sam Kader MLO 130505 MB 78982
Pacific Coast Financial LLC Lic# MB78982 - Seattle, WA
Real Estate NMLS 91980 Mortgage Broker Lic MB78982

Excellent post Dave.  Anything can happen until it's  Finally Approved and CTC (Clear-To-Close).  A good loan originator is the one that can anticipate any curveball ahead of time and provide transparancy along the process.  

Nov 28, 2017 07:50 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

This is the truth! Pre-qualified used to be the most overused word in the mortgage business. Pre-approval has taken its place. Be sure to get a thorough definition.

Nov 28, 2017 08:09 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Love your post! Congratulations on getting featured too! I'm very happy for you.

You did a great job. Many consumers are confused by these phrases and you're right, they don't mean anything until you're clear to close. 


Nov 28, 2017 08:18 PM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

It does not take much for the consumer to be misled. A good lender will make sure they are clear on every step of the process.

The real estate agent will also make sure the consumer understands all the details of the transaction.

Thanks for a great share.

Nov 29, 2017 04:38 AM
Brad Bigelow
Century 21- Advantage Realty - Somerset, KY
Full-Time Lake Cumberland Area Property Specialist

Can I steal this?

Nov 29, 2017 09:39 AM
Dave Halpern

LOL, it's call re-blogging!

Nov 30, 2017 12:53 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

For some reason, the phrase "clear to close" makes me think of an airplane cleared for takeoff. And come to think of it, there are similarities. The plane can be sitting there on the tarmac waiting, but until they're cleared for takeoff, they aren't going anywhere.

Nov 29, 2017 11:41 PM
Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL
Providing the integrity and service you deserve.

This made me laugh because it's so true. Until all the papers are signed and someone hands the buyer the keys, anything can happen. Re-blogging. 

Nov 30, 2017 11:58 AM
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

The buyer has to really be careful of what wording they get in their letter. You made a very good point. Thanks for sharing!

Dec 01, 2017 11:50 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Well said!  Every sign mentioned in your post is way too familiar!

Dec 01, 2017 02:06 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good morning Dave.  A good rundown on lender doublespeak.  It isn't over until they send the check.

Dec 11, 2017 04:13 AM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

I agree...You're appoved means you don't have that house yet...

Dec 14, 2017 04:59 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I love this blog as it is so true and so many buyers who do not have guidance or instruction, do take it literally when they see the word approved used in any context. 

Dec 30, 2017 06:33 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Oh, this is SO true and no, 'approved' does NOT mean Clear to Close...or better yet, FUNDED!

Great post, Dave!

I hope you have the happiest of New Years!

Dec 30, 2017 07:13 AM
Khash Saghafi NMLS
Liberty Home Mortgage Corporation - Cleveland, OH
Mortgage Loan Officer, Cleveland OH NMLS 1114762

I could not stop laughing when I was reading this Dave!! No truer words have ever been spoken. I simply say, "It ain't done until it's filed" (and even then, it's still not done (at least in my world).

May 14, 2018 04:00 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Just popping over to see if you've written any other great words of wisdom, Dave!

I hope you're having a wonderful week!

Jul 05, 2018 08:39 PM

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