Submitting an offer on a house without a pre-approval letter is like submitting a resume without any references. Asking if being pre-qualified (not pre-approved) is enough is like asking if your mom can be a reference. The moral of the story is: you need a pre-approval letter before submitting an offer on a house.
A pre-qualification is a general estimate of how much you will be approved for. When getting pre-qualified, you submit information such as your credit score and income, but this information is not verified by a lender. Because your credit is not officially pulled and income not verified, this really carries no significance for sellers when considering your offer.
A pre-qualification is however a great first step in the home buying process. It is intended to give you an idea of how large of a mortgage you will likely qualify for. If you are thinking about buying a home, but not in the next couple of months, we would certainly recommend getting pre-qualified as opposed to pre-approved.
A pre-approval is conditional approval of a specific mortgage amount from a specific lender. Most of the time, it even includes a proposed interest rate. In order to get a pre-approval letter, your credit and income would need to be verified. Since the information is verified, it is far more likely that a pre-approved buyer will be able to get a mortgage and close on a house. This is why buyers and agents have a strong preference to work with buyers who are already pre-approved.
It is worth noting that because a pre-approval will result in a hard inquiry on your credit, you do not want to get pre-approved until you are ready to buy a home. Many people get pre-approved multiple times before they are ready to pull the trigger and their credit score is dinged because of all the hard inquiries.
When you are getting prepared to buy a home, choose an agent who can guide you every step of the way. Choose a J&J Realtor to not only get you into your dream home, but to get you into your dream home confidently. Call today or fill out the form here to get in touch.
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