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Your Guide to Buying a Home

Everything you need to know to buy a home without an agent.

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Pre-Approval Letter

The Pre-Approval Letter is important to have when putting an offer in on a home. You also want to get through the pre-approval process before shopping for homes, because this will clarify what you can afford to buy.

Typically offers are only acceptable with an accompanying pre-approval letter (or proof of funds letter for cash buyers). Sellers don’t want to waste their time on an offer from a buyer who is not ready and may not actually qualify to buy the home. 

Sometimes you can submit an offer and let the seller know that your pre-approval letter will be coming within the next few hours, while you wait for your lender to send an updated version of the letter. I wouldn’t wait to get the offer in – you want the sellers to know your buyers want the home. But remember, getting the pre-approval can take a while if you haven’t gotten the process started yet. And some lenders do not work weekends, so this can really put you at a disadvantage in a seller’s market. A good lender will also be available to talk to the listing agent, and some will pro-actively call the listing agent to ensure they know that you are ready to go for a loan.

Also ask your lender about same-as-cash pre-approval letters. This is when you have already gone through the full underwriting process, and the only conditions left for a loan are dependent on the home you select. This makes you just as competitive as a cash buyer!

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