A preapproval is different than a prequalification because it is more thorough. We do NOT issue pre-qualification letters as they do not provide any value to the Seller because they understand you haven’t taken the necessary steps to take this seriously.
To get a preapproval, start by finding a reputable mortgage broker that you want to work with to purchase your home. Ask friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family for recommendations. Once you have someone that you want to work with, ask them what they need from you to provide a preapproval. Expect to give them the following information:
- An application
- Authorization to do a soft credit inquiry
- Supporting financial documents, such as pay stubs or W-2s
- Information about outstanding debts, such as student loans, car loans, or credit card debt
Once you have a preapproval letter, you can talk to a Realtor or real estate agent about your budget and they can show you homes that meet your criteria within that budget. Having a preapproval letter ensures that the homes you consider are within the loan parameters that your mortgage company will approve. It also shows sellers that you are ready to move forward with the purchase when you submit an offer. Including your preapproval letter with your offer may even sway the seller in your favor if they have multiple comparable offers or are in a bidding war.
Once you have an accepted offer to purchase a home, you will need to begin the actual application process and be approved for the home loan. Your lender will look at the appraised value of the home, the condition (some lenders require that the home meet certain habitability standards), and a more in-depth evaluation of your financial situation.