Buyers sometimes put the cart before the horse when looking to purchase a home. It’s easy to get swept up in the idea of buying a new home.
One piece of advice I give to everyone is to be pre-approved for your home loan. If you don’t seek a loan pre-approval before you start looking, you might actually prevent yourself from finding and buying your dream home. Here’s why:
Most homeowners begin by browsing homes for sale online to get an idea of what neighborhoods and housing styles they like. If you don’t know what you can afford, you might be looking out of your price range and wasting your time. You might also be looking below what you would have qualified for and not getting the right home for you.
Pre-approved shoppers can search by price, identify the right neighborhoods and find your dream home much faster.
Better Realtor results
Realtors prefer to work with homebuyers who have a pre-approval in hand for two reasons:
• They know the deal isn’t likely to fall through.
• They know what you want and what you can afford, enabling them to do a better job of finding your dream home.
For example, you told your Realtor you want an historic home, but the asking price for these homes varies widely. If they don’t know what you can afford, they can do only a general search across several price ranges and might miss hidden gems.
If you have pre-approval, however, your Realtor would know exactly what to focus on and would be able to suggest different neighborhoods, sizes and conditions of homes to match your needs, making it easier to get you exactly what you want.
Higher acceptance rate
Once you find the perfect home, the next step can go two different ways depending on a pre-approval.
You’re taking a gamble if you’re not pre-approved and find a home on which you want to make an offer. Realtors and sellers are less willing to accept offers from a buyer without a pre-approval. Odds are, they’ll move on to the next offer – and you’ll miss out.
However, if you’re pre-approved, you have more room to haggle. Sellers might be more willing to lower the asking price, include appliances, cover closing costs or make other allowances to work with a pre-approved buyer.
Finally, skipping this step can wreak havoc on your stress level. If you aren’t pre-approved, you’ll spend longer looking for homes and you might not feel like you’re getting great service from your Realtor.
You also might get turned down once you’re ready to make an offer. All this adds more time and stress to what should be an exciting time in your life.
On the other hand, if you’re pre-approved, you have less to worry about. You know you’re a qualified buyer, you know there are lenders willing to work with you and you can feel pretty confident when you make an offer.
As Realtors, we’re here to help guide people through the home buying process. Getting pre-approval for a home loan will definitely make things go much smoother. Realtors give expert guidance because “That’s Who We R.”
Greater Chattanooga Realtors is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,000 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of some 1,300 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net or call 423 698-8001.