December 13, 2011

Why Do I Need to Get Pre-Approved Before You Show Me The House?

Why Do I Need to Get Pre-Approved Before You Show Me The House?

This question has come up a number of times in recent weeks, so I thought I'd write about it here.

Some buyers today seem to really get offended if they are asked if they've spoken with a lender yet or if they've been pre-qualified for a mortgage for the dollar amount of the house that they are inquiring about.  What I usually get is a gruff, "No I haven't!  But I'm more than qualified to get a loan!  And I want to see this house TODAY!"
A recent buyer even informed me that if I was going to require him to get pre-qualified before I showed him the home, he would just mark the house off his list.  I replied that I understood, thanked him for his time and wished him a good day.


My feelings are that if you're truly that qualified, then you should have either already spoken with a lender or would willingly do so, if you were serious about buying a house in today's market.
I require potential buyers to get pre-approved for a mortgage before I show them properties.  There are multiple reasons.
  1. I don't want to waste the seller's time.  Every time a showing is scheduled on the property, the seller has to rearrange their schedule in order to show the property.  Part of my duty, as a REALTOR®, is to insure that only qualified buyers are actually looking at their property.  The only way to know that is to get pre-approved.
  2. I don't want to waste the buyer's time.  You, as the buyer, may be "just looking" or you may be serious about buying a home, I don't really know from a phone call.  Either way, you may look at this house and fall in love with it.  Wouldn't it be nice to know if you can actually buy it before you look?  Many people assume that they can get a loan because "they did before."  Folks, times have changed in a MAJOR way!  Don't assume any financing in today's market.
  3. I don't want to waste my time.  Yep, it's true.  My time matters as well.  Contrary to what some buyers think, I am more than just a door opener for homes on the market.  If you're not committed to the buying process, which starts with talking with a lender, then I have to strongly consider my time with you is going to be a waste.  Without knowing what you qualify for, or if you even qualify at all, it's just a shot in the dark as to whether or not you're going to buy or be able to buy.  My time can be better spent dealing with buyers truly committed to the process.
Buyers, if you're serious about buying a home in today's market, it's very important that you get with a lender and get pre-qualified before starting your home search.  It's got to happen at some point and it's better to know upfront than to assume that you'll get financing.

Original Photo courtesy of Okko Pyykko


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