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Greater Pittsburgh Area Real Estate Blog

Why Every Buyer Should Get Pre-Approved Before Searching for Homes

You may have heard that getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the most important step you can take before buying a home. But unless you’ve done your research, you probably aren’t aware of all the amazing benefits that come with having a pre-approval letter in hand.

Why You Shouldn’t Skip Getting Pre-Approved for Your Mortgage

In a nutshell, getting pre-approved means that a lender has reviewed your finances and cleared you as a qualified buyer. After you submit the required documents (like paystubs and W-2s), a certified mortgage lender will crunch some numbers and send you a letter stating how much you can borrow. They may also provide an interest rate, the type of loan you’re pre-approved for, and the duration of the loan.

Unfortunately, today’s buyers are making the mistake of skipping the pre-approval step in the homebuying process. A recent survey by Realtor.com noted that only 52% of buyers obtained a pre-approval letter before starting their home search.

Want to stand out in a competitive market? Here’s why it’s worth applying for pre-approval.

You’ll know how much you can afford

house with calculator

When you’re looking for a home, the temptation to fall in love with a house that’s outside your budget is very real. Before you start shopping around, it’s helpful to know your price range, the amount you’re willing to spend on a monthly mortgage payment, and how much money you can borrow for your loan. Getting pre-approval from a lender is the only way to do all of these things.

Although pre-approval letters can vary from your final mortgage offer, they’re often the most accurate way to gauge your budget. The last thing you want is to make an offer on your dream home, only to find out that you can’t afford the mortgage you need to buy it!

Lenders can help you navigate the market

Lender talking to a buyer

Here in Pittsburgh, home prices and interest rates seem to fluctuate day by day. That also means lending institutions are regularly updating their standards to keep up with market trends.

Getting in touch with a loan officer and getting pre-approved can help you navigate these changes with ease. If you ever have any questions about your mortgage offer or the conditions of your loan, your lender will always be on hand to help. You just can’t get that peace of mind if you skip out on pre-approval!

Sellers will take you seriously

Signing paperwork

The most important perk of pre-approval comes when you finally put an offer in on a house. Because the market is so competitive, sellers often receive bids at or above asking price. This could motivate them to look at other factors—such as buyer financing—as they’re making a decision.

Sellers are more likely to go with a buyer that’s been pre-approved instead of one that’s not. When a seller knows you’re qualified to buy their property, you’re in a better position to potentially win a bidding war and land the home of your dreams.

Need Help Getting Pre-Approved?

If you have any questions about securing financing for your home purchase, the Jim Dolanch Team is here to help. Our mortgage calculator and buyer resources can point you in the right direction—we’re always on hand to chat via phone, text, or email, too!

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