Why get a pre-qualification letter?
The short answer to that is that it is required now by almost any seller or seller’s agent. It also lets your buyer broker know what you can you afford to buy and saves everyone time. It is a very simple process by most banks. It can usually be done in just a few minutes over the phone. Your lender will take your information to run your credit and will also ask you some basic questions about your debt and your income. This is not a guarantee you will get the loan. They still need to confirm all the facts you have given them are true.
When you are submitting an offer you will send the the letter over with the offer. Most banks and lenders will have no problem making the letter offer an property specific. In other words ask them to put the address and the exact price you are offering on the home on the letter. The price can be adjusted upward (if you qualify for that amount) during negotiations and counter offers. The reason for this is that you don’t want to offer $500,000 and have the letter say you can afford $600,000. That weakens your negotiation power by giving the seller what your top price can actually be.
This letter gives the buyer an idea of what they can actually afford and be comfortable with spending. Sometimes buyers are actually surprised at how much they can afford. You might be able to get that bigger home so all the kids can have their own room and you didn’t even know. On the flip side there is no reason to waste your time on looking at homes you can’t afford and making an offer just to find out later you can’t afford that property.
Again this process is very painless and is required by most sellers and seller brokers. It only takes a few minutes of your time and can save you countless hours looking at homes your loan will dictate you shouldn’t bother with. If it is less or more than you can afford or want to purchase. Just contact your lender and see what they can do for you. You should get this process started as soon in the process as you can.