If you’ve ever gone to the store without your wallet, you know how embarrassing and frustrating it can be to want to buy something and suddenly discover that you’re unable to pay for it.
When you’re buying something as important as a home, it’s important to sort out how you’re going to finance that purchase before you get to the offer table. That’s where mortgage pre-approval comes in: here are four excellent reasons to get pre-approved for your next mortgage.
Sort Out Complicated Financial Situations Ahead of Time
Probably the best reason to get pre-approved for a mortgage is to avoid surprises related to home financing once it comes time to make an actual offer on a home.
If you suspect that you’re going to face any difficulties or issues securing financing for your home purchase, you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to clear those hurdles. And getting pre-approved in advance does just that.
If you have a complicated financial situation—perhaps you own a business, are self-employed, or have a negative past financial issue lingering on your credit report—getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help you understand how your current financial situation stacks up against lenders’ standards and requirements for mortgage borrowers. Borrowers with complicated financial situations are approved for mortgages every day, though sometimes they’re required to show additional documentation for their unique situations.
That said, it’s always much better to find out about issues before you’ve got real estate agents and sellers and contracts involved. And once you’ve secured pre-approval, you can rest a little easier, knowing that you’ve already jumped through most of the necessary hoops to get financing for your home purchase.
Catch Potential Credit Issues Before They Derail Your Homebuying Plans
Even if you think you’ve got stellar credit, the mortgage pre-approval process can alert you to any errors on your credit report.
Millions of Americans have inaccurate information on at least one of their credit profiles with the major credit reporting bureaus. If you’re one of them, you’ll be much better off finding out early in your home-buying process. The last thing you want is to discover a credit issue as you’re trying to put in an offer on your dream home.
Mistakes and errors on credit reports are surprisingly common, though the process of disputing and removing inaccurate credit data is relatively straight-forward. But it can take some time—anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. As long as you’ve started your pre-approval application early enough, you can clear up any issues related to errors or inaccurate credit reporting before they become a major inconvenience.
Understand What You Can Afford
When you secure a pre-approval for a mortgage, you won’t just get a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer from a lender about whether you qualify for a mortgage. You’ll also find out how much you’ll potentially be able to borrow, based on your current financial situation.
Now, borrowing the absolute maximum amount a mortgage lender is willing to offer you is probably not the most financially-savvy choice for most would-be homebuyers. Hopefully, you’ve also created a budget for your household, and have at least a rough idea of how much of your income you’d be able and willing to pay for your housing each month.
But a pre-approval amount can give you an absolute maximum to help define your home search. Knowing that you can only borrow $220,000 should keep you from being tempted to look at homes that cost $285,000.
Beat Out Other Potential Buyers at the Offer Table
Right now, most local real estate markets in America are pretty competitive. So if you want the edge over other would-be bidders on the homes in your area, it pays to have a pre-approval letter in hand. Being pre-approved for a mortgage shows sellers that you are a trustworthy (and credit-worthy!) homebuyer who can secure financing, should the seller agree to take your offer.
Agreeing to accept an offer from a buyer who may have trouble securing financing is a major hassle for a home seller. So most sellers would rather take a slightly lower offer from a potential buyer who can provide solid evidence that the financing will happen than accept a higher offer from a potential buyer who has yet to start the mortgage process. (And as an extra bonus, being pre-approved can also give you additional leverage for asking for repairs or other seller concessions.)
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help you clear up potential financing issues before they become serious problems. You’ll have a clearer understanding of how much home you can afford, and sellers will be more likely to accept your offer once you find the home of your dreams. With a mortgage pre-approval, you’ll save time and reduce stress.
Ready to get your own mortgage pre-approval?
If you’re ready to get serious about buying a home, you can get started with your Morty pre-approval here.