Throughout most of the Puget Sound real estate market, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes widely outnumbers some homes up for sale. In a “Sellers” market, it is crucial to have a solid strategy not just when it comes to getting an offer on a home but when searching for one as well.
During your house search, one way to prove to a home seller that you are serious about buying their home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin your search.
Getting pre-qualified for a home mortgage not only will allow you to know what your home budget will most likely look like but it’s also great negotiation tool as it sets you in front of other home buyers who have not yet been approved for a mortgage by a lender.
It’s recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-qualified before you begin house hunting. Pre-qualification will inform you on your mortgage budget empowering you to view homes you actually can afford and enabling you to move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.
Once you have decided on a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and present them with important information about your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.
Freddie Mac describes the 4 Cs that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:
Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time
Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.
Potential home buyers today tend to overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage. If you are serious about purchasing a home and ready for the financial and emotional commitment, begin your home search with a winning strategy.