It is such an exciting feeling when you receive an offer from a buyer and they tell you they are already pre-approved. This is a friendly note to not hang your hat up on those words.
When the market is hopping and multiple people are looking at your home, it is a seller’s desire to take the highest offer with the least amount of contingencies. So a great offer comes in and they present you with a pre-approval. What does that really mean?
A pre-approval is a letter of intent, so to speak, from a lender that simply states based off of the initial conversation and the information the buyer has provided to the lender, this is the amount they should be pre-approved for.
Once the buyer starts working with the lender more, they will have to provide hard documentation to validate the information initially given. The lender will then confirm income, monthly debts, credit scores, money in the bank, down payment availability, etc. This is an initial underwriting process that will then produce a pre-qualification. This is the type of letter that you want to look for!
Some lenders are actually starting the pre-qualification process before the buyer finds a house and has it contingent on the house information. This is being done to give that buyer a leg up on their competition because the housing market is so tight at some price points. The informed seller knows that benefit of this type of buyer because it drastically minimizes the risk of a deal falling through because of loan issues.
So before you get super excited when that offer comes in, make sure that you are asking lots of questions about where the buyer stands in the lending situation. This is what I do for my clients.