It’s important to get pre-approved for a loan as quickly as possible as you start looking for homes. Recently, I encountered another example of a home buyer losing out on a home of her dreams because she wasn’t pre-approved. I was helping a colleague hold an open house at a great property in Manassas. During the open house, he received calls from several realtors notifying him that their clients were writing offers on the home and he would receive them later on that afternoon. This was a Sunday.
While all of this was happening, a buyer came through the door and immediately fell in love with the house. From our conversation, it quickly became apparent that financially, she was in great shape, potentially being able to afford buying this home even without selling the condo in which she was currently living. In other words, she could probably afford the home regardless of whether her condo sold anytime soon, which would constitute a much more powerful offer than buying a property contingent on the sale of her condo. However, she hadn’t met with a lender yet, and therefore didn’t have a pre-approval letter. Most likely, the seller was going to ratify one of the offers that were coming in later that evening, which meant she needed to write an offer that day if she wanted her offer to be considered. However, she couldn’t, because her lender wouldn’t be able to meet with her until Monday. If she had written an offer that night without the pre-approval letter, it wouldn’t have been taken seriously by the seller because there would have been no way of verifying her financial situation and ability to close on time.
You might feel like this buyer felt, like you’re at such an early state of the home shopping experience that you don’t need to get pre-approved yet. The only problem is that you never know when you’re going to find your dream home! It’s better to get pre-approved by a lender as early in the home shopping process as possible, so you’re prepared to write an offer immediately when you find the right home.
If you’re looking for a great home in Northern Virginia, I would love to help you in your search. I grew up in this area and know the real estate market in Northern Virginia very well.
If you’re considering selling your Northern Virginia home, call me at 703-462-0700 – I would be happy to give you a complimentary comparative market analysis of your home. This will help you decide if it’s the right time for you to sell.