To be respectful of all parties associated with the real estate transaction, we want to make sure that you're ready & approved to buy any home that we may go look at. When a showing is scheduled, the seller must vacate the property. Quickly driving by the home first will eliminate some of your options and waste less time.
In today's moving market, if you're not approved to buy a home, we don't start looking at them. We get approval first so that we know exactly the amount you can spend on a home. This also helps us set up your search criteria in the Multiple Listing Services (MLS), so you know of new properties as soon as they hit the market.
Regardless of how far away you "think" you're from buying a home, you can never start working with a professional early enough. In fact, a great lender should lay down a solid plan and journey for you to follow to get home ownership. Sometimes this process can take longer depending on whats going on with your credit report, or qualification status. This is why meeting with a lender in advance will help give you a better time frame of when you can start looking at homes.
Typically, you can apply for a Pre-Approval using the lender's website. Most lenders use an easy to use online application that you can fill out on your lunch break. If for some reason you are unable to fill out an application online, give the lender a call and see if they can accept your information over the phone. Some lenders may be able to accept an Email or Fax option as well. All lenders work a bit differently, so it is important to choose someone you feel comfortable with. Utilizing a reputable company like PrimeLending can easily speed up the process. If you'd like to see if you can qualify for a pre-approval, fill our their application online here.
Although your personal situation may be different, here is a handy list of documents you should have ready to send in. In some cases you may need to reach out to your bank provider & employer to receive up-to-date statements:
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