Get "Pre-Approved - Not "Pre Qualified"
Do you want to get the best property you can for the least amound of money? Then make sure you are in the strongest negotiating position possible. Price is only one element in the negotiations, and not necessarily the most important one. Often other terms, such as the strength of the buyer or the length of escrow, are critical to a seller
In years post, I always recommended that buyers get "pre-qualified" by a lender. This means that you spend a few minutes on the phone with a lender who asks you a few questions. Based on the answers, the lender pronounces you "pre-qualified" and issues a certificate that you can show to a seller. Sellers ar aware that such certificates are WORTHLESS, and here's why! None of the information has been verified!
Many times unknown problems can come to the surface! Some of the problems I've seen include recorded judgements, alimony payments due, glitches on the credit report due to any number of reasons both accurately and inaccurately, down payments that have not been in the clients' bank account long enought, etc.
So the way to make the strongest offer today is to get "pre-approved". This happens AFTER all information has been checked and verified. You are actually APPROVED for the loan and the only loose end is the appraisal on the property. This process tqkes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on your situation. It's VERY POWERFUL and a weapon I recommend to all myu clients have in their negotiating arsenal.