Well you contacted a mortgage company, did your homework and now you believe you are pre-approved. Since you finished that part of the process, you can concentrate your efforts on finding a home and moving…or can you?
Please be aware that pre-qualified and pre-approved mean two different things. Unfortunately, some people, including business people use these terms interchangeably. Pre-qualified is the opinion of a lender that the borrower will be approved for a loan based on looking at preliminary generic information about income and credit. On the other hand, during the pre-approval process, the borrower’s credit report is updated and pulled, their income and assets verified, and they go into pre-underwriting.
The real decision-maker is the underwriter who can commit a lender, something that not an even highly qualified loan officer can do.
However, you can get a second opinion from a different lender. This second opinion will either confirm what the first lender told you about rates and terms or it will reveal to you that not all lenders are equal and further investigation may be warranted.
Competition usually keeps lenders close in the rates and terms they offer, but mortgage money is a commodity and you won’t know if you don’t shop around. The cost to get pre-approved is small, usually, the cost of a credit report pulled. So when you are considering the size of the mortgage you will be borrowing for possibly 30 years, it just makes sense to get a second opinion.
There are times when going through the pre-approval process that it will point out an unexpected credit issue. It is better that you learn about it early in the home buying process so that you can get it corrected before you place an offer on a home.
As your real estate professional, I can recommend lenders who are active, experienced in the area and can share their experience with you regarding previous loans they have made. The benefits far exceed the time and effort it takes. Once pre-approved, you will be able to look at the right priced homes; get the best loan, rate, and terms; have increased negotiating power with the Seller and can close quickly because many of the verifications have already been made.
Want Some Insider Information on Fairfax VA homes for sale? Get a FREE Market Snapshot Report of Your Northern Virginia Home’s Value, or Search All Northern Virginia Homes For Sale. Put that data you need at the tips of your fingers!