How Do You Get A Preapproval For A Home Loan?

In the housing market, you need every edge you can get to make your offer the most appealing one the sellers consider. However, sellers aren't necessarily going to accept the highest offer. They also want assurance that the financing won't fall through if they accept the offer.

The best way to show the sellers how serious you are is to get a preapproval for a home loan. While the preapproval isn't a complete guarantee that you'll be approved, it is a confident estimate from your lender of how much you can afford and will very likely be approved to borrow. You will want to do this before you see any houses at all—in fact, some realtors won't show you any houses until you have that preapproval letter so that they don't waste time showing you houses you can't afford. As such, here's how you can get that preapproval letter. 

Ask Your Realtor for Recommendations

Realtors are involved in home sales all the time. They've seen offers go through and others fall short. They've worked with all kinds of buyers, who, in turn, have worked with many different lenders in your area. They likely will be able to recommend a good lender to you. Ask your realtor who is easy to work with and who seems to have desirable rates. In some cases, realtors might even have a partnership with a certain lender and by going through them you get a discount on your closing costs. Whether you go with their recommendation or not, it never hurts to ask someone who has a lot of experience in buying homes.

Compare Lenders

Different lenders, banks, and credit unions will have slightly different fees and rates. You will want to talk to a few different lenders and compare their quotes. Even if the difference in interest rate seems small, that can be the difference of thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage. You also may want to pay attention to how easy it is to get in touch with the loan officer at each institution. In this hot market, you need to be able to move quickly, which means you need someone reliable who communicates well. That way, if anything odd pops up in your credit history or documentation they will get it resolved more quickly.

Get Your Documents Together

After you talk to loan officers you'll want to officially apply for preapproval. You'll follow their instructions and send any documents they need in order to get a picture of your finances. Make sure you have information such as bank statements, credit history, proof of any assets you may have, your identification (such as a driver's license), and proof of employment (such as W-2 statements). After looking over your information, the lender will give you a letter of preapproval that gives you an idea of what price range to search in. 

Finances and loans can seem overwhelming, but with a helpful lender, it doesn't have to be. Contact mortgage lenders in your area for more information about preapproval for home loans.