You found the house. It's perfect. It has the number of bedrooms you need and the updated bathrooms you were looking for. It's the perfect location in the neighborhood you most wanted to be in. So let's go take a look!
Whoa!!! Not so fast. Have you talked to a lender yet? Do you have that pre-approval letter?
If the answer is "no," there's no need to go look at that or any house just yet. Here are the reasons why.
In today's market -- and even in any market -- a seller will likely not even look at an offer unless they know you've talked to a lender and are qualified to purchase their home.
There are different loan options available. How much of a down payment will you need? Will the type of loan you qualify for allow for repairs to be made after closing?
You could fall in love with a house you can't afford. Wouldn't it be better to know before you start looking what your price point is rather than get emotionally attached to the perfect house and then find out it's out of your price point?
It could send a red flag to your Realtor® if you opt not to get pre-approved. I'm pretty sure I've lost a couple buyers along the way because I asked that they get pre-approved before we start the search. If they refuse, I tend to wonder how serious they are about their home search. Is there a reason they think they may not get pre-approved?
Getting pre-approved is part of the overall home-buying process; it's something every buyer who is going to finance their home is going to have to complete. And it's to everyone's benefit -- most importantly your's -- to make it the first step.