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The first step to making homeownership possible is getting prequalified or preapproved for a mortgage.
Pre-qualifying is a quick process that can be done online, and you may get your results within an hour. For mortgage pre-approval, you will need to supply more information and documents so the application itself may take more time. Getting pre-approved before looking at homes is a crucial step so that when you are ready to put in an offer on your dream home, it shows the Sellers that you are a serious homebuyer that has the means to secure a mortgage, which makes it more likely that your offer will be accepted and that you’ll get to the Closing table.
Should I get Pre-qualified or Pre-approved?
Before looking at homes and scheduling showings with a Realtor you should always get pre-qualified or pre-approved in advance. Getting pre-qualified is helpful when you are trying to establish a homebuying budget and want a rough idea of how much you might be able to borrow. If you have found a home you already like, have been pre-qualified before, and already know your budget, or if you want to gain a competitive advantage and stand out amongst other potential buyers then you should get Pre-approved. Having a pre-approval letter means you’ll be ready to make an offer with confidence, and a seller will be more likely to consider you a serious buyer because you have had your finances and creditworthiness verified.