Before you start your search for a new condo, townhouse, or single-family home in Alexandria VA, the real estate professional you're working with will likely 'prequalify' you to help you determine how much you can afford. But taking it one step further will prove to be even more beneficial to you as a home buyer. Get in front of a local mortgage reperesentative or loan officer, and obtain a mortgage approval or pre-approval. According to Tamara Inzunza, Accredited Buyer Representative of McEnearney Associates in Alexandria VA, mortgage pre-approval is a necessary part of the home buying process.
"I've seen buyers visit open houses and get excited about the possibility of owning a particular home, only to find out in the mortgage approval process that they don't qualify," explains Inzunza.
"In today's society, consumers are used to doing their own research and using the internet to gather information. I've visited several websites, from company websites to general information sites, and they all say that the approval process is the first step or it's second to selecting an agent," adds Inzunza.
By candidly discussing your financial situation, you'll give your Buyer's Agent the information necessary to show you homes you can afford. "If you don't open up, you are placing the real estate professional in the role of a tour guide, not someone who can help you find a home within your budget. You'll wind up wasting your time, and that of the agent and the seller," Inzunza cautions.
With the recent changes in the mortgage industry, experienced buyer agents and listing agents will request a mortgage approval letter upon receipt of a purchase offer. Sellers will want the assurance that if they take their home off the market making it unavailable to other potential buyers, that your loan is in order.
When selecting your buyer's agent, ask for recommendations of local lenders. If you already have an existing relationship with a bank, mortgage company, or credit union, start there and obtain your pre-approval.
If you're already out visiting open houses or looking at homes online, then you're obviously in the market to buy a new home. Why not take the extra step and get the approval? That way if you see something you like, you'll know it's within your financial reach.
Buyers who have already obtained their mortgage approval have the 'green light' to start their home search:
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Tamara Inzunza, Associate Broker is one of 40,000 members of the Real Estate BUYER'S AGENT Council (REBAC) of the National Association of Realtors, who have obtained the ABR, Accredited Buyer Representative designation. As the world's largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer, REBAC is "The Voice for Buyer Representation," with more than 44,000 active real estate professional members of the organization throughout the world.