Don’t be surprised if a real estate agent declines to show you property if you have not initiated the process to “get your loan ready.” Once in a while, a would-be homeowner will claim they don’t want to bother with the preapproval process until the find a home they like. Those days are now ancient history.
Most agents devote themselves to clients who have done the work of getting ready to buy a home. It means the lender has been told “all” and knows “all.” They provide a letter of preapproval (far better than a simple prequalification letter) which states all you need to buy a home is the address, an executed purchase agreement and a preliminary title report.
The pre-approval letter is the parachute behind the offer, as well as the safety net, the stamp of approval, and the insurance policy for a good transaction. Much of the bad rashes from the previous real estate market have been cured by proper lending practices, which even includes a separation from the appraiser. This is to insure impartial and unpressured evaluations.
If you want to buy a home and whether it’s your first or fifth, you must have a pre-approval letter. So before you find the home of your dreams, start the process to avoid major disappointment. None of this is personal against one buyer over another—it’s just good business.