Updated: Mar 25, 2019
One of the most common home buying myths that exists is that when buying a home, you should find a home before getting a pre-approval. There are some real estate agents who will show a home, or several homes, to a buyer without knowing whether a buyer is pre-approved or not. This is a trait that you will find in an agent who likely does not sell a lot of homes.
Some of the most common things buyers say who do not want to get a pre-approval include;
“I’m going to wait until I find the right home to speak with a mortgage company.”“I don’t need to speak with a mortgage company first, I’ll be able to get a mortgage, no problem.”“I’m just looking at homes right now.”
Below are the top reasons why real estate agents will request a pre-approval letter before showing houses to a buyer. Read on to find out why this is common practice of top real estate agents before you get upset when a real estate agent requests a pre-approval letter before showing you homes.
1. Realtor Safety
Arguably the biggest reason a real estate agent will request a pre-approval prior to showing a buyer homes relates to the safety of themselves. Realtor safety has been a very popular topic in the news as of late. There has been in the past year several Realtors who have tragically lost their lives while performing their day-to-day tasks.
You may ask yourself, how does requesting a pre-approval letter provide any safety for a Realtor? If a buyer has been to a lender to discuss their mortgage options and has obtained a pre-approval, the lender has done their research on the potential buyer(s). The lender has information on the buyer such as their social security number, their job history, and other pertinent information.
2.Provides Proof Of Ability To Obtain Financing
Another popular reason real estate agents request a pre-approval before showing houses to a buyer is because it provides proof of the ability to obtain financing. The reality is that not everyone can get a pre-approval. Real estate agents want to make sure that a buyer can get a pre-approval before spending their time driving around town showing houses to a buyer who cannot obtain financing.
Nine out of ten “serious” buyers will have no problem with attempting to get a pre-approval. Getting a pre-approval does not take a ton of time to obtain, in fact, a top lender should be able to pre-approve a buyer within a few days of receiving a pre-approval application.
3.Saves Time & Frustration
In today’s society, most people are very busy and don’t have boatloads of extra time. Another top reason why a real estate agent will request a pre-approval prior to showing a buyer homes is they are not only attempting to save themselves time but also the buyer.
A pre-approval provides a buyer, and their real estate agent, information as to what price range they should stay within as well as the range of yearly taxes. A real estate agent who requests a pre-approval prior to showing a buyer homes is trying to save the buyer time and frustration.
4.Strengthens Negotiation Ability
Top real estate agents will request a pre-approval before showing a buyer homes because it strengthens the buyers negotiation ability. Depending on the local real estate market conditions, if a buyer is attempting to buy a home in a sellers market, it’s critical to have a pre-approval before looking at homes.
5.Sellers May Require It
Another reason why real estate agents will request a pre-approval before showing homes to a buyer is because the seller may require it. Some homeowners do not want buyers walking through their home who haven’t spoken with a mortgage company as they do not want to waste their time.
Some sellers also do not want unqualified buyers walking through their home, which is a common practice at real estate open houses. There are many pros and cons to open houses in real estate and certainly one of the drawbacks is there is no ability to screen potential buyers who are visiting an open house. Don’t be offended if a real estate agent requests a pre-approval before showing you a home as it maybe a direct request from the homeowner.