Now that you know WHY it’s important to get pre-qualified before you start looking at houses, you may be wondering HOW to actually get pre-qualified. First you’ll need to consult with a local lender. It’s important to work with someone who’s familiar with the market in your area.
If you need a recommendation for a local lender, just ask your Realtor. We can offer guidance on which loan programs would be best for you, as well as contact information for several local professionals.
They’ll need to know certain information, such as:
- Length of employment
- Are your taxes up-to-date?
- Are you self employed (or) W2’d
- What’s your annual income
They’ll also need a copy of your bank statements, and will pull your credit report. Keep in mind that a mortgage lender will pull your score fro all 3 credit bureaus but may only use the middle score.
For instance, let’s say you go under contract on a house based on the verbal information you provided to the lender. Then 2 weeks later after providing all the required documentation, you find out that you in fact do NOT qualify for the loan. At this point you might have to back out of the contract, but you’ve already incurred expenses such as appraisal, earnest money, and inspections. You don’t wanna be left in a position having to spend money that you don’t have to.
But don’t get overwhelmed by the pre-qualification process, we’re here to help you out! Make sure to ask your lender about down payment assistance and other programs that can help you lower the upfront cost of buying a home.