When buying a home there are two methods you have up front which will decide how smooth the process will go for you and everyone involved. In addition, it will greatly effect the likelihood of your offer being accepted by the seller of your favorite home.
The most common option is a “pre-qualification” as this is what most banks offer. Unfortunately, getting a pre-qualification is just the loan officer’s best guess on what you qualify for, as no documentation is reviewed, so there are no guarantees.
This is THE BIGGEST MISTAKE homebuyers make! The best method is getting a fully underwritten pre-approval from a local mortgage broker as your credit, income and asset documentation is reviewed and approved up front versus after you’re under contract.
Sellers will know your offer is solid, like a cash offer, as you’ve taken the extra step up front to have your loan pre-approved, which gives you the advantage in this highly competitive market!