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In a market that’s as competitive as the Tri-Cities, pre-approval is a must for anyone hoping to buy a home. But there are still a lot of buyers who are trying to buy their dream home without being pre-approved, and they’re striking out.

According to a recent survey from realtor.com, more than half of buyers across the country are skipping the pre-approval step in the homebuying process:

“Of over 2,000 active home shoppers who plan to purchase a home in the next 12 months, only 52% obtained a pre-approval letter before beginning their home search, which means nearly half of home buyers are missing this crucial piece of paperwork.”

Here are three reasons why buyers should get pre-approved before you even start to look at homes.

1.) Know Your Price Range

When looking for a home, the temptation to fall in love with a house that’s outside your budget is very real. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen too many times — and every other real estate agent has, too.

So, before you start shopping around, it’s helpful to know your price range, what you’re comfortable within a monthly mortgage payment, and ultimately how much money you can borrow for your loan. Pre-approval from a lender is the only way to do this.

2.) Show Sellers That You’re Serious and Ready to Buy

The pre-approval letter shows sellers that you’re a qualified buyer, something that can really help you stand out from the crowd in the current ultra-competitive market.

With limited inventory like we have now in the Tri-Cities, there are more buyers than sellers, and that’s fueling the competition. Bidding wars are heating up, meaning your offer needs to be as strong as possible in order to compete with other buyers’ offers.

Pre-approval shows homeowners that you’re a serious buyer. It helps you stand out from the crowd if you get into a multiple-offer scenario, and these days, that’s likely. When a seller knows you’re qualified to buy the home, you’re in a better position to potentially win the bidding war and land the home of your dreams.

3.) Have a Qualified Lending Pro on Your Side

Today’s housing market is also changing from moment to moment. Interest rates are low, prices are going up, and lending institutions are regularly updating their standards. You’re going to need guidance to navigate these waters, so it’s important to have a team of professionals (a loan officer and a real estate agent) making sure you take the right steps along the way and can show your qualifications as a buyer at the time you find a home to purchase.

Final Thoughts

It’s tough being a homebuyer right now in the Tri-Cities. Inventory is low. Prices are rising. And bidding wars are common. If you’re buying, you need to be able to move quickly to get the home you want. To that end, a pre-approval letter can be a game-changer — it shows that you’re serious and ready to buy right now. And that’s necessary for your offer to compete and win that house you love.

If you have any questions about getting pre-approved, drop us a note below. We’ll ask a few questions and connect you with the right lender for your situation.

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Cari McGee

Hi, I'm Cari McGee. 👋 I've lived in the Tri-Cities since 1994 and I've been a licensed Realtor® since 2004. That's a lot of local knowledge and real estate experience that I put into every article you read on my website! We've helped more than 560 families buy or sell property in the Tri-Cities. In 2023, our community voted us the bronze winner for Best Real Estate Team in the Tri-Cities Best voting. Learn more about me by clicking the link right above. And if you have any questions, get in touch anytime!

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