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Ask the REALTOR® is a regular video series in which I answer your most commonly-asked real estate questions, with a new Q&A posting every week. If YOU have a real estate question for me, drop me a note here.

This week’s question: Do I need to tell my agent how much I’m approved to spend? Here’s the answer in this brief video, and don’t miss the transcript below.


Hi, this is Cari McGee with Keller Williams Realty. Welcome to this week’s episode of “Ask the REALTOR.” Every week I answer questions from buyers and sellers, and pretty much everyone in between, regarding real estate.

This week’s question is, “Cari, do I need to tell you how much I’m approved to, or can I just tell you how much I want to spend if those numbers are different?”

The answer is that it depends, and yes and no. So, really clear-cut.

Here’s the scoop: When you have the price range where there’s not a lot available — for example, I have a client who told me originally he could spend $210,000, but he was actually approved for $225,000, and he didn’t tell me the higher number at first because he didn’t want to spend that much, but we weren’t finding anything in the $210,000 range. So everybody was getting pretty frustrated because there was nothing available. When he did tell me that actually he could spend $225,000, we were able to find more options for him.

I also have another set of clients who are pre-approved up to $400,000, but they don’t want to spend more than $350,000, and I understand that, and that’s okay because we have a wider range of available homes in that price range. So we’ll find what they need at $350,000 and we don’t have to go up to $400,000.

So the answer is basically, trust your agent. Go ahead and tell them both what you’re approved to and what you’re comfortable spending, and they’re not going to, you know, only show you houses up to your highest amounts that you’re approved to if they’re a good agent. They will help you find the houses that work for you, and hopefully in the price range that you want to spend. And only if there is nothing available, or if the exact right house for you is available at a higher price range will they start to show you things in the higher range.

So, I hope that helps, and I hope you have a fantastic week. If you have any questions for me regarding real estate, by all means give me a shout via any one of the methods that follow on the next screen. Bye-bye.

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About The Author
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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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