Ask the REALTOR: Do I need to tell my agent how much I’m approved to spend?

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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.

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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
Cari McGee

My husband and I came to the Tri-Cities in 1994, and we thought it would be a temporary stop on our way to larger cities. He was a television sports anchor at the time, and we planned to go wherever the "next step up" took us. Twenty-plus years later, we're still here and we've loved every minute of it! We have two children now, and we've found the Tri-Cities area is a wonderful place to raise a family. It's a great place to do outdoorsy things -- I like to hike Badger Mountain or run along the river path. I also love reading ... by a cozy fire in the winter or a beautiful picture window in the summer (with the A/C on!). I've been a licensed Realtor since 2004. I earned my managing broker's license in 2016, which means I can run my own brokerage, or create a team of real estate agents and supervise them, which is exactly what I did when I formed the Cari McGee Real Estate Team in 2018! We have administrative and marketing personnel, as well as additional agents to serve you. I became a director of the Tri-Cities Association of Realtors Board of Directors in 2016, became Secretary/Treasurer of the organization, and was elected to Vice President in 2019. Want to talk about real estate? Click here to schedule a meeting with me!

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