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One of the smartest things that people who want to buy a home can do is get mortgage pre-approval first. This is an excellent time to buy a home, whether it's new or resale, and when you know exactly how much you can afford, you're in a better position as a buyer. Not only does it make the entire home-buying process easier, it also puts you in the driver's seat when buying a home.
With mortgage pre-approval, your bargaining position is better with sellers, especially those who want or need to sell their homes fast. Time is money, and that's so true when buying or selling real estate. Sellers who know that a prospective buyer already has loan approval are more likely to take a lower offer, knowing that the sale is virtually guaranteed.
Knowing the limit of your loan also helps you narrow the the field. You can immediately exclude homes for which you won't qualify or homes for which you are overqualified. Anyone who has spent any time at all looking for a new home knows how time-consuming the process is, so having pre-approval helps you narrow the possibilities.
Pre-approval doesn't take a lot of time and may not cost anything. Considering the time you save looking for homes and the leverage you get as a buyer, it's worth pursuing with your Realtor or lender. Going through the process can also give you more information about the elements that are important in the approval process, like improving your credit score, lowering your debt load, or increasing your income to help you qualify for more home.
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