If you’re in the market to buy a house, you may think the first thing to do is to hop in the car with your agent and go look at houses. I’m sorry to have to tell you — you’d be wrong.
The first step in your home-buying journey is to secure your financing. Do this before you contact your agent to look at houses, and he or she will be your bff (best friend forever, for those of you that don’t text). And that’s a pinky promise. Also known as getting pre-approved for a mortgage, it does several things to make a real estate agent’s job a bit easier.
First, the agent knows you’re serious about buying a house and not just using him or her for an afternoon’s diversion.
Second, it tells the agent what price range of homes to search for. You would be amazed at the number of 3 bedroom 2 bath homes for sale even in one neighborhood. Knowing how much you’ve been approved for will save you both a lot of time finding just the right house.
When you do find that house, your negotiating position will be much stronger than someone with just a pre-qualification letter or nothing at all. With a little bit of income and expense information, you can be pre-qualified for a loan over the phone. That means the bank thinks that, yes, you have what it takes to make monthly payments on a certain amount of money at a certain interest rate for a certain length of time. It means they are willing to work with you to help you finance your home purchase.
Getting pre-approved, however, goes beyond that. To get pre-approved for a home loan, the lender gets all the details of your financial life which includes such things as income, assets, debts, expenses, and employment history. The savvy home buyer will get all of this out of the way before they attend the first open house or call a real estate agent.
So, do you wanna be an agent’s bff? A good place to start the process is by gathering the 8 Must-have Documents your mortgage lender will ask for. It’s a great place to start before you hop in the car to begin looking for your next home.
GoodWin Team Realty
Heather Goodwin, Broker
Serving all of Shreveport and Bossier City
Specializing in Southeast Shreveport Gated Communities
St. Charles Place, Hidden Trace, Norris Ferry Landing, Provenance, Norris Ferry Crossing,
Twelve Oaks, Acadiana Place, and the Ellerbe Road Corridor
Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission