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“Why should I prequalify???”

As a home buyer, if you are not sure how much you can get a mortgage for then you cannot realistically expect a Realtor to be able to show you homes. It surprises me that there are people who are out there, expecting one hundred percent effort from an agent, but are not willing to do the same themselves. Let’s face it, there are people out there who want it all done for them…but that’s not something that works well in real estate. Your agent, preferably me (Yes…wink, wink, nudge, nudge!), are not going to be able to do everything for you. There are just some things you need to do for yourself.
Getting prequalified for a mortgage is just one of those things. When you come to a Realtor for assistance it makes our lives much easier if you have already spoken with a lender and have that prequalification. You’ll immediately know the answer to the most common questions that any Realtor (If they are not asleep) is going to ask you, “What’s your budget?”
Having that answer, and giving it to me, as your Realtor, gives me a starting point. It tells me what I need to be on the lookout for. Now I know some smart-alec is out there huffing and puffing while they read this! (You know who you are!)
“Well Joe,” they are saying with that oh so superior tone, “there are a LOT more questions that you need to be asking, not just your budget!”
Yes, in one respect you are correct. Yes, there are quite a few more questions I should, and will be asking you. Now that I’ve given that credit it’s time to point out the looming elephant of a “BUT” that takes up an exceptionally large segment of the room…
You are correct in that there are many more questions, as your representative, I need to be asking you in order to give you the service that you, as my client, are rightfully entitled to. I must, and will be asking you what area you prefer to be located in, how many bedrooms you want, as well as how many bathrooms. I will be asking you about many of your preferences for the new home you are looking for. That all being said, the initial question of what your budget is will reduce the chances that we will need to have an embarrassing conversation where you tell me that you can’t afford the beautiful home I am showing you because it is so far out of your budget that the entire house may as well be made of solid gold.
My point here is that you may have a list of things you want. You may tell me that that you need at least three bedrooms, two baths, and an attached garage, but if you don’t tell me how much you can afford to pay for the home, then I really can’t show you the homes you are going to need, and want to see!
This is why getting prequalified is so important. You see, there are plenty of three bedroom, and two bathroom homes out there, but only SOME of those homes are going to be in your price range. If you get prequalified for a mortgage of up to $250,000, and let me know your budget, I can focus on the three bedroom, two bathroom homes that will be in your budgetary range, and not bring you to see the one that has the solid gold plumbing fixtures and diamond crusted kitchen backsplash that is going to be way over what you can afford to spend! That means I, as your Realtor (Wink, wink, nudge nudge), will be able to focus on finding you the home you want and deserve!

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