Robert Backer: Pre-Approved Versus Pre-Qualified: The Difference & Why It Matters

Monday, January 25, 2021 - by Robert Backer, president, Greater Chattanooga Realtors
In the current market of fewer houses for sale than usual, every step of the process counts. Hiccups can cause valuable time, and it’s crucial to have a realtor's guidance, especially when you may be competing against other buyers,
 
After finding a realtor, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is critical. This step is essentially an assurance from a lender that you, the buyer, are qualified to borrow up to a specific amount of money at a particular interest rate. A pre-approval letter makes the buyer look more serious to sellers and, in a competitive market, it also could help the buyer stand out among multiple offers. 
 
You might have heard of getting pre-qualified for a mortgage, but there are some important distinctions to point out between being pre-qualified and pre-approved.
So what’s the difference? For starters, pre-approval goes much deeper than pre-qualification. Look at being pre-qualified as a financial snapshot that gives you an idea of the mortgage you might qualify for – a glimpse into your finances, but not the full picture.
 
To get this “full picture,” a lender needs a lot of documents from you. Getting pre-approved for a loan can take anywhere from 5-8 business days. Buyers will need to provide at least two years of tax returns, several months of pay stubs and bank statements, and documents showing any additional sources of income, like social security payments, alimony, or military retirement pay.
 
Buyers should also check their credit report to make sure everything is accurate and take steps to correct any errors, as that could affect their interest rate or if they can even qualify for a mortgage. 
 
To help make this process go more quickly, gather and organize all your mortgage pre-approval documents. Then compare rates from lenders in a short timeframe. It’s advisable to compare rates within a 14-day window. Doing so signals the credit bureaus that you’re shopping lenders, so they count all credit checks as one, which should have less impact on your credit score.
 
Getting pre-approval instead of pre-qualified might sound like a minor detail, but in a market like ours, every small advantage can make the difference between getting – or losing – the home you want. Purchasing a home can be an involved process, but your realtor will be there every step of the way. That’s Who We R.

Westside Evolves Planning Process Moving Into Stage 2

Eye Surgery Center In East Brainerd Sells For $14.3 Million

Crye-Leike Announces 2020 Chattanooga And North Georgia Top Producers


The Westside Community Evolves planning process is moving into Stage 2, and is seeking insight from the public regarding what they envision for the future of the Westside neighborhood. The ... (click for more)

An eye surgery center in East Brainerd has sold for $14,300,000. The building occupied by Southeast Eye Specialists is at 7268 Jarnigan Road. The four-story building has 45,000 square feet. ... (click for more)

Crye-Leike Real Estate Services announces its 2020 top producing agents, teams and rookie for its Chattanooga and North Georgia regions. To be named a top producing agent or team in one of Crye-Leike's ... (click for more)



Real Estate

Westside Evolves Planning Process Moving Into Stage 2

The Westside Community Evolves planning process is moving into Stage 2, and is seeking insight from the public regarding what they envision for the future of the Westside neighborhood. The planning team will lead participants in a series of workshops that will include exercises and conversations in order to begin to shape a shared vision for the future of the neighborhood. These ... (click for more)

Eye Surgery Center In East Brainerd Sells For $14.3 Million

An eye surgery center in East Brainerd has sold for $14,300,000. The building occupied by Southeast Eye Specialists is at 7268 Jarnigan Road. The four-story building has 45,000 square feet. It was built in 2008. The sale was to Vcm Jarnigan Lp from Southeast Medical Properties Gp, Southeast Medical Properties I Llc. (click for more)

Breaking News

Couple, 90 And 89, Die In House Fire In Rock Spring

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Hammond Says Sheriff's Office Staff Short By About 50; Cites Negative Perception Of Police, Daily Dangers They Face

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond said Monday the county is having difficulty hiring School Resource Officers amid what he calls negative public perception of law enforcement. He said overall, the Sheriff’s Office is short by about 50 staff. “We’re living in a time when police officers are seen in a negative fashion, more so than in the past,” Sheriff Hammond said. “There are ... (click for more)

Opinion

Just Say No To Metro Government

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Roy Exum: Be Like ‘Dr. Georgia’

Many years ago I was described as “a pathos writer.” At the time I had no idea what that was, much less what it meant. So, I went to the source and asked him what that meant. He laughed and assured me it wasn’t a negative thing. This magazine editor told me that I had a rare gift: my words can make readers happy or sad, he explained. You can bring laughter one day and tears the ... (click for more)