How to Pre-Qualify for a Home
Talk to the Decision Makers
There is nothing more frustrating than repeating yourself twice and investing a lot of time in someone who is not ultimately going to make the decision. However, assuming or implying that there is another party you should be talking to can violate fair housing laws. Simply ask if there will be anyone else involved in making the final decision. If there will be others involved then try to schedule a time to meet when all parties can be present.
Ask Some Basic Questions
Although you can verbally ask questions, you will likely get more out of a paper or online questionnaire. If they fill it out online, you know what to expect ahead of time. If they are filling it out in your office or at a property then leave them alone. If you stand there, they will keep asking questions and never get it filled in or else their answers simply won’t be thorough. A few questions to ask include:
- When did you begin looking for a home?
- Do you currently own a home or are you renting?
- Is your current home already listed with another agent?
- What lender are you pre-qualified through?
- When is your moving deadline?
- Will you be putting 20 percent down on your mortgage?
- Do you have any special requirements for the property?
- How many people will be living in the home?
Take Advantage of Credit Tools
Most serious buyers know that the lender they work with is going to pull their credit report and they also know that having other recent inquiries will hurt their score. So, being able to check their credit without hurting them is a huge advantage. For example, ScoreApprove is a small real estate tool that allows you to do a “soft pull” of their credit, which will not adversely impact them.