Are You Prepared?

by Jim Palmer Jr./Designated Broker - Real Estate Marketplace N.W. Inc.

     Are you prepared to jump on purchasing that perfect house that you just saw online or are you just dreaming?  If you aren’t prepared, then you will likely miss out on that one since the market is hot and the inventory is low.  That means that if you have to wait to sell a home, or if you have to wait to talk to your lender before writing your offer, you may be too late!  Sometimes it comes down to just minutes in terms of beating out another buyer.

     How do you get prepared?  What is the first step?  Can you show them (the seller) the money?  If you have not been to the lender yet, then do that today!  Talk to your professional Realtor® for referrals to trusted money sources.  Sure, you can go online for that, but your experience may not be as smooth as using a loan officer who has been vetted as trustworthy by an experienced real estate broker.  Find one who won’t lie for you to the underwriters.  If they will lie for you, they will lie to you!  If you don’t currently qualify then quickly do what is necessary to repair your credit, save your pennies.

     You can get a pre-qualification letter quickly in many cases by just talking on the phone to a loan officer, but expect to provide the needed backup information in a timely manner thereafter.   Be prepared to provide all or some of the following items: Recent Paystubs (prior 30 days), Form W2 (wage and tax statement for prior two years), Form 1040 (individual tax return ) for prior two years, applicable business tax return for prior two years, checking and savings account statements from prior two months, Securities account statements including investments, retirement funds etc for prior two months, Mortgage statements and home equity lines of credit, lease agreements, real property tax payments, confirmation of source of down payment (savings, gift, sale of stock, loan, etc), copy of drivers license etc.  This process may seem harder than giving blood, but it is necessary before you can attempt to purchase in this competitive market.

     Armed with the appropriate information from your lender, you will know if you qualify for a loan in that price range, and what type of loan you will be applying for once an offer has been made.  Without this information readily available at the time of offer, you may be edged out by a more prepared buyer!