One of the common situations I come across in what I call my “Real Estate Life” is a buyer inquiring on a property. When asked, “Have you been in touch with a lender?”, most buyers will reply with a “no” or “not yet”. Whenever I meet with a new buyer, the first thing I advise them to do is speak with a lender. Get pre-approved. Oftentimes, potential buyers have gone online and used a mortgage calculator to get a ballpark estimate of what their mortgage will be. Mortgage calculators, however, only show the principal and interest P&I on a loan – not the taxes or insurance. Adding these two monthly expenses to the P&I can significantly alter what your prospective purchase price should be.
Furthermore, if you can get a Desktop Underwriting Approval (DU) – even better. This will show the seller that the lender has looked at your credit, debt to income ration, employment and other important factors that significantly increase your chances of closing on the loan. A DU can be a powerful negotiating tool that can make the difference when you are competing with other offers. In this market, multiple offer situations are the norm – especially if you are bidding on a short sale.