If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that question, well, let’s just say I’d have a lot of dollars!
When a buyer makes contact with me in the beginning stages of their home buying process, more often than not I am the first person they have spoken to. Maybe they saw one of my Facebook ads. Or they called me because they liked one of my listings in their neighborhood. Or maybe they found themselves searching for homes on my website and reached out for information. No matter which way they found me, their first question is normally “I’m ready to buy… what do I do to get started?”
The home buying process isn’t really that complicated if you have the right person guiding you along the way. Where do you get started? Well, the first thing we need to know is how much can you afford to spend? The best way to find that out is by getting a mortgage pre-approval. Notice that I said “pre-approval” and not “pre-qualification.” What’s the difference? A pre-qualification usually entails only a credit review. The potential buyer tells the lender how much they make and how much money they have in the bank. The lender takes them at their word and issues a pre-qualification based only on that information. With a pre-approval, the lender not only reviews the buyers credit, they also review two years’ worth of income documentation and two months’ worth of bank statements to determine what the buyer can spend. Can you see the benefit? This eliminates issues later (like when the buyer is already bound by a real estate contract) and makes for a much more confident shopping experience.
So after a brief discussion of their situation, I refer them to one of my lending sources that I feel is best qualified to help them (of course they are free to work with whomever they want. Some buyers are already working with mortgage lenders when we meet.) There are dozens and dozens of great lenders in the Philadelphia area. I help my clients narrow that crazy field down to just a couple that I think would best do the job. Because whatever the lender comes back with as a maximum pre-approval number is what we are going to use as we begin searching for homes. And once we get that pre-approval the fun begins. Let’s go shopping!
If you need help getting started, feel free to call me at 484-682-5737 and we’ll get you on your way to home ownership!
Nicholas Piscitelli, Broker/President