There seems to be a misunderstanding of the difference between a pre-qualification letter and a pre –approval letter. Both letters are given to a home buyer by a lender and it is usually suggested that a buyer gets this letter prior to shopping for their home. These allow clients to know exactly what their price range is and what they realistically can be approved for.
When in Arizona, both of these letters are documented with the same form, a PQF/ Pre-Qualification Form.
A pre-qualification letter can be created by simply having a conversation over the phone with a lender and having a credit check run. All this letter states is that from the information you have given the lender, you are qualified for up to a specific amount. If you are getting a pre-qualification letter, please take the time to be specific and honest with your lender. This will allow you to get the most accurate results possible.
On the other hand, there is also the option of getting a Pre-Approval letter. This letter is completed with the same form as a pre-qualification letter only with additional comments/notes made on it. This means that the file has been sent through a desktop underwriting (DU/LP) engine and documentation has been collected & reviewed by processing as well as an underwriter. This is usually marked with a TBD “to be determined” address. This is an approved loan simply requiring an appraisal, contract & title work.
Realtors appreciate when clients take the time to go through this process because it allows them to properly determine which homes to show and what is going to be best for that specific client. Yes, a pre-approval does take a little more effort and time, but in the end it can really give you the edge when looking to buy! For questions or comments please feel free to email me at Ingrid.Quinn@cobaltmortgage.com or visit me at scottsdalemortgageexpert.com .