Out of the blue, I went to an open house over the weekend, and really liked the home. I phoned my Realtor® and told her I wanted to make an offer. She told me I can’t make an offer without a preapproval letter from a lender. It’s been a really long time since I have bought or sold a home so maybe things have changed. It seems I should be able to make the offer while talking with the bank. I really hate to miss out on this house. Are pre-approvals that important?
As with most aspects of real estate the answer depends on specifics. If an attorney is involved due to a trust sale or probate, most likely a pre-approval will be required before your offer is considered.
Personally, I feel that offers submitted with pre-approvals and evidence of down payment are taken much more seriously. Home buyers who submit their offer with the appropriate accompanying paperwork are in a stronger negotiating position.
If the home is a standard sale it is up to the home seller (with the guidance of their real estate agent), to make the determination whether your offer will be responded to without a pre-approval. You might try submitting your offer with evidence of your downpayment, credit report and paycheck stubs. You might also include a cover letter explaining that you have contacted a lender and that the seller’s Realtor is encouraged to give them a call to verify your qualifications.