I think one of the most frequently asked questions I hear is: “Should I call the Realtor first or should I meet with a mortgage lender first?” It’s kind of like “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”
Most Realtors will tell you to visit with a mortgage lender first, because if you don’t know how much house you can afford then you won’t know if you are looking in the correct price point. Meeting with the lender first will also get you “pre-qualified” too. What is the importance of pre-qualification? Well it does two things for you.
First it determines exactly how much house you can afford. This is very important because it won’t lead to disappointment in the home buying process. If you are looking at houses that are out of your price range, then you can become very disappointed when you had your heart set on a particular in a particular neighborhood.
The second thing it does is it gets you pre-qualified. This is important for when you decide on the house of your dreams and make the initial offer for it. Your offer will be taken so much more seriously when a letter for the bank or mortgage lender accompanies that offer. They will know you are serious and they will know that you can get the financing to purchase the house. If you happen to meet with the Realtor first, then one of the first questions they will ask you is about getting pre-qualified. I promise you that it isn’t all that scary!