Why Get Pre-Qualified?
1. Pre-qualification acts as a dry run of the loan application process. The mortgage lender will use details you provide about your credit, income, assets and debts to arrive at an estimate of how much mortgage you can afford. The whole process may take only minutes or a few hours at most, and is free.
2. While a "pre-qual" is non-binding to the lender (because the information you provide has not been verified), it does serve as a good indication to potential sellers of your general creditworthiness.
3. In our market most sellers will NOT take an offer seriously without at least a pre-approval letter, so if you are serious about buying, this is the first step towards getting you in your new home.
Even Better: Get Pre-Approved!
This means you have given your lender the financial documents they need to research your credit-worthiness and actually pre-approve you for a loan, pending the selection of an actual property and certain other conditions. A PRE-APPROVAL is much more solid than a simple Pre-Qualification. It's says your lender has actually verified you finances and has a high level of confidence you can get the loan, barring any surprises along the way.