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Getting a Legitimate Lender and Getting Pre-Approved

It used to be that buyers could go house shopping and when they have found their dream home, then they go to get pre-approved. However, in today’s market, that has proven to be one of the least effective methods in landing the dream home.

Most lenders can pre-qualify you for a mortgage over the phone. Based on general questions about your income, debt, assets, and credit history, lenders can estimate how much mortgage you qualify for. However, being pre-qualified and pre-approved are different things. Pre-approval means that you have applied for a mortgage; you have filled out the mortgage application, received your credit report, and verified your employment, assets, etc. When you are pre-approved, you know exactly what the maximum loan amount will be.

A pre-qualified letter is not verified and in essence, does not count for much if you are competing with other buyers who are pre-approved. When you are pre-approved, you and the seller know exactly how much house you can afford. It gives you credibility as an interested buyer and lets the seller know immediately that you will qualify for a loan to buy their property.

In addition to being pre-approved, it’s important to be pre-approved with a legitimate lender. Legitimate lenders include: banks, mortgage bankers, credit unions, savings and loan associations, mortgage brokers, and online lenders.

Some lenders to avoid: those who lose a form or misplace a file, those who gather information from you in an unorganized manner, those who are not informed about interest rates, points or costs, and those who cannot provide you with the right information.

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The Realty Experts Testimonials

Michelle was a joy to work with from beginning to end. I can’t imagine anyone knowing Lincoln Hills better. She explained everything clearly, kept us posted on developments, and responded quickly to our questions. The result was better than we expected, with far less hassle. Don’t hesitate to call Michelle. Steve F.
Thank you so much for all you have done. What a trying time for our family but we pulled it all off. I truly appreciate your professionalism. You are one of the hardest working Realtors I know. Sandra B.
Michelle Cowles was far and above the best Realtor I have ever dealt with. She went to great lengths to help me with the sale of my home. She should be highly commended for her extreme effort and I would highly recommend her to everyone I know. Jill A.
After interviewing several Realtors, I chose Michelle and it was the best decision I could have made. The sale of my mother’s home turned out to be unexpectedly complicated and it was her attention to detail that helped us to discover and rectify an issue with the trust which we had no idea existed until Michelle started her thorough pre-sale paperwork. She guided my brother and I through every step of the process and worked closely with us, going above and beyond expectations, from start to finish. I would, without hesitation, highly recommend Michelle and think you should look no further if you are seeking the best realtor for the job. Thank you Michelle! Tamara
Thank you so much for everything you've done for us! Your attention to detail, knowledge, customer service and willingness to go beyond the expected and into the realm of "superb all-around agent" has made our new retirement residence possible. We hope we can continue to be personal friends now that our business is complete. Doug and Joan
Michelle Cowles is the best realtor we have ever worked with...friendly, efficient, thorough and detailed (almost to a fault!) and, most importantly, hangs in there with you until all matters are resolved and completed. Gerry & Marianne
You are amazing, Michelle. Thank you for your support through this whole transaction. Elaine
Thank you endlessly for all you have done!! Laura Ann G.
Thank you once again for doing an outstanding job selling our lovely home. You are a true professional always having our best interest in mind. We miss talking to you but wish you much success! Al and Linda
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