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DON’T BE RUDE! Why You Need a Preapproval Before Touring Homes: A Must-Read for Home Buyers


Are you eager to start touring homes in search of your dream property? Before you hit the road with your real estate agent, there’s a critical step you cannot afford to skip: getting preapproved for a mortgage. In this blog post, we’ll delve into why a preapproval is non-negotiable and why it’s not like window shopping at Macy’s.

As the team lead on The Grant Fetter Homes Team, I’ve encountered numerous inquiries from potential clients who are hesitant to begin the process of obtaining financing. They simply want to jump straight into touring homes, assuming they can figure out the financials later. But here’s the truth: house hunting without a preapproval is a recipe for wasted time and dashed dreams.

This MAY BE my most opinionated blog post yet, but with good reason. Let’s set the record straight. When you tour a home, you’re not just browsing through a display. You’re stepping into someone’s personal space, where real people live their lives. It’s not just about the property; it’s about respecting the current homeowners and their privacy. From family photos to beloved pets, each home has its own story, and it’s essential to approach the process with the necessary respect and preparation.

Sure, you might have done some quick calculations and Googled potential mortgage rates, but that’s not enough. Only a mortgage lender can accurately assess your financial situation and determine how much you can truly afford to spend on a home. And this assessment requires more than just a cursory glance at your credit score. It involves providing detailed financial information and documents to paint a comprehensive picture of your financial health.

Are you self employed? There is a STRONG chance that you are not qualified for what you think you are (at least without strong guidance).

But what about concerns regarding a credit pull? Let me assure you that the benefits of getting preapproved far outweigh any minor impact on your credit score. Most mortgage lenders offer preapproval processes that provide valuable insights without initiating a hard credit inquiry. And when a credit pull is necessary, the information gleaned from it is invaluable in guiding your homebuying journey.

Think your credit as a 760?

Typically, when mortgage lenders pull all three FICO® scores, they will use the median score for your application. Let’s say you have the following FICO® scores:

  • Experian™ FICO® Score 2: 732
  • TransUnion® FICO® Score 4: 760
  • Equifax® FICO® Score 5: 745

In this scenario, your mortgage lender will use 745 as your credit score. If two of your scores were identical, your lender would use that score no matter if it is the higher or lower number. If you’re applying with a co-borrower, the lender will pull both of your credit scores and use the lower median score as your FICO® Score. Did your spouse let their Bed Bath and Beyond Credit card go unpaid? Now you are borrowing at a 640 credit score…and that one simple change could be a difference of $300.00 a month or more on a 300K loan!

So, here’s the bottom line: the moment you decide it’s time to start looking at houses, don’t hesitate to take the first step towards preapproval. Our team works closely with trusted mortgage partners who can guide you through the process seamlessly. By getting preapproved, you’ll not only streamline your home search but also demonstrate to sellers that you’re a serious buyer with the financial backing to make a competitive offer.

In conclusion, house hunting without a preapproval is akin to trying to build a house without a solid foundation—it’s bound to crumble. So, don’t delay any longer. Take control of your homebuying journey by getting preapproved today. Your dream home awaits, and we’re here to help you every step of the way. Contact us HERE now to get started!