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Why is it helpful to get pre-approved?

Get pre-approved to buy a property is useful for a couple of reasons, including:

  • Knowing your credit and being aware of any potential issues.
  • Knowing your maximum spending ability vs. your ideal spending budget is useful to consider.
  • Having a pre-approval letter can reassure the seller that you can qualify for the loan amount.

Part of the AAR Residential Resale Real Estate Purchase Contract includes an AAR Pre-Qualification Form attached and completed by a lender. This form notifies the seller if the lender has received documentation on your income, down payment/reserves, and if they have obtained a Tri-Merged Residential Credit Report qualifying you for a loan amount. It is vital to get as much information to the lender that you can because the seller will typically use this information when vetting buyers and before they accept any offers on a property.

What is the difference between pre-qualified and pre-approved?

A pre-qualification is simply an estimate of how much you can afford to spend. A pre-approval is for an actual loan amount. (A small caveat: Your loan is not guaranteed until the underwriter signs off on your final loan approval and the loan has been funded.)


What do you need to get pre-approved?

1. Proof of income to prove you can pay an ongoing mortgage

2. Proof of assets to prove you can handle the downpayment and closing costs for the property

3. Have good credit for a larger loan or lower interest rates

4. Authorization to run your credit report

5. Employment verification to prove you have a steady inbound cash flow to pay off your loans


Different lenders will approve you for different loan amounts, so it’s important to shop around before committing to a particular lender. Each lender also has different overlays and programs, so what one lender can’t do, another lender may be able to. Check out the 10 Best Questions to Ask a Lender, and please let me know if you have any questions or need a few recommendations. I’ve worked with several lenders over the years and have several that I know and trust.


As always, I am here to help with anything you need. I know the buying process can be complicated, so please contact me with any questions you have. I am always a phone call or email away!

Audrey Tolley, Associate Broker
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