Don’t bother submitting an offer on a house without a loan pre-approval in hand if you are a homebuyer. If you are an investor, make sure you have proof of funds or you are approved by a hard money lender or private investor. And if you really want to please the seller, get preapproved for a conventional loan.
A preapproval letter demonstrates that the lender has verified your income and other required documents. It’s not a prequalification letter, which simply states that, based on the information provided, you could qualify for a loan.
Although it’s not always the case, some sellers prefer buyers who are preapproved for a conventional mortgage instead of a Federal Housing Administration loan.
“There’s a stigma with FHA and other government loans,” Da Silva says.
Loans insured by the FHA are not much more complicated or time-consuming than conventional loans, says Brett Sinnott, director of secondary marketing for CMG Mortgage Group in San Ramon, Calif.
“I’ve heard that some sellers don’t like FHA loans, but I’ve never really understood why,” he says. “I think they feel more confident with a buyer who has a larger down payment.”
In the end, the seller will get a check, regardless of the type of loan. But since the point is to convince the seller that your offer is the best one, if you qualify for a conventional loan, go for it.
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