Financing in Bronxville>Question Details

Maggie, Home Buyer in Westchester County, NY

When is the best time to get pre-approved? I'm looking for a co-op or Condo in lower Westchester, not in a rush, but don't want to take a

Asked by Maggie, Westchester County, NY Sun Feb 28, 2010

hit against my credit report until absolutely necessary. Can I do this just before making an offer? How long does it take? I've already been "pre-qualified" so I'm speaking of the real deal, when the credit report is pulled and more documentation is required.

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Hi Maggie -- If you have decided who you will go to for your mortgage, getting a pre-approval before you start to shop for your new home is a good idea. The pre-qualification won't mean much to a seller, and if you see a place you love, most sellers won't accept an offer until you are pre-approved. You can always get the pre-approval updated if it takes you more than 90 days to find your new home. If your lender is the only one checking your credit scores, and there's only one inquiry every 90 days or so, you should be OK.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 12, 2010

Most lender preapprovals---which requires the pulling of your credit report and verifying necessary income, assets, and employment documentation---- have a shelf life of 90 days. I would start the ball rolling within that time frame. If it takes longer than 30 days to find and close on your new home within that time frame, the lender will just need updated pay stubs and banks statements. Your credit will not need to be pulled again until after 90 days.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 1, 2010
Have you run your own credit and gotten scores? Although these are not the same scores that I would get if I pulled your credit, I would rely on them until I had to put my name on a letter that says the word approval on it. I can usually look at a credit report and see if there are issues, and where I think the scores might be. Until you are ready to make an offer, and want a letter, I wouldn't bother to run it anyway if I saw what you provided. Once you decide on a price range, whether you want a co-op or condo, and how much you have to put down, credit doesn't really have to be run.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 1, 2010
Hi Maggie:

You should have a pre approval before you start your home search. A pre approval can be delivered in one quick phone call.
Please call me at your earliest convenience. I will be more than happy to assist you with obtaining a pre-approval and your home search.

Best ,
Linda Grieco-Paiva
Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty
917 597 5690
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 1, 2010
Hi, It is always wise to get yourself pre approved prior to looking for a home. There is a difference between a pre approval and prequalification as you seem to already know. A pre qualification is usually based on a verbal conversation with a loan officer and a pre approval means that all information has been verified, credit checked, and approved by an underwriter.

Most agents will and should work only with pre approved buyers because if it is not very clear what the banks will lend you then alot of time can be wasted by all parties involved. I like to maximize my time with clients so you can really enjoy the process and not spin wheels. The banks change their lending guidelines regularly, especially in these current times. So what may work this work may not next week.

You are allowed a certain amount of inquiries when buying a home and a pre approval is usually good for 60-90 days.


Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Acredited Buyer Representative
Legends Realty Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 28, 2010
You mentioned that you are not in a rush to buy, but are looking--do you at least have a timeframe in mind--if you are going to continue to look it's in your best interest to be pre-approved sooner rather than later--if you stumble upon a must have property and you are not prepared, there is a good chance you may lose out. Do your homework now--check out areas of interest, drive through the areas more than once and at different times of day, get a sense of belonging; look at everything that is of importance to you, then choose the area where your comfort level can be reached and focus on those available properties--do keep in mind that when the time comes to make an offer, a pre-approval letter will be needed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 28, 2010
The best time to get pre-approved is before you actually start going to see the properties. Besides the benefit of being able to submit an offer, which usually requires a pre-approval, it will also help you refine and narrow your search. You will not waste time with houses you can’t afford, and you will not exclude any house you could afford, but did not realize.

The credit report only takes a hit if you run it multiple times a year. I recommend you get a conditional commitment done now. If you do you may make the $8000 tax credit deadline of April 30th.

Rey Hollingsworth Falu
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Houlihan Lawrence - Bronxville

Direct 917-855-0277
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 28, 2010
The best time to be pre-approved is before you start to look with a realtor. This provides you with instant credibilty with the realtor and prospective sellers. Also by doing this before working with the realtor you are less likely to be tied to the lender associated with a specific real estate company
914 714 2738
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 28, 2010
Hi Maggie, I posted on your other question as well. See my blog below about inquiries: ttp://

You are not punished for shopping for a loan typically on your credit report.

Of course if you know your credit score and/or have a copy of your credit report, one can work with that as well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 28, 2010
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