It sounds like there may be confusion between the terms pre-qualification and pre-approval. Your real estate agent wants you have to have a pre-qualification prior to showing properties. They can be obtained by supplying some general information to a lender and getting a generic statement of how much financing you will likely be able to obtain.
A pre-approval letter comes into play when an offer is made on a specific property. These are obtained after submitting a formal and full application with your lender. Since your application needs to go through underwriting, you will not know immediately whether the lender will loan you the financing; however, they will be able to provide a pre-approval based on information contained in your full loan application packet.
No. Often times the seller knows that there is nothing to fear so they don't want to pay for it. I know everybody wants to jump down my throat on this, but for decades we got by without it. Title companies found a new source of income and sold everybody on it. OK, start jumping down my throat.... more