Kathyt, Home Buyer in California City, CA

does the law require you to be preapproved for a realtor to take you looking at houses for sale?

Asked by Kathyt, California City, CA Sat May 1, 2010

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Last week someone posted a question that went something like this, "Our offer was accepted on a house, but our credit scores are 525 and 540, can we get a loan?". That is why realtors want to make sure that you are pre-approved. If a realtor was taking that person around, they just wasted whatever amount of time they spent, because these people are not getting a loan no matter what they do and how much they earn. Realtors aren't magicians, they can't make someone qualify just because they put in an offer, so better safe than sorry.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 2, 2010
Yes, it is called "The law of good stewardship of a Realtors time". Ha Ha, if you want to go looking at homes for the fun of it, you should consider visiting open houses. If you are serious about purchasing a home and not just interested in looking at them, then I suggest you find a loan officer to work with and get pre-approved. Then you should interview a few Buyers Agents and choose one to commit to. Once these two things are in place you will be ready to go looking at houses. Ditto on the comments below.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 2, 2010
As others have stated, there are no laws that regulate this but possibly rules imposed by the agent's broker that protect both the owner and agents from being exploited by individuals with less than serious intentions.

As a "tire kicker" people often lose sight of the fact that a huge inconvenience can be created for the owner and their agent for the sake of being nosey.

Being preapproved does not change a buyers intentions but it does qualify them with a higher level of interest.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 2, 2010
There is no law that requires you to be pre-approved for a mortgage before looking at houses for sale. However, a good Realtor / real estate agent will not take you to see homes for sale unless you are pre-approved for a mortgage or otherwise can show you have sufficient liquid assets to buy a home for cash.

Before viewing homes for sale, you should get pre-approved for a mortgage. The reason is simple: How does the real estate agent (and you, for that matter), know how much home you are able to purchase? And, how do you and the real estate agent know whether or not you can even qualify for a mortgage?

If you are not pre-approved for a mortgage or if you can not show that you have sufficient liquid assets to purchase a home for cash, you can expect most good Realtors will refuse to show you homes for sale.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 2, 2010
No really but if you dont have this in the 90% of the cases nobody want to work with you
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 14, 2013
Hi Kathyt,
The law doesn't require it, but many homeowners will not allow anyone into their homes unless they are qualified to purchase the property. This is especially true with REO, Short-Sale or Foreclosures.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 2, 2010

If you are looking at bank owned homes I suggest you be prepared to be qualified over and over by all the major lenders. Not only is it a standard to request you be pre approved by your realtor, but it is a requirement that a pre-approval letter accompany your offer and some banks(the owner of the home) will request that you cross qualify with them.

It is in your best interest to be ready with letter in hand so when you do find the home that you wish to purchase you are ready to move forward immediately.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 2, 2010
Others have answered, but I want to ask you a question. Why would you want to see a home if you weren't pre-approved to be able to buy it? If you're just curious, and not really looking to buy please realize that home sellers have to clear out and go through lots of trouble to make their homes available to be seen by qualified buyers. Agents are trying to make a living in a tough market and need to invest their time with qualified buyers.
If you had a house on the market, filled with your valuable possessions wouldn't you want to know that you left so a pre-approved qualified buyer could see it?
There is no law, other than the law of good practice for the sake of all concerned. I hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 2, 2010
While there is no law, it is common for sellers to not even consider an offer without a pre-approval or proof of funds. This is why 99% of the Realtors out there will not bother to show people homes unless they are pre-approved.

Pre-approval lets you, the buyer, know how much you can borrow while still remaining within a comfortable budget for your style of living.
Pre-approval lets the seller know that you can get the loan and that you are not wasting their time.

Good luck on your house hunt.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 1, 2010
No, there is no such law, anywhere in the country.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 1, 2010
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