When Is A Good Time To Get Pre-Qualified?

Too many buyers wait until an hour, sometimes less, before they are going out with a real estate agent or after they have already gone out looking at homes with the agent.  I read a statistic recently that said consumers spend more time preparing to buy a car then they do a home.  That’s a problem.

This is going to be one of the largest, if not the largest, asset and liability you will ever have.  You need to prepare in advance.  There isn’t any magic number of days, weeks, months, etc. that you need to wait but you shouldn’t be out and looking with a real estate agent until you understand what is involved, the process, what it’s going to cost you, etc. 

I also feel it is best to get pre-qualified during the day then at night or on a weekend.  This is only my personal opinion.  I am not saying this because I want to work Monday to Friday from 9 to 5 nor does it mean those are the hours I work since it certainly isn’t.  But the reason I say this is because a Mortgage Professional has a lot more resources at their finger tips during normal business hours.  Examples of this are running scenarios by colleagues, asking an underwriter, calling an investor, contacting HUD, being able to look up if a condo is FHA approved, etc. 

Before you call you to get pre-qualified you should make sure to have 2 most recent years of your W-2s and tax returns (Form 1040 with all pages) and 2 most recent statements for any and all assets.  If you are able to scan and create a PDF to send to your Mortgage Professional that is even better because the more information you provide the more it increases your chances of closing on a home and not running into any problems.