Why Get Pre-Approved?
1. Pre-Approval acts as a FULL Underwrite with the lender. The Lender will run your file with all of your supporting documentation ( Tax Returns, All of your Assets such as 401k, savings statements, etc.) through underwriting. This is a TBD Approval. All that is missing is an executed contract and an appraisal to support the contracted value. The whole process may take only minutes or a few hours at most, and is free.
2. During the loan financing process, you will see redundancy. The lender may ask for updated paystubs, bank statements, asset statements, etc. even though you already provided them, because of the law of continuity. Meaning that those items have expiring dates and if there is a new reported statement, there is a break in the chain. The alphabet has 26 letters, all in a congruent manner. If "Q" is out of date or missing, that creates an issue. So if your lender asks you for some certain items, it is not them being difficult, it is just that the chain has been broken, and an updated item is necessary to get the chain back together.
2. These days most sellers will NOT accept an offer without at least a pre-approval letter, so if you are serious about buying this is the first step towards getting you in your new home.
4. Being a former lender, I will talk to your lender to make sure that we are all on the same page and that there will be no mis-understandings.