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Putting The Cart Before The Horse When Buying Real Estate


Putting The Cart Before The Horse When Buying Real Estate 

You probably know this expression “putting the cart before the horse”, well this is one way to describe a buyer who wants to start seeing houses before they have been pre-approved by a lender.  Sure as a buyer you might have some idea of what you can afford, but until you talk with a professional, go over the closing costs and find out what you can afford for a mortgage, you are putting the cart before the horse.

real estate delaware county paYes looking at houses can be fun.  Open Houses are a great way to see houses on a whim.  But don’t be surprised when an agent does not want to show you properties if you are not pre-approved by a lender. 

WHY? You might ask.  Well agents need to make a living just like everyone else and if they give a lot of time to a buyer who does not know their true buying power, then that buyer is taking work hours away from that agent who could be helping other buyers with pre-approval letters and are ready to place an offer the moment they visit the house of their dreams.

“Yes, but I have to start somewhere, and I want to look at a few houses first” You might say.  Well you may get lucky and find an agent who will show you a few houses initially, but you run the risk of finding the house of your dreams and by the time you find out you can afford the house, another buyer with their ducks in a row might sneak in and buy the house before you.  Or you might find out, that house is way beyond your means.  Unfortunately, either way, a buyer tends to compare all other houses they see from that point on to that house that got away.

So be good to yourself and get that first step done by getting a pre-approval letter, by having a FREE CONSULTATION with an agent and a lender.  Once you have this letter in place it can easily be updated.

(Written by Gloria)

Putting The Cart Before The Horse When Buying Real Estate 


Doug Durren and Gloria Todor, Realtors®, SRES® 
CENTURY 21 Absolute Realty

Serving Delaware County, Pennsylvania and Surrounding Areas 
Doug 610-909-0687        Gloria 484-431-3686
610-328-4300 x131 Office
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Comment balloon 4 commentsCheryl Ritchie • February 03 2012 12:53AM


That's good advice. Many potential borrowers qualify for more or less than what they think. They also learn whether or not they have enough cash to make the purchase.  I was speaking with some the other day who thought they only need cash for the down payment. When we talked about closing costs they thought the seller or lender paid them.

From an agents standpoint you want to be sure your not wasting your time. There's a cost in both time and money showing houses and you to want to turn into a taxi service.

Talking with a lender and getting pre-approved also shows a commitment by the potential buyer. Personally, I will talk and give advice to anyone in an initial call but if they are unwilling to complete my pre-application form so I can verify their income and assets and run a credit report I will put them into my contact system and wait until they are serious checking back with them from time to time to see where they are in the buying process.


Posted by Alan Gross, Loan Consultant (PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company, Equal Housing Lender) over 7 years ago

Good morning Cheryl,

I will not take buyers out before they are pre-approved.  That is just not smart business.  I have a list of lenders and phone numbers for them to call and get pre-approved.  Then we'll go shopping!

Posted by Cindy Edwards, CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677 (RE/MAX Checkmate) over 7 years ago

I have to admit I sometimes show them one house or condo - when it makes sense and use that time to educate them on the process and do not take them out again until they have been pre approved - seems to work for me -

Hey Cheryl, enjoy the super bowl!!!

Posted by Marcia Kramarz, CDPE,LMC,CBR (Re/Max Executive Realty) over 7 years ago

Thanks Cheryl for the re-blog.


Posted by Gloria Todor, & Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA (Century 21 Absolute Realty ) over 7 years ago