Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL  (Cam Realty and Property Management)

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Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Time for a different lender! Never heard of a pre-approval taking weeks! And not necessary?! Verification of the information (assets, credit, etc.) is key.

Sep 02, 2020 07:46 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Shocked because the homebuyer is clueless. 

Lesson #1 - if you want your offer accepted you will need this. In my market, a seller would not accept an offer without it, proof of funds, and the buyer being vetted with the lender.  

Sep 02, 2020 07:45 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


It sounds like they do not understand the difference.  And, I don't think you are losing your mind.  On the higher end this is rarely done, usually the answer is talk to my private client banker...A

Sep 02, 2020 07:48 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

In our area an offer wouldn't even be reviewed without a preapproval.  A prequalification typically means that they haven't reviewed credit, confirmed assets, and employment etc...

Sep 02, 2020 08:40 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Hi, Beth.

    To me, "Pre-qualified" means that a person gave some verbal information to a lender over the telephone, none of it has been verified.  The lender replies, "assuming everything you say is true, you can borrow X dollars and have a mortgage payment of Y dollars".

    "Pre-approval" means the Lender has run a credit report, verified their income/job/employment, seen their tax returns, etc. 

New Buyer needs educating.  


Sep 02, 2020 08:02 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Pre-quals are not worth the paper they're written on anymore, and have been questionable long before that.  It's all about the pre-app which does take time.

I would put them in touch with my lenders for a more qualified lender.

Sep 02, 2020 09:43 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

We need to be aware, the consumer is absorbing a lot of information from all directions. They honestly what to present the impression they KNOW.

The lender, very often is the buyers bank such of WF. There is a loyalty or dependence there that is dangerous to interrupt.

To me, a pre-qualification is an application for a loan which none of the data is verified. I wold take this opportunity to have 'the talk' about the assurance of closing and the real cost to everyone when a lender drops the ball. "I've got your back, but you need to trust me. Let's get a real approval with Movement Mortgage. Then when you find the house, we can close in 5 days."

Sep 02, 2020 08:28 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

totally depends on the lender.  A pre-qual from a local bank is a golden ticket.  You aren't getting an approval letter without title work and an appraisal.

Sep 02, 2020 12:25 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Our AZ PQ is 'general' and required addenda to a purchase offer.

It says quite a bit, that the buyer has consulted with a lender, their marital status, whether they need to sell a home first, closing costs, property type and their loan and payment amount and any documentation that's been received.

THEN, 10 days into contract, a Loan Status Update SPECIFIC to the property purchased, shows the steps that need to be taken to close the loan and which have been completed and when. 

The buyer was shocked that you asked, or the lender? 


Sep 02, 2020 10:26 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I always ask for a pre-approval. I've never had a response like that. I get them to use one of my lenders to get a quick pre-approval and tell them they have no further obligation to work with my lender if they choose not to.

Sep 02, 2020 09:01 AM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

I just dropped a buyer over a lousy PQ...

Buyer has a PQ that states they checked credit, employment, etc and that he is good to go.  The PQ also showed the mtg broker is the "manager".

I mistakenly believed it.

I asked buyer to get a breakdown of his fees (aka closing costs, pre-paids etc)  His mortgage broker told him I did not need that...

In fact he said: "Just tell her it is 3%".

Wrong answer...

So I did a deep dive into the buyer's finances...his income doubled for this year...(so what, too soon to use it...)

His cash was I insisted that he re-prequalify with my trusted mtg broker.

Long story short, I got a very nice e-mail from buyer that they were going to wait to save up more money...

I am going back to not believing anyone.

Mtg brokers are a dime a dozen and just like RE agents...most are not worth using...



Sep 02, 2020 07:55 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

I would advise your buyer that the true 'wierdo' is the loan officer. Everyone gets pre-app'd which tells me this is a small bank who does 5 loans a year. 

Sep 02, 2020 12:16 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

There was one bank in ILL that forbid their lenders to fill out any states pre-qual form supposedly for liability issues. AZ has a specific form that must be filled out 100% and attached to an offer  (or a bonafide proof of funds if cash).  I simply let our buyers know it had to happen or their offer might be turned down by the seller, most likely.  The buyers talked the individual lender into filling it out. She did and the buyers were able to get their offer accepted.

Sep 02, 2020 09:42 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Wow, must be a new guy at the bank


Sep 02, 2020 09:36 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Is it simply a "procedural" issue or something else?  Every contact doesn't become a client.  Good luck.  Most motivated people seem to know how to "win" if they want to succeed.  

Sep 02, 2020 09:32 AM
Doug Dawes
KW Evolution - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Means the buyer has gone to a provider of mortgage loans, has provided certain info to that provider who then has determined if they are qualified for a mortgage and how much

Sep 02, 2020 04:25 PM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Instant pre-quals and pre-approvals usually both come with contingencies. Some pre-quals are stronger than others. I've had pre-quals from credit bureaus that were just as good as a pre-approval. Ask to call the loan officer and see how much info was actually verified. ( employment, credit, savings, checking, debt, etc)

Sep 02, 2020 01:43 PM
Jason E. Gordon
AmeriFirst Financial Inc, San Diego, CA - San Diego, CA

A solid pre-approval letter is mandatory in the Southern California markets currently.  Pre-qualification letters are not worth the paper they are written on.

Sep 02, 2020 10:55 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author all may mean nothing as rules are in a constant state of change and Mayors and govenors are making decisions that overflow into many industires lending included...An agent has to be convinced of everything having to do with a Real Estate sale. If not, what is the point of an agent?

Sep 02, 2020 09:43 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

It depends on the price of the property.  Usually, the lower the price, the more stringent I need to be in order to make the offer. Interestingly, in the very high end, it's very stringent again (usually, who are you, where does the cash come from? and proof of funds). In the middle, often I satisfy myself with what the buyers tell me (and I can prove) because they haven't quite made up their mind what they will do (buy it as a second home, for example). There is no one size fits all.  That's what I love about the business here on the Monterey Peninsula. 




Sep 02, 2020 09:24 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Refer them to a trusted local mortgage loan officer.

Sep 02, 2020 08:03 AM
Adam Feinberg
Elegran - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse specialist

Things work very differently in NYC. A Pre-qual is fine as that isn't going to be the sole documentation for an offer, though of course a pre-approval is better. Also a Pre-qual with a Manhattan based banker is stronger than one from a banker outside the city since Portfolio lending dominates the market here.  Some pre-approvals here do take a couple of weeks. Every offer (unless it's all cash and a condo) is going to have REBNY Financials also included (REBNY is NYC's version of the NAR- and the REBNY Financial statement is part income statement part balance sheet- detailing a buyers net worth and income). It's a reasonable approximatation of a buyers financial situation. The REBNY Financials is not verified, as it's buyer stated, but I do make it extremely clear (especially for a co-op buyer) that it should be a reasonable approximation of your true financial situation- otherwise you could be doing weeks worth of work for no good reason- including wasting the time of your references that will be needed for the purchase application. Co-op boards will truly check all your references- and for a couple that could mean a total of 12 references you have bothered because you weren't honest about your finances. I have yet to have a buyer overstate their financial picture in the REBNY (though I have had buyers omit some assets because they were trying to not let everyone see their true net worth...but that doesn't work in a co-op). 


It's really useful for agents to have a finance or accounting background to determine whether a buyer could be a fit for a property (especially with co-op's that have strict financial requirements to purchase). I typically will still take out buyers before even receiving any qualifiers from a bank or the REBNY based off our discussions. In doing this, I do risk wasting my time with an unqualified buyer- but it's a very rare thing as I am very strong on picking up on a buyers financial qualifcations based off our conversations. Typically this actually works in my favor, as it usually starts the search with cheaper properties (that most ultimately disqualify as it doesn't meet their needs and wants), and we build the relationship as the budget goes higher and higher and higher. It's not unuusal for a buyer to ultimately spend 50% more than where the search started. By that point, I often have a client for life.

Sep 08, 2020 09:10 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

You should subtly and kindly suggest to your buyer, Beth Atalay, that an application be made to your preferred lender in order to compare programs and rates and fees. You will be looking out for the best interests of your more ways than the buyer will know.

Sep 02, 2020 08:57 PM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

Time for a new lender Beth, you're being played and harassed.  If that originator had legitimate delays he would have explained them professionally and when he expected normal turn around. 

The "I'm shocked" BS says it all.

Sep 02, 2020 07:34 PM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

The key word in there is "bank."   Have her talk to a mortgage lender.  Banks are the worst.  Bankers hours and weak letters, not understanding why a pre-approval is crucial.

Sep 02, 2020 06:16 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Pre-qual = NOTHING!!! Meaningless and PAL's they only take a couple days.

The bank (all banks) are inept. Pre-approval or no show.

You can';t show a house right now if you do not have one...most listing agents ask for them to get the appointment along with the COVID form.

Call Jason E. Gordon 

Sep 02, 2020 05:43 PM
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

Jeff Dowler, CRS said it all.  A pre-qual means nothing.

Sep 03, 2020 03:47 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Suggest to the buyer that if they want to get their offer approved that they will need an actual pre-approval, and they may need a different lender that understands this.

Sep 02, 2020 06:17 PM
Peter Mohylsky. Broker -BRIX REALTY
Miramar Beach, Florida - Santa Rosa Beach, FL

pre qual means they have pulled credit.  so i would not expect one.  just the fact that they have chatted with a lender is good news.  If i know the lender so much for the better.  

Sep 04, 2020 10:59 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Buyer should change banks!

Sep 03, 2020 01:58 PM
Scott Lawson
America's Home loans - Santa Rosa, Petaluma Mortgage Broker - Santa Rosa, CA
Mortgage Broker FHA, VA, refinance or purchase

Pre-qualification is performed (hopefully) by a competent loan officer. A Pre-approval is written up by a credit decision maker. The latter is extremely difficult to come by in this environment and will take a few weeks if you can find anyplace that will even complete the process. 

Right now you're stuck playing russian roulette if you do not know the loan officer. You can always advise your client to at least speak with someone you trust not to mess it up...

Sep 03, 2020 12:16 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Definitely refer the "buyer" to one of your preferred lenders.   It does not usually take weeks for a pre-approval.

Sep 03, 2020 05:27 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Time to have them speak to a qualified and competent loan officer!

Sep 03, 2020 04:20 AM
Tony Lewis
RE/MAX of Valencia (Hall of Fame) 30 year Valencia Resident - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Santa Clarita & Aliso Viejo

Call the lender and show the home in either order.  A shot never taken misses the target 100% of the time.

Sep 02, 2020 10:04 PM