Can i put an offer on a house with a pre-qualification letter?

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I just got pre-qualified (state of california) for a home loan and the mortgage consultant said that i can now put a offer towards a house that i like but i’ve been reading that you need to be pre-approved not pre-qualified in order to put an offer. So i’m confused now. Which is it?

4 Comments
  1. Reply
    linkus86
    May 14, 2011 at 2:28 am

    A pre-qualified letter isn’t worth more than the value of the paper it is printed on. Still, to get a real pre-approval letter is not always realistic either because it often requires an accepted contract to get one in the first place. You really won’t know what is required until you find the right house and make an acceptable offer. Just don’t be surprised to have your contract accepted with a contingency for that pre-approval letter submission within a specific period of time.

  2. Reply
    tomrdm
    May 14, 2011 at 3:11 am

    Pre-qualified means that your mortgage consultant has looked at your documents and thinks he can get you a loan. Pre-approved means the lender has looked at your documentation and approved you for a loan up to certain amount. Pre-approvals do give you additional bargaining power when making an offer, but most lenders are so backed up right now, that getting a pre-approval could take a month or more. If you trust your mortgage consultant, than run with what you’ve got.

  3. Reply
    golferwhoworks
    May 14, 2011 at 4:08 am

    they are the same. It is not a loan commitment

  4. Reply
    Expert Realtor
    May 14, 2011 at 4:59 am

    Yes you can.

    A pre-approval doesn’t mean anything either b/c a pre-approval is only as good as the loan application…everything must be verified.

    The only major difference is that with a pre-approval your credit is actually pulled and for YOUR own protection, I would do that first.

    There is no law that states you cannot put in an offer, even with NO letter from a lender, and in fact, in my state, it’s done routinely.

    It all depends on what the seller will accept, but if they do take it, they will expect a pre-approval letter usually within 7 days of contract.

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