Shopping for a home is quite a bit different than shopping for other items. It is such a long term and expensive commitment that you must first show that not only do you have enough income and/or assets to afford the home you want to buy, but you also must demonstrate the ability and credit track record of a steady income and stellar money management skills. Verifying your income, debt and credit take time for a lending institution to grant you a mortgage. Remember that you need a bit of lead time before you can finalize your purchase

Getting prequalified

Getting pre-qualified is the most rudimentary of steps to demonstrate to a real estate agent or seller that you are homeowner material. The pre-qualification designation gives a rough, unverified estimate of the approximate loan size or home price you may be qualified to receive. It is the first step to verify that your finances are sufficient to move forward as a potential home buyer. Most sellers won’t accept an offer on a home unless the person offering has been deemed prequalified.  Most lenders will give you the prequalified designation (and a prequalification letter)  based on your verbal self-reporting about your of your approximate income, assets, debts, and down payment size.

Being Pre-Approved

While pre-qualification is a good thing to have to make an offer on a home, it is not a commitment from a mortgage company or a bank to lend you a certain amount of money. It can give you an edge with sellers by showing them you’re serious about purchasing. If you take the time to plan for homeownership and enter the market already preapproved, you’ll be a better candidate to win the sale as you now have a conditional letter stating the exact amount of loan for which you’re approved. In a competitive market, this is a strong bargaining chip.


The amount of time it takes to be pre-approved can vary.  You will be supplying proof of income, proof of assets, proof of employment, records of any debts or gifted money. It is like completing the first step of applying for a loan before you pick a house. By being this far in the process, it will make completing your lending packaging go more quickly.

Bottom Line

You are one of the fortunate people who have a Homeownership Program provided by your employer. One benefit is that you have a concierge service at your disposal to help you through this process and get your pre-qualified quickly and work on being pre-approved. To begin the process of applying for a mortgage or refinancing, call 1-800-376-4603 or email us at This call can save you time, thousands in loan fees and is offered at no cost to you by your employer.