Home Buying Process: Pre Approval vs Pre Qualification and Pre Underwritten! – Oakland Berkeley East Bay Area

Home Buying Process: Pre Approval vs Pre Qualification and Pre Underwritten!

Why do you need to be pre-approved for a home buying loan rather than just be pre-qualified? Hi, I’m Tanja Odzak and my team and I work with buyers in the Oakland / Berkeley East Bay Area.

It can end up costing you thousands of dollars if you truly aren’t qualified. I’ve helped save many buyers from making huge mistakes when purchasing, that could cost thousands of dollars.  And a pre-qualification is NOT a true approval… its the initial step in the home loan process where you just discuss your financial situation with the loan officer, but nothings verified. They can be fast to obtain, but that’s because they are much less thorough. Pre-qualification is not great because it doesn’t uncover potential issues that may come back to bite you hard later, and to be 110% honest… no listing agent is going to take your offer seriously with only a Pre-qualification.

The pre-approval is where the buyer actually provides the lender with all of the necessary documentation and is told what purchase price range they are approved for, which loan product is the best option for them, and give the buyer better idea of the interest rate they’re going to get. Best yet, is getting “pre-underwritten status”… this is when your file goes off to the underwriter, who are the people that call the final shot. They have everything to look at except the home and the appraisal, since that will be the only information they won’t have. This is the most ideal status to have though, especially if you are in a competitive situation. Not all lenders are able to offer this. However, I am happy to connect you to my lenders that do do this. You want to go through the entire approval process though.  The lender will do things like verify your employment, review your taxes, assets, credit profile, look at your bank statements, etc so that they’ve truly verified everything you will need in order to let you know how much they will loan you and what your payment will be.  It’s essential that you do this, otherwise you could stand to lose your good faith deposit and any money that you’ve spent on things like inspections or the appraisal. 

Don’t fall into that trap, call me or use the form below and let us walk you through the safest and most strategic way to become a homeowner and don’t forget, it’s free to have an agent represent you on your BUY, the seller pays for our fees but we are here to protect YOUR best interest. 


I’m a Top Producing Realtor® in the OAKLAND / BERKELEY / EAST BAY AREA. I’ve been in the San Francisco East Bay Area since I came up to do my undergrad at UC Berkeley (a long time ago!), with a short stint at UC Davis while getting my Master’s. I take my duties as a Realtor® and Fiduciary very seriously, I enjoy educating my sellers and buyers along the way. Putting People, Before Profit. 

Are you also planning to sell your home while on the quest to buy a new one? Why not check out one of my no-obligation, online, On-Demand, virtual Real Estate Seminars?



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