Here's why the pre-approved buyer trumps all

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According to The Neighborhood Experts at Platinum Real Estate, buyers who are pre-approved stand a better chance of landing the home of their dreams.

By Patricia Nugent

The time is right. You’re either finally going to dump that apartment and buy your first home, bump up to a bigger place to accommodate a growing family, or downsize to fit your lifestyle after the kids have moved on.

But before you start cruising the homes for sale, you might want to think about getting pre-approved for a home loan. We asked Denise Zervos, of The Neighborhood Experts at Platinum Real Estate, for a little 101 on the process.

“The pre-approval process is a way of discovering the capacity of how much house you can afford based on what you earn and your assets, in relation to current interest rates,” she says. “Doing this before you begin house-hunting is important as it gives you a clear picture of your comfort level for spending and the homes you would realistically be looking at.”

The chart illustrates the difference interest rates have on your monthly principal and interest payments as you move up the scale.

“There is also an urgency to be pre-approved before bidding on a home, as this will put you ahead of other buyers who are not pre-approved,” she adds. “And it will make the whole transactional process go quickly and more smoothly.”

Tony Dobbert, senior loan officer and branch manager for Cross Country Mortgage, explains the simple steps for pre-approval. “Initially, we verbally ascertain your personal information, such as name, address, social security, date of birth, where you derive your income from and what your assets are,” he shares.

“Then we get from clients the necessary documentation to verify the information. From that we can determine what you can cover for a down payment and closing costs, and monthly payments going forward.”

Without pre-approval, Tony says people are wasting their time and energy. “Pre-approved customers become people with buying power and that makes a difference,” he says.

Denise also points out that currently in the Cleveland market, the number of potential buyers greatly outnumbers the number of homes for sale, so buyers should do everything they can to stand out and make the best offer for a seller to evaluate.

Platinum Real Estate has seven offices in Northeast Ohio and five in Florida. To receive the free quarterly Platinum Seasonal Buyers Guide, call 216-990-2100 or 440-974-SALE and visit

Categories: Professional Services