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What to Expect from the Pre-Approval Process

Considering all the advantages of being pre-approved for a mortgage loan, it’s only sensible to get one at the beginning of your house hunt. However, contacting a real estate agent and lender is just the first step. The pre-approval process isn’t instantaneous, but it can go quickly with some preparation. 

3 Ways to Optimize the Pre-Approval Process

1. Organize Paperwork

The lender will need to know that you have the funds and reliability necessary to buy a house and make consistent payments. That means they’ll ask for the last three months of your bank statements and two or three years’ worth of W-2s or 1099s. If you don’t already have those documents handy, get them as soon as you’re ready to talk to a real estate agent. 

Your bank can provide copies of your statements, of course. Although your current or past employers should be able to provide you with your old W-2s or 1099s, most lenders will also accept a copy of your tax records, which are available at

2. Gather Contact Information

To assess your integrity and confirm your dependability, your lender will follow up on your bank statements and tax documents by verifying your employment. This involves contacting your current and/or previous employers to ask about your employment dates, job title, and salary. You can help them complete this process quicker in one of two ways:

  • Providing a direct phone number, fax number, and/or email address for the human resources department or another person with access to employment records (please note that this seldom includes your immediate supervisor)
  • Finding out whether your company outsources its verification to a third party so that you can tell your lender where to find employment records (this is often the case with large companies)

Here’s a pro tip: If one of your employers has been shut down or doesn’t make its information available online, try searching the business/corporate database on the appropriate Secretary of State website. They’ll sometimes post documents that include names and contact information for the business owners, who should be able to verify your employment or point your lender in the right direction.

3. Open Your Schedule

Pre-approval is only good for two or three months. Since it involves a hard inquiry on your credit report, don’t let it go to waste. Before the process is even finished, clear your schedule of any unnecessary obligations. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to work with your real estate agent on finding the right house and make the best possible use of your pre-approval.

If you’d like some help with the real estate pre-approval process, contact Ashley Morales at (509) 590-6346 or Together with The Dream Team’s preferred lender, she’ll help you feel ready for anything!

También habla español.

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Our agents write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the local area.