If you're thinking of purchasing a home then a pre-approval gets you one step closer to your home buying dreams. A pre-approval is based off of credit, income and assets. With a pre-approval letter in your pocket your Real Estate Agent knows that any offer you make is legit.
Now that you have your pre-approval the next step is to gather, review and submit the required documentation. That includes Social Security numbers, drivers license, most recent pay stubs, last 2 years of W2's and tax returns and have your bank, savings and investment account information handy as well. Be sure to show where your down payment is coming from. If the down payment is from a gift or the sale of an asset, you'll need a paper trail to prove it.
After you have an accepted offer and you have your documents submitted, it's time for the appraisal. Your lender will order a professional appraisal of the property and review recently sold properties in the area to make sure the sale price is reasonably close to it's true value to serve as collateral on your loan.
To move forward in the mortgage process, the lender will evaluate you through a process called underwriting. The goal in underwriting is to assess your ability to pay back the money you borrow. If more information is needed, the loan will have conditions that need to be met by supplying additional information. If the loan is accepted as submitted, the loan is put in an "approved" status.
Clear to Close
Congratulations! Your underwriter has issued a clear to close. You will now attend your closing appointment where you will sign all the final documents related to the transaction. Once they are all signed the property is now yours.