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Know Before You Buy: Your Document Checklist

You want to buy a home, but how do you get started? We’ve compiled a simple checklist of documents you’ll need to gather and submit to gain a pre-approval from us so you can start looking for your dream home. But first, let’s review the difference between the full pre-approval The Koutsos Team offers its clients and why it’s stronger than a simple prequalification you might receive from a different lender.

Why a pre-approval is better than a prequalification.

To put it simply, a pre-approval is much more thorough than a prequalification. A pre-approval requires specific documentation and a credit check, while a prequalification does not. If you want to gain credibility with sellers, you’re going to want a pre-approval; sellers and their agents will recognize the process you had to go through for that pre-approval, therefore making your offer on the property stronger than those who are making an offer with a simple prequalification. So now, let’s talk about what documents you’ll need to secure that solid pre-approval from The Koutsos Team!


  • Fully executed sales contract.
  • Photo ID (2 forms).
  • Personal & business tax returns (last 2 years).
  • W-2s, 1099s, K-1s (last 2 years).
  • Pay stubs (last 30 consecutive days).
  • Homeowners insurance quote for the new home.

If applicable:

  • Award letters (Social Security, pension, disability).
  • Bank & asset statements (last 2 months).
  • Current mortgage statement (most recent).
  • Homeowners insurance declarations page (most recent).
  • Divorce decree/legal separation agreement.
  • Child support order (last 6 months).
  • Bankruptcy discharge papers.
  • VA DD-214 (Member 4 copy).
  • Earnest money deposit (cancelled check and transition history or bank statement).
  • Gift letters.
A future homeowner collecting his documentation for a pre-approval letter

Once you have collected these documents, you’re good to go! Not quite there yet? Check out our blogs on credit and down payment saving tips. As always, please reach out should you have any questions!