Winning the Homebuying Game in a Seller’s Market

Give yourself the competitive edge you need to buy the home you want—before someone else does.

“Being properly prepared is one of the biggest assets in business and in athletic competition.” —Keeth Smart, U.S. Olympic medalist in fencing

Buying a home is fun, exciting, and validating. But make no mistake, it’s also a business transaction that can become a competition—especially in a seller’s market, when housing inventory is down across the country or in a specific area. The homebuying process becomes even more competitive in this type of market because there are more people wanting to buy homes than there are homes for sale.

That’s why you need to be properly prepared for the process. In addition to your ability to make a strong offer on the home you want, the ability to close quickly is critical. Sellers and agents don’t want to lose valuable time waiting for a potential buyer to get approved for a loan, only to have it fall through. Don’t settle for a pre-qualification. Many won’t even work with a buyer who isn’t already pre-approved.

With a pre-approval from CrossCountry Mortgage, you won’t face those challenges. Your information is reviewed and verified by an underwriter, who will analyze your financial status and credit history. With a pre-approval, you’ll be able to negotiate your home purchase confidently. Real estate agents and sellers will know you are ready to make a deal, and a pre-approval may help streamline your loan process, resulting in a smoother transaction.

You’ll even have documented proof in the form of a pre-approval letter you can give to a seller to demonstrate that you’re able to buy their home. In August 2020, our average time to close a loan was 29.5 days. The national average to close a loan was 49 days as of August 2020, according to Ellie Mae. Now imagine how attractive your offer will be to a seller, compared to someone else’s!

When other buyers are making offers that take much longer to close, you’ll be making an offer a seller can’t refuse. Even other buyers who are pre-approved may not have the same advantage you will!

So how does our pre-approval and loan process work? It’s about being proactive and efficient—in other words, properly prepared. Let’s go over the process step by step:

1. Apply for a mortgage.

You’ll complete an application and provide all required documents, such as W-2s, bank statements, and tax returns. We’ll review your credit.

2. Receive buyer and seller letters.

The buyer letter will confirm that you are pre-approved subject to the terms and conditions in the letter. The seller letter can be given to a seller or their agent. It contains your approved loan amount along with the statement that you’ve been pre-approved and are ready to buy.

3. Clear credit conditions.

We may need explanations for certain things on your credit report or additional documentation. These are called conditions, and they must be resolved for your loan to close. You’ll have the option to clear any conditions while shopping for your home, which speeds up the loan process. With your credit conditions cleared, you’ll be in a good position to close quickly after you execute a purchase contract.

4. Find your new home

Make an offer, agree on a price, and sign a purchase contract.

5. Proceed with the final steps.

These include obtaining an acceptable appraisal, a home inspection, evidence of title, and homeowners insurance. Clearing credit conditions up front should speed your closing significantly once you’ve signed the purchase contract. Important: The timeline will be determined based on the completion of these final steps.

6. Close on your mortgage

You’ll be notified that you have a clear to close (CTC). Your closing date will be finalized, and you’ll sign all documentation. Once your loan funds, you’ll get your keys, and the home is yours. Congratulations!

A pre-approval from CrossCountry Mortgage is the best solution for buyers searching for homes in a competitive market with tight housing inventory. Don’t risk losing the perfect home to someone else. With a little work at the start, you’ll be able to close on the home you love faster than anyone else.

Start the conversation with Team Montani today!