We are in a fast moving environment these days. The Middle Tennessee area is seeing increasing populations with Mount Juliet making it into the top 20 boom towns in the nation this year. Building hasn’t quite kept pace which means inventory is hovering around 40% low. What does all of this mean to the buyer? It means that you cannot consider looking for homes seriously without first being pre-approved for a mortgage loan. Houses are lasting days or even hours on the market, in order for your Realtor to be able to help you there are a few things that have to be ready.

First you need to make sure that you have a pre-approval from the bank or mortgage lender of your choice, this not only gives you a price range but the ability to put in an offer quickly and be taken seriously. Sellers are not going to consider an offer from someone who isn’t pre-approved right now. Secondly, ensure that your Realtor is a full time agent with the time to dedicate to you. A full time Realtor will have relationships with other people in this business that can work to your advantage by seeing opportunities before they hit the market.

The third thing you will need to do is sit down with your Realtor (phone and email work too) and come up with a list of must haves and must not haves. When you have what we in the military call your left and right limits defined it becomes easier for your Realtor to show you properties and begin to narrow the focus. These things can all be done in a rather short time period but the pre-approval is the most important step. In the current market you may not be seen as a serious buyer until that happens.

Finally, once you get a pre-approval it’s time to shop for a home, it is not a time to shop for any other large items. The seller, lender, and Realtor will all be very upset if you make a large purchase and find out the day before closing that you no longer qualify. It would be heart breaking to find the home you love and lose it the day before closing so whatever you do, once you are pre-approved do not make any large purchases.