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How To Make Sure You're Only Showing to Qualified Buyers
How To Make Sure You're Only Showing to Qualified Buyers
Laura McMahon avatar
Written by Laura McMahon
Updated over a week ago

When it's time to show your home, it's understandable to want to make sure your property is only being viewed by serious buyers who are able to make an offer. Otherwise, showing your home can feel like a hassle and a waste of time. How can you make sure of this?

HomeLister can include MLS notes requesting buyers provide pre-qualification documentation in order to view the property. This can include a pre-approval letter from the bank or proof of funds necessary to close escrow with cash.

  • Pre-qualified: A mortgage pre-qualification is an estimate of how much someone can afford to spend on a home based on self-reported information.

  • Pre-approved: Often valid for 60 to 90 days, means the lender has checked the buyer's credit, verified assets, and confirmed employment to approve a specific loan amount.

  • A pre-qualification is based only on the buyer's stated information, and a pre-approval takes it a step further by verifying some of the buyer's information such as credit, assets, and employment. Neither of these is guaranteed proof that a buyer will be approved for a mortgage; other conditions of the loan approval will still need to be met.

You may require pre-approval documentation from a potential buyer before confirming a showing, or request it with an offer to purchase. Some owners prefer to show their home to people who have already spoken to a mortgage lender. This requirement can be listed in the confidential agent remarks of a listing. For unrepresented buyers, you may ask them directly for this when they inquire about viewing the property.

You may decline showings if buyers do not have a pre-approval, but they would need to ensure this is proactively communicated to any requesters, especially those who may not see the private agent remarks section of the MLS listing itself. You must also follow all other regular showing guidelines.

Also, most showing requests come from real estate agents. Agents always prefer to work with qualified buyers and most will have done some screening prior to setting up showings to ensure their clients have the means to make an offer.

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