Tuesday
September 16, 2014

Buyers Turn to 'Pre-Underwriting' to Compete With Cash Buyers

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Buyers Turn to 'Pre-Underwriting' to Compete With Cash Buyers

Buyers needing financing for their home purchase often struggle to compete with other buyers willing to pay all cash to close the sale. All-cash buyers are making up an increasing part of sales too. The National Association of REALTORS®’ latest existing-home sales report shows that in February all-cash sales accounted for 35 percent of transactions.

Some lenders are helping buyers better compete. Known as “pre-underwriting,” they’re putting loan applications through a more thorough venting process before the buyer even enters into a contract for a home, The New York Times reports.

For example, Luxury Mortgage in Stamford, Conn., has started pre-underwriting some of its clients. Unlike preapprovals for a specified loan amount, lenders take the approval a step further by thoroughly reviewing all documentation that would be required for a formal approval. This type of underwriting is being completed after a house is selected and an offer is accepted, but before the contract is in place.

Another lender – Mortgage Master in Walpole, Mass. – has also taken its preapproval process a step further. The lender says for some of its buyers it is verifying the same income and asset information upfront that it would typically do for a processed loan application. The aim is to put the borrower in the same position as a cash buyer, Paul Anastos, president of Mortgage Master, told The New York Times.

Source: “A New Weapon for Bidding Wars,” The New York Times (March 20, 2014)

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