Get a mortgage pre-approval
A buyer armed with a mortgage pre-approval signals to the seller that the buyer is serious, and that the sale will be efficient and problem-free. Furthermore, this will not only focus your home search on properties within your financial means but it will also lock in a favourable interest rate for the next three to four months of your search. Here are some “do’s” when applying for a mortgage pre-approval:
Check your credit score and credit summary (you can get these for free). Reviewing your credit records will allow you to know if lenders see you as credit-worthy and give you a chance to correct any inaccuracies before a lender takes a look at it.
Contact a few lenders to see which one can give you the best rate and terms.
Assemble the following documents for your chosen lender: a couple of identification documents; employment verification and proof of income, such as your income tax assessments, pay stubs, or a letter from your employer; documents showing your current mortgage agreement or rental/lease papers; a list of any valuable assets with corroborating documents proving their purchase and value (e.g., your vehicles or other properties you may own, like a cottage); recent financial statements from all your bank accounts; statements of any debt you might have including credit cards, car payments, and other loans; documentation showing any long-term legal financial commitments such as child or spousal support payments.