I heard again today from David Cleveland, our house-hunter from Denver who’s been sending us dispatches from the front lines:

No good news here, no bad news yet, but thought I’d give you an update. On Sunday Jill looked at the MLS and found a house that looked too good to be true, and sight unseen, we put another offer out there bringing our total outstanding to this point to 4. This week though we are seeing an interesting trend. 3 of the 4 properties we put bids on last week the selling agents are requiring we get a loan approval letter from a specific big bank.

Though it would be unethical for a selling agent to require us to get lending from any specific bank (if not outright illegal) the pre-approval letter is requiring us and our agent to go through a few more hoops. There had been talk in some other publications or blogs where there was a concern that selling agents were showing favoritism as far as offers were concerned, to specific individuals. At this point we don’t think that there is anything too shady going on yet, but I’ll reserve judgment on that for later.

This is a common issue for buyers in today’s market, I’ve heard. It’s so hard to get financing that sellers’ agents want to ensure that a buyer can get a loan before the agents even submit their offers to the seller for consideration.

And in cases when a seller’s agent is facing multiple offers, as is increasingly common especially on foreclosed houses, the prequalification letter helps differentiate between the offers, said real estate broker Jim Klinge.

You can read the previous three installments in the Clevelands’ story here, here and here.

If you have any thoughts on house-hunting in this market or another of these topics, you can send me an e-mail at kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org.


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