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Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval

Whether you are purchasing your first home or considering what a second home ‘could’ be, it’s very important to get pre-qualified. Most lenders can pre-qualify you within hours (if not minutes), which will help you get an idea of what you can afford for a mortgage payment.

Getting pre-qualified does NOT mean that you are pre-approved.

(i.e.) Today you rent and have a car payment and you have really good credit. You connect with a lender and get pre-qualified for $250,000. You’re so happy! While looking for a new home and so excited about leaving the rental market, you decide, “Hey, I need to update my vehicle.” And you go out and purchase (because you have great credit and a good job) a ‘used car’ for $20,000. You continue your search, find the perfect place to call home – only to find out that you are not approved.

While your financial snapshot may look a certain way today, tomorrow it can change. If you take out more debt or open another line of credit / credit card, you are directly effecting your credit score and debt in equity numbers, which helps a lender determine what you can afford for a mortgage payment.

Dedicating time to having a clear understanding of your financial snapshot is very important when considering to purchase a home. If you find yourself not being qualified today – that doesn’t mean you won’t qualify and be approved in 6 months – it just means you will have a plan and you’ll need to stick to that plan. ¬†Most lenders provide great insight as to what you can do to help improve your scores.


  • Getting pre-qualified is very important when purchasing a home
  • Pre-qualification does NOT equal pre-approval
  • Avoid large purchases or opening lines of credit during this process
  • Align with a realtor and lender that you trust
  • If you’re currently not qualified to purchase a home
    • understand your short / long term goals
    • execute on that plan
    • and you will soon find yourself, Approved!



My name is Cole Evans. I’m an Affiliate Broker with Compass Real Estate and I would be happy to help you find your next home, list your current home or help answer any questions you may have.

Cole Evans


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Setting Expectations in Real Estate


When people are looking at homes, they are immediately trying to place their items in your home. They are thinking if the kitchen is going to be big enough, can the table fit, will the bed fit the same as the current bedroom, does the toilet have a door, it continues until the potential buyers make a decision to make an offer.

Until the point of making an offer, there are many factors that can keep potential buyers from staying interested in your home and ready to move on to the next one on the list.

  1. Remove personal images from everywhere
  2. Dust everything 
  3. Clean every single window in the home
  4. Replace bulbs with more watts
  5. Pack up and stage where needed
  6. Paint everything that needs it

When the time comes to list your property, it’s important to start looking at your home as a return on your investment – the next place is ‘your‘ new home. The current property, you’ve paid for, you’ve maintained, you may have raised your kids in, is now ready to go to another person / family and that person will (more than likely) not be interested in your property if it smells like cat urine and looks like the time stopped there 20 years ago.



You have it much easier, in my opinion. Sellers have to paint and clean and stage and box up their life and all you have to do is be real.

  1. Be real about what you are looking for
  2. Be real about what you can afford
  3. Be real with what you are going to have to give on and what you won’t
  4. Be real with clear communication
  5. Be ready

We [Nashville] are in one of the strongest real estate markets in the country and that is a great thing for everyone. It’s great for the local and regional economies, it’s great for small businesses and it’s great for people that are buying and selling – because we have a lot of inventory available and it’s moving. If you have not connected with a real estate agent and if you don’t have a good understanding of the market, it can be a bit overwhelming to take it all in at one time. In today’s market, Buyers need to be prepared to have 1% (minimum) ready to put down for earnest money and be prepared to make an offer (over asking) in the case of multiple offers. In a strong market, like Nashville, this is the reality.

I had a few meetings with a local college professional that was interested in making an offer on this specific home. She’s lived in Middle Tennessee for many years and was completely caught off guard that she couldn’t offer $10k below asking – just because, with $500 earnest down. While this may seem acceptable, in a hot real estate market – it can be difficult to get Sellers interested in an offer that isn’t like the others they are receiving.

Here’s a slideshow of data since 2010, to give you more perspective.

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