As you and your agent list one of your real estate investment properties for sale, you can look back and appreciate all the hard work that took place just to get you this far. You found the property, carefully evaluated the project, made the necessary vetting your real estate buyersrepairs then placed the home for sale.

The next step is accepting an offer but when you do, you need to go the extra mile to make sure the offer meets your expectations and the buyers can follow through. It’s too late now not to properly vet the prospective owners.

You as a real estate investor know the importance of having your financing lined up before you ever make an offer. Not only does it make the process go much more smoothly but you can always negotiate a better deal if the seller knows you can close quickly and are already pre-approved. Are your buyers?

When you accept an offer, typically a pre-approval letter accompanies the sales contract if the buyers have one. If there isn’t a pre-approval letter, it’s important to ask if they have one. If they don’t, you may want to consider other offers. When you accept a contract, your property is temporarily taken off the market while the buyers arrange for financing. If three weeks go by and the buyers still haven’t received a loan approval, it’s time for the emergency lights to flash.

A quality pre-approval letter will have the name of the lender, the date the letter was issued and the loan officer’s contact information. Don’t expect to see a pre-approval amount on the letter although some letters contain that information.

A pre-approval letter lets you know the buyers can qualify for a loan but it’s really not anyone else’s business the maximum amount they can qualify for. Nor should a pre-approval letter have a credit score on it although again, some well-qualified borrowers will in fact insist that their 840 score be prominently displayed. If you have any questions about the letter, have your agent call the loan officer and get some good warm fuzzies. But without any pre-approval letter whatsoever, be very, very careful.