Annette  Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041, Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ  (ReMax Realtec Group)

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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

there are no guarantees in real estate....that's why agents should never spend the commission until it's in their account....  financial status can change like the weather....

Oct 16, 2017 06:00 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Lotta moving parts here. Which include humans.  ;)

This is why I make no apology about having a favorite loan professional -- who verifies all documentation, then puts the borrower through underwriting before issuing an AZPQ. In 17 years, only once has a deal fallen out with this lender, and it was truly an anomaly. The downside is, it takes time to get that comprehensive a document - but that's why you do it before you start looking!

To answer your Q: Is there such a thing as 100% assurance a buyer can close? Nope. Can we come close, 'God willing and the creek don't rise'? Pretty damn near.

Oct 16, 2017 06:08 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

My answer is a combination of those provided by Candice A. Donofrio and Barbara Todaro.   Lots of variables, the human element and the fact that "stuff" happens.   

Oct 16, 2017 06:51 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

I use the gold standard to pre-approve my clients; I send them to Jason E. Gordon and what/who he pre-approves, you can take to the bank.

Oct 16, 2017 06:32 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The answer lies behind all the people involved. People don't buy or sell Real Estate for fun. Everyone in a transaction wants it to happen. Believe this

Oct 16, 2017 06:16 AM
Bob Betel
Allstar Home Mortgage, Inc. - Sweetwater, TN
President, Allstar Home Mortgage, Inc

The only assurance is when the seller and buyer are at the closing table and have signed all of the papers. Up until then, there are no guarantees. The buyer can back out, the seller refuses to sell and the lender finds out a problem that can't be fixed. You need to have a trusted lender, for sure, but in the end, there are no guarantees

Oct 16, 2017 07:02 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

A pre-approval is only as good as the loan officer and company behind it.  I have received Pre-approvals from Rocket Mortgage that were good, and Pre-approvals from Chase that were not.

A pre-approval is just a starting point... and it's up to the Realtor to stay on the loan officer to make sure that the loan is on track.

Oct 16, 2017 05:56 AM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     Until the underwriter has reviewed credit reports, proof of income, etc. nothing is guaranteed.  Even after the review, the Buyer can buy a car or default on a CC payment, and the whole thing collapses.

Oct 16, 2017 09:19 AM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

As a seller's agent you really cannot be sure until you are at the closing table and the buyer has signed everything.  When working with local lenders, most have a reputation for how often they close the buyers they represent.  

Oct 16, 2017 07:27 AM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

As the listing agent, you call the lender on the "pre-approval" and find out how much work has been done on the potential loan.

Oct 16, 2017 07:05 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041 Right now it is all we have to form a basis that the potential borrower can get a mortgage. Short of going through a loan process and underwriting. Today commitment letters don't really much. I've seen letters where the lender will commit to giving the loan then list a page of contingencies. They aren't committing to anything.

Oct 16, 2017 06:29 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Ask questions on how/where the preapp is in the process. I agree that many LO's scam the whole process & then we find out nothing has been looked at by an underwriter, etc.

At some point, we have to have faith that people are doing their jobs. Especially with privacy laws, we can only ask so many questions.

Oct 16, 2017 06:13 AM
Jason E. Gordon
AmeriFirst Financial Inc, San Diego, CA - San Diego, CA

I created a blog about this topic which hopefully will shed some light on the details you are seeking.  Please feel free to message me directly if/when you have any questions.


Bottom line, it's all about how much due diligence the Lender does up front.  Details in the link below...

Oct 16, 2017 03:19 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

I talk with the lender and make sure they've reviewed all the paperwork and it's gone through underwriting.  Otherwise I call it a glorified pre-qual.


I'm working with a lender now who takes a week to get you the initial pre-approval, but he goes through every piece of paper needed and gets a full underwritter approval.  Only thing the loan is contingent on is a house and an appraisal.  That's helped get offers accepted.

Oct 16, 2017 08:07 AM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

I get my mortgage representative handle the pre-approval, if he said we are good, we are good. The end...

Oct 16, 2017 06:41 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

We contact the lender who completed this form:

and verify that the document is accurate.  If it isn't, based on verbiage in the contract between Buyer and Seller, Earnest Money is almost certainly not going back to the Buyer if they fail to close.


Oct 17, 2017 04:25 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

There are no guarantees... but I do know that when I get a pre-approval that's been looked at by an underwriter in specific lender institutions, I'm reasonably safe so long as the buyer doesn't go and do something stupid... but that we have no control over.

Oct 16, 2017 09:51 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

If "assurance" is being used synonymously with "guarantee", there is no such thing.   The more information that can be validated (and nothing changes), the greater the likelihood of a successful closing.

Oct 16, 2017 09:18 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Vetting.  Like Candice A. Donofrio buyers are requested (not required) to allow their financials to be vetted by my trusted lending partner.  It never hurts to have 2 sets of eyes on a buyers qualification. 

Oct 16, 2017 07:36 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

We really can't.

Oct 16, 2017 07:28 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

First off I tell my clients to stay with a local bank and away from the internet.  I have had goodluck that way

Oct 16, 2017 07:15 AM
Chuck Mixon
The Keyes Company - Cutler Bay, FL
Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR

All those example are out of your control!  you need to control the deal and have a Loan Officer  on your team, now you know what to expect from that piece of paper. 

Oct 16, 2017 07:04 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

It is best to work with a local trusted mortgage loan officer who has a record of success.

Oct 16, 2017 05:57 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

In my area, if the buyer has worked with a trusted local lender, a preapproval is given with conditions of appraisal, no change in income or debt load. That seems to work most of the time.

Oct 16, 2017 06:44 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Often it starts with a lender that you know will not commit to a preapproval unless they know that they can close.

Oct 16, 2017 12:34 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I always call a lender to introduce myself and ask how exactly they verified the information, if no communication, no answers ( clear indication of how the whole transaction will go on if we work together), I ask a client to talk to my preferred lender just to make sure we have a backup. 

Oct 16, 2017 11:56 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


My answer would be the same as Michael Jacobs .  The human factor is unpredictable.  A

Oct 16, 2017 09:46 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

You got to trust your guts!

Jun 09, 2018 11:21 PM
Dave Martin (703) 585-4687
Fairfax Realty - Fairfax, VA
Making Realty Dreams a Reality #WeWillGetYouHome

I do try to match the right lender with the right buyer.. but its as much about the quality of their work as it is the loan programs offered.

Jan 08, 2018 03:48 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

No guarantees, but knowing the professionalism of the loan officer helps!

Oct 19, 2017 06:43 AM
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

This reeads like you had a 'solid' buyer fail at getting financed?

Oct 17, 2017 03:44 PM
Joe D'Agostino
NMLS# 729950 - Manahawkin, NJ
Mortgage Officer 46 years!

I think you need to find an LO that you trust to review your borrower. For many of my agents, I have reviewed deals for borrowers that were not mine. I am very fortunate, that in my area, if the Attorney knows I give it the OK, the deal will move forward. After 50 years in this business, I guess they feel I have some idea of what makes a good

Oct 17, 2017 06:52 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Assurance is not a term I would use as one never knows what a buyer may do. If the buyer follows the rules of obtaining a mortgage (not quit their job, purchase a car if their DTIR is tight or obtain new credit for furniture, appliances, etc.), any of my preferred lenders will get the job done. My buyers go through the pre-approval process - all they need is an address and an appraisal and they'll be ready in, literally, days. You REALLY have to use lenders you have vetted and that you trust. 

That said, none of us can predict when a buyer may lose his/her job or have a financial crisis that will sideline them and take away all assurances.

Oct 17, 2017 06:02 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

As with most things, it takes experience... 

Oct 16, 2017 12:50 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Only accept local lenders and major lenders. Call the loan agent asking about the buyers. In my case, they call me telling me how strong they are. I chose not to ans calls as I am getting many.

Oct 16, 2017 08:06 AM