I have written about this previously, but pre-approval letter “games” are not worth playing. Here is what I mean: If you are interested in a listing priced at $500,000 and you want to make an offer of $450,000, you are shooting yourself in the foot if your pre approval letter only says you are approved for the 450k. If you are approved for 525k, your pre approval letter should at least say you are approved for asking price. Otherwise, you’ll appear to be barely qualified for a low price. That might fly in other markets, but not in Westchester County.
In the game of negotiation, seller confidence in the buyer’s ability to perform is leverage; you’ll do better getting your price coming from a position of strength that you will if your pre approval has you qualified by an eyelash for a lowball amount. That makes an otherwise well qualified buyer look like an unrealistic pipe dreamer
Don’t be afraid of getting a counter offer for the amount that your are approved. Counter offers are fine. Counter back. “No,” on the other hand is not good. Show your strength! It will benefit you in the end, because without confidence in your approval, the seller will be harder to bargain with. I have been second-guessed on this by some loan officers, but I tell them to stick with the approval and leave the real estate brokerage to me.
Again, it might be different with pre approvals in other markets, but in Westchester County, a stronger pre approval ensures the buyer a better deal than a low pre approval.
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