The benefits of buyer's pre-approval are without question; it is good for the buyers, the sellers and the agents. It saves time, money and removes the uncertainty of knowing whether the buyer is qualified.
The direct benefits include: Amount the buyer can borrow decreases as interest rates rise. Looking at "Right" homes - price, size, amenities, location. Finding the best loan - rate, term, type. Uncovering credit issues early - time to cure possible problems. Bargaining power - price, terms, and timing. Closing quicker - verifications have been made.
There a big difference in sitting down with a trusted mortgage professional compared to going through calculators on a website. The cost of being pre-approved is a bargain and generally, limited to the cost of the credit report.
Even if you have been pre-approved, a suggestion that can't hurt but may help is to get a second opinion from a different lender. It will either verify that you have a good deal or you’ll discover that you can improve it. Either way, it works to your advantage. Contact me if you'd like a recommendation.