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Should Sellers Require Preapproval Letters for Home Tours?

To lower COVID-19 risk, more sellers want only serious buyers to tour their home. If they decide to require loan preapprovals, though, there shouldn’t be any exceptions.

CHICAGO – Many home sellers want to limit the number of home tours that open their house to possible spread of the COVID-19 virus, and as a result, more real estate professionals are suggesting they limit in-person tours to only buyers who have been pre-approved for a mortgage.

Cara Ameer, a real estate professional with Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty in Ponte Vedra Beach, called pre-approval letters before home tours “an absolute must. … Sellers and listing agents are cautious about who is coming into their homes, and they want to ensure that only those that are truly qualified are coming through their doors.”

Some home sellers may also accept pre-qualification letters, which are obtained by a less involved process where a lender verbally asks for an overview of a buyer’s finances.

However, any seller that requires a preapproval letter before home tours should make sure that every potential buyer complies – no exceptions. Waiving the rule for a few buyers because “They seem okay” could potentially create fair housing issues.

Source: Realtor Magazine (07/08/20)

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