1. Pre-approval is different from a pre-qualification. Pre-approval acts as a dry run of the loan application process. The mortgage lender will use details you provide about your credit, income, assets and debts to arrive at an estimate of how much mortgage you can afford. The whole process may take only minutes or a few hours at most, and is free.
2. While a "pre-approval" is non-binding to the lender, it does serve as a good indication to potential sellers of your general creditworthiness, thereby making you a buyer that sellers can take seriously.
3. These days most sellers will NOT even accept an offer without at least a pre-approval letter, so if you are serious about buying, this is the first step towards getting you in your new home.
If you already HAVE a trusted lender (someone you've done business with in the past OR someone referred to you by family or friends) feel free to use them; However, if you don't have someone who is a trusted finance partner, please reach out to me for a list of lenders/mortgage officers whom I've got experience working with and are proven, experienced and trust worthy professionals.You can also access the list of lenders I have trusted relationships with under the "Resources" - Business Partners tab.