The mortgage process: Pre-approval to closing

Going through the mortgage process for the first time? It can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t understand the steps. Do you know the difference between pre-approval and final approval? Do you know what documentation is required for underwriting?

Let’s walk through it:


Before you can make an offer on a home, you’ll need pre-approval for your chosen lender. It’s important to note pre-approval isn’t a guarantee of your final loan — rather, it gives you permission to start looking. Without pre-approval, an offer isn’t taken seriously.

Typically, pre-approval lasts for a certain period of time (usually 60 days), before a new application has to be filed.

Inspection and Appraisal

Once you find the home of your dreams, submit an offer, and find your offer has been accepted, your mortgage rep will order an inspection and appraisal. These two vital pieces of information will determine whether the property you’ve chosen is worth the investment.

Loan Approval and Underwriting

For official loan approval, you’ll need to submit income verification, proof of assets, employer information, and a variety of other documentation. The underwriting process, which determines the status of your final application, can take a bit of time — especially if you have a complex financial history that warrants follow-up questions. Once underwriting is complete, your loan is approved and your rate is locked.


The closing process usually take 60-120 minutes and involves a lot of signatures. Your real estate agent will talk you through the process, answering questions and ensuring you have copies of all necessary paperwork.

Questions? Contact our team at Sterling Properties in East Tawas by calling 989-362-4585.

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