The Difference Between Pre-Approval and Pre-Qualification Mortgage Letters

Dublin, Ohio real estate agents

by Ron Kendle

Both potential home buyers and sellers are often confused when it comes to Ohio mortgage pre-approval letters.

The simple reality is that not all “buyers” are actually able to buy.

It’s fairly common for someone hoping to buy a house in Westerville or anywhere across Franklin, Delaware, or Union counties to present a pre-qualification letter for a home mortgage loan to someone working to sell a house. But it’s a mistake for either party to be overly “impressed” with this document.

Pre-qualification letters actually mean very little. They do not suggest that a potential buyer is actually able to receive a loan to buy a house in New Albany, Dublin, or Worthington. All it means is that the buyer has spoken to a lender, approximated their annual household income, and the lender then prints a letter stating the price range of homes that they MAY be able to purchase. Surprisingly, that income information typically is not even verified.

Meanwhile, Pre-Approval for a home loan in Columbus, Ohio is verified by a third party, the buyer has already applied for a loan, the lender has verified the information, and states that the mortgage lender intends to loan them a specific amount of money at a specific interest rate. This carries far more weight.

Dublin, Ohio home loan information

Although this pre-approval for an Ohio home loan is much more concrete, it still can change or disappear if the buyer’s credit-worthiness is diminished before the final closing. See my post last month about this issue.

Still, pre-qualification letters for a home loan are not completely worthless. A prospective home buyer should indeed get one to show that they are serious about how to get a loan for a house in Columbus, Ohio.

And, from the seller’s perspective, this does indeed display the potential buyer’s initial credit worthiness. But both parties should understand the distinct difference between the two documents to save you both much time and confusion.

For more information on how to begin buying or selling a house from New Albany to Westerville to Powell to Dublin, please feel free to contact me anytime at 614-325-6295 or

Ron Kendle & The Kendle Team are part of the ReMax Consultant Group.


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