Getting pre-approved for a loan is kind of like getting engaged. You have a commitment, but you still have to make it to the altar -- or, in this case, the closing table. Just like picking that special someone you want to spend the rest your life with, lenders like to know a little bit about you and have it backed up with facts.
Pre-approval will help you to understand how much you can expect to borrow from your lender. Knowing your spending range can help to narrow your home search to properties within your price range. It can also give sellers a little more confidence in your seriousness when making an offer [source: Brown and Tyson].