Buyers: Be Prepared to Show All Your Financial Details

by Mark Wellborn


Prospective home buyers in the DC area should expect to be very open about their financial situation. The Washington Post had a piece this weekend indicating that buyers in this market are being required to reveal salary information and other personal assets before their offer is even considered.

A financial sheet is not required with most offers in the area; a lender’s pre-approval letter is usually all that a buyer must submit. However, the article intimates that most listing agents will not take an offer seriously if a financial statement is not submitted as well. And that is not sitting well with some buyers:

Fiona Renalds, a program manager for a military cancer institute, is giving up her Arlington rental for a house she and her husband, Michael, are buying in Kensington. The seller’s agent let them know that to make their offer strong, they should include a financial statement, in addition to their lender’s preapproval letter. But she had qualms about privacy and security.

“My first reaction was ‘I’m not doing that,’ “ Renalds said. “I don’t want to give all my financial information on a piece of paper. It could be faxed around. It took me at least two months to get a preapproval letter from my lender. They should trust that assurance,” she said.

The article gets a variety of perspectives from industry professionals, and is a good read for anyone that is in the market.

See other articles related to: dc condos

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/buyers_be_prepared_to_show_all_your_financial_details/1197


  1. Keith said at 11:32 am on Monday August 3, 2009:

    I wasn’t asked to do that and I would have told any seller to pound sand if they’d asked. The pre-approval process and the standard contract handles the financing aspect of the situation quite well.

    I suggest anyone who’s presented with this situation to wish the seller well and move on. There are other homes in the market.

  1. Looking said at 1:05 pm on Monday August 3, 2009:

    I was asked to submit a financial sheet when I submitted my first two offers, refused thinking that it wouldn’t be a big deal, and then never heard back from the listing agent. While it may not be required, it may be wise as I lost out on two properties as a result of my refusal.

  1. Adam Gallegos said at 11:09 am on Tuesday August 4, 2009:

    This is definitely not standard practice in Northern Virginia. A lender pre-approval letter is sufficient unless the buyer is paying cash.  As a listing agent, I follow up with the lender who wrote the pre-approval letter to verify that they have verified employment, assets, liabilities and credit.

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