Have you ever lost a Bay Area home because someone swooped in with an all cash offer? Hard to top that — but you can. Welcome to the new world of the post approval letter.

Post approval letters are now a standard part of our unique approach for helping homebuyers achieve their goals.

Recently I worked with Danielle and Tom, who had kept my card from an open house five years ago, and were ready to begin their home search in earnest.

We ended up at an extremely well cared for home in Mill Valley, with breathtaking views of the lush surrounding valley.

It was the first day the home was on the market and Danielle was excited to see it.

She was also very concerned about losing out, citing a similar home she’d seen go into contract on the first day it was listed.

Camping out till dark

Danielle and I toured the Mill Valley home, and stayed past 8 p.m. so her husband Tom could join us from his San Francisco office. It was getting dark when the owner returned. She was startled to see us still at her home.

As I smoothed over the situation I discovered she was leaving in two days for a vacation. My first thought was, “Wouldn’t it be great if she could go on her trip and not worry about the home sale?”

Following my advice, Tom and Danielle bid on the home the next morning. The listing agent said the homeowner was looking at offers ‘as they come,’ so it would be a very competitive situation. My buyers really loved the house, so they had to act quickly.

Here’s what we included in their offer package:

  • The post approval letter — unlike a preliminary preapproval, a post approval letter assures that the buyers meet comprehensive income, asset and credit qualifications and have been fully approved by a loan underwriter (not a cursory automated process)
  • A 20% down payment check   
  • No loan contingency — the post approval letter proves their loan is already approved
  • 15-day closing — the post approval letter allows a quick closing because the legwork is done up front
  • Direct contact with the lender — to satisfy the listing agent’s questions about the post approval letter

Ironically, the listing agent told me she had been a high-ranking officer at Bank of America, managing cash assets, and the six-page post approval letter confused her.

Post approval letter still a secret weapon

She acknowledged that she had never received a purchase offer with a post approval letter included. But once I had her on the phone with the lender, the listing agent was more than satisfied.

It was the beginning of her softening and taking our package for what it was — an excellent offer! Tom and Danielle won the home and the post approval letter was pivotal in clinching the deal.

Looking for a home in the competitive San Francisco or Marin market? Let me give you an edge with a post approval letter. Call or email and we’ll get started: [email protected] or (415) 730-3030.

All the best,
Craig

PS – Find out how we help buyers speed up their home search, including free access to our constantly updated, subscription-only real estate search engine.