Do you HAVE to be preapproved??

Do you have to be preapproved to see a property. I found a bank reo that is listed with a local agency, I called up and asked to see if. She asked me if I was prequalified I said no because I’m not (now I am in the process of getting preapproved). I told her I wasn’t working with an agent, just wanted to get into the property to see it.
My question is - can I demand to see the property if I’m not preapproved? Is it legal for her to say I can’t see it? If I plan on birddogging for 6 months, why do I have to get preapproved if I know I’m not going to need thousands of $$ to get the property?
Please advise!

Howdy Immy:

Realtors are trained to get the buyer pre-approved before even showing a property. I too have tried to get an agent to meet me at a property and they ask me to come to the office and basically have me almost fill out the loan application. This is their way of working smarter. I have seen agents drive prospects all over town looking at numerous houses just to find out that the couple did not have the income to qualify for half the house they were looking at.

I have a pre-approval letter from a hard money lender that I use even if I am going to use another lender or flip the contract. Another idea is to get a letter from your investor and say that they will be your financial partner and you are the ears and eyes for them.


You want to look at a REO property to bird-dog.

You should not be concerned about being pre-approved, your concern should be who are you going to bird dog this property to. REO investors who already know about this property or other investors who can check for these type of properties themselves, because it is listed with a local agency.

The smart bird dog finds properties that only they know about, this is where the money is.

John $Cash$ Locke

Thanks for the sound advice. I’ll use it.

there are a couple reasons a Realtor would ask you to be preapproved and/or meet them at their office. First and foremost, i meet all individuals who call about a property at my office, take a copy of their driver’s license and log their home address in at the office, this is absolutely for safety precautions. the other reason is for business reasons, they may have been told by the seller, only show to prospective buyers who are serious enough to have been prequalified, in that case that is what the agent is obligated to do.
lastly, the agent can not refuse to show you a property based on protected class, i.e. fair housing, but non qualified or not yet qualified, is not a protected class.


Glad to meet you.

Another very good reason to do what you do is because in checking with the FBI crime statistics and various local police agencies, it seems quite a few of potential buyers being shown the properties are casing the property out to come back later and rob the place.

So at least you would have some king of record to show the police of who viewed the property should this occur.

Good idea,

John $Cash$ Locke

absolutely. I worry about my safety, but also that of any seller and their families. I always worry when there are young children living there, and I have for that reason, stopped holding open houses at occupied homes. I only hold them if the property is vacant, and then on rare occasion. Unfortunately many shady characters use home searching as a front, as you point out.



Because my wife is a Real Estate Broker, she relayed to me that at a class she was attending a FBI agent pointed out that showing the inside of the property along with a 360 degree view on the internet is an open invitation to the less than honest person.

Guess it is like casing the property out without having to be there.

John $Cash$ Locke