We've all fallen prey to the old bait and switch at some point. It may have been an advertised sale that got you through the door, only to find that the product you stopped in for is conveniently out of stock, and a more expensive alternative is readily available. You may have been excited about the price of a vehicle, only to find that seats and a steering wheel come with an extra charge. You get the point, having been promised something that does not materialize is pretty frustrating, and can cost you time and money.
Lately, I'm seeing multiple business lenders pump out some really impressive pre-approvals, only to let down clients with much lower hard approvals, or even worse, totally retract and decline to make an offer altogether!
It's obvious how expensive this can be, in hours and dollars. Lenders, eager to secure a client, make an offer just outside the realistic amount that they may qualify for, simply to avoid that client shopping around or applying elsewhere. Upon seeing any signs of weakness in the file, these unrealistic offers are bludgeoned down to reality and even much lower than other underwriters are willing to go, even after an actual underwriting.
And that's the key word. Underwriting.
It's impossible to secure an offer without bank data (whether statements or account link) and an application (or app equivalent). Once a file has been properly underwritten, and only then, an actual hard offer may be presented. So the one way to know if it's a "fake offer" is if you haven't yet given certain information to the person making the "offer". I have driven myself crazy trying to structure pie-in-the-sky deals for clients after someone else made one of these fake offers, and I've been surprised at the recent resurgence of this tactic.
Don't be fooled by an offer made prior to sharing the information that any underwriting team would need to put that offer on an actual contract. I almost said not to be fooled until they put it in writing, but the last couple fake offers I sifted through were actually sent via email! Now, I consider that to be "in writing", but hey, we're operating in a highly unregulated industry here folks.
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