Learn the difference between getting pre-qualified and getting pre-approved.
Getting pre-qualified helps you determine how much home you can afford, based on specific financial information you share with your lender. The lender does not verify this information, and consequently there is no guarantee you will qualify for the loan amount.
Getting pre-approved requires that the lender verify your financial information, and serves as a commitment to lend a specified amount based on that verified information. Your negotiating position with a seller is greatly enhanced when they know that you can obtain the financing called for in your purchase agreement.