Agreement in Principle: What is it and why should you have one?

When embarking on a journey to purchase a property, whether it’s your dream home or a lucrative investment opportunity, it is crucial to have your affairs in order. One essential step in the process that often gets overlooked or underestimated is obtaining an “Agreement in Principle” (AIP) from a mortgage lender.

An Agreement in Principle is a preliminary assessment of your mortgage eligibility and can significantly impact the success of your property buying endeavour. In this article, we will explore the importance of getting an Agreement in Principle and how it can benefit you during your property purchase.

What is an Agreement in Principle?

An Agreement in Principle, also known as a Decision in Principle or Mortgage Promise, is a written statement from a mortgage lender confirming their willingness to lend you a certain amount of money towards the purchase of a property. It is not a binding contract but serves as an indication that, based on the initial assessment of your financial circumstances, the lender is prepared to consider granting you a mortgage.

The Importance of an Agreement in Principle

Confirms Your Borrowing Capacity: Obtaining an Agreement in Principle provides you with a clear understanding of how much money you are likely to secure from a lender. This is crucial as it allows you to focus your property search within your budget, saving you time and potential heartache from viewing properties beyond your financial reach.

Increases Credibility with Sellers: In a competitive property market, sellers are more likely to take your offer seriously if you have a verified Agreement in Principle. It demonstrates that you are a serious buyer who has already taken steps to secure financing and are ready to proceed with the purchase.

Faster Closing Process: Having an Agreement in Principle in place can expedite the mortgage application process significantly. Once your offer on a property is accepted, having already been assessed by a lender allows you to move forward swiftly, potentially giving you an edge over other interested parties who are yet to secure mortgage approval.

Identifying Financial Issues: During the pre-approval process, the lender will review your credit history and financial documents. If there are any issues or discrepancies, these can be addressed early on, giving you ample time to resolve any potential red flags before making an offer on a property.

Avoiding Disappointment: Imagine finding your dream property only to discover later that you cannot secure the necessary mortgage. By obtaining an Agreement in Principle beforehand, you avoid this disappointment and ensure you are on the right track from the outset.

How to Obtain an Agreement in Principle

Choose the Right Lender: Work with a reputable mortgage lender who can offer you competitive rates and terms tailored to your specific needs. A mortgage broker can assist you in finding the best options available.

Gather Necessary Documentation: Be prepared to provide your lender with essential financial documents, including bank statements, payslips, tax returns, and identification.

Understand Your Affordability: Before applying for an Agreement in Principle, assess your finances to determine a realistic budget for your property purchase. This will help you avoid borrowing beyond your means.

Complete the Application: Fill out the lender’s application form, providing accurate and up-to-date information. The lender will conduct a credit check and assess your financial status before issuing the Agreement in Principle.

In conclusion, obtaining an Agreement in Principle is a vital step in the property buying process. It not only gives you a clear picture of your borrowing capacity but also enhances your credibility with sellers and expedites the closing process. By working with a trusted mortgage lender and understanding your affordability, you can position yourself as a serious buyer in a competitive market.

At PLS Solicitors, we can guide you through the entire property purchasing journey, to ensure a smooth and successful transaction.