As of 2/1/2017, all purchase contracts must be accompanied by either a loan approval or verification of funds to close. The loan approval process is not what it was ten years ago - the lender will request all documents needed to give you a prequalficiation form and this process can take a couple days. ***IMPORTANT: this is the first step to buying a home. Don't start looking at homes until you have it or you could fall in love with that perfect home and while you are waiting on your loan approval, someone buys the home out from under you! Be prepared and get those ducks in a row - and when you find that perfect home, you will be prepared to make it yours!