Ok, I don't need to see a bag full of cash, but proof of funds or a pre-approval letter from a reputable lender is important. There are reasons, as a realtor I ask my clients for this, and it's for their own good. Here are a couple of these reasons:
1. We need to know what we are looking for, without a pre-approval, we don't know your "buying power" or comfort level. This can save heartache and time down the road also.
2. Not all loans are created equal. You may qualify or some types of loans, but not others. Also, all loans don't fit all houses. Which loan best fits your needs?
3. When making an offer, most sellers (listing agents) will want to see that the potential buyer is a capable buyer and require a pre-approval or proof of funds. (I always do)
4. This also gives you a chance to meet the one who is going to "show you the money". Building the right team around you makes for a much more enjoyable and surprise free transaction.
I hope this gives you a quick idea on why a pre-approval letter or proof of funds is important. For more information or some contacts for a local lender, please email firstname.lastname@example.org