A pre-qualification is an estimate of the size of mortgage loan you qualify for based on your credit score and financial profile. A pre-qualification gives you an idea of how much home you can really afford and is a signal to real estate agents and sellers that you are a serious buyer. Furthermore, a pre-qualification makes the loan application process easier because each process requires you to provide similar information. You may be asked to provide documents such as pay-stubs, tax returns, etc. to verify your income. In fact, the more information you can provide for your pre-qualification, the more precise your estimate will be. The best time to begin this process is before you begin searching for a home. To get started, find your nearest BankSouth Mortgage expert.