Proof Of Funds: What Is A POF Letter in Real Estate?
Victoria Araj5-minute read
June 15, 2022
When buying a house, it’s important to understand what may be required. You’ll need to provide certain documentation to obtain a mortgage, but did you know you may also need to provide a Proof of Funds letter to the seller?
Here’s everything you need to know about POFs so you can obtain one and get the house of your dreams.
What Does Proof Of Funds (POF) Mean?
Proof of Funds is a document that demonstrates how much money a person or entity has available. When purchasing a home, you may need a POF to show the seller that you can cover the purchase costs of a home. Remember that purchase costs can include the down payment, escrow and closing costs.
What Funds Qualify?
There are several types of funds that qualify as POFs. In some transactions, simply having a bank statement from your bank or printed online can qualify. Additionally, a certified financial statement or copy of a money market account balance will qualify. Other times, you will need a letter from your bank or financial institution that states the exact amount of accessible or liquid funds that you have available.
It’s important to note that your funds must be liquid. This means that mutual funds, life insurance, another person’s bank account, shares and bonds or proof of other possessions do not qualify as POFs.
How Is A POF Letter Different From A Preapproval Letter?
A preapproval letter and a Proof of Funds letter are not the same. A preapproval letter is a document stating that a lender will provide a buyer with a loan, whereas a POF letter states that a buyer has funds available to pay for other costs associated with the purchase of a home.
A mortgage preapproval letter is used to let sellers know that you will be able to afford the home. While someone may be preapproved for a loan, it does not mean that they get a loan right away.
The first step to getting approved for a mortgage is to get prequalified for a loan. This means that a lender has given an estimate for how much a buyer could be approved for based on their credit score. This number is a gross estimate.
Then, the buyer gets preapproved. They provide more information, such as a bank statement and pay stubs, and the lender will do a hard credit check to investigate the buyer’s debt and credit scenario. For example, after you apply to Rocket Mortgage®, an underwriter will take a closer look at your assets and financial documentation to determine what you will qualify for. To make sure you send in all the required information, you can use a mortgage preapproval checklist when submitting your application.
Sellers will ask for POF in addition to a preapproval or prequalification when they want to see evidence that a buyer can cover the closing costs and down payment. They may also require a POF even if a bank or lender does not require it to approve you for a mortgage, so keep in mind that it’s a good idea to have a POF no matter what.
What Other Documents Qualify As POF?
Several documents qualify as POF. Proof of Funds usually comes in the form of a bank, security or custody statement, and can be procured from your bank or financial institution that holds your money. Bank statements are the most common document to use as POF and can typically be found online or at a bank branch.
Why You Might Need Proof Of Funds To Buy A Home
There are a few situations in which you might need POF. Here are a few examples:
- If you’re buying a home in cash, you will need to prove that you have the funds to do so.
- You might need POF to mortgage a house if your lender requires seeing how much money you have to cover the remainder of the cost of the home.
- If you are making a down payment in cash, you’ll be asked to prove that you have the funds and that they’re not a loan.
What A Proof Of Funds Letter Looks Like
A Proof of Funds letter must include the following:
- Your bank’s name and address
- An official bank statement, either printed at a branch or as an online statement
- Balance of total funds in the account
- Balance of funds in checking or savings account
- Copy of an online banking statement
- Might require the signature of an authorized bank employee or notary
- Includes the date that the funds were in the account
How To Get Your Proof Of Funds Letter
If you decide to go to your bank or print the document online, a POF is relatively simple to obtain. Read on for the steps to receiving your POF letter.
Move Your Money
If you have money in different accounts, you may need to move the necessary funds into one location. You can often make transfers online, but you may have to go to several banks to get checks to transfer money. We recommend consolidating your funds into a single account so that your funds are in one place and less likely to be denied by your seller.
Request The Letter From Your Bank
If your funds are all in one place, you can likely get your POF in 1 day. If you are moving funds from one bank to another, it can take several days.
You will want to ensure that all your contact information is up-to-date on your POF letter. While the process is as simple as requesting a letter and receiving it, you might want to have this information available before your seller asks for it to ensure a smooth home buying process.
Keep Your Information Secure
As with any financial information, you will want to be sure that you keep your POF secure once you receive it. Your POF might hold sensitive information such as your account number, physical address and more. Never give your POF to anyone who does not need the information to execute the sale of your new home. Be wary of fraudulent requests.
If you have any doubts about whether the person requesting your POF needs it, you can consult with your REALTOR® or real estate lawyer.
The Bottom Line On Proof Of Funds Letters
If you’re in the market to buy a home, you may need to provide a Proof of Funds letter to show the seller, or even your lender, that you have the funds needed to purchase the property. A POF is simple to obtain. Once your funds are all in one account, you can ask your financial institution to provide the letter, you’ll be one step closer to having the documentation required to buy the home.
As we’ve said, most sellers will also want to see that you have secured preapproval from a lender. That process can be quick and easy. Get preapproved today so you can start making offers!
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