Proof of Funds Letter for a Real Estate Purchase: Why Home Buyers Need It, Bad (2024)

When you’re buying a house, a proof of funds letter is a document that proves that a home buyer has enough liquid cash to purchase a home. It’s essential paperwork thatall home sellers will want to see,sohome buyers shouldn’t feel prepared to make an offer without one.

“Sellerswon’t want to take theirproperty off the market without knowing that the buyers are truly able to afford it,”says Linda Walters, a real estate agent at Sage Realty LLC in Wayne, PA. Here’s whatbuyers need to know abouthow to get a proof of funds letter, including a free proof of funds letter sample and more.

Who needs a proof of funds letter?

Basically all buyers need to provide a proof of funds letter. Even if you’re getting a mortgage to finance your home purchase, you’ll still need enough money for a down payment (ideally 20% of the price of the house) and closing costs (an additional 3% to 4% of the home’s price).

While lenders will delve deep into your finances to ensure you have the necessary cash on hand to close the deal, home sellers will alsowant to see that you have these funds set aside. That’s why you provide them with a proof of funds letter, as well as yourpre-approval letterfrom your lenders confirming thatthey’re willing to loan you the rest of the money you need.

Home buyers who don’t need a mortgage because they’re buying the house in all cash aren’t off the hook, either! They will also need to provide a proof of funds for a cash offer—for a much larger amount, of course.

Proof of funds lettervs. pre-approval letter: What’s the difference?

Keep in mind that a pre-approval letter is by no means proof of funds. Mortgage pre-approval is a commitment from a lender to provide a buyer witha home loan.A proof of funds letter is a completely separate document that shows whereyou’rekeeping the cashyouneed to bring to the closing table.

What counts as proof of funds in real estate

You can get aproof of funds letterfrom the institution whereyour money is being held—typically a bank, butit can also come from another type of asset, such as an open credit line or money market account where funds can be accessed quickly.

Got a lot of your money inmutual funds and stocks? That can’t count as proof of funds, sincethis money can’t bewithdrawneasily and the amount can fluctuate dayto day,based on market conditions. So if you need to use some of this for your down payment,you should plan totransfer that money sooner rather than later into an account that’ll count as proof of funds.

If the money you’re using for your down payment is coming from severalaccounts, you should also consider pooling them all into one forsimplicity’s sake,recommends Maria Picardi-Kenyon, a real estate agent at Re/Max Tri County Realtors in Hamilton, NJ. (Note:While lenders willclosely track where those dollars came from to make sure you aren’t secretly getting loans from family members to foot this purchase, home sellers won’t be so picky—all they really want to see is that the money exists.)

How to get a proof of funds letter—and when

Getting a proof of funds letter is usuallya fast and easy process where you contact your bank and request one. While you can typically get onewithin a day or two, just keep in mind that some banks move more slowly than others, so ideally, you’ll want to give yourself at least a week for the statement to be issued. In other words, it’s best to obtain a proof of funds letter before you write an offer on a home.

As for when toprovide proof of fundsto sellers, some do it when they submit an offer on a home. But it’s also typically fine to supply it shortly after the offer is accepted—usually within a 24- to 38-hour time frame, says Ed Corbett, a real estate agent and team leader at Keller Williams Realty in Atlanta, GA.

What a proof of funds letter should include

Essentially, a proof of funds letter includes the account holder’s name and current balance of available funds—all onbank letterhead and signed by a bank official.However, in many cases, a recent bank statement from a checking or savings account where the money is being held can also serveas proof of funds, soit’s worth checking if that alonewill suffice.

Nervous about forking overall that personal info on your bank statements (because many statements include credit card and social security numbers)? To protect your privacy, you canblack out sensitive information on the statement before providing the statement to a seller. As long as it’s clear that the account is yours and the money’s in there, you’re good to go.

A lot of banks have their own proof of funds templates, but in case you need your own,you can find a sample letterbelow:

To whom it may concern,

We confirm, that _____[Name of Company/Individual]______ has available the sum of __________ as of this date. Should you require verification of the above mentioned funds, please contact us at your convenience.

Yours truly,

[Authorized Officer]

Date: _____

Contact Info: __________

Proof of Funds Letter for a Real Estate Purchase: Why Home Buyers Need It, Bad (2024)
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