Ask an Expert: Certified Buyer Program
The Certified Buyer Program™, designed by the mortgage experts at Penrith Home Loans, is the competitive edge homebuyers look for when shopping for their dream home.

From application to closing, Penrith’s Certified Buyers are provided the tools and expertise to help make the home buying process easier and more enjoyable. Additionally, the program and on-time guarantee* set home shoppers up for success and can increase the likelihood of them getting their offer on a home accepted in multiple-offer situations.

Mark Friedrich, a Penrith Home Loans mortgage consultant, is a big fan of the Certified Buyer Program. He frequently utilizes the program to give his clients, and their real estate agents, the edge they need.  To better understand the Certified Buyer Program from a professional who routinely leverages its power to benefit his clients, read on!

How does the Certified Buyer Program assist borrowers in a competitive market?

The Certified Buyer status is the strongest offer any buyer can make to a seller, assuming other offers have the same offer price and terms. The buyer has full credit approval, as the credit application and all supporting borrower information have already been sent to and approved by an actual underwriter, and this makes the buyer’s offer more appealing to a seller.

What is the process like to become a Certified Buyer?

A potential borrower would complete a credit application, gather income and asset documents, and the full credit file would then be sent to a physical underwriter for their approval. The process takes slightly longer than a typical application and virtual underwriting, but it is well worth the extra effort and time.

Why should borrowers become Certified Buyers?

Sellers are not always looking for simply the highest offer, they want to be assured that any potential offer they accept will actually close as planned. The Certified Buyer status offers that assurance with a fully underwritten approval and also comes with a closing guarantee, which states that we will close on time or pay both the buyer and the seller a specified amount of money.

What success have your clients and agents had with the Certified Buyer Program?

Real estate agents love the program, as they can not only make offers with greater confidence it will be accepted by the seller, but they’re also certain that everything will be in line to close on time. Buyers love it because their offer gets accepted above other offers due to the strength of the program and the guarantee. It usually eliminates the potential for the buyer to get discouraged and decide to back out of the process.

Why should a seller choose a Certified Buyer over a traditionally pre-approved buyer?

A typical pre-approval has only been virtually underwritten but no actual underwriter has seen the file, which normally comes later in the process with most lenders. A Certified Buyer’s application is fully credit approved. Plus, once accepted, if it doesn’t close within the agreed upon timeframe, the seller will be compensated for the time the home was off the market, along with the buyer. Even more, the buyer can also assign his or her guarantee portion over to the seller, further compensating them for the inconvenience of keeping the home off the market for that time period. It is highly unlikely that another offer the seller receives would be one that comes with this kind of guarantee.

What does being a Certified Buyer really mean?

For a borrower, it means that they’ll become a fully credit-approved buyer who is guaranteed to close on their home on or before their contractually outlined closing date.

How do you and your agents work together to use the Certified Buyer Program to set your clients up for success?

I educate my agents on the strength of the program and they typically mention it to their potential buyers at their first meeting, because they want offers accepted and the process to go smoothly. By the time I meet with them, the borrowers tend to be sold on the program and typically have decided it’s worth the extra few days that it takes to get the “Certified Buyer” status.

While becoming a Certified Buyer may take some time upfront (due to a borrower’s financials being reviewed and approved by an actual underwriting team as opposed to being virtually approved like with most pre-approval programs), borrowers find the competitive edge they receive to be a fair trade off. Plus, time is made back in the closing stages of purchasing the home because the file has already been fully-underwritten with all conditions cleared. The Certified Buyer Program is the highest-level status a buyer would want when shopping in a competitive market.


With over 20 years of experience in the real estate industry, Mark prides himself on providing detailed information so his clients can make truly informed decisions. He specializes in integrating mortgages into an overall strategy of real estate investing by working with clients and their financial planners. When Mark isn’t in the office, you’ll find him hiking, biking, skiing and spending time with his wife and two sons. Learn more about Mark here.

*To learn more about the Certified Buyer Program and guarantee specifics, please visit