It is a seller's market and houses are being sold as soon as they're listed. Anything a buyer can do to put themselves one step ahead of the game can make a significant difference.

Quicken Loans started offering its Mortgage First product a few months ago, which allows buyers to be on equal footing with cash buyers, the company stated. 

"It allows you to go through the process of being approved for the financing prior to purchasing a house," said Joel Gurman, vice president of mortgage banking at Quicken Loans.

He added, "We ask all the questions, but then we go through the process of actually verifying it and actually underwriting the loan. So, you have an ironclad approval when you walk through that door to make an offer." 

The company puts forth an extra effort to verify assets and income, which in the end speeds up the process since more information is completed in the beginning, the company explained.

"It is something we really look at as a true opportunity for the client to put things in perspective in terms of getting that financing taken care of first and allowing them to dictate the transactions they want," Gurman said.