Is this normal for estate agents?

(39 Posts)
drjohnsonscat Thu 14-Feb-13 11:19:05

I'm thinking of buying a flat to rent out and have 50% cash and may be able to do 100% cash depending on what I buy or whether I buy with a family member. I haven't spoken to a mortgage lender yet because that should be fairly easy for me to sort out. So I just called the agent acting for a flat I saw on RightMove and told him I would like to see this property. Before even asking my name he asked my financial position. I was taken aback but explained I had 50% cash maybe more. He wanted to know who my mortgage lender would be - he still hadn't asked my name or taken any details. I said I hadn't spoken to my broker yet but it wouldn't be a problem. He said "I don't mean to be rude but I don't want to waste my time and I'm getting a lot of interest on this flat". So I told him to forget it. The flat, by the way, is almost completely derelict so not for the average buyer. I have bought derelict properties before so not put off by that.

Is this normal?

MmeLindor Thu 14-Feb-13 11:21:23

Not that I have seen. Unless you really want the flat, I would look for something else. He sounds really rude.

FlouncingMintyy Thu 14-Feb-13 11:24:13

If the flat is nearly derelict it will attract a lot of attention from full time property developers, most of whom the Estate Agents know and have dealt with before, and most of whom will be paying cash.

Having said that, he could have been more polite to you.

Emandlu Thu 14-Feb-13 11:25:40

It is probably because many people look round assuming they will be able to get a mortgage and then discover they can't.
Having just been through trying to sell a house I can appreciate it from the estate agent pov. However, there are ways of doing this that are a lot more reasonable than the agent you spoke to!

MoreBeta Thu 14-Feb-13 11:28:15

Hmmm..... derelict flat and lots of interest from developers who typically keep agents sweet by promising to put the flat back on sale once done up through the same agent.

He doesnt want to show it to you but can't actually say that. You need to be insistant and be prepared to show him you have the money.

Put offers in writing if you make one.

specialsubject Thu 14-Feb-13 11:29:53

before letting you see a property, an agent should take details such as name, address, position (something to sell etc) and so on. He should ask vaguely how you are funding the purchase but proving the funds isn't needed until you make an offer.

something not right.

Guntie Thu 14-Feb-13 11:30:01

Its not so unusual.. I am not sure where you live?

Properties around my area (In London) that are run down are often snapped up very quickly by developers who tend to buy with 100% cash.

From the vendors perspective a cash buyer will almost always trump a buyer who needs to sort out finance.

When I call up to ask about run down properties I always get asked if I am cash or not and the frank advice is always, "If you're not cash its fairly unlikely you will be the successful purchaser".

Sure he sounded rude for not even getting your name first, but it sounds like the flat has high demand and he was just being straight with you.

If the flat looked like a good opportunity I would have told him I was cash and organised a viewing ASAP.

If you are wanting to develop investment properties it massively pays to have good relationships with the estate agents. If they know you are good cash buyer who is not messing around, next time something like that comes up they will call you for a viewing before the property details even hit rightmove, and you will have a much higher chance of snapping it up.

Good Luck with the development!

Good for him. We had 6 months of hell and commuting with 2 small children because no-one checked that the guy at the bottom of the chain had a mortgage.

BabyRoger Thu 14-Feb-13 11:40:07

I moved house in September. When I was buying I was asked what my financial position was before I had seen the houses. I went and got an offer in principal before viewing.

When people were viewing mine, the EA had already asked them their financial position.

No-one was ever rude to me, though. I understand the question. I had a sale fall through twice because people put offers in and then could not get a mortgage.

Bowlersarm Thu 14-Feb-13 11:47:11

The EA is looking after the vendors (his clients) interests. If the flat is derelict and needs a lot of work - and has had a lot of interest in it- it would make much more sense for it to be sold to a cash buyer. It's so hard to get mortgages agreed in the current economic climate and on a property needing a lot of work it would probably complicate things from the vendors point of view.

After saying that, if the property doesn't sell quickly then they would be glad to have you in place!

MmeLindor Thu 14-Feb-13 12:06:32

I think the issue isn't that he is trying to find out if the OP is a serious buyer, but the way in which he went about it.

He could do the same but take 5 mins longer to at least be polite to a calling customer.

Estate agents don't see the need for politeness. They are gits.

SnowyWellies Thu 14-Feb-13 12:24:52

BabyRoger is it normal though for people to not get a mortgage until they have an agreement on a house? i was in that position, and was told you could get a mortgage for a named house only. That MASSIVELY held up our exchange on a house as the bloody mortgage broker did not pull his finger out, (and had all the excuses in the world) and we nearly lost our house too. I am not sure though, as only have bought once, but it put me right off!

Katla Thu 14-Feb-13 12:28:12

Is it ' express estate agency'? Part of their marketing spiel for sellers is they will only let people in a position to buy (cash/mortgage arranged) to avoid time wasters viewing properties. They did this with our buyer anyway.

drjohnsonscat Thu 14-Feb-13 12:29:56

I'm not in a chain and nor is the flat I'm looking at. I suspect the previous occupant died so there are no chain issues at either end which I told him.

I suppose I was just amazed that he didn't even bother to ask my name. I was already dubious because it's not at all a local agent and not one with a big network so I'm guessing he's tied up a deal behind the scenes with a developer before putting it on the website. Or with whoever is instructing the sale.

It's also considerably over-priced so I doubt they'll have had much interest . It's all making me think they are going through the motions for legal reasons but are passing it on behind the scenes.

drjohnsonscat Thu 14-Feb-13 12:33:14

Not express.

The thing is I could call my mortgage broker this afternoon and have something in place by the end of the week but I'd want to know there was at least a vaguely decent property in prospect before I bother to make that call. Next time I'll just tell the agent I'm a cash buyer. No wonder people don't like estate agents. I've only ever actually sold one property using an estate agent but it was an eye opener as to what they think is acceptable market practice.

Sparklegeek Thu 14-Feb-13 13:29:24

Did they actually take your name in the end though? If not then ring back up & tell them you're a cash buyer & would like to view it! Or get a friend to ring for you if you think they'd recognise your voice!

FlouncingMintyy Thu 14-Feb-13 13:30:39

Yes, don't give up yet!

Cosmosim Thu 14-Feb-13 13:53:29

We had one seller tell their EA they wouldn't allow anyone to view the house until they had it under offer. We did, less than a forthright later but didn't bother calling the nutty seller or their EA back. Overpriced fixer upper ended up pulled off the market after failing to get an offer during spring/summer.

drjohnsonscat Thu 14-Feb-13 14:05:26

I might get my sister to call back. But I think there's some fixing going on.

In the mean time, I've set up some other appointments with other agents to see other properties. I know estate agents are not paid by the buyers but the sellers pay them to find buyers so you'd think they'd be interested in you. And if some people are timewasters, well isn't that just part of being in sales? Which other profession gets away with that sort of behaviour? And it's not as if they treat the sellers any better.

lalalonglegs Thu 14-Feb-13 14:48:36

He sounds charmless but most agents will want the same information. Speak to your broker and get some sort of agreement on how much money you can borrow without having to commit yourself to anything. If he hasn't got your name, just ring back once you've spoken to your broker and ask about the property again.

StiffyByng Fri 15-Feb-13 15:27:18

The rudeness is crap. When I was buying, I was told a couple of times that it wasn't worth my looking at things if I wasn't a cash buyer as they weren't mortgageable, but otherwise, at least one agent specifically lined us up for run-down places as we were interested in a project. It sounds very much as if this is a secretly done deal.

Unless someone is a confirmed cash buyer, anyone is going to be a bit of a risk at the moment as lots of people who would have been turning down finance offers a few years ago are finding it tricky to get a mortgage. Outright liars will outright lie too - my husband's house sale took almost a year because the man who was 'ready to proceed, cash buyer' was in fact a developer who had to get buy to let mortgages on three separate flats with three separate lenders before he could finance the move. At least in that case, the estate agent involved was sacked.

BabyRoger Fri 15-Feb-13 16:03:04

Snowy, Yes, I didn't have an offer - I had an offer in principle which was a certificate that stated the amount of money they would lend me - but clearly an actual offer was only for a specific house.

What I had was an offer in principle certificate so the sellers knew I was good for a mortgage - i.e. I had good enough credit and earned enough/had enough money to pay for the cost of their property.

SnowyWellies Fri 15-Feb-13 17:11:46

Oh right, I see. I will need something like that next time- as we really had problems with ours.... never had a mortgage before (always rented) ...... and getting an offer held everythig up. Had no idea you could do it likethat!

Hope you sort it out though - it would be crap if there is fixing going on.

newgirl Fri 15-Feb-13 17:22:18

Maybe it's in such a state getting a mortgage might be a problem?

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