How do you vet potential buyers

(14 Posts)
Hobbes8 Tue 22-Oct-13 20:01:47

We put our house on the market in July. We had a flurry of interest and accepted a full asking price offer within a week.

Several weeks later there had been no movement at all - no survey, and my solicitor was chasing them for paperwork and getting no response, so we put it back on the market in early September.

By this time we'd found a house we liked and wanted to put in an offer, so we accepted an offer £2.5k below asking. That buyer pulled out yesterday, having had the valuation done but then failed the final credit check for some unknown reason. The survey found evidence of damp, so we had a damp and timber survey done and offered to drop the price by the cost of the works - £850 for a new damp proof course and some re plastering.

We went back on the market yesterday and we have another full price offer today. Apparently they are first time buyers with a 15% deposit and a mortgage agreed in principle. However I've heard this all before and I'm losing faith a bit.

What can I do or check to increase our chances of turning this offer into an actual sale? It doesn't seem like any of this is our agency's fault - they've secured lots of viewings and offers - but is there something wrong with their
vetting process?

To complicate things, I'm 7 months pregnant and a contract worker. The mortgage for our purchase is going through based on our current earnings, but if we have any more delays I'll be on SMP so won't be able to borrow what we need. If it weren't for this I'd get the damp proof work done and put it back on the market after Christmas, but if we haven't moved by then we're unlikely to be able to move until I go back to work, by which time we'll miss the primary school application deadline for my toddler.

Sorry it's a bit of an essay! I'm increasingly stressed out and don't know how to proceed from here - any advice?

ReluctantCamper Tue 22-Oct-13 21:06:08

When we bought our current house, the agents went through quite a lot of checking before advising the vendors to accept the offer, they talked to our financial advisor, checked we had adequate income etc, so maybe make a bit of a fuss with your estate agent?

Good luck!

Hobbes8 Tue 22-Oct-13 21:43:48

Thanks for the reply (and the luck - I feel like we need it!). I guess I just need to keep the pressure on my estate agent. They won't get paid if we pull out so you think they'd be on the ball, but I've lost a bit of confidence in them.

MumblingMummy Wed 23-Oct-13 00:37:01

At the moment, 29% of mortgage applications fail according to my FA. It's mainly down to over cautious lenders who have become extra careful when lending and now want 6 months worth of bank statements, proof of funding, A1 credit score, no buying from businesses (high risk apparently), and various other criteria. Also, people will make offers on multiple properties because they know there are no consequences. I sold my last house at a discount to a couple who were keen to move quickly. We heard nothing for a month then found out they'd gone on holiday for 2 weeks. Took 6 months to complete. Fuming doesnt come near to how i was feeling. The sad fact is that people lie to get what they want.

MaMattoo Wed 23-Oct-13 00:43:00

You seem to be on the other side of the fence. We have been desperately looking for a property (ftb, no chain, mortgage offers etc sorted) and we have had vendors backing out at the last min.
It's stressful and annoying and the school deadline does not help
Not of much use to your post but thought I would let you know you're not alone!!!
And congrats!!

Hobbes8 Wed 23-Oct-13 09:00:20

Thanks again. I think we're just going to have to wait and hope.

Mamattoo - we're on both sides of the fence! I'm not sure about our seller either. They accepted our offer six weeks ago and didn't fill in their paperwork until yesterday. I don't understand why no one else in this chain wants to get this done except us! Good luck with it all.

Preciousbane Wed 23-Oct-13 13:10:32

I have seen this on the particulars of a house, I have just copied and pasted from the estate agents website. Know the usual way and have heard of sealed bids but never this.

This property is for sale by the modern method of auction also known as a "conditional auction". This process is similar to a normal property purchase but on acceptance of an offer the purchaser will pay a non-refundable reservation fee to secure the property. The buyer then has 28 days to exchange contracts and a further 28 days to complete the purchase. Please note this property is subject to an undisclosed reserve price. Terms and conditions apply to the modern method of auction, which is operated by Hartleys estate agents.

MrsBungle Wed 23-Oct-13 13:17:38

Hi op,

I don't know about vetting but I did get a mortgage whilst on mat leave. My mortgage company just needed a letter from my employer to confirm what my usual salary was and to say that they expect me back to work.

lighthousesea Wed 23-Oct-13 14:48:59

As buyers our estate agent wanted our mortgage offer in principle straight away (lots of pressure). He also wanted us to give in depth information on our deposit level and savings. We thought he was being a bit nosey but he just wanted to establish how credible we were. Only ince he was satisfied did they cease all advertising and remove from right move etc.

In hindsight I am very impressed with this approach. Our estate agents were not as fussy and we had to wait on buyers who weren't in the position we were led to originally believe which made for a stressful sale.

SadPander Wed 23-Oct-13 16:18:01

I can totally sympathise! I'm 7 months pregnant and we are on our third lot of buyers now after the first 2 sales fell through - waiting to see if this will end the same way or not.

There isn't a huge ammount you can do really but I'd get the agent to find as much as you can about their position - are they living with family/renting/do they have something to sell, how much do they love the house, are they comfortable at the price they are paying, have they pulled out on any other properties with your agent and if so why? Have they got a mortgage agreed in principle and what deposit do they have?

For us the most important things were how much they loved the house and how nervey they were (as we are in a first time buyer area and the previous 2 pulled out due to silly little things on the survey). They have their survey booked for next week so we'll see if we picked the right ones then - but ultimately I think its largely down to luck unfortunately.

I know what you mean about the mortgage and maternity leave too. We've had to disclose that I would be going on maternity leave as they specifically asked if either of us would be taking any break from work in the near future, and they would then only lend based on my lowest earnings over that period (which is half pay, even though I only drop down to this for a few weeks). They didn't want to take my wage into account at all until I started ranting about discrimination!

Good luck with it, I will keep my fingers crossed as I understand the frustration!

Poosnu Wed 23-Oct-13 16:34:04

The estate agent should be asking them for solid proof of their position before advising you to accept. The buyers produce the mortgage offer in principle letter, and also evidence of their deposit (bank statement or investment statement). The estate agent should also ask the buyers' IFA (if they have one) for a statement confirming that they are in a position to proceed.

If the buyers really want the house they will be quite happy to let you have this evidence. We were asked for it in connection with our recent purchase, and asked the same of buyers when selling. It seems to be standard. Make sure that you are satisfied with the evidence and don't just take the estate agents' word for it.

Your solicitors / estate agents should then really keep things moving and be chasing the buyers if there are any delays. For example, the survey should be instructed within a week to 10 days - the buyers should be updating you if there are any delays at the bank.

HelpfulChap Wed 23-Oct-13 16:44:22

Nightmare in general. We have moved 9 times at last count (gluttons for punishment i know). The last sale was supposed to take 'weeks' & took almost 10 months to go through.

Perserverance is the key. You have to ring the Estate Agents & solicitors constantly (at LEAST weekly) to keep on top of the situation, oh, & if you have a god, pray daily. Make sure they both earn their money - they are working for you.

Do NOT panic, it is a sellers market. All i can say from my experience is that it will happen eventually although you will definitely endure some aggro along the way.

Preciousbane Wed 23-Oct-13 17:09:13

Just looked on MSE about conditional auctions and they sound very dodgy.

Hobbes8 Thu 24-Oct-13 10:38:27

Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll get onto the estate agent today and see what they've managed to suss out. I had agreed with them to continue to market the property, but viewings have dropped off again so I'm not convinced they're being very proactive.

The conditional auction thing is a great idea, but I doubt I'd be able to enforce it at this stage. We do need some changes to this ridiculous system though.

I know this house will sell eventually, but we've committed about £1k in searches and surveys on our purchase. We're expecting our mortgage offer this week which should be valid til some point in January, so we're really keen to get things sorted by then. The baby is due at Christmas and whilst I don't mind moving after it's born, I worry that I would fail the mortgage application of they have to do another credit check. As a contractor I don't have a job to go back to, so I'm effectively unemployed. My broker doesn't seem too worried though.

Keep everything crossed for me!

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