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Estate Agents being pushy

(144 Posts)
TheBouquets Mon 01-Aug-16 13:24:58

I am hoping to move house very soon. I have had bad experiences of being too open and honest with certain official persons. Therefore I have learned to be guarded.
I called an agent to arrange to view a property. I was asked loads of questions about my house owning position. As I refused to specify my house owning / financial situation I was not allowed a viewing.
This particular house has been up for sale for over a year, it has a good survey and in a desirable location.
If I am old enough to be buying a property, and a property which is not a starter price range for the majority of people, surely I am old enough to know whether I can afford this property or not.
What makes Estate Agents think it is going to do any good to put prospective viewers off before they even view? Surely our financial status is nobody's business but our own as responsible adults?

FuzzyOwl Mon 01-Aug-16 13:26:21

It will be more to do with whether you are wasting their time and just want to nose round a house or whether you are a genuine potential buyer.

ChanelNo314 Mon 01-Aug-16 13:28:43

Oh I know, they really overstep the boundaries. Like they want to know EXACTLY what your final budget is.

I had to provide bank statements showing I had a deposit but not until after I'd had viewings

NarcyCow Mon 01-Aug-16 13:29:16

The agent doesn't want to waste time dealing with someone who isn't serious. Some aspects of your financial status is very much her business.


mrsreddington Mon 01-Aug-16 13:29:58

Sometimes vendors get cross with agents who send people to view who aren't in a position to proceed. I used to work in estate agency and we always ascertained people's situations before booking in viewings. There is a skill to doing it subtlety though!

Imknackeredzzz Mon 01-Aug-16 13:31:01

Oh for Christ sake, probably because their vendor - you know their paying client ! Has asked them to fully vet people who come to view. Otherwise they will be wasting their time on viewers who are just looking for a day out- or don't have a cat in hells chance of buying!
If they didn't ask those questions they wouldn't be likely doing their job properly!

This really annoys me, just give them the info for Christ sake and get over yourself

MrsJoeyMaynard Mon 01-Aug-16 13:32:04

I'm not an estate agent.

But I would imagine, from a vendor's and estate agent's point of view, letting people who aren't in a position to buy a house view them is just a waste of time and effort for the vendor and estate agent.

And if you want to buy a house through an estate agent, then yes, your financial status is the estate agent's business, at least as far as the question of whether you can afford it is concerned.

almostthirty Mon 01-Aug-16 13:32:19

I had similar when I was looking. I walked into an estate agent when I was 23. I asked for the details of a property I saw in the window. The estate agent raised his eyebrows and said "are you sure you can afford this property it is £300000." !
I was furious. In.the calmest to ensure I could muster I stated, "actually, see that house in the window, that's the one I'm selling, but not anymore with you." I then asked to speak to the manager and took it off the market with that estate agent.
I think they like the power.

plusthree Mon 01-Aug-16 13:32:28

We were selling our house and had lots of time wasters, people who hadn't gone on the market, no mortgage offer in place, had a similar house that they were thinking of selling.
After a while I instructed the EA to weed them out, but without asking possible vendors it would've been tricky for her to do that.

ChanelNo314 Mon 01-Aug-16 13:37:07

almostthirty they do like to jump to conclusions. a friend of mine sold a house in wimbledon and returned to live with her parents up north. she was going in to estate agents with a fortune ready to buy and when the estate agents ran through their list of formulaic 'subtle' questions she got ruled out by question two.

MrsJoeyMaynard Mon 01-Aug-16 13:37:42

Sometimes vendors get cross with agents who send people to view who aren't in a position to proceed.

Last time we were house hunting, we had one vendor giving us a lengthy rant about time wasting people who had viewed their house with no intention of buying it, as we were actually viewing the house. It was a little off putting. And it did make us feel a bit bad about telling the estate agent that actually we preferred a different, slightly more expensive house a few streets away.

Discobabe Mon 01-Aug-16 13:40:20

We were asked if we had an agreement in principle before viewing. That's fair enough I think? There's no point even looking/letting you view unless you actually can buy it.

Binkermum29 Mon 01-Aug-16 13:42:56

Yes, it's true that agents need to know they're dealing with genuine applicants rather than just the saddoes who spend their weekends critically looking round houses they've no intention or means of buying.
However we had a situation where we were selling a large-ish house in order to move abroad, but we wanted a small-ish flat in the UK as well. Without exception every agent we went to for prospective flats grilled us as to our finances and ownership of our house with the sole intention of persuading us to instruct them on the sale of it. They were really persistent which of course was completely counter-productive as far as they were concerned.

Dontyoulovecalpol Mon 01-Aug-16 13:47:13

I think this is disgraceful. Who do they think they are asking for personal details about you finances? I was once told I would need to produce a mortgage offer before even viewing. Piss off.

Conversely, I sold my house to an extremely wealthy cash buyer. He cut the agents out almost immediately and dealt with us directly. They didn't dare to ask see evidence of his mortgage offer before viewing grin slimey fuckers.

LurkingHusband Mon 01-Aug-16 13:54:40

There's also an element of protection from money-laundering laws.

Estate agents have to demonstrate due diligence as well.

monkeywithacowface Mon 01-Aug-16 13:59:29

Hmm well tbh I admit I was very pissed off when my estate agent allowed my next door neighbour to arrange a viewing hmm. I only forgave him because he managed to book in 9 viewings on the same day it went on the market and we got an offer from one of those on the day so all in all no opportunity for further time wasters.

PovertyPain Mon 01-Aug-16 14:02:00

I don't blame the estate agents. I once spent an hour with a viewer, when I was very busy, only for her to tell me, as she left, "of course, I could never afford a house like this, I live 'just in the next street from me' and always wanted to see inside one of lovely big houses." [gasp] She then got all offended when I gave her a bollocking for wasting my time. angry

TheBouquets Mon 01-Aug-16 14:03:03

Almost thirty - exactly my point. I am in a very good positon and could buy without selling any of the other properties I own. I may have considered them for the future sales of my properties but definitely not now.
When I said it was a property in a desirable area but on he market for over a year I do wonder how many real prospective purchasers have been put off by the conduct of the EA.
I may go to the property and tell them what is going on.
Equally does anyone think I should be stating that I have £X in this bank and £X in another bank and £X in the boot of my car and even more under the bed? I don't have money in the car or under the bed just in case a burglar is reading this! LOL

SuperFlyHigh Mon 01-Aug-16 14:03:49

basically and to be blunt estate agents are chasing their commission cheque - they don't give a shit (seriously I've worked with lots who are really really horrible to their clients to get them to buy/sell etc) about you unless you're serious.

treat them with the contempt they treat you but with a slight sarcastic edge. Seriously they don't get if you're being sarcastic much etc (unless you really spell it out) and a lot of them are as thick as 2 short planks.

LunaLoveg00d Mon 01-Aug-16 14:03:56

I got VERY fed up with the agents not vetting people they sent round for viewing. They either didn't have a hope in hell of getting the mortgage, hadn't even put their own property on the market or were involved in complex divorces. We had already said we only wanted serious buyers, with the funds in place to be allowed to view.

Viewings are a pain in the arse with children, having to keep the house tidy and pristine. You don't want to be doing that for people just wanting a wee nose at your house.

Quite right that the agent is making sure the OP is a serious buyer. OP, YABU.

facepalming Mon 01-Aug-16 14:04:44

when I was selling my house I expected the agent to fully very vet viewers.

It's my home not just a house for sale. Viewings were a necessity of course but I wanted to sell my house easily and quickly so I didn't expect nosy people or those without their finances lined up.

I don't see why you would be bothered about providing the info. It's perfect normal, we all have to do it

Lots of people think they can afford a mortgage because they pay rent etc but when they apply for mortgage they are surprised at what will be lent or how big a deposit they need

BipBippadotta Mon 01-Aug-16 14:04:48

I sold my house recently, and was very grateful that the EAs only allowed people to view who were actually in a position to buy the house. Otherwise what's to stop all the neighbours from turning up for a nosy round? (And my neighbours definitely would). Likewise when I was viewing I had to specify whether I'd accepted an offer on my house, what deposit I had, etc. It's normal. If you want to buy a house you will have to answer these questions.

pinkunicornsarefluffy Mon 01-Aug-16 14:05:37

I have worked for an estate agent and the reason that they do this is to rule out time wasters. We always ask the viewer "what position are you in" and they say, house on market, cash buyer, thinking of selling , got mortgage offer, almost completed, or whatever, and then you can advise the vendor of that position and know whether or not the person is ready to make a serious offer.

Some people don't put their house on the market until they see something they like, but then they can't put an offer in until they have a sale agreed.

In order for the EA to be able to do their job properly then they do need this information, so sorry to say, YABU. An estate agent cannot accept an offer without knowing that you are in a definite position to proceed.

If you proceed with buying a house you will have to provide proof that you either have the funds or a mortgage offer. If you are a cash buyer, then you will need to prove to your solicitor where the money came from due to Money Laundering laws.

Dontyoulovecalpol Mon 01-Aug-16 14:08:27

They don't have to do anything to do with money laundering before they sell you the house. That's tosh.

LurkingHusband Mon 01-Aug-16 14:08:34

Equally does anyone think I should be stating that I have £X in this bank and £X in another bank and £X in the boot of my car and even more under the bed?

AS with most things, no one really cares what you think, but do care about "da law"

I've written software for estate agencies, and I know they are very keen that they don't get long jail sentences because they accidentally helped Carlos-bin-Laden-Escobar squirrel away some illicit cash.

So they will do what their legal bods suggest they do.

HMRC have the occasional nosey too. You'd be amazed how many people who have no income manage to buy expensive houses. For cash.

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