“Why is my agent asking me for proof of ability to buy?”

“Why is my agent asking me for proof of ability to buy?”

(1st posted as  ‘PROPERTY SURGERY 30.4.13’)

Stethoscope and Model House on Gradated Background with Selective Focus.“I’ve made an offer on a property but the agent is insisting that I provide proof of being able to buy and that I must use their mortgage advisor. Can they do this?”

An agent is breaking the law if they insist that you take out services with them as a condition of putting forward an offer for a property and should be reported to your local Trading Standards Office.

However, under The Property Ombudsman guidelines 8a and 8b (Link: http://bit.ly/17uSY9h ), all estate agents have an obligation to “take reasonable steps to find out from the prospective buyer the source and availability of his funds for buying the property and pass this information to the seller.” This means that an agent is required to ask for proof of ability to buy which may take the form of a letter from a financial advisor or, a copy of a current bank account statement. Buyers do not have to give this information but, don’t be too surprised if a seller is more wary of accepting an offer from a buyer who is cagey about putting his money where his mouth is.
Chris

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About Chris Wood: Chris is an estate agent with over 25 years of property experience. His business, PDQ Estates Ltd is based in Penzance and Helston, West Cornwall. He has worked with all sizes and types of businesses from single office independents to the management team and board of RBS and Tesco. A former President Elect of the NAEA and board member of NFoPP until he resigned in 2009, Chris has always championed the highest professional standards for estate agents in the UK. No stranger to the media, he has appeared on various programs including BBC, News 24, ITV, independent and BBC radio and is a regular contributor to trade journals, local and national Newspapers. Chris is on KloutLinkedIn Ecademy Facebook and Twitter Chris lives in Penzance with his two spaniels. In 2010 he mobilised for a tour of duty in Afghanistan with 1 Rifles as part of 3 Commando Brigade.

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