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    • MrsMcEngland
    • By MrsMcEngland 19th Jun 17, 8:19 PM
    • 1Posts
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    MrsMcEngland
    How is a prospective buyer's "cash offer" qualified when they are homeless?
    • #1
    • 19th Jun 17, 8:19 PM
    How is a prospective buyer's "cash offer" qualified when they are homeless? 19th Jun 17 at 8:19 PM
    My property is listed for sale with an online estate agent and I paid extra for them to deal with all viewings. I live some 10 miles away from this property with my husband.

    And, yes, I unwittingly accepted an offer from a homeless person ... needless to say, this "sale" fell through!

    Once I accepted the cash offer at the full asking price, I was inundated with messages direct to my personal email address. This personal information was accessed by the "buyer" from the agency's online portal. This buyer first asked to rent my house "until completion" or be allowed to use my address as their mailing address. Needless to say, I declined.

    Apparently, an estate agent is able to qualify a person's cash offer even when they are homeless and living in a camper van! That was news to me!

    The estate agent saw the person's online bank statement or a screenshot of this - he wouldn't elaborate any further - I think all of his checks were carried out online, not in person.

    I have complained about this but a director of the online estate agency says that this is a perfectly acceptable way of qualifying an offer. He stated that the 'buyer' had a solicitor, so their status wasn't an issue.

    However, although the buyer had entered a a legal firm's details at the portal when they put forward the offer, they almost immediately removed this information. They had not formally instructed a solicitor ! The buyer disclosed to me that they were struggling to instruct a solicitor because of the homelessness issue. This was where I was meant to step in and go to their rescue.

    Obviously, I'm not foolish enough to give a homeless person permission to use either of my properties as their mailing address!

    Regrettably, by the time I discovered that the buyer was homeless, I had already formally accepted their offer through the agency's portal. Approximately four other potential buyers' viewings had automatically been cancelled at the agency's portal and, from online reviews, I gather the messages from the agency are blunt. In addition, my property's status was changed to "sold subject to contract", both online and on the for sale board. I made a special journey to where my other house is to remove the 'SSTC' notice from the for sale board, in the hope that it would not put people off viewing.

    In the three weeks since the bank holiday weekend, although we have reduced the price, there has been much less interest in my house. The house is in a village and I expect people will think that it has had a dodgy survey and is too risky a prospect.

    What a nightmare... next time I sell a house I'm going to employ a local estate agency on a "no sale, no fee" basis!
Page 1
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 19th Jun 17, 8:30 PM
    • 4,564 Posts
    • 9,185 Thanks
    marliepanda
    • #2
    • 19th Jun 17, 8:30 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Jun 17, 8:30 PM
    If they have the money in the bank why does it matter if they have a home, live in a hovel or a mansion?!

    Yes asking to use your address before you sell to them is odd, but being 'homeless' is not an issue

    I don't understand.
    Survey Earnings 2017 - £163
    • Geoff1963
    • By Geoff1963 19th Jun 17, 8:58 PM
    • 646 Posts
    • 400 Thanks
    Geoff1963
    • #3
    • 19th Jun 17, 8:58 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Jun 17, 8:58 PM
    The estate agent saw the person's online bank statement or a screenshot of this
    Can I buy your house if I send you a photograph of some money ?

    Sounds as if the EA was a bit hapless.
    Last edited by Geoff1963; 19-06-2017 at 9:00 PM. Reason: Internet link error.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 19th Jun 17, 9:40 PM
    • 1,720 Posts
    • 2,521 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • #4
    • 19th Jun 17, 9:40 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Jun 17, 9:40 PM
    Can I buy your house if I send you a photograph of some money ?

    Sounds as if the EA was a bit hapless.
    Originally posted by Geoff1963
    It's an online estate agent. Quite how they expected an online estate agent to carry out any checks on this person in person, I can't think.
    • AlexMac
    • By AlexMac 19th Jun 17, 10:02 PM
    • 1,857 Posts
    • 1,629 Thanks
    AlexMac
    • #5
    • 19th Jun 17, 10:02 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Jun 17, 10:02 PM
    You have my sympathies. Selling is stressful enough without incompetent online agents and weirdly time-wasting "buyers" who lose you real potential prospects

    So it is helpful for you to post this cautionary tale... especially as you have no legal redress in the unregulated world of online agents of the "blazing saddles" variety...

    However, your advice...
    ...
    What a nightmare... next time I sell a house I'm going to employ a local estate agency on a "no sale, no fee" basis!
    Originally posted by MrsMcEngland
    is exactly what almost everyone else on this forum has been saying for years.

    Better luck (or judgement?) next time!
    • maninthestreet
    • By maninthestreet 19th Jun 17, 10:15 PM
    • 15,023 Posts
    • 13,351 Thanks
    maninthestreet
    • #6
    • 19th Jun 17, 10:15 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Jun 17, 10:15 PM
    So this 'buyer' has hundreds of thousands pounds in the bank, but has no fixed abode??
    "You were only supposed to blow the bl**dy doors off!!"
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 20th Jun 17, 8:08 AM
    • 22,647 Posts
    • 87,554 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #7
    • 20th Jun 17, 8:08 AM
    • #7
    • 20th Jun 17, 8:08 AM
    So this 'buyer' has hundreds of thousands pounds in the bank, but has no fixed abode??
    Originally posted by maninthestreet
    Perfectly possible. When we last sold, we had "hundreds of £k in the bank," so if we'd bought a motor home and stuck our stuff in storage, that would have been one way to get to know a new area before purchasing in it.

    But I take your point, which implies people need some sort of postal address, even when so much more can now be done on-line.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 20th Jun 17, 8:13 AM
    • 17,934 Posts
    • 13,605 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #8
    • 20th Jun 17, 8:13 AM
    • #8
    • 20th Jun 17, 8:13 AM
    Perfectly possible. When we last sold, we had "hundreds of £k in the bank," so if we'd bought a motor home and stuck our stuff in storage, that would have been one way to get to know a new area before purchasing in it.

    But I take your point, which implies people need some sort of postal address, even when so much more can now be done on-line.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    I agree, I was in this position last time I sold, and while I actually decided to rent before buying again I did seriously consider the camper van option. I wouldn't have considered myself homeless, rather, I'd have categorized my position as between homes. Not having a postal address of my own wasn't a factor, I would simply have used my mum's address for correspondence.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 20th Jun 17, 8:22 AM
    • 14,710 Posts
    • 13,078 Thanks
    AdrianC
    • #9
    • 20th Jun 17, 8:22 AM
    • #9
    • 20th Jun 17, 8:22 AM
    So this 'buyer' has hundreds of thousands pounds in the bank, but has no fixed abode??
    Originally posted by maninthestreet
    They've been living in a "camper". This is a very flexible term, that could easily cover a hundred or more grand's worth of motorhome.
    • jimbog
    • By jimbog 20th Jun 17, 8:29 AM
    • 563 Posts
    • 909 Thanks
    jimbog
    By you accepting the offer the online EA would now presumably get paid which would be their motivation rather than getting to exchange
    The problem with quotations on the internet is that you can never verify their authenticity - Abraham Lincoln
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 20th Jun 17, 8:44 AM
    • 4,833 Posts
    • 4,471 Thanks
    eddddy
    You're essentially saying....

    Your EA was paid a fixed fee in advance, so you suspect they were not very diligent in qualifying a buyer (because they had no incentive to be).

    An EA who was paid on completion might have been more diligent - because they would want to get their fee.

    I tend to agree.

    Online EAs seem to be fine for 'hands-off', 'problem-free' transactions - but not so good otherwise.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 20th Jun 17, 9:21 AM
    • 4,365 Posts
    • 3,721 Thanks
    00ec25
    so on what evidence did you decide to "unqualify" the offer from a homeless person?

    sounds rather like bias to me rather than any real knowledge of their position
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 20th Jun 17, 10:06 AM
    • 9,180 Posts
    • 11,546 Thanks
    hazyjo
    Many people sell up and go into rented, camp, live in a travelodge or live in a campervan - it often puts them in a better buying position. So what if he was under a bridge with a sleeping bag - if he's got cash in the bank, so what?

    Contacting you on your personal email address was wrong. I'd blame the online agents for that.

    There is nothing to say an EA has to 'qualify' anyone's offer. If they do, it's often just an agreement in principle or sight of their bank statement. I can't see what else you would have expected. It's a job for your solicitor.

    One in three sales falls through. If everyone avoided those houses thinking they'd had dodgy surveys, there'd be a lot of long term listings! The one I'm trying to buy has been listed twice before in the last two years.

    I can't see what a local EA would have done differently.

    For those of that have been on this board long enough - we're just grateful they didn't ask to park their campervan on your driveway (go on, someone dig out the link lol!)


    Good luck.
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; film preview; lipstick; Ideal Home Show tickets + afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne; 2 cases of NKD; notebook; bath rack; books; film Premiere; Broadchurch DVDs; lipbalms; hamper (food/wine/Echo Dot/Jo Malone goodies)
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