I like to help people. I can’t help myself, it is ingrained in me – initially from my parents, and then corporate training from the high street banks in my early career.
Sometimes however, working in the financial services industry can be, how can I put this nicely, taxing.
I am constantly surprised by a few things, but none more so than potential clients putting an offer in on a property through an estate agent without checking that they can actually raise the finance first of all. You know the drill; a phone call from new client saying: “I need a mortgage as soon as possible” normally translates to ”the estate agents are ringing me every half hour asking if I’ve applied for the mortgage yet”.
Perhaps I am placing blame in the wrong areas here. Surely an estate agent should refuse to put forward an offer unless proof of funds have been provided?
But hang on. That is not a foolproof strategy either, as I still hear examples of corporat’ estate agencies insisting on potential buyers seeing their in-house mortgage adviser before putting an offer forward, or even allowing them to view properties.
I explain to clients who are embarking on their homebuying project that they should think of their relationship with the estate agent like the TV programme Countdown.
If prospective buyers go in all guns blazing when making an offer for a property, expect young Tarquin in his shiny suit to be pressing his timer button like Nick Hewer. Those 30 seconds will pass rather quickly before Tarquin expects applicants to be moving things forward.
That is not sales pressure, that is self-inflicted pressure. Those who make an offer without the finance simply will be chased by an estate agent, who is just doing his or her job.
Stuart Gregory is managing director of Lentune Mortgage Consultancy