'What's your buying position?' or just simply 'what’s your position?' - a routine estate agent question that can flummox both first time and seasoned buyers as well as potentially make people feel uncomfortable. But what is really being asked and why do estate agents need that information? Read on to get the full story from , a Sales Negotiator from our Okehampton office.
'What's your buying position?' or just simply 'what’s your position?' - a routine estate agent question that can flummox both first time and seasoned buyers as well as potentially make people feel uncomfortable.
But what is really being asked and why do estate agents need that information? Read on to get the full story from Helena Haywood, a Sales Negotiator from our Okehampton office.
What is actually being asked when an estate agent enquires about your 'Position' or 'Buying position'?
Through this question, the agent wants to determine two main factors for each potential buyer which are key to anyone selling their home - how might a buyer be paying for the home, and what might influence the timeframe needed to complete the transaction. Another element to the question is an attempt to gauge if the buyer is seriously looking for a home, or just someone who likes to look round other people's houses (they exist!!).
Is it really the seller's business how I pay? Aren't they just happy to receive the funds one way or another?
The way a buyer intends to pay is often the most important factor in the seller's eyes - cash transactions are *generally* more straightforward than those that involve a bank or other third party finance organization, so cash buyers are typically preferred - there is typically less chance that a sale will go awry with a cash buyer (though of course there are exceptions to every rule!).
What about the 'timeframe' side of the 'Buying Position' question?
Here the agent is interested in whether you have a home to sell or not, and if you do, whether it is on the market, or sold subject to contract already. A buyer who needs to sell their home in order to fund the purchase of the next one, and who is not yet on the market will almost certainly take longer to be in a position to exchange contracts than one who has already sold subject to contract (better) or is currently renting / staying with family while they look for the perfect home (best).
Why is this information necessary even before a property viewing?
Ahead of a viewing, the question is primarily intended to determine whether a buyer is serious, as the majority of sellers prefer this reassurance before allowing strangers into their home. A serious buyer will be prepared with the answers to these questions ahead of calling to make the appointment. Some sellers however mandate that buyers who have a home to sell are already on the market or sold subject to contract themselves before they can view their home - this was fairly common during the height of the stamp duty-driven boom in the market through 2021, but we are seeing it less in 2022.
It seems a bit of a personal question - can I refuse to share that information with you?
Absolutely! You are not obliged to provide the information until you are at the point of submitting an offer for a property, at which point the estate agent will need to understand how you intend to pay and see proof of those funds, as well as confirm details of your own property sale with your selling agent. Withholding this information might mean that you are unable to view certain properties however, so bear this in mind.
How do I know you'll keep my personal information confidential and safe?
Estate agents are bound by the General Data Protection Regulation (often known as GDPR), so are not permitted to disclose personal information shared with them, and have procedures in place to ensure secure storage of this information, whether digital or hardcopy.
Hopefully this was helpful in deciphering a piece of the jargon that estate agents throw around every day - look out for the next instalment of the Jargon Buster coming soon!