Direct, but there is a reason behind us asking someone who rings up requesting to view a property whether they are ‘proceedable’. By this, I mean that they either have the money to purchase the said property, or can get the money via a mortgage, a house sale or winning the lottery but not from the money fairy who lives with the mortgage gnome under the toadstool at the bottom of the garden. As an estate agent, we have a contract with the vendor; we therefore are disposed to act in the best interests of the vendor. This includes not taking bus loads of people to view the property who do not have the financial ability to even make an offer on the property. Last weekend I had a phone call from someone who wanted to view two properties: one on the market at £100,00 and one that was being marketed at £225,000. Acknowledging the difference in price, I asked what exactly they were looking for and how they planned to fund the purchase. All reasonable enquiries. Actually, no. Having digested the torrent of abuse that came down the ‘phone line including amongst others, the origins of my parentage, I realised that the question that I should have posed, was, “What time did matron say that you had to be back?”
In all seriousness, viewing a property with the possible option of purchasing it, is not the same as going into town to wander round the shops because you don’t have anything better to do with your time. More often than not, the property being marketed is somebody’s home; they live there with their family and although they have chosen to put their property forward for public viewing it should not turn into a free-for-all with people turning up at all hours as an alternative leisure activity. It is the responsibility of the agent, in looking after his or her client – the vendor – to establish the credibility of potential viewers. If you are a prospective purchaser, be prepared to answer some straight forward and wholly reasonable questions.