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29-06-2020, 17:37   #1
crumble_15
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Approval in Principle to arrange viewing

Is it now standard practice for estate agents to obtain the Approval in Principle letter before they will arrange even an initial viewing of a property? Was in touch about viewing a house I'm interested in and estate agent was looking for this letter before arranging viewing. Seemed so strange to me?
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29-06-2020, 17:52   #2
Mr Hindley
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I had to submit, not just proof of AIP, but of the rest of my funding, for a viewing last week. That was a one-off, but it surprised me - it nearly put me off, but I went ahead, as it was a lovely flat.
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29-06-2020, 17:57   #3
Graham
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First time I've heard of an EA looking for AIP just to arrange a viewing.

Personally I don't see it as a positive development and I can't imagine for a minute that it's an approach that would stand up-to scrutiny against data protection legislation.
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29-06-2020, 18:01   #4
Minier81
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If I was providing an aip letter I would ensure the approval amount was obscured. I can understand them trying to weed out timewasters but there is no way they should know your budget.
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29-06-2020, 18:02   #5
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Completely agree (re. approval amount). I mean you'd have zero bargaining power in that instance.
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29-06-2020, 18:02   #6
Canyon86
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Should be mandatory imo.

Gets rid of the time wasters and those out for a nose
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29-06-2020, 18:04   #7
random_banter
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This raises some concern for me as someone who is going into the viewing and buying process at the moment.

Does your AIP letter show the amount you're approved to borrow on it, i.e. the EA will see the amount you have been approved for? I wouldn't be comfortable with that at the start of a process.

Surely it's not in your favour if you're viewing a house of day 300k asking and you're approved to borrow 600k. Would the EA have any motivation to try to spook you into bidding more with phantom bids etc? (Only asking that as I've seen a lot of people here discussing that their EA may be making up bits in order to drive up the selling price). Would he be likely to share that verbally with the seller? Would there be a mentality of "oh they have the money, push the price up" going on? Perhaps that's a very naive view from someone who is new to bidding.

And yes the obvious answer to my post is that it's my choice what I bid at the end of the day.

EDIT: As I was typing, a number of posters raised similar concerns. So we can't all be wrong?
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29-06-2020, 18:17   #8
Graham
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I understand the need for proof of funds (not necessarily AIP) if they're going to accept an offer. Just don't let an EA pressure you into divulging anything more that proof of funds.

I can't in a fit see how it's proportionate to request this level of information for viewings. You may not even want to proceed to making an offer.
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29-06-2020, 18:19   #9
shesty
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No, we viewed a house a couple weeks ago, no letter was requested.

If it was, I would have let the viewing go.None of the estate agent's business what we can afford until we make an offer.
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29-06-2020, 18:19   #10
Marcusm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham View Post
First time I've heard of an EA looking for AIP just to arrange a viewing.

Personally I don't see it as a positive development and I can't imagine for a minute that it's an approach that would stand up-to scrutiny against data protection legislation.
Presumably they are trying to reduce the number of tyre kickers given the continuing limitations on having people in a strange house. Should be capable of sifting the through discussions and I would never disclose anything that showed my cards, however. Can’t blame them for trying. Nothing can be done under data protection as they are merely asking for the data to process. They don’t have it and can’t force you to disclose it to them.
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29-06-2020, 18:43   #11
Graham
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Presumably they are trying to reduce the number of tyre kickers given the continuing limitations on having people in a strange house. Should be capable of sifting the through discussions and I would never disclose anything that showed my cards, however. Can’t blame them for trying. Nothing can be done under data protection as they are merely asking for the data to process. They don’t have it and can’t force you to disclose it to them.
I suspect advice from the DPC would be along the same lines as guidance given to landlords seeking similar information prior to viewings. It's not proportionate. It's not appropriate.

There is no exemption to data protection legislation for "makes things easier for estate agents"

I don't see how telling somebody they must provide data to receive a service can be seen as outside the DPC remit. Whether you decide that is forced or not.
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29-06-2020, 18:48   #12
Graham
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OP, in your position I would be tempted to drop a quick query to the Data Protection Commission here: https://forms.dataprotection.ie/contact

They're pretty good at reminding organisations about their responsibilities and getting them to reconsider how much data is actually necessary.
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29-06-2020, 18:51   #13
Queenio
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I've viewed a couple of houses recently and been asked what our current situation is. As FTB with no lease we are ready to move and I've no problem disclosing that information. I'd also be more then happy to send them a copy of my AIP letter with the limit blanked out. It's none of their business what my limit it. A limit is not a target to my mind and I won't be pushed to spend more than I am happy to pay for a certain property.

That being said if this helps eliminate tyre kickers I'd be delighted. These high bids with nothing to back them up are driving expectations for a price that isn't always reasonable IMO. But maybe I've just been burned by vendors holding out for high asking prices despite sales and offers at that level repeatedly falling through.
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29-06-2020, 18:51   #14
crumble_15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham View Post
OP, in your position I would be tempted to drop a quick query to the Data Protection Commission here: https://forms.dataprotection.ie/contact

They're pretty good at reminding organisations about their responsibilities and getting them to reconsider how much data is actually necessary.
Funny you say this, I have just submitted a query to them. Will update when I get a response.
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29-06-2020, 19:00   #15
Graham
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These high bids with nothing to back them up are driving expectations for a price that isn't always reasonable IMO.
I think most EAs ask for some type of proof of funds before accepting an offer.

IMO that's a reasonable request and covered by the "necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract"
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