The phrase “Willing and Able” is seldom heard today, as it no longer appears on estate agency documentation. However, it remains important to discover if a prospective buyer for your property is indeed willing and able to proceed, should they express interest in your home.
This is especially the case today, when people are finding it harder to get a mortgage than they did last time they bought. But apart from the obvious financial issues governing the buyer’s “ability” to proceed, there are several other things a good agent will seek to discover when deciding whether or not any offer from the buyer is worth recommending to the vendor (although all are bound to be submitted to the vendor by law)
One of the best questions we ask our buyers is “What has prompted your move?” The answer to this often goes right to the heart of why they are moving. Only then can we offer them properties which will satisfy that need.
Another critical question is “when do you hope to move?” If they say “sometime in the next 12 months” the chance of them buying soon is low. Most good buyers know what they need to achieve and they usually have a date in mind. This date is often linked to school term times, a new job starting, baby due, etc, or it may be to satisfy an acute frustration such as journey time to work. Only when the agent knows what sort of timeframe the buyer has in mind can he/she begin to gauge the buyer’s motivation and hence their willingness to move.
Additionally finding out where they are in the moving cycle can also help us to help you as a vendor. Have they sold their own house yet? If so, what do they understand by the term “sold”!
There’s more than meets the eye to qualifying buyers, and if you’d like your own sale handled with kid gloves, you know who to call!