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A friend of mine would like to buy a flat. It is currently a sellers' market and the agents write:

Along with your offer we require your sales position ie. first time buyer or you have a property to sell etc, along with knowledge of the size of your deposit in comparison to your mortgage requirements.

First part is fine, but why would they want to know her deposit size? Without her salary, they wouldn't be able to do detailed considerations, but I imagine if she has a significant deposit they might think of pressing her for a higher offer.

I think the best thing to do would be to give them either a reference/letter from an independent mortgage/financial adviser saying "it is possible" or a percentage range.

What would you respond? Thank you.

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    I guess that a higher deposit percentage will be correlated with less chance of problems getting a mortgage further down the line. I would also be worried about them using the information for other purposes too though. Apr 24, 2016 at 10:00
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    Give them an offer with the fact that you have funding approved. Any other information is private and irrelevant.
    – user9822
    Apr 24, 2016 at 23:06
  • Agree with Mark here. You need to close a funding line from bank in advance and show the approval letter to the real estate agent. Rest information is not required to be shared.
    – John Locke
    Apr 25, 2016 at 0:37
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    While the above comments are true, and will stand you reasonably well in most areas of the UK - in the South East and London ("Sellers markets" where there are usually multiple buyers interested) then you may find you lose out to buyers who do provide information, if they appear to be a more "guaranteed sale" than you
    – Jon Story
    May 25, 2016 at 15:45

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My guess is they are fishing for business for their in-house finance person.

In the UK, all the estate agency chains (and many of the smaller outfits) have financial advice firms they are affiliated with, often to the extent that a desk in each branch will be for 'the finance guy' (it's usually a guy). The moment you show any sign of not quite having the finances for a place you like, they will offer you a consultation with the finance guy, who "will be able to get you a deal". On commission, of course.

What you need to say with regards to financing is (delete as applicable) "I am a cash buyer" / "I have an Agreement In Principle". And that's it. They do not 'need' to know any more, and they are under obligation to pass your offer on to the vendor.

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Estate agents need the amount of deposit you will put down because they want to be able to assess the viability of your mortgage plans. If you have a high deposit (or are a cash buyer) that makes you an attractive buyer, and they can use it as leverage in your favour. It may also give them an idea of whether you could afford to pay more if you found a more expensive house you really liked.

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