Q.  I have just made an offer on a property that I am keen to purchase but the agent has asked for me to firstly provide proof of my deposit and produce and Agreement in Principle from my Lender before he will put the offer forward to his Vendor. The problem is although I am good for the money and know there won’t be any issues raising the cash I haven’t had the time to go to the bank to organise the mortgage yet. Surely, he can put my offer forward and if it gets accepted I can sort this out afterwards? He also wants me to go in to his office with my ID and proof of address, why is everything so complicated, is he just being awkward?

A.  What your agent is requesting is actually standard procedure for any regulated agent. Firstly, the matter of your ID is a legal requirement and has been for some years, although they have tightened up somewhat over the past couple of years. Strict Anti-money laundering regulations mean that we must ensure that all buyers and sellers for that matter are compliant prior to moving forward with the purchase. Sadly, laundering money via property is big business and everyone is under the magnifying glass. With respect to your AIP (Agreement in principle) this is a basic ask. If we cant go to our vendors with proof that your lender will actually loan you the money the offer is what we would refer to as a ‘reckless offer’ considering without this proof anyone could step forward and say they are good for the money but without the proof the seller will have no idea whether or not the sale will ever make it through to exchange and completion. Any bank, financial advisor or high street lender can turn an AIP out within a matter of days, so this is not a long-winded process and if you are serious should be something you get sorted without delay. This certificate is a game changer for any buyer as it proves that you are serious. Proof of deposit should be simple enough, if you have it yourself a copy of your bank statement or a letter from your banks to confirm funds should suffice. If the funds are coming from a third party like a family member for instance get them to drop the agent an email confirming they are providing the deposit and they will also need to do the same, either attach a bank statement or letter from the bank. Don’t feel victimised by this procedure, rather know that once you have provided all this information you will be seen as a serious buyer and then move forward in hopefully securing the property.