To buy or not to buy?  That is the question.

My sincere apologies to Shakespeare for the title of this month’s column!  However this month I want to address how to overcome objections from your clients, increase your sales and maximise the time you spend with quality clients by asking the right questions about how they intend to finance their property purchase, and in doing so prevent any future problems for you down the line.

We are often approached by clients who have bought properties off plan and are now in need of finance to complete their purchase as the development comes to completion.  For every one client we help there must be two that we can’t help.  The main reason we are unable to help is that they do not meet the lender’s criteria.  However what is disappointing is that after talking through their circumstances they had been sold the property on the promise of guaranteed finance on completion and in a number of cases they would never have qualified for finance in the first place.  This of course leaves the client unhappy as they have no way of completing on the property and reflects badly on the company that sold them the property and in general gets our industry a bad reputation.

We have even seen circumstances where the client has been encouraged to raise the finance for their deposit against their UK property via a secured loan with the developer making the payments for them.  This is particularly risky for the client because if the developer was to go bust then the client would lose their deposit as well as still have to pay for the loan and have no property to show for it.

Other developers and agents seem happy to let the client sort their own finances out and by doing so they lose control of the sales process.  If the client is declined by their own bank then it is very unlikely that they are likely to shop around elsewhere and will end up either not contacting the agent to tell them or tell them they couldn’t get the money.

The developers and agents we work with at Overseas Mortgage Broker overcome these issues by having a good understanding of how finance can aid their sale and allow them to retain control over the client and the sales process.  We can let a client know the best option for raising their finance be it via an overseas mortgage or via a further advance on their existing mortgage.  What’s more because our introducers refer the clients to us they are ensuring the client gets independent advice from a third party which clients always prefer.  If you are interested in finding out more about how finance can increase your sales then contact us.

We are in a position to be able to tell the client whether based on current market conditions they would qualify for finance on a development if it was available for delivery today.  Against the backdrop of the current scarcity of bank finance, we can hopefully address client’s fears by letting them know if they qualify under the current bank criteria.  If they don’t qualify now we can tell them what they will need to do to qualify in the future.  If, for instance, the client is self employed and is showing little net profit then we can tell them what their accounts will need to show to meet the bank’s requirements.  This will prevent them receiving a nasty shock two years down the line and ensures the client is well informed.  This will also remove a potential sales objection that could stop the client agreeing to proceed with paying their initial deposit.

Even clients who are cash buyers can benefit from talking to an overseas finance specialist.   Although arranging finance will not necessarily be uppermost in their thoughts, if you were to ask them whether they would be interested in being shown a way that they could own two properties instead of one for the same initial outlay then all of a sudden you have their attention and potentially two sales.

My advice is early in the sales process, ask the client, “How do you propose to finance your property purchase?”  That way you will be able to identify how they are going to pay for their property and decide how you can introduce the subject of finance to them to cement your sale instead of potentially losing control of the client.

Now what is that other Shakespeare quote “Neither a lender nor a borrower be.............”