Savills asks house viewers for evidence of mortgage approval, savings and family gifts

5,000 house hunters registered to view 44 homes at the Somerton scheme in Lucan

A computer-generated image of the Somerton scheme at Lucan in west Dublin.

A computer-generated image of the Somerton scheme at Lucan in west Dublin.

 

Estate agent Savills has asked prospective home buyers to provide proof that they have funding before they are allowed to view the new homes scheme it is marketing at Somerton in Lucan.

Those registering their interest have received an email stating that the next phase of the Co Dublin scheme will launch soon and that those interested in securing an appointment to view must complete a questionnaire providing the following details: “an approval [for a mortgage] in principle that is in date; evidence of a Help-to-Buy grant (if applicable); evidence of all savings that will be used in the purchase; evidence of gifts from family members if applicable; if purchasing with cash a bank statement or letter from your solicitor confirming funds are available”.

Only relevant documents are required: those looking to view a home at Somerton might simply wish to offer Savills a letter from their bank or solicitor to say that they have the necessary funds.

Pat Davitt, chief executive of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers, who helped draft the Living with Covid guidelines for estate agents, said that while proof of funds had been a recommendation made to members under Level 4 and 5 Covid-19 restrictions, it was not recommended under Level 3 restrictions.

Savills’ approach will reduce the numbers viewing the Somerton scheme physically. There were some 5,000 expressions of interest for the 44 three- and four-bed houses on sale as part of the latest phase.

Commenting to The Irish Times on the requirement, Savills director of communications Andrew Smyth said: “Due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions we cannot facilitate general open viewings. This is to safeguard the health and safety of all purchasers. As a result of very high demand – several thousand applicants in this instance, the Phase 2 Launch of Somerton can be by private-sales appointment only.

“Therefore, to facilitate a fair and efficient sales purchasing process, we require proof of funds to the value of the property in advance of the private purchaser viewing. Prices were set out prior to the request for proof of finance.”

For potential purchasers attending the actual launch of the scheme – at which people may bid for a property – potential buyers are advised to be “as prepared as possible”. Those interested in securing a house at the launch will need to provide a €10,000 deposit via EFT to Savills on the day, full proof of funds or mortgage approval, and their solicitor details.