It's important to note that as agents, we must act in the best interests of the landlord. This means the maximum rent achievable while at the same time reducing any risk of potential issues. The decision to move forward must always come directly from the landlord, and not ourselves.
When you make an offer, this is not in itself securing the property for you. A tenancy is subject to:
the landlord's consent
the signing of the tenancy agreement (or contract)
As part of our process, we ask you to complete our 'Tenancy Application Form' which goes through a series of factual questions and statements designed for the landlord to get to know more about you and your situation.
Things that are generally seen as a positive are:
the rent amount is the same or higher than someone else
the rent is paid in full for the tenancy (6 months or 12 months in advance)
there is no adverse credit history (CCJs or bankruptcy)
employment that can be easily verified with a higher income than someone else's
a history of being in a tenancy already with easily verified landlord's reference
having a pleasant appearance on the viewing (dressed appropriately) and having a generally good natured attitude - remember while you're looking at the property, we're looking at you!
Things that can possibly be seen as a negative are:
offering a lower rent amount than someone else
adverse credit histories such as CCJs or bankruptcy
tricky employment situations such as unemployment, or self-employed for less than a year or part time employment earning less than the threshold needed to afford the rent
Needing to have a guarantor vs someone who doesn't need a guarantor (see when When are Guarantors needed)
If tenants come with pets or children as this could increase the chances of the property being damaged
having an awkward email address like 'firstname.lastname@example.org'
having an unpleasant appearance on the viewing (dressed inappropriately) or being rude
Usually, from this information, the landlord is able to make a decision, and we'll inform the successful applicant. We'll then need to collect the referencing fee to secure the property, however, if this is not paid promptly, the landlord may decide to go with the second choice so don't delay!
Sometimes, a landlord may receive two offers and the situations are identical. In this case, the landlord may not have a preference and decide to go with the first person who is committed to paying the referencing fee first. In this situation, we'll process all applications at the same time for all interested parties who will, in turn, receive an email inviting them to register and make a payment online. The first person that makes a payment is the one the landlord will go with. Everyone else will then receive a second notification email shortly after saying on this occasion they were unsuccessful.
Rarely has this happened, but we have had an occasion where two people, with the same offer, paid, at the same time (11:53am) to be exact! In this case, we referenced both parties and the first one to come back as acceptable is usually the one the landlord will decide to go ahead with.
"Can I make an offer without viewing the property?" - Unfortunately no. See, Can I secure a property without seeing it?
"Can I pay cash on the viewing?" Unfortunately no. We don't handle cash, and we need to ensure all viewers have the same chance of submitting their offer.
"Can I be the first to view the property?!" - We do our very best to book people in as soon as possible. We can't ensure everyone is first to view a property, but we do ensure all offers are put to the landlord, even if you're not the first to view the property.