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‘Buy any house’ firms can help you to raise funds in a hurry
For most people, selling a house for the highest possible price is the main priority. But for some people, time is of the essence. The need for a quick sale takes precedence over all other concerns. And in these circumstances, the traditional way of house selling isn’t great.
There are many reasons why speed might be more important than price. For example, you might be in a hurry to relocate for a new job. You might want to begin your retirement without delay. Or you may even want to stop repossession proceedings before your credit rating is badly affected.
So-called ‘we buy any house for cash’ firms are there for people like you. They either buy houses directly or represent cash buyers who want to buy property without the fuss. Decor, room sizes, location, and other concerns aren’t important. As a result, you can sell your home fast wherever it is, and whatever condition it’s in.
Perform a quick Internet search, and you’ll see that there are dozens of ‘we buy any home’ firms in the UK today. Many of them promise the Earth to get your business. But can they be trusted to deliver? And do they all have your best interests at heart.
We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to choosing ‘buy my house’ firms in the UK. We also ask the question: Is a house buying company the best way to go?
What does a ‘we buy your house’ firm actually do?
‘We buy your house’ companies buy property directly from owners. In some cases, it’s the company that’s providing the funds. But many companies work in conjunction with partners and cash buyers to procure homes fast and without fuss.
A ‘we buy any house’ company wants to buy property as quickly as possible. And because they’re not bothered about aesthetic issues, they’re often willing to make an offer straight away.
- There’s no need for marketing
- There’s no need for property photos
- There’s no need for property viewings
- No negotiations are involved
- The legal process is simple
- There’s no upward property chain
When you combine all of these benefits, the average time it takes to sell a home plummets from three months to as few as seven days.
But there’s no such thing as a free lunch. In return for such a smooth and speedy house sale, the company needs to make money. Some firms will charge upfront fees. But more reputable companies make their money by selling the property on for a profit. You pay for the service in the form of a reduced sale price.
The main benefits of selling to ‘we buy any property’ firms
The need for speed is always the main reason people turn to house buying companies in the UK. In the right circumstances, you can get your hands on the cash you need within just a few days. Whether you’re keen to get on with the next chapter of your life or you need to settle debts, this speed could be invaluable.
There are many benefits involved in selling this way; here are a few of the most impressive:
No fees to pay
Yes, there are a few firms that make money by charging upfront fees with no guarantee of a quick sale. These firms should be avoided at all costs. Thankfully, there are several home buying companies in the UK that pride themselves on charging absolutely no hidden fees or charges. These companies make their money by selling the property on for a profit.
A reputable house buyer will cover all the costs involved in purchasing a home. This includes valuation and survey costs. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, this financial lifeboat could be just what you need.
Of course, you’ll probably have to accept that you won’t get the full market price for your home. But is that such a big deal? After all, you’d have a range of fees and costs to cover if you were selling on the open market.
The reason for selling is irrelevant
If you’ve ever sold a home on the open market, the buyer may have asked your reasons for selling up. To buyers, this is important. After all, they don’t want to buy a home that has structural issues, nuisance neighbours or other serious problems. But when you sell to a national house buyer, your reason for selling is completely irrelevant.
Perhaps you want to downsize and free up cash for your future. Maybe you need to pay off your mortgage before your lender repossesses your home. There are many reasons why owners need a fast house sale. But none of them is important when you sell to a ‘we buy any house’ firm.
As long as you’re the owner of the property and there are no legal impediments to a sale, you can sell to a quick house sale firm without any fuss.
Get a free house valuation
Beware of house buyers that ask for a valuation fee before they’ve made an initial offer. These companies just want to make money out of the desperation of homeowners. And in many cases, they make more money from fees than they do from selling the homes they buy.
A reputable house buyer will provide a free, no-obligation valuation. They’ll do this based on a range of data that’s in the public domain. Recent house price history, sales data and market conditions are all used to accurately value a property.
If you don’t think the offer is fair, don’t be afraid to haggle. And if it’s nowhere near your expectations, walk away. You shouldn’t have to part with a penny throughout the house selling process. And the only contract you should sign is the one that transfers ownership of the property.
Leave the hard work to someone else
Selling on the open property market always involves a degree of work for the owner. Even if you employ a talented estate agent, you’ll still need to help with the marketing of the property. You’ll have to oversee property viewings, conveyancing issues and dealing with the various parties involved.
But when you sell to a fast house buyer, you’re leaving all the hard work and hassle to someone else. A good firm will take the reins from the outside. All you need to do is answer a few questions and sign the final contract when the time comes.
And make no mistake: selling a house involves a lot of legwork. You’d normally have to work with the estate agent to create a property description. You’d need to manage the property viewing process. And you’d probably need to take control of various conveyancing issues.
House buying companies remove several stages of the selling process for your convenience. There’s no need for marketing, property viewings, negotiations and protracted conveyancing processes. Just accept the offer, and let the property experts do the rest.
Initiating a house sale couldn’t be easier
All you need to do to start the house selling ball rolling is make a phone call. Provide as many details about your home as you can, and the experts will give you a tentative valuation almost immediately.
If you’re happy with the offer, consent to a more formal valuation process. You’ll be asked a range of questions, but most on the phone. There are no lengthy application forms to fill in. In most cases, the seller can simply wait for the process to complete — and the money to hit their bank account.
What we buy any house scams should I watch out for?
A lot of people who approach ‘buy any house’ firms are desperate to sell their home fast. And this desperation can be exploited by unscrupulous firms. When people need to get their hands on cash in a hurry, they’re more vulnerable to scams and deceptions.
Selling your home is a massive step — and a huge transaction. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. So, no matter how desperately you need to sell a house fast, it’s always a good idea to think things through fully.
What does a scam look like? In most cases, it looks like a genuine house selling opportunity. Scammers spend a lot of money on marketing, slick websites and friendly customer service teams. They do all of this to gain the confidence of their victims.
Never dive into a house selling agreement without first doing your homework on the company. While a great offer might be very tempting, it may come with some serious strings attached.
Research the firm before accepting an offer
The need for a quick house sale combined with a seemingly generous offer might be cause for excitement. But never judge a book by its cover. The house buying firm might have a stunning website, social media accounts and a dedicated customer service hotline, but none of this should be taken at face value.
To ensure you’re dealing with a trustworthy company, there are a few checks you can carry out:
- Take part in online discussions about house selling experiences with these firms
- Search for independent reviews and testimonials
- Reach out to people who’ve sold a home to the company in the past
- Check that the company is registered with the National Association of Property Buyers
- Check the company is signed up to The Property Ombudsman’s codes of conduct
- Look for wild claims about guaranteed timescales (every house sale is different)
Scammers and fraudsters use a variety of methods to trick homeowners out of money and value in their home. If you’re prepared for all these various tricks, you’ll be able to identify them for what they are before signing up.
The most common scams
Last-minute offer price reductions
Imagine you’ve accepted an offer from a house buying company. You need to sell your house fast in order to stop repossession proceedings. The offer you have on the table is just enough to pay off your mortgage, arrears and costs. But the night before completion, the company contacts you to reduce the offer on your home due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’.
Sadly, this scenario plays out every day in the UK. Owners waste several days in the belief that the offer made by a house buyer is set in stone. Disreputable companies that buy houses for cash do this because they know you don’t have any options left at such a late stage of the process. And they make a lot of money as a result.
If you’re facing repossession in a matter of days, you may not have enough time to start the entire selling process from scratch with a different house buyer. In this situation, you’d be forced to accept the reduced offer. This is, sadly, a practice that affects homeowners in the UK every day.
Unrealistic timescales for buying your home
So, you’ve been promised (verbally) that the sale of your home will be completed within 10 working days. You accept the offer on that basis, as you need to start a new job in a new area in just three weeks. But every house sale is different. And not even the most experienced property professionals can predict a timescale with such accuracy.
Scammers and fraudsters promise very short timescales for a reason — to win your business. Once you’ve signed an agreement (something you should never do), you’re at the mercy of the house buyer.
If someone promises to complete the purchase of your home within days, proceed with caution. Research the company and look for examples of such short lead times. While a reputable company might estimate the timescale involved, they’d certainly never promise it.
Exclusivity contracts or tie-ins
Once an unscrupulous ‘we buy any home’ company has your attention, they don’t want to lose it to one of their competitors. And they’ll go to enormous lengths to stop that from happening.
If you’re asked to sign an agreement before a formal valuation has taken place, proceed with caution. Ideally, you should be free to compare two or three valuations before choosing the one that’s best for you. This might be impossible if you signed up to an exclusivity agreement at the very beginning of the process.
A reputable, trustworthy ‘we buy any house’ company will never ask you to sign up at the beginning of the process. Indeed, you should only be fully committed to proceeding with the sale once you’ve signed a purchase contract. Before then, you should be free to compare offers and change your mind.
Inflated offers to buy your home
A lot of house buying companies will go to great lengths to win your business. And if that means falsely inflating the value of your home, they will promise ‘we buy and house 100%’, meaning they’ll pay 100% of the property’s value. All these companies want to do is to get you to sign a contract at the earliest opportunity. They might say that the valuation is for a limited period, or that it’s predicated on you signing up today.
But if you’re fully up to speed with house prices in your area, you’ll be able to spot this type of scam immediately. Before you start approaching multiple cash house buyers, do some research to find current selling trends in your area. Look for recent house sales data from Zoopla, Rightmove and The Land Registry.
If an offer seems high, raise the issue with the house buyer. Ask how they came up with the figure. Where did they get their data? Where is the precedent for such a high valuation?
Fees and charges
Some house buying companies charge for valuations, surveys and other related services they offer. And that’s fair enough — if those charges are clear and communicated fully at the very beginning of the process.
Sadly, a lot of unscrupulous house buying companies hide their fees and charges in the small print of contracts. Some house buyers are forced to part with hundreds of pounds before contracts have been exchanged.
Always check the small print in any house sale contract before you sign it. Ask an expert to take a look for you if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. And don’t be afraid to ask about fees and charges the first time you contact the company.
Can I still sell if my home needs improvements?
The simple answer is yes. In fact, this is one of the main reasons people choose to sell their home to a quick house sale company. In some cases, the money needed to repair or renovate a property is prohibitive. Rather than spend months trying to find a buyer the traditional way, more and more owners are choosing to speed up the process and leave the hard work to a house buying company.
A reputable house buying company will consider any home, regardless of its current state of repair. Of course, the offer they make will reflect the work needed to bring the property up to standard. But in many cases, that reduced sale price is well worth it. If repairs could run into tens of thousands, it’s often best to just cut and run.
Can I trust ‘we buy any home” companies?
Yes, but there are several unscrupulous firms in the UK who employ a range of dodgy tactics to make their money. The trick to success is avoiding these firms and choosing house buyers that have the best interests of homeowners at heart.
There are a few signs that a ‘we buy any house’ may not be as trustworthy as they’d have you believe:
- Bold claims on their website that seem too good to be true
- Promises on timescales and a completion date
- An unusually high initial valuation
- Upfront fees
- The need to sign an initial agreement at the start of the process
- Bad customer reviews on third-party review sites such as TrustPilot
We buy any house reviews
We buy any house reviews for 2018, and 2019 are easy to find using the internet. Popular websites to check out a property buying company include TrustPilot and Reviews.co.uk. Unfortunately, a number of property buying firms will post ‘fake reviews’ to encourage house sellers to choose them to buy their home. It’s worth browsing around and checking other reviews on websites such as Netmums and money-saving expert. Reviews on ‘we buy any house quickly’ firms can be a good source of weeding out the good from the bad operators but is only a part of any validation process. Check other credentials at Companies House and other trade bodies, etc.
Choose a firm that’s right for your circumstances
Of course, the price you get for your home is important. But simply choosing the company that’s offering the most for your home isn’t always the way to go. For example, a company making a slightly lower offer might have a better track record of customer service and reliability.
Research house prices and your local property market BEFORE you start approaching house buying companies. Be wary of wild promises and tying contracts. And do your own research on the company’s history. Choose the best house buying firm for your specific set of circumstances, and you’ll be able to plan for the future with confidence.
Call us today, and speak to one of our experts about your property selling needs, we buy any house fast!