Cash property buyers can be a great alternative to estate agents or auctions. How do you find the best property buying company though? Do you check reviews or possibly the purchase price from the market value you could get? Well, there are many factors in choosing the best property buying service.
Whilst there are plenty of legitimate businesses out there, there is, unfortunately, a lot of scammers or middlemen who are not genuine cash buyers. We’ve been helping customers for many years and have seen all sorts of people, scams and businesses come and go and we will give you the low down on what to spot to avoid getting scammed by a ‘we buy any house’ company.
While you are looking for a UK property buyer when selling your house it’s also a great idea to ensure you know the difference between a traditional estate agent and a ‘fast house sale’ company.
An estate agent can take some time to sell, whilst local estate agents may have buyers waiting it’s still not fast enough according to Zoopla the average time to complete is up to 115 days.
During 2020-2021 extreme price fluctuations in the housing market has resulted in thousands of pounds increase so the 115 days might cost you in the long run.
Property buying company
Cash house buyers or ‘UK property buyers’ will buy properties via a ‘cash offer’ it essentially means they buy the property for a lump sum, this tends to be on roughly 85% of the market value as they’ll make a profit reselling at a higher market rate.
The service is especially helpful for properties that estate agents are unable to sell or when you need to sell your house fast e.g. divorce, repossession etc.
Avoid a scam
It can be daunting with so many scammers calling themselves’ property buyers’ but with no cash, funds to buy anything. This means they either outsource the property sale which takes time and run the risk of them not finding anyone and having to lower their offer which when you are dealing with short timescales is beyond frustrating.
There are some that just sell your data to their ‘selected partners’ and are a middleman and the final are essentially just estate agents who will attempt to sell via a traditional means.
So how to avoid a scammer? In the same way, you research when looking to buy online you should research who you are looking to sell to.
Check items such as:
How long have the property buyers been in business
How many reviews do they have?
Are they all in one place or in many e.g. check Google, Feefo third party sites are great as they need to be verified.
Are the people leaving reviews genuine e.g. do they have a history, are the reviews in-depth?
Do they have proof of cash funds? Don’t be afraid to ask for proof!
Do they have proof of properties they’ve worked with recently?
Are they easy to get ahold of? No one likes being ghosted.
Do they have a valid company? A UK company in the property sector has to follow UK laws.
Do they have a valid address? Not a residential property either.
Are they members of an association like TPOS or the NAPB? We strongly advise you to use companies who are members of associations and follow their code of conduct.
Are there any hidden fees or costs? There should never be any fees on top of the cash offer, everything should be included.
Common sense mostly prevails and never rush into anything and never be afraid to ask questions, companies like SpeedPropertyBuyers never pressure customers and offer advice and if the service is not for you, we will say. We’re experts in the UK property market and we’ve helped thousands sell their houses fast, get a free cash offer today with no obligation.
Common questions about UK house buying companies
Is the cash house buyer industry legitimate?
Whilst there isn’t regulation in the industry it is a legal practice as you are selling your property for an agreed price. As it’s not a regulated industry non-for-profits like the NAPB have been set up and you should be wary of ‘too good to be true’ offers. You can also get advice from The Property Ombudsman though they are unable to legally do anything other than help with advice.
How do I find a buyer?
There is one quick and simple way to find a buyer for your house and that is to Google it! There are a lot of UK property buyers around and you shouldn’t necessarily select the first one you come across, check reviews, incorporation dates and if they’re members of any associations that might add to their credibility.
How do I sell my property UK?
There are a few ways in which you can sell a property in the UK:
Traditional estate agency – The most common way of selling, the agent takes a commission (base on the open market value of the property) and you’ll have other fees like solicitor fees etc. The process can take a few months and is one of the longer ways to sell a property.
Auction – A bit faster than an estate agency it requires fees paid upfront and there is no guaranteed sale at the end which means you may have to start all over again.
Property cash buyers – Whilst you wouldn’t get the full market value you are able to cash quickly and the process can be completed in a week or so. One other bonus is there are no legal fees and any type of house in any condition is acceptable from an inherited property to a dilapidated one, even land in some cases.
Private sale – Perhaps the least common is a private sale, this is less common as it’s on you to do all the paperwork and checks and any problems there isn’t much of a fallback but you can negotiate your own price.
Can a buyer walk away?
Absolutely, unfortunately, until you have contracts exchange mutual consent means nothing. One of the top reasons people look to use a fast house buyer is due to a sale falling through amongst other reasons. It helps guarantee a quick house sale without the worry of a buyer walking away. In Scotland when you make an offer on a property it becomes legally binding which is why gazumping is less prevalent.
You should estimate to get around 85% though this will vary on location, company and many other aspects of the property and the property buying company. Do not be misled by anyone offering 100% of the market value are either trying to scam you or will be unable to buy a property fast and most likely trying to force you into a more traditional method at best.
Are there any other costs to expect when selling to a reputable house buying company?
Usually, the cash buyer will “pay cash” into your bank account once the legal exchange has happened and contracts are exchanged. Normally the initial offer will match up once a surveyor confirms the details. You should not have any costs (costs such as survey fees, legal work etc.) from the property buyer and the money offered should be the money you receive. The whole process should be stress-free.
Best property buying industry links -
The Property Ombudsman – Created in 1990 it aims to help customers and property transactions through a code of practices. It helps deal with complaints and disputes.