With the average time to sell a house taking anything from 2 to 3 months, according to Gov.uk research, you might be looking into ‘we buy any house’ companies in order to sell your house quickly- especially if you have experienced a buyer pulling out of a house sale. However, before considering this shortcut when selling your property, it is important that you do your due diligence to make sure the business you are dealing with is reputable, so you can avoid we buy any house scams.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
What First Thing Should I Check to Avoid We Buy Any House Scams?
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It might sound obvious, but the first thing you should consider is the legitimacy of the company you are dealing with. These days, it’s easy to get a decent-looking website up on the internet, and market yourself as a professional ‘fast house sale’ company.
A legitimate cash home buyer company will have an office address, so you can make a face-to-face appointment if you wish to do so. They should also be a member of the Property Ombudsman (TPOS) and the National Association of Property Buyers as a minimum. This will ensure that your potential property buyer will adhere to professional standards outlined by TPOS. It also means that they will have the proper insurance in place to protect their customers.
Often, so-called ‘quick house sale’ organisations are merely middle-men, who will pass on your property sale and information to a third party. This is a scam to be weary of, as it means you will not be getting as good a deal as you would be by dealing with the company directly.
Can They Actually Sell Your Property Fast?
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Another way to we buy any house scams is to assess how long it will take them to purchase your property. On average, quick house sale companies can buy your home in 7 days. If they have given you a longer timescale this may mean that they are operating with a third-party company as mentioned above. It is also a good indicator that you may be involved in one of the many ‘buy your house for cash’ scams found on the internet.
Are they offering a Sale and Rent Back scheme?
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What is a sale and rent back scheme? Also known as SARB solutions, this is where the ‘we buy any house’ company offers to purchase your property and then rent it back to you.
For those facing potential house repossession, this may seem like the perfect solution because you no longer need to make mortgage repayments, but you can stay in your home. Although an attractive offer, you will have less rights over your property when you become a tenant, and may be asked to move after a mere 6 months, leaving you in a difficult situation.
A way to avoid we buy any house scams like this is to check that the buyer offering a sale and rent back service MUST be registered with the FCA. This is the only way to ensure that the scheme is regulated properly.
Is this quick house sale company too good to be true?
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As the adage goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. An offer that goes well beyond the market value of your property is probably just to entice you, and will not be the value you get at the point of sale.
If you are interested in selling your house for more money, read our guide on adding value to your property
It is well known that using a property buying company means that you will be profiting slightly less on the sale of your home- this is of course counterbalanced by the convenience and speed of the transaction compared to other methods such as using an estate agency or selling property at auction.
This initial high offer is a tactic used by fake we buy any house companies, and will often result in a reduced cash offer before the final purchase of your property. They want you to use their services, so they overvalue your property, then when the process is near completion you will end up paying hidden fees (including survey or admin fees), or getting a new valuation which they often blame on “external factors”.
It may sound cliché, but your best bet is to go with your gut. After a few dealings with your agent you should get a feel for how they conduct business. Make sure you are told what to expect upfront and kept in the loop at every stage.
Think of the types of questions you want to ask your quick house sale company, they should be open, transparent and honest – If any red flags are raised, you may want to consider taking your business elsewhere and avoid we buy any house scams altogether.
What is the process of a legitimate We Buy Any House company?
- After reaching out to the company, they will be in touch with a cash offer for your home – you should receive this offer quickly.
- If you decide to accept the offer, a trustworthy We Buy Any House firm will then deal with the rest (typically free of charge) – including all the associated admin that comes with selling a property.
- The company will then cover your legal fees
- You will communicate with the property buying company to agree on a completion date (this shouldn’t extend over a month, if it does, you may well be dealing with a scam we buy any house company)
- The sale will then go through, and you can enjoy your newly earned funds!
Ideally this process should mean that you can sell your house fast for a great price! Share your experiences in our comment section below as we would love to hear from you.
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