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Property Buyers - Code of Practice
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How to Avoid We Buy Any House Scams

avoid we buy any house scams

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. 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?

check for cash house buyer 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 quick check you can do before you even approach a business promising to sell your house fast, is to see if they have any reviews on Google, or even testimonials from previous clients.

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?

we-buy-any-house-quick

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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?

sell and rent back scheme scams

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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? 

sell your house quickly scams

Image credit: Amnaj Khetsamtip/Shutterstock

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.

This 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.

Feature image credit: Alexander Raths/Shutterstock

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