Questions to Ask a Quick House Sale Company
Before choosing which company to sell your house to, make sure that you have access to all the information necessary for making an informed decision. If this is not readily available on the website or in other literature, ask for it.
Try asking the following questions. If answers are not forthcoming or seem inadequate, this could be a sign of a dodgy company that will not offer the reliable service you need.
- How long has the company been established for?
- How many houses has the company bought in the past year?
- Is the company a member of the NAPB and The Property Ombudsman?
- Can it share some customer case studies and reviews?
- How does the process work?
- How does the company value a property?
- Can it manage the sale remotely?
- Could the offer price change after you have accepted it?
Is a quick house sale company the answer? Read on to find all the information you need to decide.
Table of Contents
- What Are Quick House Sale Companies?
- The Benefits of Using a Quick House Sale Company
- Are There Any Risks in Selling to a Quick House Sale Company?
- How Do I Choose a House Buying Company?
- Questions to Ask a Quick House Sale Company
- Should I Use a Quick House Sale Company?
- Alternatives to Quick House Sale Companies
- Quick House Sale Checklist
What Are Quick House Sale Companies?
A quick house sale company is the fastest way to turn your house into cash in the bank. A genuine house cash buying company will have the funds to buy your house directly, although some will find a third party to purchase the property.
As the name suggests, the appeal of selling to one of these companies is the speed of sale. This can be as little as 7-days, compared to an average of four or more months for a traditional on-market sale.
The Benefits of Using a Quick House Sale Company
If you’re in a rush to sell, be that to beat the stamp duty holiday deadline, to relocate for work or to make a clean break after a messy separation, a quick house sale company is the fastest way to sell up and move on.
- Reduce the cost of selling: There is no need for an estate agent, and many companies will cover the legal costs.
- Avoid repossession: Selling your house fast may raise more funds to clear debts than if the bank or mortgage lender repossesses and sells the home for you.
- Sell fast: Selling to a quick house sale company is the quickest way to turn your home into cash.
- A guaranteed sale: A quarter of all house sales in the UK fall through before completion. A sale to a quick house sale company is guaranteed.
- No viewings: For many homeowners, viewings can be inconvenient and upsetting. In the current climate, due to COVID, they may be unsafe.
- Sell an inherited property: Managing the sale of a deceased loved one’s home can be emotionally draining. Fast forward the process by selling to a cash buyer.
- No need to spend time and money on home improvements: A house buying company will buy your property regardless of its type or condition.
- Move on from a divorce or separation fast: Avoid having to share your home with an ex while you wait months for it to sell with an estate agent.
- Downsize without the hassle: If you need to move for age or health-related reasons, perhaps even the death of a partner, a fast cash sale removes the stress.
- Relocate fast: Starting a new job in a different location is stressful enough, why add a lengthy house sale to the mix?
Are There Any Risks in Selling to a Quick House Sale Company?
Currently, the quick house sale market is unregulated, which means there is a fair share of unscrupulous companies that will attempt to win your business via unethical sales methods. If you fall prey to one of these companies, there is no protection available, so you must conduct thorough research before choosing a buyer. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) — formerly the Office of Fair Trading — has identified six business practices that should serve as red flags to potential customers.
- Last-minute price reductions: The company makes a high offer initially, then drops the price significantly as the sale nears completion.
- “Hidden” fees: An offer is made and accepted, then extra fees are added as the sale progresses. If the seller does not pay, the sale is halted in its tracks.
- False claims of being a cash buyer: The most reliable quick house sale companies have the funds to buy property directly. Some will pass your details on to a third party, which can cause delays.
- Misleading claims: Beware of companies that claim to pay 100 per cent of the market value; they are probably adjusting their valuation to make it appear that they are buying at a smaller discount than they are.
- Restrictive contracts: If you’re asked to sign away exclusive selling rights to your property for a fixed period, keep searching for a reputable company.
- False promises: Some companies lack the funds to deliver on their promise of a quick sale and will take weeks or even months to complete the transaction.
How Do I Choose a House Buying Company?
As the industry is unregulated, the onus is on the consumer to ensure that the company they use is ethical and reliable. Look out for the following signs of a genuine quick house sale company:
- NAPB membership: The National Association of Property Buyers is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes best practice in the quick house sale sector.
- Registration with The Property Ombudsman (TPOS): The NAPB requires all members to register with the TPOS. If there is a dispute, the consumer can access redress via the TPOS.
- Beware the CMA red flags: If a company engages in any of the “red flag” practices listed by the Competition and Markets Authority, find another company.
- Positive customer reviews: Look for reviews on an independent site such as Feefo. A healthy number of reviews that are overwhelmingly positive is a good sign.
- Contact details: The company should provide various means of contact, including a telephone number, email and postal address.
- Experience: Find out how long the company has been in business, and look for information about the team for an indication of the experience they offer.
- A transparent process: Is the company clear and open about its buying process and how it arrives at an offer price?
- Referred time scale?
- Is the company buying your property directly or will it engage a third party?
- Do you have to sign a contract that gives the company exclusive selling rights?
- Can the company prove that it has the funds to buy your property?
- Are there any fees or charges to pay? (e.g. solicitor’s fees)
Should I Use a Quick House Sale Company?
There may be many reasons why a homeowner needs a quick house sale. Only you can decide if it is the right decision for your personal circumstances and priorities.
Review the pros and cons, and be sure to do your research before choosing a company to sell to. You should also consider the alternative methods of sale available. Which option is right for you will depend on a number of factors including how fast you need to sell and how much cash you need to raise from the sale — which is the most important?
Alternatives to Quick House Sale Companies
- A “traditional” on market sale: Choose an estate agent, and leave them to market and sell your home. This is not the best option for anyone seeking a fast sale, as it can take months or years to find a buyer and then another four months (or more) for the sales process to complete. You’ll also need to accommodate multiple viewings and visits from your agent. However, if achieving the highest price for your home is the top priority, this may be the best option for you.
- Selling at auction: A traditional auction requires the buyer to complete within 28 days of the winning bid. For a modern auction, which is carried out online, the buyer has 56 days to complete the purchase. This can provide a relatively fast route to selling, but there may be substantial upfront costs without any guarantee of achieving a sale. The sale price is also likely to be well below market value — typically around 75-85 per cent.
- Part-exchange (PX): If you have your eye on a new-build property for your next home, ask the developer if it offers a part-exchange scheme. This would allow you to sell your existing home and buy the new property in one swift transaction. This can provide a fast, hassle-free, and streamlined buying and selling process. Its limitation is that PX is only available for new-build properties.
Quick House Sale Checklist
If you decide to sell to a quick house sale company, use our checklist to make the process as smooth and trouble-free as possible.
- Set realistic expectations: The offer you receive will be below market value. However, you will save on estate agent and legal fees, and you can avoid shelling out for home improvements and ongoing mortgage payments — you may be pleasantly surprised by how small the difference is between the proceeds of an on-market sale and those of a quick house sale.
- Do your own valuation: Use the information that is readily available on property portals such as Rightmove to get an idea of how much your house is worth. Compare the recently sold prices of local properties that are similar in size, type and condition to yours. You can also invite several estate agents to value your home. This will help you to ascertain if an offer from a quick house sale company is fair — remember that the price will be below market value.
- Do your research: Shop around for the best quick house sale company. Remember that the “best deal” may not be what it seems. If a company offers to buy your house within a week for its full market value, something is amiss. Look out for dodgy sales tactics, and refine your search to companies that demonstrate their trustworthiness through affiliations with established property bodies, independent customer reviews and experience.
- Ask questions: If you’re unsure about the cash offer you receive or have questions about the process, ask questions. Selling a home is a big commitment, and you need to feel confident that the company you choose can deliver on its promises. A reputable quick house sale company will be happy to provide all the information, answers and time you need to make a decision.
- Get an agreement in writing: Don’t feel pushed into signing a contract that essentially signs over the selling rights to your property for months or even years ahead. However, insist on getting an offer in writing. You should ask for any significant aspect of the agreement — for example, the date of exchange and completion — to be confirmed in writing.
- Be honest: Don’t try to conceal problems with the property or personal circumstances that could affect the sale. These will emerge as the process progresses anyway and could cause delays or a reduction in the offer later on. Quick house sale companies make their profit by selling properties on, and they are not deterred by a house that is in less than optimal condition.
- Read everything before committing: If you are given any written documents to sign, make sure that you read them thoroughly, and ideally, have them reviewed by an independent legal advisor. This will reduce the risk of being trapped in an unfair contract by an unethical company.
House Buyer Bureau has spent over £365 million buying more than 2,100 properties in the past 10 years. We are a member of the NAPB and The Property Ombudsman. You can check out our Feefo rating and independent customer reviews here.
Get in touch with our friendly team of house cash buyers today for your free cash offer. If you have questions about our services, our property experts will be glad to help. We have the funds to buy your home in as little as 7-days!