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Selling a House After Divorce: Making the Process Quick and Simple

cutout of man, woman and house

When people get divorced, there are several steps to take before you go your separate ways — one of which is the division of marital assets. In this post, we’ll provide some advice for selling a house after a divorce.

 

Deciding who gets the family home is often the aspect of a divorce that causes the most stress and hostility during the legal proceedings. If you are in the midst of a divorce or are divorced and need a quick and efficient way to sell your home, our experts can help. 

 

What Are the Benefits of Quickly Selling a House after Divorce?

The divorce process can prove to be a very challenging time for everyone involved, so it’s not uncommon for both parties to seek solutions that allow them to part ways as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, selling a house after a divorce is no different to selling a property at any other time, so opting to sell on the housing market tends to be a lengthy affair with the potential for delays and other issues (such as broken property chains).

 

With that said, if you opt for a quick house sale, you not only guarantee a cash buyer without delay, but you also avoid all of the hassles that come with selling a property. For divorced couples — who have already experienced their fair share of legal hurdles and paperwork — the time and money saved in this regard are most welcome.

 

So, How Can I Sell My House Quickly?

 

Although marital assets such as money, belongings and trusts can be divided between two divorcing parties pretty quickly and efficiently once a financial settlement is reached, selling a house after a divorce isn’t as simple. It can prove to be a problem for spouses who need to sell the family home to fund their new living arrangements. Fortunately, we can help you to sell your property with a quick and simple service that not only allows you to move on with your life as swiftly as possible but also relieves you of unnecessary stress during a particularly stressful time. 

 

Our process begins with a consultation. You provide us with the details of your property and what you’re looking for in regards to price. Then we indicate what we could pay for your home. At this point, we will discuss the various selling options available to find a solution that suits your needs. The next step is to get your property valued — then we will make a formal offer. This offer is subject to contract and a survey. 

 

From here, the next step is to instruct lawyers and schedule an RICS survey. We work with a panel of expert lawyers who are familiar with the quick sale market and can work as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality. By using our recommended lawyers, there is no cost to you, and we also arrange an RICS survey to ensure there are no issues with the property.

 

Why Should I Choose the House Buyer Bureau?

 

That’s a good question, and one you should ask of any company when it comes to matters such as selling a house after divorce. Your property is likely the most valuable asset you and your partner share, so its sale must be handled by an experienced and reliable group of professionals. That’s precisely what you get with a quick house sale with the House Buyer Bureau. 

 

With the help of our experts, you can see your property sold within as little as a week. We achieve this with no legal, estate agent or valuation fees to pay and no viewings, delays or long chains — just the assurance of a sale at the most competitive price.

 

Are you selling your house after divorce and need to do so as quickly as possible? Get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation and discuss your options with our team of experts.

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What Is the Cost of Selling a House in the UK?

Piggyback with house in background

Selling a house can be an expensive business. From estate agent fees to early repayment penalties from your mortgage lender, the costs soon add up. What’s more, almost half of all house sales in the UK fall through before completion costing sellers an average of £2,727 in unrecoverable legal and marketing costs. Unfortunately, selling on the open market leaves homeowners vulnerable to a failed sale as the buyer is legally entitled to change their minds until exchange occurs. Unless the seller chooses to take the house off the market, they will have to bear the costs of selling again when they find a new buyer.

In this blog, our team of property experts have broken down the main costs of selling a house to help you budget and make savings where possible. 

Selling via a house buying service such as House Buyer Bureau allows homeowners to avoid many of these costs and bypass the misery of failed sales. Why not contact us to get your cash offer today?

The Cost of Selling a House

Estate Agency Fees. An estate agent will typically charge a homeowner a fee of 0.5%-3% (+ VAT) of the sale price to manage the sale of their home.  On a home costing £234,742 — the average house price in the UK according to the UK House Price Index — that’s a whopping £7,042.26 at a fee rate of 3%. Even at the average rate of 1.25%, the seller would be charged £2934.28; a considerable sum. 

 

Conveyancing Fees. Every homeowner must instruct a solicitor or licenced conveyancer to manage the sale of their property. The average conveyancing fee for selling a £234,742 property is £1,170. The amount will increase with the value of a property. In addition to this fee, there will be several administrative costs to cover, including a fee to send the title deeds to the buyer (around £6), the cost of money-laundering checks (£8 per person) and a fee for transferring the final sale funds (around £40). If you’re using certain types of “help-to-buy” funding, such as a Help-to-Buy ISA, there will be an additional charge for processing the transfer of these funds.

 

Remortgaging Fees. If you choose to end your current mortgage and move to a new provider, there may be exit fees to pay. These vary but are typically between £50 and £300. Early repayment charges may also apply and these range from 1-5% of the loan amount. 

 

The Cost of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Anybody selling a property must provide the buyer with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) that details the energy performance of the property and what can improve it. An EPC will cost between £50 and £120 and is valid for 10 years.

 

Removal Costs. These can vary wildly depending on the number of possessions you need to transport, how far away you’re moving and the level of service you require. Some companies will charge a fixed fee for the entire job; others will set an hourly rate. There may be additional costs if the job takes longer than expected or if transporting your possessions requires extra effort such as dismantling furniture or protecting valuable items. Insuring your possessions will be a further cost to budget for if this is not included in the removal quote.

 

In addition to these outgoings, don’t forget to factor in the ongoing costs of mortgage repayments while you wait to find a buyer, days off work to manage the move and the potential cost of making home improvements to increase the chances of the property selling. 

 

Ways to Cut the Cost of Selling

 

Swap Estate Agents or Go Solo. Agent fees vary considerably. Shop around to find the best deal or negotiate with your current agent. If your home is high-value or you are willing to agree to a sole agency contract, the agent may well accept a lower percentage of the sale price. You can also save a considerable amount by switching to an online estate agent as these are generally more affordable than high street agencies.

 

No rule book states a homeowner must engage the services of a professional estate agent to sell their property. Sell your home privately or use a house buying service and there will be no agent fees to pay at all.

 

Port Your Mortgage. To avoid exit or early repayment fees, port your existing mortgage to the new property. Porting is fairly straightforward unless your new home is a lot more expensive than your current property.

 

Use an Existing EPC. If you bought your home less than 10 years ago, you might be able to use the certificate purchased by the previous owner and avoid this cost. 

 

Hire a Van and Enlist the Help of Friends. Removal costs can quickly skyrocket. If you have a relatively small amount of possessions to transport, it might be more cost-effective to hire a van or several vans and ask a trusted friend to help you move. However, don’t be tempted to cut corners if you need the expertise of a professional company. Saving a few pounds on removal fees will be a wasted effort if you have to make dozens of trips to move everything or a valuable item is destroyed. 

 

Use a House Buying Service. This is the fastest way to sell a house, meaning no ongoing mortgage repayments, utility bills or maintenance costs. There are also no estate agent fees and no need to spend money on improving the condition of your home. House Buyer Bureau will buy any type of property in any condition or location in the UK. Compare the costs of a sale with us to using a traditional estate agent here

Our team of property experts will give you the best cash offer on the market. We can offer up to 80% of the market value for a quick cash sale or up to 90% for a 120-day guaranteed sale — we are the ONLY people to offer this! Contact us today for your cash offer.

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“My House Won’t Sell” — How to Move out and Move On

For sale sign on whitewashed house

Has your house been on the market for months with not so much as the hint of an offer? Or have you only received offers far below the property’s market value? Waiting for the right buyer to come along can be a long and stressful process.

According to research by The Advisory, it took an average of 129 days (4.2 months) to sell a home in the UK in 2019. However, it can take even longer if your home is in poor condition, located in an unpopular area or is an unusual building. Additional factors, such as the time of year and the “heat” of the market can also affect how long it takes to sell a property.

So why isn’t your house selling and what can you do to boost the chances of clinching a deal?

Why Isn’t My House Selling?

 

  • The asking price is too high. The most common reason homeowners struggle to sell is they have set the asking price too high. This can make it difficult to secure viewings, let alone offers. Properties that are priced too high and then reduced take months longer to sell than those priced accurately in the first place.

 

  • A poor estate agent. The choice of estate agents can be overwhelming, from traditional high street agents to online operators. But not all agents are created equal. If yours isn’t being proactive in securing viewings, has poor customer management skills or has too many clients to handle, your property will take longer to sell.

 

  • Ineffective marketing. Buyers have access to hundreds of property ads online and if your home isn’t marketed well, they’ll swipe on by. An ad that lacks multiple high-quality images, detailed information and floor plans will not make a potential buyer pick up the phone to request a viewing. 

 

  • Getting a mortgage for your property is difficult. Traditional mortgage lenders are less keen to lend for the purchase of certain types of property, for example, unusual buildings or flats above shops. This reduces the pool of potential buyers to those who can meet the lender’s stringent criteria or those who can afford to buy without a mortgage. 

 

  • A “cold” housing market. There is a wide range of events and circumstances that contribute to market heat. If there is a recession or political uncertainty, such as Brexit, houses may move more slowly and higher prices could be harder to achieve. 

 

  • The property lacks “curb appeal”. An uncared-for home is much harder to sell than one that is clean, tidy and well-maintained. If the property is not well presented for viewings, potential buyers may find it hard to envision themselves making it a home and are unlikely to make an offer.

 

  • It’s the wrong season to sell. Property moves at different rates depending on the time of year. Spring is typically a good time to sell with lots of people looking to buy. In contrast, the build-up to Christmas tends to be quiet with most people putting their moving plans on ice until the new year.

 

  • Your property chain puts buyers off. If you’re in a long property chain, potential buyers may worry about the risk of a break further down the chain causing problems and so can be reluctant to make an offer. 

 

How to Move out and Move on 

 

If you’ve identified any of the above problems, what can you do to increase your chances of finding a buyer and get moving?

 

  • Re-evaluate the asking price. Some estate agents inflate their valuation in a bid to get your business. This can result in a high asking price that puts people off. Take a look at similar properties (size, location, condition, etc.) that have sold recently and those that have been sitting on the market for some time. This research should give you a good idea if you’ve priced your home too high.

 

  • Switch estate agents. If your estate agent isn’t pulling their weight, shop around and ask friends for recommendations. There are also some helpful estate agent comparison tools online. Try to understand why your current agent isn’t getting results and take your list of expectations to some different agencies to find one that can serve you better. Alternatively, ditch the estate agent and go it alone. There is no rule to say you must use an estate agent to sell your home. 

 

  • Improve your property ad. Consider using a professional photographer to take some new photos of your home, showing it in the best light without being misleading. Make sure your advertisement contains details relevant to the target market. If you are selling a large family home, make it clear it has a large secure garden and an excellent school nearby. If you don’t have floorplans in your current marketing, add them.

 

  • Ask for feedback. Asking potential buyers for feedback after viewings can provide valuable insight into why the property isn’t selling. Does everyone say the house looks smaller than in the photographs? Add some more accurate images to your ad. Are lots of people put off by the messy garden? Spend a little time or money giving it a good tidy. 

 

  • Complete basic repairs. If some small repairs need doing, such as broken window sills or dripping taps, it’ worth spending a little effort checking these off the buyer’s to-do list. Additionally, removing vibrant and very personal decor such as patterned wallpaper and brightly coloured wall paint, can make the home more neutral and help potential buyers imagine themselves living in the property.

 

  • Take the property off the market for a while. If the market is cold or it’s a slow time of year for property sales, consider taking your home off the market until things pick up. This will save you the time, hassle and money involved in trying to sell against all the odds. Furthermore, a house that has been on the market for some time may make potential buyers wary or more likely to make a low offer. Put your home back on the market when properties are moving quickly.

 

  • Move into rented accommodation temporarily. Properties marketed as a vacant possession are attractive to buyers as there will be no property chain on one side and no need to wait for the current owners to move out. Equally, by moving into rented property short-term, you will increase your appeal as a buyer because you will be chain-free.

 

  • Sell to a house buying service. This is the fastest way to get a guaranteed sale. House Buyer Bureau buys any property in any condition or location. We can provide a cash offer almost immediately and once the valuation is complete and a firm offer made, the completion can take place in as little as seven days. There are no estate agent fees to pay and although the cash offer will be less than the market value, this makes little financial difference when the costs of a traditional sale are taken into consideration (agent fees, repair work, mortgage repayments). 

If you’re struggling to sell your home, House Buyer Bureau can help. We are the UK’s favourite house buying service and have helped hundreds of customers sell up and move on. We typically pay 80% of the market value and with our new 120-day guaranteed sale we can offer up to 90%. Contact us for your cash quote today.

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The House Selling Process: The ABCs of Moving Home

House selling process flow diagram

 

 

Whether you’re new to the house selling process or have sold a property before, there’s a lot to remember and check off the to-do list. The average time for a house sale in the UK currently stands at 18 weeks. Why so long? Because with a traditional sale on the open market, there are plenty of hoops to jump through.

 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the house selling process step-by-step, so you’ll know exactly what to expect and how to prepare. 

 

A Step-By-Step Guide to Selling Your House

 

 

  • Assess your finances. Before putting your property on the market, crunch the numbers first, so you know how much money you’re likely to have towards a new home. This will help you to decide if now is the right time to sell as well as guide your property search.

 

 

Request a few valuations from local or online estate agents and take the average as a realistic expected sale price. You can also look at how much similar properties have sold for on property search sites.

 

Contact your mortgage provider to check what the remaining balance is and whether there will be any early repayment charges if you decide to purchase a new property with another lender. To avoid these charges, it may be possible to port your existing mortgage to another property. 

 

Consider the costs of selling, which include estate agent fees, conveyancing fees, early repayment charges (if applicable), energy performance certificates, costs of home repairs and removal costs.

 

Subtract the costs of selling and the outstanding mortgage balance from the expected sale price to give you an estimate of how much you could walk away with. Until the house sells, this figure is an approximation as there’s no way to tell exactly what the final sale price will be — nor when the property will sell (which will affect the cost of ongoing mortgage repayments and the outstanding loan amount).

 

 

  • Choose an estate agent. Hundreds of estate agents will be happy to take your business, from traditional high street agents to online agencies. The effectiveness of your estate agent can have a significant impact on how quickly your home sells, so take the time to do some research and solicit recommendations from friends and family.

 

 

Alternatively, manage the sale yourself. Many people are unaware that using the services of an estate agent is not mandatory. Check out our guide to Selling a Property Without An Estate Agent and save yourself the fees.

 

Either with the help of an estate agent or through your research, decide on an asking price and start marketing the property.

 

 

  • Gather the necessary documentation. You’ll need to compile various documents to sell a property. It’s a good idea to locate and organise these early on to avoid stress and delays later in the process if you discover a document is missing or does not contain the information required. There’s no need to wait until you have a buyer. 

 

 

Your conveyancing solicitor is likely to require the following documents:

 

  • Proof of address and a photo ID — such as a utility bill and a photo driving licence.

 

  • The Title Deeds to your property — if you can’t find these, contact the conveyancing solicitor who managed your house purchase or your mortgage lender.

 

  • A TA6 Seller’s Property Form — this is one of the few documents a seller cannot prepare before finding a buyer as the buyer completes it and passes it on to the seller’s solicitor. However, you can download a template form from the Law Society website and prepare answers to the questions in advance to minimise delays further on in the process.

 

  • If you lease your home or own a share in the freehold, there will be additional documents required. These include proof of the lease or share of the freehold, a TA7 leasehold form and a “management information pack.”

 

  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) — you must purchase this before placing the property on the market. Most estate agents will offer you an EPC.

 

  • Fittings and contents (TA10) form —- the seller must detail what fixtures and fittings to include in the sale and what they will be taking with them. 

 

  • Information about your mortgage — your solicitor will need to know who the lender is and what the outstanding balance is

 

 

  • Complete home improvements. It may seem like a questionable investment to spend time and money completing repairs or making cosmetic improvements to a home you won’t be living in soon, but it can help a house to sell more quickly and for a higher price.

 

 

Some improvements will add more value than others. Converting a garage into living space or improving the energy efficiency of a property are two of the best ways to add value to your home. If you’re not keen on spending the time or money to undertake major works, small improvements such as tidying a messy garden or adding a lick of paint to external walls can add some much-needed curb appeal.

 

 

  • Instruct a conveyancing solicitor. Your solicitor will manage all the legality of the house sale. As with an estate agent, a badly chosen solicitor can result in delays, so choose with care. You should instruct a solicitor as soon as you have accepted an offer. Fees will vary, but the cheapest solicitor is not always the best option. Word-of-mouth recommendations tend to be the best way to go.

 

 

 

  • Offer, exchange and completion. Once you have an offer you’re happy with, formally accept it via your estate agent (if using one). Either party can change their mind up to the point of exchange when the transaction becomes legally binding.

 

 

Any negotiations on price, fixtures included, exchange and completion dates or other matters must be completed before exchange occurs. Once contracts are exchanged, completion typically takes place in seven to 28 days. Completion will be handled entirely by the solicitors. Your solicitor will also pay off any outstanding mortgage fees as soon as completion has occurred. 

 

 

Final step, move out!

 

 

Want to Skip a Few Steps and Sell Your Home Fast?

 

Phew! That’s quite a lengthy, complex and not to mention expensive process. Why not skip a few steps and sell your home in as little as seven days with House Buyer Bureau? There’s no estate agent fees and no need to spend money on home improvements — or wait months to find the right buyer.

 

We can offer a guaranteed sale in a time that suits you. The cash offer we make will be slightly under the market value of your property, but when compared to the time, hassle and expense of selling on the open market, it’s an attractive choice for many sellers. Take a look at some example figures here.

 

House Buyer Bureau is the UK’s favourite house buying service. We offer a professional, quick and hassle-free way to sell your property. Contact us today for your cash offer.

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Moving Out? This Checklist Will Keep You Organised [Free Download]

Moving Out Checklist

Moving house can be one of the most stressful events in a person’s lifetime. In a recent study of 2,000 adults by E.ON, 62% of people voted moving home their most stressful life event. Research shows the average person in Britain moves five times in their life with each move causing over three months of stress. Does it have to be that way? Is it possible to minimise the stress involved and make moving house an organised and exciting time? 

 

Our team of property experts at House Buyer Bureau have compiled this handy moving out checklist to help things run smoothly. 

 

Moving out Checklist

 

 

1. Redirect Your Post and Change Your Address

 

 

For 25% of those polled in the E.ON survey, remembering to redirect post and the address listed with all relevant providers and companies is one of the most stressful aspects of moving out. 

 

To reduce the stress of worrying about lost mail, don’t leave this until the last minute. Create a list of all the service providers and companies with whom you need to change your address and number them in order of priority. In the top spots, you should have your bank, the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) and your employer. Remember, it’s a legal requirement to have the correct address on your driver’s licence. Failure to update your address with the DVLA could result in a £1,000 fine. Also, update your delivery address with any companies you regularly order goods from. You can do this in minutes via the company website.

 

Set up a redirect with Royal Mail to make sure any post that slips through the net and winds up with the new owners of your old home makes it back to you. Redirects can be put in place for three to 12 months and cost between £33.99 and £66.99 for one person.

 

 

2. Get Insurance for Your New Home

 

 

Anyone buying a new home should be offered various types of insurance by their mortgage provider. Buildings insurance is often a condition of a mortgage offer. Make sure you set up your new home insurances to start when you move in. If the moving date changes — especially if it is brought forward — don’t forget to bring the policy start date forward too. 

 

If you’re moving into rented accommodation, it’s advisable to take out rental contents insurance to protect belongings in your new home.

 

Don’t forget to get insurance for the move too. This will protect you if your possessions are lost or damaged in transit. 

 

 

3. Take Final Meter Readings and Inform Your Suppliers

 

 

When moving out, contact the suppliers of utilities, internet and television services to let them know you’re moving on. It’s a good idea to put this in writing with a clear date of termination.

 

You should also take final meter readings and submit these to the gas and electricity suppliers. Many providers now provide online client portals making this quick and easy. Even if you wish to stay with the same provider in the new property, it’s important to end any contracts tied to the property you will no longer be living in. This precaution will prevent you from being landed with bills after you move out.

 

 

4. Update Your Details on the Electoral Roll

 

 

If a person fails to update their details on the electoral register, they could lose their vote. The government sends out a form asking for the details of residents in a property before an election, but you should get in touch with them as soon as you move. 

 

The government website has a “Register to Vote” service you can use to change your address online.

 

 

5. Organise Your Packing

 

 

Whether you’re transporting your own belongings or using a removals company, it’s important to pack them carefully and keep everything organised. This will significantly reduce the stress of unpacking and finding a home for everything at the other end. It will also reduce the risk of damage. 

 

Invest in some strong boxes, bubble wrap and tape. Don’t forget to label every box. Labelling will help you to quickly sort boxes into the appropriate room in the new property and to prioritise what needs unpacking first. 

 

 

6. Take Photos to Aid Re-Assembly

 

 

If some items of furniture need taking apart for transport or technical equipment needs disconnecting, take photographs to make re-assembly easier. For example, a computer is likely to have multiple leads connected to the monitor, speakers, microphone and more. A quick snap of the set-up will make putting it all back together a breeze. 

 

 

7. Book Time off Work

 

 

Many people try to squeeze a house move into a weekend or the one “moving day” permitted by an employer. This can make moving out extremely stressful, especially if you have kids and pets in tow or if you’re moving a long distance away.

 

Allow yourself enough time to make the house move comfortably. That doesn’t have to mean taking two weeks off and only returning to work when you’ve unpacked every box. But allowing time to transport belongings, set up basic utilities and make the space habitable will save you a lot of hassle and stress. Perhaps consider using a local babysitter or kennels to care for children and pets for a few hours while you get settled. 

 

One of the major stresses involved in moving out is having to keep to someone else’s schedule. Selling on the open market often means the date of completion is not ideal for both parties and there is a rush to move out before your buyer moves in. Using a house buying service such as that offered by House Buyer Bureau puts you in control of when you move. We can arrange for the completion of the sale in a time scale to suit you — and there will be no-one itching to move into your home the second you load the first box into the removals van. 

 

House Buyer Bureau is the UK’s favourite house buying service. There are no legal or estate agency fees and we offer the most competitive cash price for your property. Contact us today to get your cash offer.

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How Long Does It Take to Sell a House in the UK?

Calendar with sell house written

 

Selling a house on the open market can be a frustrating and lengthy process. According to The Advisory’s “Time to Sell” benchmark study, the average time to sell a house in the UK, from the first day of marketing to completion, was 18 weeks in 2019. Some homeowners can be left waiting for much longer if their property is in an unpopular location, needs extensive work or is an unusual building. Almost half of all house sales fail before completion, leaving the sellers to start the process all over again. 

 

So what factors affect how quickly a house sells and how can you speed up the process?

 

Reasons Your House Is Not Selling

 

The asking price is too high. The Advisory’s study found that overvaluing a property is the top reason a house does not sell. Furthermore, if the asking price is too high and subsequently reduced, this may add months to the time it takes to sell. An overpriced property will attract fewer viewings, which means fewer chances to sell.

 

Poor marketing. Many people start their property search online. If an advert does not include images or the photographs used are of poor quality, there’s a good chance potential buyers will swipe on by. Equally, ads that lack sufficient detail or are not well-written will fail to attract attention. Homeowners who choose not to erect a “for sale” board could also miss out on passing trade. 

 

Market heat. Properties are easier to sell in a “hot” market and sale prices are typically higher than those achieved in a “cold” market. Recent political turmoil and uncertainty over Brexit resulted in some industry professionals predicting a decidedly “cooler” property market in 2019. However, house prices did, in fact, increase slightly and there is optimism that the market will heat up after Britain leaves the EU.

 

Ineffective estate agent. There is a wide range of estate agents to choose from on the high-street and online. However, not all agents work to the same standards. If your agent is not sufficiently pro-active, this will impact the number of viewings booked and consequently, the time your property takes to sell. 

 

Poor presentation. Properties that are untidy, cluttered and uncared for will lack the necessary curb appeal to attract offers. Externally and internally poorly presented houses are off-putting to buyers and can give the impression a lot of work is required to make the property habitable.

 

How to Sell Your House Quickly

 

If your home is taking a long time to sell, there are some steps you can take to increase the chances of a sale. If your house is not yet on the market, consider these factors before you start to advertise.

 

Set a fair asking price. Obtain several valuations from a few estate agents. Don’t simply go with the highest offer — some agents are inclined to overvalue a property in a bid to get your business. Research the recent sale prices of similar properties and look at those that have been on the market for a long time to gauge what is a realistic asking price. 

 

Take the time to market the property well. Consider who is most likely to be interested in buying your home — families, young professionals, retired couples? Highlight the features and local amenities that will appeal to the target audience. Make sure your estate agent takes high-quality photographs that show the property in its best light. If you’re selling without an agent, consider hiring a professional photographer. 

 

Time it right. There is little you can do to control market heat. However, if properties are moving slowly and not attracting high prices, you might consider waiting until the market improves before advertising your home. If a speedy sale is needed, a house buying service such as the House Buyer Bureau can provide a guaranteed fast sale in any market. Once a firm offer has been made and accepted, the funds can be in your account in as little as seven days.

 

Choose an estate agent with care. Ask friends and family for recommendations and check out the types of property the agency sells. If you have an estate agent and they don’t seem to be pulling their weight, consider switching to a different agency. Alternatively, manage the sale yourself. No rule says a seller must use an estate agent.

 

Declutter, tidy and repair. Take the time to complete any minor repairs that make the property look untidy, such as broken door handles and peeling paint. Make sure the house is tidy and free of clutter for viewings. Spending a little time and money sprucing up a property will pay off when potential buyers view your home.

 

Consider selling to a house buying service. This is the fastest way to sell a property. There are no estate agent fees to pay and completion can occur in as little as a week after a firm offer is accepted. The sale price will be less than the property’s market value, but when the price achieved through a traditional sale is compared to that of a cash sale, the difference is less than you might think

 

House Buyer Bureau is the UK’s favourite house buying service. We buy all types of property in any condition or location. Complete our 60-second cash enquiry form and we’ll be in touch with a cash offer in principle. 

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7 Tips to Sell Your House and Get a Fair Price

Picture of a property with a sold sign outside

 

Selling a house can be a stressful and lengthy process, but it doesn’t have to be. It takes an average of 50 days to find a buyer for a property, but this varies significantly across regions and types of building, with some homeowners waiting years to sell. So how can you speed up the process without compromising too much on price?

 

Check out our top seven tips on how to sell your house for a fair price.

 

 

Price It Right

 

 

Make sure you have a realistic idea of what a “fair price” for your property is. Don’t just rely on an estate agent to tell you what figure to set the asking price at. There’s a good chance they will tell you what you want to hear to gain your business.

 

Do a little research into comparable properties that have recently sold. Many property websites will list historical sale prices. Make sure you are comparing properties similar to yours in terms of location, size, condition, neighbourhood and access to amenities such as schools, transport links and shops. Properties that are priced too high and then reduced typically take longer to sell than those valued accurately in the first place. 

 

It’s also worth looking at properties that have been on the market for a while and failed to sell. If there is a surplus of properties like yours in an area, you’ll need to factor this in when deciding how much to ask. 

 

 

Undertake Basic Repairs and Cosmetic Work

 

 

It can be difficult to motivate yourself to spend the time and money on repairs and cosmetic work when you know you won’t be staying in a property. But ticking off a few quick wins could make the difference between receiving offers and obtaining a fair sale price and watching your home sit on the market for months. Many buyers will be put off by a long list of required repairs and updates. They are also more likely to battle on price.

 

There’s no need to undertake major renovation work, but if there are some simple jobs you can complete to increase the property’s curb appeal, they may be well worth doing. Tasks such as tidying up the garden, painting the windows and cleaning the carpets require little time, effort or money. Yet they can help potential buyers appreciate the potential of a property and see themselves living there. Selling a house that needs repairs for a fair price is perfectly possible if the homeowner is willing to put in a little extra effort. 

 

 

Consider Selling to a Cash Buying Service

 

 

The fastest way to sell a property is through a cash buying service such as the House Buyer Bureau. We are one of the UK’s favourite house buying services and we can offer completions in as little as seven days.

 

We pride ourselves on offering a transparent and fair service that follows industry best practice. Unlike many similar companies, we do not engage in any attempts to trick or mislead customers

 

It takes just 60-seconds to complete our online enquiry form. Once we have your information, one of our friendly team of experts will be in touch to make a fair offer for your property. House buying services will sell on the properties they purchase for a profit, so the price offered will be less than the market value. However, when the costs of selling through a more traditional route are compared with using a cash buying service, the difference in how much the seller receives is surprisingly little

 

 

Hold an Open House

 

 

It’s surprising how few sellers consider this option. Holding an open house is a great way to conduct multiple viewings in one hit, which means less hassle and potentially a speedier sale. It can also attract competition between buyers, which may help boost the final sale price.

 

There’s no obligation for sellers to be present at an open house — you can elect for it to be run by an estate agency, just as you might for traditional viewings. However, many buyers like to ask the current owners questions directly and seeing the current occupiers in person can help viewers to see the property as a home and one they could live in. As with regular viewings, makes sure the property is well-presented with clean furnishings, clutter tidied away and pets moved elsewhere.

 

 

Know Who Your Potential Buyers Are

 

 

There is certainly no one-size-fits-all when it comes to property. It’s impossible to make one house appeal to every potential buyer. Zone in on the types of buyers most likely to make you a good offer and pitch all your marketing efforts to them.

 

If you have a large five-bedroomed house with a generous garden and a top-rated school nearby, target families. Make sure the property ad is placed in relevant publications and worded to appeal to these buyers. Highlight the amenities and property features that will have them picking up the phone and booking a viewing. If you are conducting your own viewings, emphasise these features again as people walk around the property. 

 

 

Consider Hiring a Professional Photographer

 

 

Whether you’re using an estate agent or going it alone, it may be worth spending a little money on getting professional photographs taken of the property. As more and more people shop for property online, images have become an increasingly important way of making a house stand out to viewers who are quickly swiping through ads on their phone. 

 

A professional property photographer will understand how to capture your home in its best light without misleading potential buyers about what to expect. You can’t sell a property if nobody even comes to view it — so having images that entice potential buyers is essential.

 

 

Shout about the Mod Cons

 

 

Many people are looking for a property they can move straight into with very little work required to shape it into the home they want. Increasingly, this means access to high-tech mod cons. 

 

If your area has access to high-speed broadband via fibre optic cables, make sure potential buyers know about it. Have you invested in “smart” technology such as a Hive system that allows the heating system to be operated remotely from a mobile phone app? Shout about it! Mod cons could be the deciding factor that makes a buyer place an offer on your home instead of another property. These seemingly minor details can also help to bump up the sale price — buyers may be more inclined to add on a few thousand to the house price than go to the hassle and expense of installing such systems themselves. 

 

Sell Your Home Fast and for a Fair Price with House Buyer Bureau

 

If you need a quick sale and are looking for a fair cash quote, why not spend 60-seconds to complete our simple online enquiry form? Once we have your details, a member of our team will contact you with a cash offer, which is finalised once we have valued your property. Completion can take place in as little as seven days after exchange!

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The Ultimate House Sellers’ Checklist [Free Download]

House Sellers Guide 2020

 

How can you sell your house quickly and with as little hassle as possible? Moving house is one of the most stressful life events, but it doesn’t have to be. Our team of property experts at House Buyer Bureau has created “The Ultimate House Sellers’ Checklist” to help you get the sale you want in a time-scale that suits you. We’ve added the checklist as a free download too — print it out and take it away with you for easy reference to make sure you don’t forget anything important.

 

 

Spruce up Your House

 

 

Before you even think about listing a property, take the time to view it from a potential buyer’s perspective. Is there a lot of clutter disguising the space available and blocking entryways? Does your house lack curb appeal because of a messy garden or peeling window paint? It’s worth spending a little time, and possibly money, to get the property looking its best before calling the photographer round or hosting viewings. 

 

 

Christen Your Home

 

 

There are plenty of little tips and tricks that could help a house sell more quickly and for a better price. One such gem is to name (or rename) your home. A pretty cottage called “22 Periwinkle Cottage” is likely to be much more appealing to potential buyers than “22, The Lane”.  The difference this small change can make to the sale price can be quite staggering, yet it costs the seller as little as £40. To get started, contact The RoyalMail’s “Address Maintenance Unit” department. 

 

 

Set a Fair Asking Price

 

 

Invite several estate agents to value your house and don’t be tempted to go with the agent recommending the highest figure. A recent Which? report found setting an asking price that is too high is the number one reason a property fails to sell. Do your research as well as asking the professionals. Compare recently sold properties similar to yours (in size, location, neighbourhood, condition, etc.) to get an idea of a fair asking price that will lead to a quick sale. Also, look at similar properties that have been on the market for some time — there’s a good chance they are priced too high.

 

 

Choose an Agent or Go It Alone

 

 

Choose an estate agent you trust and have confidence in to do a good job. Word-of-mouth recommendations are often a good place to start, but also consider the type of properties the agent sells, how established they are and the service on offer (opening hours, number of agents). Alternatively, save yourself the agency fees and go it alone. Many people believe they must use an estate agent to sell a house, but an increasing number of people are choosing to sell without an agent. Another option if you don’t want to shell out for estate agency fees is to sell through a home buying company such as the House Buyer Bureau. This is the fastest way to sell your home.

 

 

Market the Property

 

 

If you’re using an estate agent to sell a property, they should manage all the marketing for you — including taking photographs and placing ads locally. If you’re managing the sale yourself, it’s worth investing in some professional pictures to show the property in its best light and increase the number of viewings booked. Advertise in local publications aimed at your target audience. For sellers using a house buying service, you can skip this step altogether! 

 

 

Hire a Solicitor

 

 

Once the property is on the market, start looking for a local solicitor to manage the legal aspects of the sale. There’s no need to hire anyone until an offer is accepted, but it can be less stressful to have someone lined up well ahead of time. Ask friends and family for recommendations and choose a professional who specialises in conveyancing. 

 

 

Consider Holding an Open House

 

 

Unless you’re selling to a house buying service, your estate agent will need to book potential buyers in for viewings. These can be conducted either by the agent or the seller. An open house is a great way to allow numerous viewings to take place on one day during a fixed period. This reduces the inconvenience to the seller, who might want to avoid countless individual viewings. It also encourages competition between buyers — which could result in a higher final sale price.

 

 

Compare Offers and Negotiate

 

 

Sellers who are lucky enough to receive multiple offers will need to compare these and choose the best one, or reject them all and keep the property on the market in hopes of a better offer. Don’t focus solely on the offer amount. While this is important, other factors may sway your decision. For example, a first-time buyer or a cash buyer will have no chain, so the risk of the sale falling through may be lower than for someone in a long chain. Selling to a house buying service means there is no risk of a failed sale due to a broken chain. If time is of the essence and a guaranteed deal is of paramount importance, complete our 60-second form and one of our expert advisors will be in touch with a cash offer in principle.

 

 

Agree to the Sale

 

 

Whether you’re selling on the open market via an estate agent, going it alone or using a house buying service, you’ll need to formally accept an offer to start the sales process. At the point of exchange, the buyer can no longer back out of the sale. Until this point — which can take months to reach — there’s no guarantee of purchase. A house buying service will ensure the sale after the completion of valuation and a formal offer is made. The funds can be in the homeowner’s account in as little as seven days after the offer has been accepted. Homeowners selling on the open market will have to wait for completion day to receive the proceeds of the sale. It takes an average of 12 weeks from acceptance of an offer to completion — if the sale does not fall through as happens in almost half of all house sales in England and Wales.

 

Sell your house quickly and hassle-free with the House Buyer Bureau. It takes just 60-seconds to complete our online enquiry form. Once we have your information, we will make a cash offer in principle. We will then value your home and make a firm offer. If this is accepted, we can release the funds in as little as seven days. There are no estate agents fees to pay and we buy properties of all types, regardless of condition. Compare the costs and income between a traditional sale and a House Buyer Bureau sale here

 

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What Are the Benefits of Equity Release?

A notepad with equity release written on

The equity release market is expected to exceed £5 billion in 2020 as more homeowners become aware of this option to raise funds. There are many reasons homeowners may consider this option — for instance, to raise funds for home improvements or to clear debts. However, many people are still uncertain about how equity release works, so they cannot make an informed decision about whether it is right for them.

 

In this blog, our team of property experts at House Buyer Bureau will highlight some of the benefits this type of financing can provide. We’ll also take a look at some potential implications of equity release to help you decide if it’s the best choice for you.

 

How Does Equity Release Work?

 

Equity release allows homeowners to boost their finances by taking out a loan secured on their home. It’s only available to people aged over 55 and you must repay the loan when the property sells. 

 

There are two types of equity release. 

 

In a home reversion scheme, an equity release company buys a fixed share of your property from you. The company only makes money on its share when the property sells. You can choose how much of your property to sell. If you sell the whole property, the company will only get its hands on your home when you decide to sell or if you die. Until that time, you can continue to live in the property as you did before you sold it. 

 

Lifetime mortgages tend to be a more popular choice. The loan has a fixed interest rate and there are no regular repayments to make. Your debt is “rolled up”, which means interest still accrues each month, but this is added to the final amount due when the time comes for you to repay the loan after you sell the property.

 

What Are the Benefits of Equity Release?

 

  • Home reversion schemes allow a degree of flexibility and control as the homeowner can choose exactly how many “shares” to sell. Similarly, you can take out a lifetime mortgage for as little as £10,000 and apply for more as needed.

 

  • Lifetime mortgages protect borrowers against “negative equity”. This occurs when a property’s value is less than the mortgage secured on it. Some lenders will allow the homeowner to pay off the interest on a lifetime mortgage gradually, leaving more value in the property when it sells or if you die.

 

  • Equity release allows homeowners to access a lump sum of tax-free cash when they need it.

 

  • Homeowners do not have to sell their house and move to raise the funds they need.

 

  • Equity release allows homeowners to control their debt without losing ownership of their home.

 

Things to Consider

 

  • Equity release companies offering home reversion schemes will offer a price well below the shares actual value. This is because they will not make any money until the property sells, or the resident/owner dies. Some schemes of this type will expect more than 70% of your home’s value for a 20% advance, making it an expensive way to borrow money! 

 

  • Unless a lender permits gradual repayment of the interest, a lifetime mortgage can result in very little value left in the home at the time of sale or if the homeowner dies. This could make purchasing a new home difficult and would mean there is little money to pass on to loved ones in the event of your death.

 

  • Even if you only sell a small share of your property, the responsibility for maintaining the building lies with you. This obligation can be time-consuming and costly, especially as you grow older.

 

 

  • If your property is leasehold and has less than 75 years to run or if the property’s value is less than £70,000, you will not be eligible for equity release. 

 

  • Some lenders charge eye-watering early repayment fees — 25% is not unheard of. This makes switching to a more affordable provider almost impossible.

 

  • Interest rates can be high, resulting in a repayment amount that can be as much as double the amount borrowed.

 

Alternatives to Equity Release

 

Equity release will allow an eligible homeowner to raise cash relatively quickly. However, it’s an expensive way of borrowing money. Selling your home to a house buying service such as House Buyer Bureau provides quick access to a lump sum, without the requirement to pay back high-interest rates over the years to come. A cash offer is less than the market value of a property, but when compared to the cost involved in equity release schemes or selling your home on the open market, it’s a pretty good deal. There are no estate agency fees to pay, no months of covering the mortgage while you wait for a buyer and no debt to repay. 

 

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation cash offer for your property. Once approved, you could receive funds in as little as seven days.

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Here’s What to Do If You Want an Instant House Sale

Model home for sale

Selling your house need not be a stressful or time-consuming experience. If you need to move quickly — be that to release some capital or to relocate — there are ways to get moving fast. 

How Long Does a House Take to Sell in the UK?

There is no simple answer to this question as the time it takes to sell a property varies significantly between geographical areas and different types of property. Research by TwentyCi in 2018 found that properties in London took, on average, 2.5 times longer to sell than similar homes in Edinburgh.

Once an offer has been accepted, it takes an average of three months to complete on a property in the UK. However, if you’re in a chain, this can be as long as six months — if you’re lucky.

Suffice to say, taking the traditional route — engaging the services of an estate agent, waiting for the perfect buyer to appear and crossing your fingers for a swift, problem-free sale — will not provide an “instant” sale.

How Can I Secure an Instant House Sale?

There are plenty of ways to speed up the process of selling a house, which you can learn about in our blog. But there are fewer options if you need an instant sale. 

 

Sell to a Cash Home Buying Company

 

The quickest route is to sell to a cash home buying company. It’s the only way to guarantee a sale that’s turned around in a matter of weeks.

At the House Buyer Bureau, we’ve made the process quick and simple. Take 60-seconds to complete a short form, wait for one of our friendly team to call with a cash offer, allow us to survey your home, agree to the firm offer and within as little as  seven days you will receive the proceeds of the sale. There are no legal, valuation or estate agent fees to pay and we will offer a fair price for your home. This offer will be less than the market value, but you’ll have access to cash fast. You can see an example of what we pay in comparison to a traditional sale here. Looks pretty great, right? 

 

Auction Your Property

 

When someone commits to buy a property at auction, exchange takes place the same day and the buyer has 28 days to complete the sale.

This isn’t as fast as using a cash house buying service and there is no guarantee of a sale, but if you get lucky, it’s certainly quicker than putting a property on the market and hoping for the best. You can set a “guide price”, which is how much you feel the property is worth, along with a “reserve price”— the minimum you’ll accept for a sale.

 

Part Exchange (PX) Your Property to Buy a New Home

 

If the reason you need an instant sale is to fund the purchase of a new-build property, part-exchange will allow you to buy your dream home without selling your current home first.

Many new build developers offer PX, whereby they accept your property as part-payment. The property developer buys your house and deducts its value from the sale price of the new house. The amount the developer is willing to pay for your house is based on two independent valuations and it may be less than the market value. However, if the home you are buying is worth at least 30 per cent more than the one you’re selling, it’s a good deal for the developer and they should offer a fair price. There are no estate agent fees to pay and the process should allow you to purchase your new home instantly.

Of course, this is only an option for those looking to make a quick sale to buy a new build.

Final Thoughts

There are other options for speeding up the sale of your property, such as reducing the asking price, agreeing to an assisted house sale or renovating the property to make it more attractive to buyers. But the above avenues offer the only chance you’ll have to sell anything like “instantly”. 

The House Buyer Bureau is the UK’s favourite house buying company. We pride ourselves on delivering a transparent and fair service that is quick and straightforward to access. Why not take 60-seconds to complete our online enquiry form? Once we have your details, one of our friendly team will call with a cash offer.

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How Quickly Can You Sell a House?

Banner reading Selling Fast

There may be many reasons why a property owner needs to make a quick sale. Whether you’re relocating for work or in need of a cash injection to support a new business venture, there are ways to speed up the process of finding a buyer and avoiding the UK’s lengthy property sale process. 

According to research by Zoopla, it takes an average of 50 days to find a buyer and almost half of all sales fall through. Add to this an average of 11 weeks to move from an accepted offer to completion and it’s understandable why people in a hurry are keen to find ways to circumnavigate the system. 

What Factors Impact How Quickly a House Sells?

Asking Price. The factor that has the most impact on how quickly a property sells is the asking price. Homeowners who set an inflated price and subsequently reduce it have to wait a lot longer to find a buyer than those who ask for a realistic fee at the outset. 

The Market. Some factors are out of the control of the vendor. The current property market — which is impacted by political and economic factors — will impact whether buyers or sellers have the upper hand. 

Your Solicitor. It may surprise and shock some vendors to learn that the quality of the solicitor chosen is a major factor in how quickly a house sells. Solicitors are not all created equal and a tired, overworked or under-qualified legal representative can set the sales process back significantly.

Location. Another factor that is out of the vendor’s control. There are vast differences in the rate of sale between regions and cities. Properties in Scotland move faster than anywhere else in the UK.

Other factors that may play a part in how long it takes to secure an offer and complete on the property include the buyer’s position, the length of the property chain, the condition of the property — even the time of year!

How Can I Speed up the House Selling Process?

Setting a Lower Asking Price. By asking for a lower price than is being demanded for similar properties on the market, sellers can generate immediate interest and potentially spark a bidding war that will boost the final sale price beyond that asked for competing properties. Accepting a lower offer from a housing buying service may also be a shrewd move that will make less financial difference than you might expect. There are no estate agent fees to pay, no need to make expensive cosmetic repairs in a bid to make a sale and your mortgage payments will stop as soon as the sale is finalised, which can be as quick as seven days after the final offer is agreed.

 

Take Action. If you have no estate agent to rely on yet a quick sale is necessary, pro-activity is the answer. Commit all you have to make a sale happen. Put your social life on hold for a few weeks and accept every viewing that comes your way. Keep tabs on your solicitor to make sure they are pushing as hard as they can to keep things moving — a house won’t sell itself and all the hard work will pay off. 

Choose Your Solicitor Carefully. Don’t just go for the cheapest option. Take some time to research and talk to several local solicitors. Are they qualified with a good amount of experience? Do they have specialist knowledge in conveyancing — and have you heard positive reviews of their service? Many solicitors will work on a “no move, no fee” basis, which can provide peace of mind. 

Consider Using a House Buying Service. If you really need to sell your house fast (in less than eight weeks), a house buying service is the only option. It takes seconds to provide the information needed to get a cash offer. If you decide to proceed with the service, it’s quick and straightforward. There will be a valuation of the property and a final offer issued. Once a price is agreed, the funds can be in your account within seven days. 

Prepare Your Property. If there are minor repairs such as leaking taps or dirty carpets, it’s worth taking the time to rectify these issues before viewings. Make sure the property looks it’s best for viewings. Tidy away clutter, take pets to a sitter and schedule appointments when the house looks it’s best.

Key Takeaways

How quickly can you sell a house? How long is a piece of string? Many factors impact the speed at which an offer is received and subsequently, how long it takes to complete. But there are some sure-fire ways to speed up the process if time is of the essence. A professional house buying service removes the hassle and time involved in the traditional process of selling a property.

At Home Buyer Bureau, we pride ourselves on our commitment to offering a transparent, fair and efficient service. It takes 60 seconds to complete our online enquiry form. You’ll then receive a call from one of our friendly team of experts who will make a cash offer for your property. Why not get started today?

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Where to Go For a Free House Valuation

House Cash Buyer Giving Free House Valuation

If you’re looking to sell your home or keen to get a valuation on a property development project, where is the best place to go? There’s no need to pay out for expensive estate agent fees to get a good sense of how much a property is worth

Check Property Sites

Property sites like Rightmove and Zoopla can give sellers a good idea of what similar properties in their area have recently sold for and how much people are currently asking for their homes. When considering what asking price to set, review properties with a comparable postcode, floor plan and level of presentation. Don’t focus solely on the asking price for current properties on the market; check out historical sale prices too. What people want often differs from what they get!

Contact a House Buying Service

The House Buyer Bureau can provide a cash offer based on a 60-minute online enquiry form. We will need to visit and value the property, but once a sale fee is agreed, the funds can be in your account within  seven days. The initial cash offer is completely free and will give you a good understanding of the value of your home for a cash purchase.

Consult the Land Registry

The Land Registry is the definitive guide on data relating to real sales of properties in England and Wales. Consult the UK House Price Index for average house prices by country and region. Bear in mind that the data is based on prices for a month or two prior.

Review Housing Market Forecasts

The property market is never static, so if you have your eye on selling a property, it’s a good idea to keep up to date with industry trends. House Price Crash is a fantastic source of up to the minute insights into the property market that can help sellers make sensible decisions. 

Monitor Property Heat Maps

Property heat maps are an at-a-glance way to find out where property is moving fast and where it may be more difficult to sell. They can inform your advertising tactics and aid decisions regarding asking price. 

What Factors Impact a Property Valuation?

There are a multitude of  factors that may impact the recommended asking price for the property and its final sale price. 

Location. A property in a city centre or other prime location will attract higher valuations. 

State of Repair. A property that is ready to move into will generally attract higher offers than one that needs a considerable amount of work.

Supply and Demand. Demand will always outstrip supply for certain properties — be that due to the unique nature of the property or its location. 

Interest Rates. When interest rates rise, so do mortgage repayments. This makes the property less valuable to consumers, who cannot afford inflated mortgage rates.

The Current Market. This is a difficult one for potential buyers and sellers to swallow as it is totally beyond their control. The political and economic outlook of the country will impact property valuations. 

Energy Efficiency. There is an increasing focus in the property sector and amongst consumers on energy-efficient property. Some homebuyers may simply be keen to keep their outgoings low. The energy rating of a property can affect its salability. 

Renovation Potential. Whether the buyer is a family or a property developer, most will want to leave their mark. A property with an unconverted loft or outbuilding will be more valuable and easy to sell than one without such amenities. 

Get a Free Valuation Today

The House Buyer Bureau prides itself on offering a quick, easy and user-friendly valuation service. Start the process today by completing our 60-second online enquiry form to receive a call with a cash evaluation. 

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How To Sell Your House Fast in 2020

Pendulum showing house on one side and money on the other

I Need to Sell My House Quick — What Are My Options?

Do you know anybody who has enjoyed selling their home? Decisions about buying and selling a home can be some of the most stressful and important choices we make, especially when there is an added time pressure or unexpected life circumstances to juggle. 

There are a variety of ways to sell your house, ranging from estate agents to auctions and assisted sales. But with the average property sale taking 4.2 months, what happens when you need to sell your house quick? Whether you’re in the middle of a divorce, relocating abroad, going through financial hardship or any other circumstance that means you want to sell your house quickly, selecting the right method for a fast and hassle-free house sale will help ease the pressure. So what are the options when you need to sell up quick?

Going the Traditional Route

When you’ve got a lot on your plate, researching different ways to sell your home can seem like the least of your worries. Using traditional methods including estate agents and online property portals may seem like an easy option, but they can be extremely long, costly and stressful processes. 

If you’re considering opting for a local estate agent, it is also worth remembering this will usually lock you into a contract — and despite their persuasive demeanour, there is no guarantee that your house will sell quickly. Online property portals can also be a drawn-out process. Although you can reach a larger audience and are free of estate agent fees, you will need to factor in the cost of a solicitor as well as — in some cases — making sure you’re free to do viewings.  

Taking Your Home to Auction

You may have seen TV programmes like Homes under the Hammer that make house auctions seem like a quick and easy way to shift your house. Selling your home at an auction is an option you may be considering. But in reality — much like the traditional routes explored above — there is no strict guarantee the sale will be quick as it depends on the property market in your area. 

That is not to say auctioning your home isn’t a good option. It can be a swift method — especially if your house needs renovating and would make a good project for a keen property developer. However, if you are inexperienced in auctioning houses, it can cause additional stress and it is worth noting that unsuccessful attempts to auction your home can lead to remarketing issues later down the line.  

Finding a Genuine Cash Buyer 

Other than the uncertainty of your house selling, a large part of the hassle of selling your home comes from the viewings. Genuine cash buyers can offer a stress-free and flexible way to sell your house, giving you control over exactly when you want to move — without listing your property for any viewings. Using a house buying service is by far the quickest method if you need to move fast and is the only sure-fire way to guarantee a sale. 

However, selecting a company you can trust is also important. For added security, select a member of the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB), a not-for-profit organisation that alongside The Property Ombudsman, has a strict Code of Practice its members must adhere to.  With no legal, valuation or estate agency fees to pay and no viewings, genuine cash buyers can take the stress out of the whole process and speed things up when you want to act fast.

Selling a home is an important financial decision. But in some circumstances, a quick sale can save a lot of energy, effort, and money. Whatever your reason for selling your home, make sure you consider the options and finding the right way for you. If you want to sell quickly, why not get an initial cash offer today? Simply begin by entering your postcode.

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Our Top Tips for a Quick House Sale

Family celebrating house sale

Expert Tips for a Simple, Quick House Sale

Are you looking for a simple and quick house sale? Selling your home can be a stressful and complicated process — with so many moving parts, it can be hard to know where to start. There are many different reasons you may be under pressure to sell up fast. Perhaps you’re moving abroad, your chain has collapsed and you don’t want to lose your dream home, or maybe your personal or financial circumstances mean you need a simple, quick sale. Whatever your reason, we’ve pulled together some expert tips to help you make those important decisions about how best to sell your house in a hurry. 

  1. 1. Make improvements to your property — It may seem obvious, but first impressions are important. Making some small changes to improve your property’s kerb appeal can make a big difference to the speed of your sale. Internally, reducing clutter and considering giving your house a lick of paint can also help those viewing the property to imagine it as their own home. 2. Larger home improvement projects such as extensions and renovations offer varying value to your property, so it’s worth considering the actual return on investment, as well as the impact this will have on your timescale, as large projects often take longer than initially agreed.
  2. 2. Select the right method to sell your home — There are a variety of different ways you can sell your home. Deciding whether you should use an auction, traditional estate agent or genuine cash buyer will depend on your specific circumstance. Selling your house in an auction can be a good option if your home is in serious need of renovation, but this is not necessarily the fastest method and can affect your remarketing ability if your house does not sell. Similarly, using a traditional estate agent does not guarantee a quick sale and you will need to budget for estate agent fees as well be tied into a contract. Finding a reputable, genuine cash buyer is probably the best option if you really need a quick house sale. But make sure you choose a company you can trust. Opt for a member of the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) for added security. 
  3. 3. Consider the seasonality of your property — If you want to sell your house fast, but are flexible about when you start this process, seek some expert advice about what time of year would best for a quick sale.  The timing will likely depend on the type of property. If you’re selling a cosy cottage, then winter may be better than a bright summer’s day when the house may appear dark due to small windows. But if you’re selling a marina home or an apartment with a feature balcony, a bright sunny day will increase the appeal of your home. Generally speaking, Spring is considered the best time of year to put your house on the market, but this depends on the property and market conditions — as well as the way you decide to sell.
  4. 4. Consider how much involvement you want — Depending on which method you choose to sell your house, you will need to have varying levels of commitment to the process. If you opt for an estate agent, they will do the viewings for you, but you will need to keep the house in a decent condition and ensure you’re out of the way when they are showing people around. This can be a hassle for many people and can slow things down if you reject viewings. If you opt for a genuine cash buyer, your house will not be listed, so you won’t have to worry about viewings at all. This will speed up the process and take away the inconveniences caused by needing to have people regularly looking around your house. 

If you don’t have the time or money to make improvements to your home or you need a guaranteed house sale fast, why not get an initial cash offer today — simply begin by entering your postcode.

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Guide to Selling Your House Online in 2020

Pendulum showing balance between money and a house

The ABCs of Selling Your House Online

We live in a digital age — from online grocery shopping to streaming TV and music from the cloud, people are spending an increasing amount of time on the internet. When it comes to selling your house, considering the online options makes sense and can lead to a quicker, more hassle-free house sale. But what are the different methods and things to look out for? We’ve created a guide to help you decide which online method is best for you and some top tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of these options. 

Why Sell My House Online?

There are three main advantages to selling your property online. Firstly, many of the options enable you to reach a larger audience. Secondly, some of the methods can offer a low-hassle way of selling your house and finally, one of the biggest attractions of selling your home online is some of the low-cost options available. 

But how do you decide which method to use — and how do you go about getting started?

How Do I Sell My House Online?

There a few different factors to consider before you get your house on the online market. Broadly speaking, there are three main options for selling your home online. You may opt for a selling portal, such as sites like Rightmove or Zoopla — which you have probably heard of. You could equally consider an online estate agent or a genuine cash buyer. But how do you know which option is right for you?

Online Selling Portals

Some of these sites have huge audiences, but it is worth noting that opting for an internet-only listing doesn’t always generate the best results. The main reason for this is it is a less proactive approach and it depends more on people spotting the listing and coming to you than other methods that proactively seek out potential buyers. Additionally, without an agent, you cannot list on the larger sites like Rightmove. 

Using an online portal may well increase your chances of a successful sale by getting your property in front of a large number of house hunters, but if you are looking for a low hassle option, this may not be for you. If you decide to list on a selling portal, you will need to get a valuation and photos done, write the description and listing yourself, as well as respond to queries and organise and carry out the viewings. 

Online-Only Estate Agents 

The main benefit of using an online estate agent is the price, as they tend to offer far lower fees than traditional estate agents and you still get some of the same benefits. An online estate agent will likely create and manage your listing for you, as well as organising viewings. However, you will still need to be available to host the viewings yourself and ensure your house is clean and tidy ahead of each visit. 

One of the other potential drawbacks of using an online estate agent is they lack the local knowledge of a high-street agent. If they do not visit your property in person, you risk an incorrect valuation affecting your chances of selling for the right price. 

Genuine Cash Buyers

Cash Buyers may not be an option you have considered, but if you are looking for an easy, simple way to sell your house online, then it is worth looking into. Selecting a cash buyer will mean there is no need to organise your own valuation or photos. Another huge bonus is that you won’t have any viewings to deal with as the property does not get listed. 

A further reason many people choose this method is the speed of the sale. If for whatever reason you need to sell your house quickly or perhaps remotely from another country, then genuine cash buyers offer the fastest and easiest way to do this. 

How Do I Get Started? 

Whatever method or combination of options you choose, the internet is a useful resource when it comes to selecting the right choice for you and it can help make your house sale a quick and simple process. If you’re interested in selling your house online, why not start by getting an initial cash offer today, simply begin by entering your postcode.

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What’s involved in selling a house?

A Guide to Selling Your Home in 2020

For most people, the process of selling your house is a complicated, sometimes emotional process that can quickly become extremely stressful. If you’ve never sold a property before or you’re under financial or time pressure, this only makes matters worse. Often people are preoccupied with the decisions they are making about a property that they are buying. But making smart decisions about how to sell your home could save you a lot of time and money. 

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to make the process of selling a whole lot easier. Keep reading our guide to what’s involved in selling a house. We’ll walk you through a step-by-step guide to selling your home so that you know what to expect when it comes to putting it on the market. We’ve also created a list of handy top tips to help make the process of selling your house as stress-free and simple as possible. 

1. Prioritising Your Finances

The first step to selling your home is to make sure your finances are in order and you’re fully equipped and able to afford the process of selling your home. Depending on which method you choose, you may need to budget for solicitor fees, estate agent fees, and legal fees. These fees will vary depending on whether you opt for an online-only estate agent, a traditional high street estate agent or a genuine cash buyer. Below we’ve outlined the different options and the costs associated with each. 

High Street Agent

Typically, high street agents are more expensive than online agents, but you only pay a percentage of the agreed sale price. According to Money Saving Expert, this is usually 0.75% to 3% and this money is generally taken once the property has sold. However, you may be tied into a contract and your property may take some time to sell —  depending on market conditions and house prices in your area and getting the right valuation of your property. 

If opting for either local estate or online agents, it is also worth remembering that seasonality can play a part. Ask your agent for their views on the best time of year to put your house on the market. Try to align with this to reduce the cost of having your home for sale for a long period. If you are looking for a quick sale, these options may not be right for you and it could be better to look into faster options. 

Online-Only Estate Agents 

Online estate agents such as Purplebricks are a cheaper option, but sometimes you need to pay a fee upfront fee and you will need to be prepared to do a lot more of the legwork yourself — including the viewings. Fees vary from £99 to £1,695, but some online-only estate agents are now offering no sale, no fee options. If you opt for this cheaper option, alongside doing the viewings yourself, you will also need to factor in the fact that an online-only sale may take longer and the agents will usually lack the local knowledge to help sell your property’s location.

Genuine Cash Buyers

A simple way to combat the agency and legal fees involved with selling your house would be to consider alternative ways to sell, as opposed to the traditional housing market. If you opt for a genuine cash buyer, there are often no legal, valuation or estate agency fees to pay and the house sale process is quicker,  reducing additional fees. So if you’re looking to sell, but are not sure how to finance the expected costs through the traditional method of selling, it may be advisable to consider alternative selling routes,  such as a reputable cash home buyer. 

Mortgages

Another thing to consider is, if you’re selling your home early and have yet to completely pay off your mortgage,  you could see some early-exit penalties, depending on your mortgage provider’s terms. These are all crucial facts that could ultimately affect your financial situation. So it’s important to keep these fees in mind when you weigh up whether or not it’s the right time for you to sell your house. 

If you’re selling to purchase a new home, it’s also advisable to consider the cost of funding a new mortgage. Your mortgage provider should be able to provide you with all the information necessary on the mortgages you are eligible for. If you’re selling your house because you require a larger property, it’s also worth bearing in mind that with more space, usually comes more cost. Additionally, you will be liable to pay Stamp Duty on any new property that you purchase — so ensure that you factor in the cost of this as well. 

2. Choosing the Right Agent 

Finding the right agent for you and your property can be one of the biggest tasks that you will face when it comes to selling your home. There are a number of different factors to consider and many people have reservations about how to select a trustworthy agent. How can you make sure you’re in safe hands?

When you are selecting an agent, it is advisable to do your homework first. Ensure your chosen agent has a stellar reputation when it comes to selling in your area. A knowledgeable agent can provide you with a wealth of information regarding your property’s surrounding area. Usually, these conversations will give you a fair idea of the type of price-point you will be looking at, as well as whether or not similar local or surrounding properties sold for a decent price on the traditional housing market. 

If it appears properties similar to yours around your area aren’t selling well — and are taking a long time on the market to reach a sale — it may be worth considering alternative selling markets. If you don’t fancy trawling through the internet to find a well-regarded agent, you have two other options — either opt for a genuine cash buyer or try to sell without an agent. 

If you opt to sell without an agent, it’s important to note that homeowners without agents aren’t able to advertise their property on popular marketing websites, such as Right Move, Zoopla or On The Market. Additionally, you will need to organise everything yourself — from the valuation and legal paperwork to writing the description and advert, paying for photos and viewings. Most people don’t have the time to manage this option and it can be harder to keep costs under control when you are getting a lot of separate quotes for different things. 

If, however, you use the reputable cash home buyer method of selling your home, the agents will value your property for you and then make a formal offer subject to contract and survey, which can work around your timescale. If for whatever reason, you’re looking for a quick, hassle-free sale, then this method may work well for you as some companies can arrange a cash offer to sales completion, with access to cash funds in as little as seven days.

3. Marketing Your Property

How you sell your home can have a huge influence on the number of prospective buyers you can attract on the traditional housing market. While preparing your property can open up a number of leads, it can also require a lot of extra time, effort and cost. If your home needs a lot of TLC before it goes to market, it’s a good idea to box off those jobs before contacting an estate agent, as you’re more likely to receive a more accurate valuation if the property is already in the right condition to sell.  

Often homeowners feel pressure from estate agents (or themselves if they are using an online selling portal) to have their home looking pristine so that photos and viewings present the property in it’s best light. This process often requires a method of “staging,” where the majority of personal trinkets and belongings are removed from sight, to give prospective buyers and viewers an accurate representation of the space on offer. By removing as much personalisation and clutter as possible, potential buyers can visualise how they could utilise the space if they were to buy. 

Although this can maximise interest from buyers and give you the best chance of a sale around your asking price, homeowners often complain that they struggle to find the time to do this. Another issue can be the difficulty in finding the extra funds to spruce up the property — especially if you are paying for a move or planning to decorate a new property. Sometimes people are moving because they no longer have the space they need at the property. This means that decluttering is nearly impossible as there is nowhere to put your belongings!

If you select a reputable cash home buyer like Home Buyer Bureau, they will offer homeowners a fair, competitive cash price, regardless of the condition of your house. This means that homeowners needn’t worry about the stress of aesthetics and staging your home, viewings, or giving the property TLC. Many cash house buying services will consider all types of homes in any standing, saving homeowners the hassle of arranging viewings and running through the lengthy sales process on the traditional housing market.

4. The Conveyancing Process

If you accept an offer on your property, then you need to inform a solicitor to carry out the legal work involved. Although you could look at doing this yourself to avoid fees, if you’re inexperienced in this area, it is advisable to consult a professional solicitor or licensed conveyancer. 

Most reputable solicitor firms will offer a conveyancing service, which involves drawing up contracts and preparing all legal documents for both selling and buying parties. These contracts are put in place to protect sellers from any potential conflicts during the sales process — but can cost greatly. Be sure to run a comparison of fees and prices of solicitors in your area, or ask your estate agent for any solicitor recommendations that could provide a discount in return. 

A huge benefit to selecting some genuine cash buyers is that there’s no need to worry about added solicitor costs as there are no fees involved in the process. If you use a lawyer from House Buyer Bureau’s panel of experts, they will cover any legal costs and fees for a hassle-free, inexpensive method of selling your home.

Selling Your Property with House Buyer Bureau

Selling a property on the traditional housing market can be tricky at the best of times. If you’re struggling to make a sale or cannot find ways to fund all the costs involved, there are alternative methods of selling your property. House Buyer Bureau, are genuine, reputable cash home buyers, with a pristine sales reputation, achieving a consistent 95% or above satisfaction rating over five years of helping people sell their homes.

The sales process at House Buyer Bureau is straightforward. Homeowners can enter their postcode online and receive an instant competitive cash offer. If this is of interest, we will provide you with a formal offer, from which point completion can take as little as seven days, with instant access to funds in your bank. Get in touch with one of our friendly team members today for some expert advice.

Top Tips for Selling Your House 

  1. Do your research — Make sure you are getting a fair price for your property
  2. Select the right method for you — Consider how quickly you’d like to move the sale along, how much involvement you want to have in the viewings etc.
  3. Think finances — Make sure you weigh up the costs associated with the different processes outlined above and get your numbers right
  4. Seek out advice — If you’ve not sold a house before then it’s advisable to seek out advice from those around you as well as professional advice
  5. Get a mixture of valuations — If you are unsure how much money you could get for your house, try using some online valuation tools to compare your options
  6. Beware of scams — Sadly, there are some dodgy cash buyers out there, so make sure you find one that has good reviews and is a member of The National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB).
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Can you sell your house if you are in arrears?

Can you sell your house if you are in arrears?

If you’re a homeowner looking to sell a property as a means to pay off any outstanding debts and arrears, there are multiple solutions to consider. If there’s no other way of quickly increasing your income to cover costs that can soon become unmanageable, then plenty of homeowners opt to sell their homes to avoid repossession, pay off debts and free up more money. This enables those in financial trouble to relocate to a less expensive, more manageable property and get their financial situation back on track.

Here at House Buyer Bureau, we recognise that falling into arrears can sometimes be completely unavoidable, and we’re here to help homeowners get back on their feet. Whether you’ve experienced an unexpected redundancy that sees you falling short on your mortgage payments, a sudden illness that leaves you unable to work, or a recent separation that has left you out of pocket, regardless of the situation, there are a number of solutions available for you to consider. Keep reading as we provide the answers to a number of frequently asked questions regarding house payments, selling your property and mortgage repayments.

 

Can you sell your home if you are behind on mortgage repayments? 

To put it simply – yes, you can sell your home if you are behind with mortgage repayments. If you have found yourself in the unfortunate situation where you’re struggling to meet your payments, then selling your property can release your home equity and leave you with a large sum of money which can then be used to clear any arrears, as well as provide you with funds to put towards a more affordable property.

If you’ve fallen behind on too many payments and your house is set to be repossessed, then this will result in your property being put up for auction by your mortgage provider. Instead, it’s better to act quickly on this – as, with this method of selling, your lender may not receive enough money in exchange for your property, so you would still have to make up for the shortfall. By selling the property yourself, with a reputable cash house buyer such as House Buyer Bureau, you’re likely to receive a better price for your property, as well as avoid having a repossession registered against your name, which could affect any future credit applications you may make.

To avoid repossession and get on top of your arrears, it’s advised to act fast as soon as you enter financial difficulty. At House Buyer Bureau, we can help you sell your property within a timescale that suits your needs and sale can be finalised in as little as seven days – with quick cash access paying the balance straight into your bank account.

 

Can I skip a house payment?

You cannot skip a house payment. However, if you’re expecting a late house payment, it may seem like a disaster, but in most cases, this isn’t the end of the world. Many mortgage lenders will provide homeowners with a ‘grace period’ – the name given to a period of time after the house payment is due. This period tends to be anywhere between 10 to 15 days, where homeowners house payments aren’t registered as late. However, if your late or skipped house payment falls behind the initial grace period – a late fee will arise. Depending on your mortgage agreement, this can fall anywhere between around 5 to 10% of your monthly repayment. Whilst this may not seem like a significant increase, late fees and missed payments can quickly become unmanageable. If you think you will be late with your payment, then you should get in touch with your lender as soon as you can to find out more about any grace period you may be eligible for.

 

Can you sell your house back to the bank?

If you’re experiencing financial pressure and mortgage repayments are starting to become unmanageable for whatever reason, then homeowners could consider selling their property back to the bank before it is repossessed – however, this is not always advised. As your mortgage loan is a guaranteed financial transaction between you and the bank, legally – the bank can repossess your property and sell it by default on your payment obligations, which could leave you with little, or no funds. If the bank looks to sell your property quickly and receives a lower than average price for it, they may still continue to pursue you to pay the arrears you owe. After all, it’s the mortgage that your bank wants, not your property, and the mortgage will still exist until it is fully paid off.

Banks may also add extra charges, that could see your debt amount rise. Fees such as solicitor’s fees, sale commissions, and other expenses could incur and you could still be liable to cover all of these extra costs. If the bank puts your property up for sale and it isn’t a quick straight-forward sale, which it rarely is, homeowners will still be responsible for making mortgage payments for as long as the property stays on the market.

A bank may also provide you  with the chance to declare voluntary repossession, if you can no longer afford to make mortgage repayments. This involves writing a formal letter, directed to the bank, voluntarily declaring you can’t pay any longer – and are giving up the property. This will involve the same process of selling, where banks, or mortgage companies, will take your property to market and sell your home, typically, for much less than it is estimated. If this occurs, the lower the final price, the greater the potential remaining arrears and the longer it will take for homeowners to clear their debts. This can also take a toll on your credit score, which then causes complications when it comes to receiving financing options for a new property.

Regardless of your current financial issues, credit score or whatever the motivation behind looking to sell, House Buyer Bureau offer homeowners a professional, quick and hassle-free way to sell your property, for a fair, reasonable price, with no hidden agency fees and costs.

 

Selling your house with House Buyer Bureau. 

The best way to tackle outstanding arrears, manage missed mortgage payments and look to solving your financial issues, is to tackle the issue as quickly as possible. Avoidance could lead to more missed payments, more debt and more problems in the future. Selling your home with a reputable, established cash home buyer like House Buyer Bureau allows you to solve your situation quickly and efficiently. Offering far less fuss and fees than using a traditional estate agent, selling a property with House Buyer Bureau is a streamlined process. By selling with us, homeowners don’t have to face the hassle of property viewings, having photos of their homes taken and all typical steps associated with selling a property. Instead, simply call our friendly team of house buying experts and let us offer our advice and expertise to help you get out of your mortgage arrears. With a timescale to complete in as little as seven days and a promise to purchase any property – regardless of its existing condition – homeowners have peace of mind that we will offer the fairest price and pay in cash. Talk to one of our friendly experts today at House Buyer Bureau and receive an initial cash offer.

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What adds the most value to a home?

What adds the most value to a home?

Many people believe the only way to add value to a property is by making extensive renovations or even remodelling entirely, which in itself can cost tens of thousands.

While adding an extra bedroom or extending by a few metres can certainly see your home’s value increase quite significantly, this isn’t the only way to add a few extra £s to your potential asking price.

Due to Brexit-related uncertainty, many homeowners are choosing to stay put and make improvements to their homes in a bid to increase their value — instead of selling up and moving on. To help you decide whether sprucing up or getting out is the best option for you, we’ve pulled together a list of the top ten things that can add value to your home — ranging from big projects that require quite a bit of work to some small additions that won’t break the bank.

Big Budget Home Improvements

Fix structural issues

This one may seem like a given, but many fail to prepare before putting their house on the market. Selling your home with structural problems could see potential buyers offer much less than your asking price or significantly lower their offer once surveys reveal the extent of these issues. This can result in a much lower price than you might have imagined, as you may either have to concede significantly on price or foot the bill to make the fixes and keep the interest of the prospective buyer.

Before putting your home on the market, ensure your roof is in a good state, along with windows and doors, as these are the elements that a new homeowner is unlikely to want to take care of themselves. A decent roof will add value to your home as it’s “ready-to-live-in” appeal increases and there will be fewer issues for the survey to inevitably uncover. However, before making any large changes, you must gain planning permission. Without it, you may negatively impact the value of your property.

Even a few loose tiles or some clogged guttering can act as a red flag to a buyer as small problems can give the impression that bigger issues such as leaks could be a problem. According to research by The Eco Experts, the average cost of a roof repair in the UK varies from £120 to £205 for a small number of replacement roof tiles, up to £1,956 to £3,125 to replace soffits and fascias. To entirely replace a tiled roof, the average cost is £4,952. But, according to thisismoney.co.uk, fitting a new roof when selling up could see a return of up to 63% on your initial investment. Of course, this will depend on the problem and the extent of the work required, but these figures help to give a rough idea of the costs and returns involved.

Install a New Heating System

One of the biggest costs that can catch a homeowner off guard is a broken boiler — a common problem that can cause a lot of inconveniences. Boiler issues may have been something missed by prospective buyers in the past, but today it’s common to question the state of the boiler and heating system when viewing a home. So expect buyers to be negotiating on price if your system is old.

Installing a new heating system can appeal to prospective buyers with foresight because this means they won’t have to replace it for quite some time. On average, it costs £500 to 1,500 to install a new boiler in the UK and the boilers themselves vary from around £800 to £1500. 

Replacing a boiler in the same location as the previous one will usually be cheaper, so this is something to bear in mind when getting a quote. But no matter how good the deal is, replacing a boiler is a significant cost for a new homeowner. By doing so yourself before selling, you could achieve an increase in the value of your property and save yourself from being squeezed on price.

Create an Open-Plan Layout

An open-plan layout can create the illusion of a bigger, lighter, living space, particularly when your decor is the same throughout, as the eye flows naturally around the entire area. An open-plan layout can create a real wow factor for your home. According to Which? adding a new open-plan kitchen could add 6% to your property’s value, at the cost of around £8,000. Open-plan living is increasingly popular and makes each living area a more flexible, social space that will appeal to almost everyone —  from first-time buyers to families. If this isn’t an option, consider adding concertina doors to give the feel of a more open layout. The cost will be significantly less but create a similar, airy effect.

Invest in a Loft Conversion 

A loft conversion can cost anywhere from around £15,000 to over £40,000 depending on the rooms added, whether structural changes will be necessary and what type of access you use. A loft conversion is likely to be the renovation that will cost you the most if you’re looking to add value to your property — but it could also provide a significant return on investment. Depending on the work carried out and where you live in the UK, a loft conversion can add around 20% to the value of your property. However, when you compare this profit with the fact that adding a regular extension to your home can add 23% to its value, you may rethink whether the cost is worth it.

Add a Bedroom or Extension

Adding an extension to a property can create serious appeal and add a significant amount of value to your home in comparison to other, unextended properties in your area. The cost of extending, whether it is an extra bedroom or otherwise, is on average around £1,000 to £2,000 per square metre, depending on the contractor and materials you choose. These costs, of course, don’t factor in the further costs of decorating, fitting and furnishing the room as desired. To put this into context, the average size of a double bedroom is around 4 metres squared — meaning it will cost up to £8,000 to build.

Are Big-Budget Home Improvements Worth It? 

So, if you were to make all these improvements to your home, how much roughly would it cost? Taking the higher end of each budget, we calculate each of these home renovations combined would set you back around £70,000 and could potentially return just £15,000 when selling — according to the ROI percentages gathered throughout the piece. Naturally, you wouldn’t be expected to make all of these improvements, but this may put costs into perspective somewhat.

Small Budget Improvements

Depending on time and budget, you may be better making just a few small adjustments to your home to improve its appeal. Here are some cost-effective ways that could help sell your home quicker — saving you money on the costs that come with a delayed sale.

Tidy up the Exterior

First impressions count. When someone comes to view your home, the first thing they will see is the outside of the property. Ensure this area is neat and tidy — de-weeding pathways, planting some flowers and giving your fence or front door a lick of paint are all great ways to increase kerb appeal. According to Property Price Advice, keeping a neat and tidy garden or adding a small decking could see as much as 20% added to the value of your home. Better still, this is simply a matter of aesthetics and won’t set you back very much at all.

Install a Shed

The garden feature that adds the most value to a property is a shed. This is because it’s a great bit of extra storage space to keep the things you wouldn’t want in your home. An article by Property Price Advice states 82% of estate agents surveyed agreed a garden shed is a top contender when it comes to adding value through the exterior of your property. 

Small Decorations

Giving the interior of your home a makeover with a fresh lick of paint in neutral tones can brighten the property up, create the illusion of a bigger space and ensure the property appears modern and well presented to potential buyers. Decorating is a small job to undertake but can make a home far more inviting, giving the impression it is well looked after and saving the new buyer the task of redecorating if the neutral decor is to their tastes. If budget allows, you could go a step further and add some new carpets or flooring to the space to make it feel that little bit “newer” for the prospective owner. According to Ideal Home, if done right, painting and decorating can add up to 5% to your home’s value. 

Remove Clutter

Decluttering can also create the illusion of a much bigger space and shows viewers a home is looked after. This doesn’t mean you need to throw everything away, as often a property with a homely vibe can appeal far more. A recent article by The Express revealed that similarly to painting and decorating, decluttering can add up to 5% in value to your house sale price. Other than a few trips to the tip or the charity shop, this one won’t cost you a single penny and you could even make money by selling some of the items you’re getting rid of — a good return on investment indeed!

Consider plug sockets 

Lastly, it’s no surprise in the digital age that adding a few strategically-placed plug sockets around the home can make a real difference. Buyers can be put off if your home appears to have few electric outlets, particularly in the kitchen where they’re likely to have an abundance of appliances to plug in. Opt for chrome or clean white sockets, as these aesthetically pleasing pieces can improve the buyer’s perception of the suitability of your house. This one won’t add thousands to your asking price or be the deciding selling point, but it is a small tweak that may just help in achieving a sale that bit quicker.

So there you have it — these are the things you need to do to get ahead in a competitive property market and increase your house price. But if the big cost home improvement projects are out of your reach or you’ve made all the small changes that time and budget allow and you’re still struggling to sell your house, why not talk to us? We will buy any home, in any location, in any condition at all, for cash. Get an initial cash offer today, just simply begin by entering your postcode.

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The Pros & Cons of Equity Release

The Pros & Cons of Equity Release [Our 2020 Guide]

With one in four retired homeowners now seeking equity release, the equity release market has doubled in size since 2016. For many retirees, their home isn’t just a source of comfort and security — it can also become a significant way to receive reliable and regular income. According to the review of the 2019 equity market by Key Advice, despite a backdrop of economic uncertainty, quarter three of 2019 has seen 11,772 plans taken out with over-55s releasing £887 million in equity — the largest volume and value of plans taken out so far in 2019. 

Many homeowners seek equity release plans to pay for home improvements, clear debts or outstanding mortgage fees. But there’s also a growing number tapping into it to help their children take a step onto the property ladder — especially when house prices are high. If you’re over 55 and have paid off all, if not most of your mortgage, many equity release schemes allow you to release some of the funds tied up in your property, without the need to move out. 

However, there are several implications surrounding equity release that homeowners should be aware of, including interest rates, redemption penalties and more. Here at House Buyer Bureau, we’ve created a guide explaining what equity release is and highlighting the pros and cons of taking out an equity release to help you make the right decision for you.

How Does Equity Release Work? 

Put simply, equity release allows homeowners to release cash from their property without having to relocate and move elsewhere. There are two ways you can do this:

Lifetime mortgage: 

The most popular form of equity release plan is the lifetime mortgage, often with a drawdown plan that allows you to release funds regularly. Homeowners can take out a mortgage on their property while retaining ownership of it. With a lifetime mortgage plan, homeowners make regular repayments or let the interest roll-up — the unpaid interest of your plan adds to the total loan amount. This allows for debt to build up quite quickly, so if you’re in a position where you can afford to make regular repayments, the mortgage will end up being a lot less costly. If not, any accrued interest is paid back when you die, or when you require long-term care.

Home reversion: 

Home reversion plans allow homeowners to take small portions of cash, by selling shares of their house to a reversion provider, in return for cash or regular payments. How much you choose to sell is entirely up to you as a homeowner. However, if you do decide to sell it all, you reserve the right to continue living in the property, rent-free,  until you die. The percentage homeowners retain will always stay the same, regardless of any unexpected change in property value. When you pass, your property will be sold on your behalf and all proceeds are shared out to the remaining people who hold shares of the property.

What Are the Advantages of Equity Release?

Equity release is the only way to extract a lump sum from a property, without downsizing or selling. It means there’s no need to move or relocate to a smaller property, as equity plans allow you to stay in your own home, rent-free. Most equity release plans offer a roll-up interest scheme. This means there are no implications if you choose not to pay regularly. Instead, interest will roll-up and will only be paid back later in life, giving homeowners the flexibility to pay off interest as and when they please. 

While this may appear daunting, interest rates usually come packaged in a fixed scheme, so borrowers can easily work out and know in advance how much they may owe in the future — to avoid any hidden surprises. Most equity plan lenders, such as popular providers SunLife, Aviva and LV, are members of the Equity Release Council and abide by set rules regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). These rules include the no negative equity guarantee, which means if your property value falls below the amount you owe in your equity scheme, you will not be required to pay the excess.

As well as being beneficial to the homeowner, equity release can be a great tax-free gifting alternative to family members. Taking out an equity scheme to release cash against the value of your property can be a way of gifting cash to family members, while completely removing the constraints of inheritance tax.

What Are the Disadvantages of Equity Release? 

As equity release plans involve homeowners borrowing against their property or selling part of their property in return for cash payouts — with added interest rates — equity release can quickly become more expensive in the long term than selling your property to a reputable cash buyer. The effect of rolling interest means the outstanding balance homeowners may owe their equity provider can quickly become unmanageable. The standard fixed rate for most equity policies ranges from 3-4.5%, which can amount to double-figure interest charges in just a matter of years. You can use an online equity release calculator to work out how much money you can release from your home

If — for whatever reason — homeowners look to end their equity scheme early, they may meet with unexpected fees and penalties for doing so. Early repayment penalties can be as high as 25%, which can make switching to a cheaper provider almost impossible. Be sure to thoroughly read over the terms and conditions before agreeing to the scheme, to look for any hidden early termination costs and fees.

Equity release can also directly affect your entitlement to state benefits, including state pensions, free dentistry, council tax and more. Depending on your circumstances and your reasons for wanting to release the equity in your property, you may lose your right to government support. It can be useful to seek professional advice from a financial advisor as it’s crucial to read the fine print in your equity scheme so you have a solid idea of what you can expect to receive — or lose — if you go ahead with a plan

Homeowners also remain responsible for the general upkeep of their property as part of an equity scheme. Even if you choose to take out a home reversion plan where your provider is only entitled to a certain percentage of your property, all general upkeep and maintenance is entirely your responsibility. This can become a costly, challenging and time-consuming task for homeowners,  as when we age, we typically want to rest up and enjoy retirement, without the worry of having to upkeep our property to a particular standard.

An Alternative to Equity Release

If you’re reading this post as a homeowner who is considering alternative ways to raise money relatively quickly without investing first and sacrificing state benefits, there are other reputable options worth considering. At House Buyer Bureau, homeowners have the freedom to sell their house without any hidden fees, interest rates or surprises.

Our reputable, friendly house buying experts are on hand to guide you through our quick sales process and can make you a competitive, formal offer for your property — regardless of its current state. Genuine cash buyers often buy homes in any condition, with no inconvenient long chains, viewings or unnecessary delays — just the guaranteed certainty of a quick cash sale.

Once approved, homeowners can gain access to funds, without any hidden charges or fees, within as little as seven days — allowing you to downsize efficiently and use the remaining funds to treat loved ones, pay off debts, or simply enjoy an extra source of income. Get in touch with one of our friendly house buying experts today, or visit the House Buyer Bureau website to receive a free, no-obligation cash offer for your property.

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House Buyer Bureau: The House Viewing Checklist

The Essential 2020 House Viewing Checklist

Whether you’re a first-time buyer looking for your dream home, a prospective tenant looking for a rental property, or simply interested in climb further up the housing ladder — viewing properties can be an exciting milestone in your life. However, while house hunting may seem like a painless, simple task, it can quickly grow into a confusing, stressful process — particularly if you have little or no experience when it comes to what things you should be looking out for.

Here at House Buyer Bureau, we recognise the importance of choosing your new home carefully, as it’s likely to be one of the biggest investments of your life. We’ve created our ultimate house viewing checklist to guide you on what you should be looking out for. The property viewing checklist below offers tips room-by-room, advises on which important questions you should be asking your estate agent/landlord and general points to keep in mind as you assess the overall suitability of your new home.

What Should I Look for When House Hunting?

Utilities

One of the most straightforward things buyers or tenants forget to double-check when viewing a property is that all the general house utilities are in good working order. As your guide moves you from room-to-room during a viewing, take several minutes to ensure the following utilities are in a good, functional condition — and if not, be sure to question why.

  • Plug sockets and light switches
  • Radiators
  • Water pressure and temperature
  • Do the taps work and how long does it take for hot water to come through?
  • Check the built-in kitchen appliances work (e.g. the oven, hob)
  • Are fireplaces functional — do the chimneys work and when were they last swept?

After making a note of the working utilities, there are several other factors to consider when observing the interior of the property, so be sure to ask yourself the following questions:

Inside each room:

  • Is the flooring in good condition?
  • Are there any visible signs of damp or mould?
  • If you can’t see mould — can you smell it?
  • Are there any exposed wires or other dangerous issues?
  • Are there cracks in the walls or ceilings?
  • Do the windows open and close easily?
  • Are the windows double/triple or single glazed (this can affect things like condensation, noise and your heating costs)?
  • Do the locks work on the windows and does the homeowner have the keys?
  • Are there signs of condensation?

Top tip: We recommend you pay particular attention to the bathroom and kitchen areas, as these tend to be the most used areas of the house, so you will need everything to be in working order.

Space and Storage

Another factor to consider when house hunting is that properties you view may be tidied and re-arranged to look welcoming and spacious. Unless you’re viewing a rental property with existing tenants and their furniture present, chances are the property will be stripped back, so it’s as minimal and appealing as possible. This is an especially important factor to consider if you’re downsizing from a larger property.  The layout of your prospective new home may appear spacious — but realistically fitting your belongings into space may be an issue. 

As well as making a mental note and envisioning where your belongings may go and what you would use each room for, check the amount of storage space on offer in each room. Are there built-in wardrobes? Can you check inside them or are they locked? While it may be awkward, it is worth checking the inside state of built-in furniture. If you are unable to see inside, consider organising a second viewing after forewarning the current occupier. 

Sometimes properties are refurbished for a sale and a very small room may be listed as an additional bedroom. Ask yourself whether you could actually fit a bed and storage inside that room — and if not, what would you use the room for? If you’re planning on moving furniture to-and-fro, it’s probably worth taking a tape measure with you and having a list of your furniture measurements handy to ensure they fit in the new space. 

If you are going to be renting the property on a part or fully-furnished basis, ask the agent for a full list of the furniture included in your tenancy agreement. Sometimes tenants will have added items to rooms that they will be taking with them when they move out. 

The Exterior of the Property

While the exterior of the property may not seem as important as what’s inside, exteriors can identify problems with structure, roofing and more. These are things that could end up costing you if you were to proceed and purchase the property. For a tenant, exterior issues could cause potential disruption or tenancy delays in the future. Be sure to walk around the outside of the house. Look for signs of damp, hairline cracks in the walls, missing or possible loose tiles across the roof and issues with guttering.

If you identify signs of a growing problem, ask the agent, or landlord, as many questions as possible to find out what the cause of the issue is, if they are aware of it, and what they can do to amend the situation. If they promise to resolve any problems you spot, it is not unreasonable to ask for this in writing and also ensure you are aware of any timescale and likely disruption to you as either a new homeowner or tenant. 

Exterior checklist: 

  • Are there cracks in walls or brickwork?
  • Does the house have render? If so, are there any cracks in it? Render can often hide deeper structural problems.
  • Are any plants growing from (or up) the brickwork — or roof?
  • Are there any loose or missing roof tiles? If the house is thatched, when was it last re-done?
  • What condition is the guttering in? Are there any apparent blockages or leaks?
  • Are there any signs of Japanese knotweed or any other invasive or hazardous natural damage?
  • Is the garden south facing? What time of day will you get sun on the garden or into the rooms?
  • How overlooked is the garden or property?

The Surrounding Area of the Property

As house viewings are fairly quick and typically last around 20-30 minutes, it’s important to spend some time outside the property surveying the surrounding area,  as you may identify problems that could lead you to consider looking elsewhere. These problems may only be identifiable in the evening or at certain times of the day. For instance, you may have noisy surrounding neighbours, a loud or busy road during the commute or school run times. 

We recommended taking a stroll around the surrounding area to assess the proximity of local amenities, such as nearby transport links, parking spaces and more. If you have children — or plan to have children — then it is also worth checking out the local schools or childcare facilities as your catchment area will affect your choice. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when it comes to viewing the surrounding area of your property:

  • Is the property located near any main roads? Will there be a chance of disturbances?
  • How close are the transport links? Are there nearby trains or bus stops?
  • Is the area outside your home permitted for parking spaces and is there sufficient space for your parking needs?
  • Is the local area safe? Check the crime statistics — this may affect things like your car insurance costs
  • Where are the nearest supermarkets, is there a doctor/dental practice close by?
  • Have any planning applications been submitted or approved for developments nearby?
  • What are the nearest schools like — what rating does Ofsted give them?
  • How noisy is the area surrounding the property at different times of the day?

Questions to Ask the Landlord / Estate Agent

Build a rapport with the seller, landlord and estate agents — this is your chance to ask a variety of questions not covered on the initial listing specification. It is also worth keeping in mind that letting agents and landlords may use the viewing as an additional way to judge your reliability as a tenant  — this is especially important if renting in highly competitive areas where multiple tenancy applications per property are commonplace. Similarly, if the existing owner of a house is showing you around, if they like and trust you to look after their home, this can sway some people who have an emotional attachment to the property— especially if they have multiple offers. 

Asking questions will help tailor your offer, or buying/renting strategy if you do decide to pursue the property. While the estate agent or landlord may not be in a position to disclose certain information, any information you can find out is a good starting point and you should follow it up after your viewing, asking any questions that weren’t answered. Below are some of the key questions you should consider asking while you are shown around a property: 

  • How long have the current owners/tenants lived in the property for and what are their reasons for leaving?
  • Have they made an offer on another property — and if so, when are they likely to be moving out?
  • How long has the property been available on the market for and how many viewings has it had?
  • Have the current owners had any disputes or issues with surrounding neighbours or the general area of the property?
  • Would the seller or landlord be likely to accept an offer below the asking price? You may not get a definitive answer, but this can help you gauge whether there is room to negotiate.
  • What council tax band is the property and how much does that work out as monthly? 

If you’re reading this post as an interested seller looking to identify issues that potential buyers look out for, why not consider selling your property with reputable house buyers, House Buyer Bureau? Regardless of your property’s current condition, we buy all types of property, in any shape and location — and offer a fair, genuine cash offer.

There are no legal, valuation or estate agency fees to pay with us, along with no viewings or unnecessary delays — just the certainty of a quick and efficient sale with a competitive cash offer. Get in touch with our team of buying experts today or take a look at what our customers say for further information on our buying process.

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How to find out who owns a house / property

property house owner

How Can You Find Out Who Owns a House or Property?

 

Finding out who owns a property doesn’t have to be a complicated process. In fact, the majority of the time, this information can be sought out from the comfort of your own home. The owner of a property can be fairly easy to find — you just need to know where to start. To give you the answers you’re looking for, we’ve put together some information to point you in the right direction.

 

The best place to begin when looking for the owner of a property is the HM Land Registry. These searches can generally be done online at little-to-no cost. 

 

Why Would You Want to Find Out Who Owns a Property?

 

If you’re interested in purchasing a property, previous ownership information could impact your decision to make an offer or how much you are willing to pay. For example, if a property has changed hands multiple times in a short period, this may send alarm bells ringing: Why are people moving in and out so quickly? Is the property worth the asking price? Historical sale prices may also inform how much an individual or developer is willing to pay for the property.

 

You may also want to conduct this research to find out if there are any development projects in the area, which could influence your decision to buy. Of course, you might just be curious about who lived in a property you now own or wish to buy.

 

How Do I Find Out Who Owns a Property?

 

Head to GOV.UK and conduct a deeds search. HM Land Registry holds records on most property or land sold in England or Wales since 1993. These records include details of the title register, title plan, title summary and flood risk indicator. These documents can be downloaded and viewed online and have specific information within them that can help you to find information about the property owner.

 

  • The title register contains details about the property or land in a downloadable format. It includes the title number, who owns the property, what they paid for it, any rights of way and whether a mortgage on it has been “discharged”.

 

  • The title summary includes the title number, who owns it, what they paid for it, whether the property is freehold or leasehold and information about the lender’s name and address, assuming there has been a mortgage on the property.

 

  • The title plan is a map showing the property’s location and its general boundaries — there’s usually no record of exact boundaries.

 

You can also access a flood risk indicator should you need one. This gives you information on how likely the land or property is to flood and combines data from the Environment Agency and HM Land Registry.

 

To get started, you’ll need to create an account with a valid email address and payment method. There are some small fees to pay, depending on the information you need. Fees range from £3 for a title summary to £10.80 for a flood risk indicator. Once you have an account, you can search for a property by house number or name and the postcode. You’ll need to search different registers if the property is in Scotland or Northern Ireland. 

 

A new basic search service has recently been added to GOV.UK, which allows user to enter a postcode and access the following information for a fee of £3:

 

  • Who owns the property
  • What they paid for it
  • If there’s a mortgage on it

 

If you don’t know the postcode, you can search by street address. You’ll still need to create an account and make a payment by debit or credit card.

 

Troubleshooting Problems That May Arise

 

If you find it difficult to gain information about the owner of the property in question, there are several options you can explore. 

 

Tracing agents: You can instruct a tracing agent to find the information for you. These professional investigators will be able to access specific data on online systems that the general public don’t have access to and retrieve the details about the property owner. It normally costs around £35 to hire a tracing agent.

 

Ask around and explore beyond the Land Registry: A common problem is that land or property is unregistered. Approximately 85% of land and property in England and Wales is registered, but if you’re unlucky and the property you’re interested in is unregistered, all is not lost. Your first port of call should be to ask around the local area. It’s surprising what details can be uncovered from talking to people who have lived in the area for a long time.

 

Access local records: If the locals are unable to help, check local authority records and find out if any planning applications have been made by contacting the County Record Offices. These local sources of information may be able to provide further detail about the unregistered property.

If you’re looking to buy a new home and are interested in selling your house quickly to a genuine cash buyer, get in touch with our team or enter your postcode for a free cash offer for your property.

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Full Process of Selling Your House with House Buyer Bureau

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We know that selling your home fast is any house seller’s dream, particularly when the average time a residential property spends on the market in England and Wales is around 102 days. We can complete in 7 to 10 working days in some cases. In this blog we go through the quick and easy process of selling your home for cash, no matter what condition it’s in. There are no hidden fees, you are never tied in and there is no pressure.

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There is no obligation to continue with the process at any stage until you exchange contracts.

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Step 1 – Getting Started

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Enter some basic details on our website and a member of our friendly team will ring you for a no obligation chat.

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Step 2 – Chat to Our Team

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We will talk you through the easy process to sell your property in a little more detail and answer any questions that you may have. At this stage we will be able to give you an indication of what we can pay (Offer in Principle) which we can email and send in writing through the post.

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Step 3 – Property Value

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If you are happy with what we have discussed so far then the next step is to ask the opinion of local estate agents as to the value of the property (in some cases they may not need to visit the property). We will send 2 trusted local estate agents to visit your property at a time that best suits you and they will value your home. This report enables us to put together an accurate and fair cash offer for purchasing your property.

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Step 4 – Formal Offer

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Once we have reviewed the valuations then we will be able to provide you with our Formal Offer. It is up to you whether or not you would like to accept it. We give you 7 days to consider our offer.  Don’t forget, you are still under no obligation to proceed.

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Step 5 – Instructing a Solicitor

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After accepting the formal offer the next step is to instruct the solicitors. Instructing a solicitor is easy. You can either choose to use one of our trusted solicitors at absolutely no cost to you, or if you’d prefer, then you’re welcome to use your own solicitor. We don’t charge for the use of a solicitor from our panel and we will also take care of any further legal costs incurred with the sale. If you choose to use your own solicitor, then we do offer a contribution (up to £500 + VAT) to the cost of their service subject to the sale’s completion.

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Step 6 – Survey & Identification

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We will arrange and pay for a local survey to check the condition of the property at a time and date to suit you. We will also talk you through our ID requirements. This process has been put in place to protect our sellers as well as us. Fraud prevention is very important to us.

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Step 7 – Get the Cash!

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Exchanging contracts is the point when we are legally tied in, completion is when you get the money.  Both exchange and completion can be on the same day or they can be separate if you would like time between. The completion date is set by you. On that day, your solicitor will arrange to have any secured debt on the property repaid and the remaining money will be sent directly and securely to your bank.

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If at any point you need any assistance during this process, you can always call one of our friendly team and they will guide you through.

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Why Can’t I Sell My House? Mistakes to Avoid

Selling your home can be a daunting task, especially when you’re doing it for the first time, or for the first time in a long time. There is very little room for error and mistakes big or small can easily be made without you being immediately aware of them. These mistakes can be detrimental to you achieving a fair price on your home and may result in a failed house sale. Almost half of all house sales fell through before completion in England and Wales last year. For those of you who are wondering ‘why can’t I sell my house?’, we’ve put together this guide. We’ll cover the most common mistakes made when selling a property and share advice on how you can avoid making them yourself.

Entering the housing market without conducting any prior research

We all know that the housing market has been somewhat uncertain recently, due in part to the General Election in December and Brexit looming this month. Entering blindly into an unstable housing market could cause you to make the mistake of putting your property on the market at a particularly bad time. Before it comes to selling your home, you should look into the state of the property market in your area and neighbouring areas to scope out the latest stats. Remember to look at the asking and sold prices of homes similar to your own (same type, number of bedrooms, bathrooms or of a similar layout) and how long they have been on the market, as this will give you an idea of supply and demand. It can also be a good idea to look for trends over longer periods to see if there have historically been any consistently good or bad periods in which to sell.

Choosing the wrong method to sell your home

When it comes to selling your home, many people only choose the most ‘traditional’ route – selling through an estate agent. However, it is important to consider all approaches when putting your house on the market, the pros and cons of each and then pick the route that suits your needs. Approaches and their pros and cons include:

High Street estate agent

Pros:

Local knowledge

  • Formal approach
  • Take care of advertising the property
  • Some will handle viewings on your behalf
  • Can negotiate on your behalf

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • A home may still be on the market for some time
  • Viewings still need to take place
  • Not discreet – home advertised heavily and ‘for sale’ sign erected outside your home

Online estate agent

Pros:

  • Cheaper fees, often around £1,000
  • A greater amount of choice between online agents
  • Sellers have more control over the sale of the property

Cons:

  • Fees often need to be paid upfront
  • Online estate agents will not conduct viewings so sellers will have to do so
  • Unlikely to sell a house fast; a home may still be on the market for some time
  • Marketing may only be undertaken for a fixed period, with more costs incurred if your property hasn’t sold before then

Sell to a cash buyer, such as House Buyer Bureau

Pros:

  • No viewings
  • Discreet – no for sale signs erected
  • No fees
  • No survey costs
  • Guaranteed fast house selling (property is certain to sell and in as little as 7 days)
  • Cash buyers, so cash will be in your bank as soon as the sale completes

Cons:

  • You’ll receive a competitive price, but it won’t be the asking price for your property. To receive a free cash offer for your property, enter your postcode here.
  • It can be tempting to try to go it alone to avoid expensive estate agency fees, but it’s worth remembering that selling your property will then be mostly down to you, leaving you with a lot of work to do. That’s why it’s worth carefully considering the above pros and cons and getting a no-obligation cash offer from a property buyer such as ourselves, as this is the only way to be armed with all of the information you need to decide how to sell your home.

Check out our Guide to Selling Property Without Estate Agents here.

Making your asking price too high

Average house prices are becoming more and more accessible, so if your initial asking price is unrealistic, your potential buyers are likely to be aware of this and therefore not pursue your property. In fact, in some cases, offering your property for less than its marketed value can result in a higher final sale price, as it encourages competition between buyers who may increase their offer in order to outbid other interested parties.

Not taking care of maintenance issues

Most, if not all, homes require at least some form of repair or maintenance at the time of putting the property on the market and its worth remembering that buyers will be turned off by any problems you leave for them to fix. As the potential buyer will have a survey carried out, there will be no hiding these repairs and it could cause them to make you a lower offer. If you want to sell a house that needs repairs, save yourself money and time in the long-run by ensuring all repairs and maintenance are taken care of first.

Failing to prepare your property for photography and viewings

These days, most homebuyers begin their search online and so having photographs that showcase your home in its best light is crucial to immediately catch their attention. You must also ‘stage’ your home for viewings. This means positioning everything in the most flattering layout, getting rid of any clutter and ensuring all surfaces are clean and tidy. The staging element of your property is even more important if your house will be vacant at the time of viewing, as you want the potential buyers to see it as a home for themselves, not just an empty shell.

Lack of advertisement and marketing of your home

Gone are the days of a simple classified ad and an image in the newspaper or estate agent’s window being sufficient to sell a house. If you’re putting your property on the market using a high street or online agent then it’s important to double-check that your property is being marketed as widely and as well as possible. Ensure your property is listed online, in a variety of places such as Zoopla and Rightmove, as well as on your chosen estate agent’s site. The listing should include top quality imagery and as a bonus, you could even include a virtual tour of the home. This may come at a cost, but your estate agent might be able to help you with this.

You should ensure you have visible for-sale signage outside of your home and generate word of mouth too. Shout it loud and wide ‘I want to sell my house!’

Working with a poor estate agent

Don’t stick with an estate agent that is performing poorly and doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere with shifting your property. An underperforming estate agent could cause a host of issues, from inaccurate pricing and time-wasting buyers to bad marketing and unprofessional viewings. If your estate agent isn’t working for you, then move on. Don’t bide your time and lose out as a result, especially as the longer your property is on the market, the less it is likely to sell for as buyers pay attention to ‘time on market’.

Underestimating the costs involved

It can be a costly feat to sell a home and there are many expenses to consider before you put your property on the market. Firstly, you must bear in mind the fees and commission charges of your chosen estate agent (whether considering an online or high street estate agent). The average fee charged by traditional estate agents in the UK is currently 1.42% of the final selling price, inclusive of VAT. Online estate agent fees typically end up costing £1,000 for the UK’s average home.

Then, on top of this, there are any necessary repair costs, expenses of moving your belongings to your new property, taxes, insurance, closing costs and also any costs included in buying if you are purchasing a new property. Having an accurate estimation of how much it will cost to sell your home will be imperative to ensure the process goes smoothly and doesn’t leave you in a difficult financial situation.

If you’re wondering how some of these costs add up, take a look at the table below which shows the costs of using a traditional estate agency compared to selling to us at House Buyer Bureau.

Selling to us means the price achieved isn’t as low as you think!

£120,000 Example Cash Sale Traditional Estate Agency
Asking price example £120,000 £120,000
Average agreed purchase price £95,000 £110,000
Final agreed price after survey £95,000 £108,000
Estate Agent fees £0.00 £1,980
Estimated cosmetic repairs to prepare your house for sale £0.00 £1,500
Solicitor fees £0.00 £1,000
Estimated bills (During the sale process) £0.00 £1,200
Estimated mortgage payments (During the sale process) £0.00 £2,700*
Time taken off to see Estate Agents and Lawyers £0.00 £300**
Net price achieved £95,000 £99,320

*£450 per month based on 6 months to sell.

** Based on £75 a day and 4 days off work.

Ignoring kerb-appeal 

If you’re selling through an agent and putting your home on the open market then kerb appeal needs to be addressed. It’s possible that potential buyers could be passing by your home frequently while it’s on the market and you want to catch their eye. The exterior should entice buyers to be curious about the inside and interested enough to walk-in during open-house showings. You don’t need to make big changes, just simply spruce it up a little with a quick coat of paint, getting rid of weeds and cleaning the pavements, keeping any grass neat and tidy and placing some flowers or greenery around the entrance.

Remaining emotionally attached to the property

This one is the most commonly made mistakes, and it is only natural having made a home out of your property over the years that you have spent there. It probably holds a lot of memories and you may have put your heart and soul into making it your own. Once you decide to sell, however, you must learn to let go of this and become objective about your reasons for selling. Try to look at your home the way potential buyers will to ensure you’re covering all bases for viewings.

Additionally, if buyers catch a hint that you’re emotionally invested in the property, it could put them off making an offer for fear of you backing out at the last moment. You should also avoid letting your emotions rule negotiations. View your property as a commodity that will soon be owned by someone else.

Luckily, when you sell to House Buyer Bureau, you don’t need to worry about any of the above. We buy your property regardless of how it looks, its condition or its location. We can even do it in a timescale that suits you, or in as little as seven days.

We remove all the hassle of maintenance, repairs, viewings, marketing and advertising, expensive estate agent fees and property market uncertainty. We can offer you a fair and competitive price for your property and we won’t lower this once the formal offer has been made.

We are a genuine cash buyer with the funds readily available to buy your home. If you want a fast and easy way to sell your home without the worry of making mistakes, get in touch with us today, or simply enter your postcode on our homepage to receive an instant cash offer for your property.

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The UK’s Most Affordable Places to Buy a Home in 2019

At House Buyer Bureau, we understand that it isn’t easy to find the perfect location to move to – particularly with houses becoming less and less affordable for most of us. In the last twelve months, the average house price in the UK has risen to 7.8 times the median salary. In fact, in the year 2016 to 2017 alone, the ratio between average house price and average salary increased by a significant 2.4%. In some areas, house prices have gone far beyond this at over 13 times the median salary.

This means that unfortunately, staying put in your current city may not ensure you get the biggest bang for your buck.

So if you’re planning on downsizing, getting some cash out of your property by moving somewhere more affordable or even simply moving to a more affordable area nearby, we’ve taken care of some research to help you make a decision.

In the table below, we’ve calculated the 20 most affordable cities to buy a home just as we welcome in 2019. To help you make a decision, we’ve also highlighted in yellow the cities that have seen a decrease in average value over the last twelve months, so you can keep an eye on the places that are becoming even more affordable if you’re on a tight budget.

City Avg Price Paid (£) Avg Salary (£) Price to earnings ratio Avg Value Change (Last 12 months)
1 Aberdeen 203,645 32,085 6.35 ^0.81%
2 Bradford 134,948 20,907 6.45 -0.23%
3 Kingston upon Hull 140,342 21,834 6.43 -1.68%
4 Belfast 156,110 24,293 6.43 +0.65%
5 Blackpool 126,479 19,413 6.52 +1.12%
6 Middlesbrough 152,094 22,901 6.64 -2.57%
7 Glasgow 175,563 26,265 6.68 +5.90%
8 Stoke-on-Trent 147,433 21,554 6.84 -1.94%
9 Dundee 157,629 22,889 6.89 +1.93%
10 Liverpool 166,638 24,034 6.93 +0.55%
11 Swansea 166,944 21,429 7.79 -0.74%
12 Manchester 191,975 26,512 7.24 +0.65%
13 Newport 171,955 22,712 7.57 +1.46%
14 Birmingham 198,370 25,772 7.70 +1.36%
15 Leeds 207,850 25,918 8.02 +0.25%
16 Newcastle 200,495 24,982 8.03 +0.34%
17 Nottingham 197,588 24,482 8.07 +1.29%
18 Derby 201,466 24,766 8.13 -1.00%
19 Coventry 209,876 25,802 8.13 -0.60%
20 Preston 190,224 22,734 8.37 -1.79%

Sources: Zoopla & Payscale

In first place, Aberdeen is the most affordable city to buy property in the UK, with an average price of 6.3 times the average salary. However, with a 0.81% increase in prices over the last twelve months, you may wish to be cautious that prices could be set to rise further in the near future and it may be wise to make the move quickly.

Bradford, Kingston upon Hull and Belfast are next, with houses costing 6.4 times the average salaries. However, Bradford housing prices have also taken a dip of 0.23% over the last year and so could continue to decline through to 2019. If you’re planning a move to the Bradford area, now could be the time to do it.

The fifth most affordable city to buy property in the UK is Blackpool and prices are on average 6.5 times the average salary within the city. The average house value has increased considerably by 1.12% over the past 12 months, so this ratio may eventually begin to widen if wages fail to increase too.

Middlesbrough and Glasgow sit at 6.6 times the average salary in the cities. However, the difference comes in the value change over the past 12 months, with Middlesbrough house prices decreasing by a significant 2.57% and Glasgow prices increasing by 5.90%. While the ratios are the same and in fact, the average prices don’t differ too vastly either, the state of the market could indicate where placing your money would fare best between these two.

At the lower end of the table, the bottom five cities surpass the average UK ratio of 7.8 times, however still remain some of the most affordable places to live based on salary ratio. Derby, Coventry and Preston have each seen a considerable decrease in average home value, meaning that prices could be set to decrease further as we head into the new year.

The average salary in the UK as a whole is currently £28,677 and with the exclusion of Aberdeen, none of the cities in the table above meet this. This means that as house prices fluctuate, and wages stay static or decrease, the affordability gap is set to widen.

Unfortunately, whether house prices in your area are increasing or decreasing, it doesn’t fare well for you as a seller. Those who own property in the areas where prices are decreasing are likely to see the value of their home continue to drop and lose out as a result. Even if you’re on the other side of this and the value of your property is increasing, this isn’t always a good thing.  Increasing property prices make it more likely that the affordability gap will widen and, as a result, properties in the area will spend longer periods on the open market.

Don’t wait for your home to become stagnant on the market. Sell your home today and avoid the risk of losing out significantly on its current value. If you think we could help you to sell your home quickly, visit our homepage, enter your postcode and receive your cash offer.

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How to Sell Your House Quickly When Moving Abroad

If you’re moving abroad, then chances are you are trying to sell your house as quickly as you can so that you can start getting organised for the big move.

With it taking 12 weeks on average to sell a home (from day one on the market to offer accepted – not completion), chances are you need to get things moving a little faster than that. So how do you sell your house quickly? At House Buyer Bureau, we specialise in buying houses quickly so that our customers can move on with the next chapter of their lives, so we’ve compiled our top tips for those looking to sell their house fast in order to move abroad.

  • Declutter and Un-Personalise  

If your house has your personality stamp all over it, with bright paints, patterned wallpapers and lots of accessories and general clutter – then start by having a huge clear out. It’s important that a potential buyer can visualise themselves in your home, so make it a blank canvas.

  • Make Some Home Improvements

As well as clearing out your personal items and removing extra clutter, it’s also important to consider any quick home improvements you could make to improve the chances of your house selling. This could be minor improvements such as painting and decorating, or more significant changes such as updating kitchen or bathroom tiles, flooring, kitchen worktops, replacing a dated bathroom suite or clearing out an overgrown garden.

It’s also important to consider what issues could be flagged in your survey that would put off a potential buyer and cause any future sale to fall through. Things like damp, roofing, electric or plumbing issues can ring alarm bells to buyers because they tend to be expensive issues to repair once they complete on your property, often causing them to pull out of the purchase.

  • Make a Lasting Impression

First impressions count – and this is never more important than when trying to sell your home. If you have pets, then consider moving them to a friend, neighbour or relatives house during viewings and remove any obvious signs in the house that you have animals as this could put off potential buyers.

You can also make a good first impression by making the house feel very homely. Lighting candles, fires (if you have one), buying fresh flowers and generally ‘dressing’ your home for sale can significantly boost the chances of your home selling quickly.

  • Lower the Price

If you think you’ve done all you can to spruce up your home for sale but time is now of the essence, then the fastest way to sell your home is by significantly lowering the asking price.

  • Sell Your House to House Buyer Bureau

Of course, the big drawback with significantly lowering the asking price and continuing to sell via the traditional route using an estate agent is that your home still may take some time to sell. You will also still have to pay your estate agent fees, and once you have accepted an offer, you are completely dependent on the buyer following through with the whole process.

At House Buyer Bureau, we specialise in buying houses within as little as seven days, or at a time frame to suit our customers. Better still, we buy houses in any condition, so there’s no need for you to redecorate or patch up any issues.

If you need to sell your house quickly in order to move abroad, then get in touch with our team today, or simply enter your postcode on our homepage for a free cash offer for your property.

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Is Brexit Making My Home Harder to Sell?

house prices after brexit

Just after the Brexit vote, there was a LOT of speculation surrounding how leaving the EU would impact the housing market. So far, there has been little impact since the vote — house prices have continued to rise (albeit at a more moderate rate) and houses across the country have continued to be bought and sold almost as normal.

But the reality is that voting to leave is not the same as actually leaving. This means exactly how much impact Brexit will have on the housing market is largely unknown until the final deal (or no deal) is revealed and day one of being officially out of the European Union arrives. The immediate threat of a no-deal Brexit lifted recently when Boris Johnson’s EU Withdrawal Bill passed successfully through Parliament. However, Britain must agree on a trade deal with the EU by the December 31st deadline, or the country will exit the transition period with no agreement.

So how do we know whether Brexit will make homes harder to sell? We run through some early indicators that the UK housing market in 2020 may be bracing itself for a slump post-Brexit.

Mortgage Approvals

Mortgage approvals are an excellent indicator of market concern. If banks are rejecting more mortgage applications on properties, then it’s likely they are worried the house in question won’t be worth the price it sold for in the near (or distant) future.

Mortgage applications are made before a property is bought, so if banks are rejecting more buyers, this means there will be fewer buyers in the market.

The Guardian reported in October (2018) that the number of mortgages approved by banks had hit a seven month low (down 10% when compared with the same month in 2017). However, in July 2019, the Financial Times reported a sharp rise in mortgage approvals with a significant increase in remortgaging. Perhaps this constant oscillation reflects the ongoing uncertainty in the property market surrounding Brexit. 

Consumer Confidence

The reality is, if you’re worried about your house not selling because of Brexit, that’s because buyers are concerned too.

If consumer confidence is low, then we spend much more cautiously, typically starting with spending less on big-ticket items. These include cars, luxury goods, holidays, expensive appliances and of course, houses.

There are a few ways we can measure consumer confidence. The most referenced one is with the Gfk Consumer Confidence index. According to this index, consumer confidence has been consistently falling in the last year, except for one minor increase just before the general election, which suggests people were hoping the election might bring about a period of greater certainty and stability.

House Price Predictions Post-Brexit

Sadly, with so much uncertainty, this usually reliable indicator of how the housing market is doing is about as good as a tipsters prediction of which horse will win the Grand National.

Before the general election and the passing of the EU Withdrawal Bill this month, Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, gave his warning that a disruptive no-deal Brexit could cut 35% off house prices. Meanwhile, some of the UK’s biggest estate agents were predicting around a 5% decrease in housing prices in the early days post-Brexit.

However, according to the Halifax house price index, house prices in December 2019 increased 1.7 % compared to November and analysts are now suggesting a more optimistic picture for 2020, with prices predicted to rise by 2 – 3 %.

Those wanting to sell up may not make a killing, but things are certainly looking more promising for the property market than they did this time last year. The reality is, there will always be houses on the market and there will always be people who need to buy and sell.

Unfortunately, debts, divorce and death mean houses must be sold, but the demand for buying can certainly dwindle significantly. This means longer periods on the market for those who need to sell and the slashing of asking prices to secure a buyer.

To summarise the above indicators — the impact of leaving the EU will almost certainly affect the British housing market. We’re likely to see:

Longer Periods on the Market for Sellers

There will be fewer buyers in the market for a property as buyers either can’t get approved for a mortgage or opt to sit tight and stay put. This lack of buyers will make selling a house more difficult and could result in many homeowners having to accept offers well below the asking price and the market value of a property. A dip (or drop) in house prices to offer a sale as a bargain could become the best way to find a buyer.

If you are keen to sell your house fast, housebuyerbureau can buy absolutely any home, in any condition fast and for cash. You can choose a sale timescale to suit you and the money is in your bank in as little as seven days. For a FREE no-obligation cash offer for your property and house prices, simply enter your postcode on our homepage.

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We support LOROS

Following the loss of our dear friend and colleague Michael Spencer to Cancer we’ve decided to change our chosen charity to LOROS.

LOROS Hospice is a local charity delivering free care and support to over 2,500 people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland each year.

Their free high-quality, compassionate services are tailored to be special and unique to each terminally ill patient, their family and carers.

Michael Spencer
1964 – 2018
LOROS were a fantastic support to Mike and his family and in Mike’s memory we’d like to give something back for all that they did.

Mike was instrumental in building the business to where we are today. He played a massive part in this and was a trusted and loyal employee. We were all very lucky to have worked with him and not withstanding just what he taught us, he was a real character and always injected loads of fun into the business.

Our LOROS Just Giving page in memory of Michael Spencer.

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The Danger of Fraudsters When Buying and Selling Property

With the rapid increase of bank transfer fraud taking place across the UK, the process of buying and selling a home is becoming ever more risky. Falling victim to fraud when buying or selling a home can put you in great financial danger, as well as causing the risk that you will no longer be able to move to a new home.

What is Bank Transfer Fraud?

This is where email correspondence is intercepted between yourself and your solicitor by a cyber-criminal. The fraudster will then contact you under the pseudonym of a member of staff at your solicitors firm (including adopting the same or a very similar email address), asking for the correct sum of money you have actually agreed upon. They may also falsely state that should you not send the funds, then the sale of your home or purchase of your new home will fall through.

This is where the scam becomes something so sophisticated that even the most clued-up person can fall victim to it – let alone someone going through the emotional process of buying and selling a home. The criminal will then provide you with their own bank details instead of those of your solicitor. Once you instruct your bank to make payment, you have authorised it and little can be done. These scammers often quickly withdraw the cash, so that by the time the scam has been flagged and investigated, it is too late to retrieve the funds.

In 2017, bank transfer fraud victims lost £236m in total, and banks were only able to pay back £60.8m of this. The scary thing about bank transfer fraud is that because you have authorised for the payment to be sent to the fraudster, you have absolutely no rights to be reimbursed once you have recognised you’ve been scammed. The banks are currently not entitled to do anything further than try to retrieve the funds from the recipient’s account.

A Real Life Nightmare

One of the worst cases of this type of fraud saw Essex couple lose a massive sum of £120,000 after transferring the money to what they thought was their solicitor’s bank account. The recipient then proceeded to withdraw this money in sums of £20,000 every day for six days. By the time the banks had recognised the fraud, the money was in cash and no longer possible to retrieve. The couple were left feeling failed by their bank as there was no way to reimburse them.

The fraudster had hacked into the email account system of the solicitor, retrieving all of the couples details including the exact amount of money agreed by both parties. This way they were easily able to intercept the correspondence without arousing suspicion.

New Legislation

However, banks being unable to help may be about to change as a consumer report from Which? calls for them to take better action on behalf of victims. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) have now been investigating how banks deal with this type of scam and plan to implement an early version of a code of conduct to provide new protection for victims this month.

The Financial Ombudsman service will also be able to take this code into account when investigating new claims about this type of scam. However, this code will not be brought into legislation retroactively, meaning the sufferers of the huge loss in just 2017 alone will never see the remainder of their funds returned to them.

Even with this code in place, you could still suffer the consequences of falling victim to a bank transfer scam, as banks will only uphold their end of the deal and reimburse you if you meet a certain criteria.

As we are genuine cash buyers at House Buyer Bureau, we would absolutely hate the thought of the money you receive directly into your bank from us in exchange for your home ending up in the hands of one of these cyber-criminals.

Several Ways to Avoid This Scam:

  • Keep in mind that just by knowing your name, address and security details does not make the person contacting you genuine.

  • Trusted organisations and banks won’t ever contact you by email asking for you to make a payment.

  • Trusted organisations and banks won’t ask for any of your security information by email.

  • Just because the email you have received has come from the same email domain as your solicitor, do not automatically assume the person contacting you is actually part of the organisation.

  • If you are asked to make payment via email, be sure to call or visit your solicitor in person to ask whether this was really them and ask them to confirm their bank details.

  • Check with the bank that when you are transferring the sum that the name of the account holder registered to the account number and sort-code details you have provided match the name of the payee you intend.

  • Don’t ever click on links in an unexpected email or text as they too could be a scam.

  • If you fear you may be a victim to this type of fraud, action it with your bank, the payee’s bank, the Financial Ombudsman and the police as quickly as possible. Explain the severity of the situation and ask for it to be actioned in a timely manner to avoid the suspect withdrawing your cash before it is too late.

House Buyer Bureau can quickly and simply purchase your home in as little as seven days. The cash will be deposited into your bank in a timescale to suit you, so you can still go ahead with the purchase of your next property while you deal with retrieving the funds lost to the scam.

Not only could you, yourself fall victim to this scam, but the buyer of your home is at risk of becoming a victim too, ultimately causing them to no longer be able to go through with the purchase. Should this happen to you, you don’t need any further delays in selling your home. At House Buyer Bureau, we can pay cash for your home in a timescale to suit you or as little as seven days. Get your free cash offer now.

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Why we are the Nation’s Favourite House Buying Service

At House Buyer Bureau, we’re committed to buying your property for the best possible price with the least amount of stress and interference with your day-to-day life caused throughout the process. Let us tell you why we’ve become the nation’s favourite house buying service.

GENUINE CASH BUYERS 

We’re one of the only genuine house buying services that will make a cash offer on your property, and once we’ve viewed your home, the formal offer that we make will NEVER be reduced unless the survey reveals the property to be of non-standard construction or not be ‘marketable’ and/or ‘mortgageable’ and only then might our formal offer be amended. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous house buying companies do exist, and they may claim to be genuine cash buyers that will buy your home quickly. However, this isn’t the case.  

They can all too-often lead you astray, telling you they’re genuine cash buyers but when it comes down to it they don’t have any cash in the bank for your property and are actually looking to third-parties to buy your home. They’ll tie you into a signed contract and if they struggle to sell your home, they may lower their offer at the last minute and leave you in a very vulnerable position.

We make it our mission to give the genuine cash buyers like ourselves a better name. We won’t ever pull the unethical trick mentioned above and will always ensure to be completely transparent throughout the process of buying your home.  We’ll NEVER ask you to sign anything prior to the exchange of contracts and you can walk away at any stage before this. When the sale is complete, you will receive the cash, straight to your bank.

We’re trusted members of both The Property Ombudsman and The National Association of Property Buyers, so you can rest assured that we are a genuine company, with genuine values.

You can read more about the dangerous tactics to look out for and how House Buyer Bureau practice a fair and ethical method here.

Paula

Flamborough

Put your trust in this company

“[My] house [was] up for sale too long, I wanted to move on with my life, I rang Dorothy up for a chat and she was on with it straight away. It took 14 days as agreed. Friendly honest staff, I got the money I wanted and the price was never lowered. I’m very happy with the service I’ve received from Dorothy and team. I used their solicitor, it did take a while for the money to land in my account but [it] arrived same day as completion. Put your trust in this company. A big thank you to all.

THE House Buyer Bureau BUYING PROCESS

We aim to be fully transparent when we’re buying your home. We won’t tell you that we’ll give you a better price than what you may get on the open market, but we do promise that the price you receive will be fair and may not be too drastically under what you might have achieved through traditional selling routes.

We will value your property, and make you a formal offer that will be subject to contract and survey. If you choose to accept our formal offer, which you are under absolutely no obligation to do so, we then instruct solicitors. We do not charge any fees for this service, we’ll cover your legal costs, and you reserve the right to change your mind at any time during this stage.

We then exchange the contracts and complete the sale in a timescale to suit you. It’s as simple as that. You can read more about the full process here.  

Gareth

Leeds

Just over two weeks in total

Sale was handled superbly. Both Kim and Dorothy were great throughout and kept in contact daily throughout the whole process. Sale completed a day after requested completion date, which was just over two weeks in total. No one wants to lose money from the value of their property but the whole process was handled with great understanding. Very professional service.

WE’LL BUY YOUR HOME, NO MATTER WHAT

This is one of the big reasons we’ve become a favourite among the nation. We will buy your home, in any condition and in any location. You have complete and utter certainty that the sale will go ahead. You won’t have to invest in doing up your property in order to shift it, you won’t have to go through the process of listing it on the market, you won’t have to endure viewing after viewing and there will be no unnecessary delays because of chains or unreliable buyers.

No matter the reason for selling your home, whether it be the property itself or your own personal circumstance, we promise to handle the sale with the utmost professionalism. We understand there may be many reasons you need a fast sale for your home and that it can be an incredibly stressful time. We help to alleviate some of this stress by taking the task out of your hands and completing it for you as quickly as we can.

You can trust us to get the job done and buy your home in a timescale completely suited to you and your needs. We won’t pry, but we’re here to support you throughout the process to make it as simple and straightforward as possible.

SELL YOUR HOME FAST

We can buy your home in as little as seven days, and we don’t just say this. Whether you want your home taken out of your hands in a matter of days, weeks, or months, we can manage this process at a pace that suits you and your needs.

We’ll never push you into a sale, we’ll just provide unbiased support and guidance and help you to make the decision yourself. We always offer the best possible price that we can for your specific property and practice a no-obligation model following your formal offer to ensure you don’t feel pressured into such a big decision.

You can start the process today by filling in our enquiry form, which takes just 60 seconds to complete. You will then receive a phone call from a member of our friendly team who will make you a cash offer in principle, based on the expected value of your property. Just head here and enter your postcode

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WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS HAVE TO SAY

With 99% of our customers being completely satisfied with our service and giving us a rating of 5 stars, we’ve earned our title as the nation’s favourite house buying service. Here are some of the amazing things our past customers have to say about what we do:

I would recommend this company to anyone thinking of selling in this way.

“I can honestly say that from start to finish the experience of selling our home to House Buyer Bureau was an experience that was beyond compare, excellent. [From] Dorothy to everyone associated to the company, the solicitor, the surveyor are too many to name were so helpful and answered all questions and any concerns.”

Mrs Clarkson, Ossett

Had our best interests at heart

“Very good service throughout the sale of the property. Kim Tristram was very helpful always answering and returning calls, with very good one-to-one contact and [they] always had our best interests at heart. Great service, highly recommend them.”

A Parry, Wrexham

Very happy to recommend using this service

“Having never sold a property before I was unsure how to proceed. Using this service and especially dealing with Kim was so easy and straightforward. Everything [was] explained in full beforehand and no pressure. Very happy to recommend using this service.”

M Forder, Southampton

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New law for homeowners with Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed has been described by the Environment Agency as the most destructive, aggressive and invasive plant in the country.

Two home owners in Wales recently won a court case when they sued Network Rail after Japanese knotweed spread into their gardens.

Each man was awarded £15,000 in damages after the court decided that Japanese knotweed is a ‘nuisance’ and ‘natural hazard’ that land owners must keep under control.

In this hot summer weather it will grow rapidly, by up to 10cm a day pushing up through cracks in concrete, cavity walls and drains. The longer it is left, the further its underground root system will spread and the more costly it will be to tackle.

Japanese knotweed will quickly spread and become established if left untreated and can cause damage to buildings and render them unsellable, resulting in a property unable to be sold on the open market until a treatment plan is implemented.

You could also face criminal charges if you try to hide the presence of Japanese knotweed when selling a property. There is a requirement to disclose its presence on the Law Society’s TA6 form. According to Environet, an estimated 2% of properties in the UK are directly affected by knotweed, this could result in approximately 1,000 cases each year of knotweed concealment during property transactions.

House Buyer Bureau will purchase your property even if it has Japanese Knotweed.  Selling privately would mean you would have to pay for the expensive removal or allow time for treatment, whereas selling to us means you can walk away and leave us to sort out the problem.

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How much is being chain-free worth?

chain free buyer

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Many of our customers come to us to buy their homes quickly so that they can be in a chain-free position when negotiating for their dream property. So just how much is being a chain-free buyer actually worth?

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According to a recent poll by Clearscore, 74% of all sellers would definitely accept or consider accepting an offer 5% below asking price if the buyer was in a strong, chain-free position to proceed. This proportion increases to 88% amongst sellers of properties worth over £500,000.

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So what does this mean in monetary terms? Well, this of course depends on where you live in the country and the value of the property you are offering on. We’ve done the calculations for you so that you can get an idea of just how much being chain-free could save you on your next property:

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Region Average Price (May 2018) Calculated Potential Chain-Free Saving (5%)
East Midlands £190,261 £9,513
East of England £288,808 £14,440
London £478,853 £23,943
North East £128,680 £6,434
North West £157,531 £7,877
South East £322,096 £16,105
South West £251,877 £12,594
West Midlands £192,322 £9,616
Yorkshire and the Humber £158,966 £7,948
UK-WIDE £243,583 £12,179

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Given that it was recently reported that the number of property sales falling through in the UK has reached a 10-year high, those that are in a chain-free position have more negotiating power than ever.

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It is for exactly this reason that many of our customers choose to sell their house fast with us – as not only can they can be 100% sure that their home will sell for cash, but they can also be in a chain-free position to buy their dream home (often at a saving thanks to their excellent negotiating position!).

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If you think we can help you sell your home quickly, then get in touch with our friendly team today who can talk you through the process.

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We raised over £15,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support

We’re delighted to announce that we have raised over £15,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support through our Charity Programme!

At House Buyer Bureau we run a dedicated charity programme through which we make monthly donations to Macmillan Cancer Support. The amount that we donate runs alongside the number of properties purchased combined with contributions from staff fundraising activities that we run throughout the year and we have officially broken the £14,000 total!

We first launched the programme in January 2015 and selected Macmillan to be the first and sole beneficiary for our charity programme, as many of our customers have been positively affected by the work that the charity carries out.

To see the latest amount raised, click HERE to visit our JustGiving page.

There are now around 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK, and it’s estimated that 1 in 2 of us will receive a diagnosis in our lifetime.

As part of our ongoing commitment to customer care and ethical working, we will continue to provide support and donations to MacMillan Cancer Support.

About MacMillan Cancer Support:

Right from the moment a patient is diagnosed, MacMillan’s dedicated team of supporters, professionals, volunteers, and campaigners provide a constant source of support.

Whether through its online community, helpline, local support groups or care specialists, MacMillan works to give those that need it the energy and inspiration to feel like themselves again. From a friendly face to talk to, to providing financial or work advice or information about treatments – MacMillan do anything they can to support not only those diagnosed, but their friends and families too. 

For support, information or if you just want to chat, call Macmillan Cancer Support free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit the website here.

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Awarded Feefo Gold Trusted Service

We’re delighted to have been awarded the Gold Trusted Service award from independent trusted reviews provider, Feefo!

Through its awards programme, Feefo recognise businesses that deliver exceptional experiences as rated by real, verified customers – and we’ve been awarded gold, the highest possible standard. The Feefo Gold badge is a globally-recognised symbol of trust which helps consumers contact us with absolute confidence.

Over the last 12 months alone we’ve collected 58 reviews, all of which have rated us 5/5 – something we are extremely proud of.

We’ve included just some of these reviews below, but you can read every single review over the last 4 years here.

Mrs TW, Southport

‘I would recommend HBB to anyone’

“The sale of my property was dealt with very professionally. A very helpful team where nothing was too much trouble. One member of the team, Kim Tristram, who went over and above her duties to put me at ease and help me with any worries.

I was messed about by other companies who tried pulling the wool over my eyes and make false offers. Right from the start I knew where I stood with HBB and Kim guided me every step of the way. Top service from Kim and the company. Thank you for helping me on my way to my new adventure.”

Mr Meaton, Cheshire

‘I was kept informed of every stage of the process’

“From my initial enquiry only a few weeks ago until completion everything was handled impeccably, I had total confidence that I was dealing with a 100% professional company. My contact Dorothy was superb and made sure that all involved progressed the sale quickly and efficiently.”

Mr Alford, Bristol

‘Very good’

“I needed cash for early retirement. The level of service was excellent and Dorothy was very helpful.”

Mrs Kirkham, Cheshire

‘…we would highly recommend HBB’

“After finding a new property which we very much wanted to purchase  we needed a quick sale to secure it … HBB ticked all the boxes , from start to finish they were excellent. .. especially Dorothy … she made the whole process easy ,and stress free  , and informed us every step of the way and would  definitely use there services again … thank you so much  HBB and a massive thank you to Dorothy you’re a star.”

If you think we could help you to sell your home, visit our homepage and enter your postcode for an instant cash offer.

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Selling Your Home with us vs. A Traditional Estate Agent – A Direct Comparison

At House Buyer Bureau, we’re completely transparent about the price we will pay for your property and our agreed purchase price never changes.

We’re genuine cash buyers with an independent review score of 5/5 that can buy your house within seven days or, alternatively, we can complete on a timescale of your choice.

If you’re unsure what to expect, we have outlined the following example of a house valued at £120,000 to prepare you for the associated costs involved with selling your home through an estate agent compared to selling with a cash buying company.  

When you consider the added hassle of viewings and the pressure on your time, you can see that the difference between the cash buying route versus selling with a traditional estate agent isn’t so far apart.

We’ve also detailed a few scenarios that selling fast or on your own timescale can either save you money by improving your buying position, or can be more than worth the difference to take away the stress.

£120,000 Example Cash Sale Traditional Estate Agency
Asking Price Example £120,000 £120,000
Average Agreed Purchase Price £95,000 £110,000
Final Agreed Price After Survey £95,000 £108,000
Estate Agent Fees £0.00 £1,980
Estimated Cosmetic Repairs to prepare your house for sale £0.00 £1,500
Solicitor Fees £0.00 £1,000
Estimated Bills (During the sale process) £0.00 £1,200
Estimated Mortgage payments (During the sale process) £0.00 £2,700*
Time taken off to see Estate Agents and Lawyers £0.00 £300**
Net Price Achieved £95,000 £99,320

*£450 per month based on 6 months to sell.  
** Based on £75 a day and 4 days off work.

When selling with House Buyer Bureau might suit you:

Your time is valuable – and that time can also have value to the owners of the house you want to buy. Here are some scenarios in which selling on your terms might be worth more than the small difference:

  • When you’ve already found your dream home and you want to be in the best buying position possible in order to secure it. 

  • Property bills can add up and so selling quickly can relieve the stress of a long, uncertain sale and release equity quickly.

  • Being chain free can save you thousands as you have more chance of being successful with a lower offer. 
  • When you’ve inherited a home the responsibility of its bills will fall to you and any other recipients. 

  • When you value your time and want to alleviate stress from the process of moving house.

Selling your home can be very stressful and takes an average of six months. The demands of arranging your life around viewings, preparing your home and keeping it in immaculate condition while house hunting, working and looking after the family can get too much.

If you think we could help you to sell your home, visit our homepage and enter your postcode for an instant cash offer.

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Gazumping – The New Trend to be Aware of and Why Position is Everything

Gazumping is when the seller of a property accepts an offer from one buyer and then just before the sale is fully complete, goes on to accept a higher offer from another.

With no laws in place to prevent it, this is something that happens all too often in England and Wales. According to a survey of 2,000 people conducted by Market Financial Solutions in January, 15% of adults in London have had a property purchase fall through as a result of being gazumped, with a national figure of 5%.  

An offer is not legally binding until the written contracts are exchanged, which happens towards the end of the buying process when a whole bunch of other costs have already been incurred; arranging a property survey, having a solicitor conduct the necessary searches and receiving your mortgage offer.

Not only is it a massive disappointment to lose out on what perhaps was your dream home, but it can also leave you thousands of pounds out of pocket. Instructing a solicitor will cost anywhere from £500 to £1500, along with a fee of around £300 for searches to be submitted to the local council to check if any planning or local issues could affect the value of the property.

Then there is the cost of the house buyer survey, which – depending on the value of the property – could cost anywhere from £350 to £950. So, at the higher end of the average costs, you could spend upwards of £2,750 before you can begin to officially secure the property.

“We have just had the [property] survey done and I was idly checking Zoopla to see it was still being marketed by the other estate agents.

I got a friend to call and dig for info and she found out that the vendor had accepted our offer ‘very reluctantly’ and that he was continuing to market [the property] in case he gets a higher offer.

This has made me feel totally sick. We’ve just forked out on solicitors fees and a survey and the vendor is likely to drop us at the first opportunity!” – Sammisatt, Mumsnet.

The Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid announced a call for evidence in October to improve the experience of house buying, stating that moving the point in which a sale becomes legally binding is an option to prevent gazumping, as well as considering mandatory “lock-in agreements” to increase the trust between buyer and seller. These new house buying rules are due to come in to place very soon and could make the prevalence of gazumping even higher in the meantime.

If you are unable to increase your offer or unable to guarantee a quick, chain-free, mortgage-free, pain-free process for the seller, then you could well lose out.

Beware, there is also the potential for you to be ‘ghost gazumped’ by your seller, meaning they falsely tell you they’ve received a higher offer to see if they can squeeze anymore out of you.

Being gazumped can leave you victim to the chain, resulting in being stuck in your current property. You can avoid this, secure your dream house and save thousands by selling to a cash buyer such as ourselves.

As a cash buyer, selling with us can leave you chain free and in a great position to buy. There’s also absolutely no fees to pay – no legal fees, estate agency fees, survey or valuation fees, potentially saving you thousands.

If you think we could help you to sell your home, visit our homepage and enter your postcode for an instant cash offer.

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Buyers & Sellers: Beware Agent Upselling

Earlier this year the Telegraph ran a piece entitled ‘the dodgy estate agent tactics that leave buyers and sellers out of pocket’ – referring to a new upselling strategy being implemented by estate agents across the country.

At House Buyer Bureau, we understand how important it is to feel in control of the buying and selling process. That’s why we’re 100% transparent with our customers throughout the sale process and we’ve drafted this blog post so that you can find out exactly what ‘agent upselling’ is and how to avoid its potential costs.

What is Agent Upselling?

Rather than making income only from selling fees, estate agents increasingly profit from mortgage broking and conveyancing services, causing buyers and sellers to lose out.

It’s understandable to think that upselling mortgage and conveyancing services may simply mean that the buyer is left out of pocket, but the seller may lose out too.

The reason for this is that there has been an increasing amount of pressure put on estate agents to upsell these products to the buyer, but if they are successful in doing so, it is also arguably in their interest for that buyer to be successful when they make their offer.

Because most people only sell homes two or three times in their lifetime, the stress of the process means that the seller puts their complete faith in their estate agent to work on behalf of them to find the right buyer at the right price for their home.

However, with the agent’s interest also pulled to a buyer that will take a mortgage and conveyancing through their agency, they may be inclined to sway the seller to accept an offer from that particular buyer. This may mean they miss out on a higher offer from a buyer that has sourced their mortgage and conveyancing independently.

In the Telegraph article, Jenny (name changed), an estate agent from London with 10 years’ experience, explains:

“It’s all about selling mortgages these days, [sellers] put this blind faith into their estate agent and that is being abused, pure and simple,”

“Most people only go through this process two or three times in their life. They don’t know enough to understand what is being done to them. Most people for the sake of a couple of thousand pounds will go with the [offer] they’ve been told has more certainty.

“So you just put both offers to the homeowner and say: ‘This one offered £2,000 less but they are doing everything in-house and it is far more likely [the sale] will go through. If you go with the person who’s offered £2,000 more, they are using their own solicitors and their own mortgage services so we can’t make any guarantees.’”

How to Avoid Agent Upselling – The Signs

Sellers – although it can be tempting to ask your agent to only pass on ‘financially verified’ offers, this gives the agent the right to dismiss offers from buyers not using their mortgage services automatically.

Buyers – buyers can be told they will become a ‘hot buyer’ if they use the estate agent’s mortgage broker, giving them special access to an exclusive list of houses only available to them. In reality, this just limits the market to the seller, and having a conversation with a mortgage advisor within earshot of an estate agent is a no-no, as there is a risk the agent could learn enough about your financial situation to encourage the seller to wait for a higher offer.

At House Buyer Bureau, we understand how important it is to feel in control of the buying and selling process and we’re 100% transparent with our customers throughout the sale process.

Get in touch with our team or visit our homepage for an instant, online cash offer for your property.

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Home Sale Horror Stories

In the spirit of Halloween, we’ve gathered real-life house sale horror stories from across the UK, compiling them into a single blog post.

When all is not as it seems…

Sometimes, when you’ve purchased a house and move in, the reality of life in your new home might be very different from the expectation – particularly if you relied on your own limited knowledge or a seller’s word about an aspect of the house or area, rather than a survey.

This happens to buyers regularly, and when the disenchantment with the property becomes too much, the buyer soon becomes the seller – only this time the property is extremely difficult to sell as potential buyers are warned off by an owner selling their home so soon after moving in.  

A seller struggling to sell their home due to unforeseen parking issues and planning permissions:

“[We] did look into [the] idea of [the] front garden being turned into parking, but council said no, it was 1cm out or something.

People in the street have been trying to get residents’ parking for years without success. The people we bought the house off 5 years ago lied and told us residents’ parking was coming into force and naively, I believed them without checking. They also told us that a planning application for houses to be built behind our garden had been rejected when actually, it had been accepted. God I’m so naive.

Will look into part exchange idea again, I actually think I’d move anywhere just to sell this house!”

The chain nightmare…

Selling a house the traditional way can be extremely stressful. You put the house on the market, de-clutter, tidy, patch-up, prepare for viewings, take calls off your estate agent, rival agents and so the list goes on.

Not only does the list go on, but it drags on, for weeks, sometimes months, sometimes years. Sadly, even when the perfect buyer walks through the door and you accept the offer the stress can be far from all over:

“By my calculation, there are at least 8 houses in our chain. [We’ve] been waiting since January, [we] were supposed to complete today (May) originally ☹. [We] only found out on Tuesday that top of chain hasn’t even instructed their solicitor yet!

[I’m] in the middle of reception school place appeals as obviously we didn’t get offered a local school.”

Missing school places is just one potential consequence of being in a long chain or in chains that ultimately break down. Buyers and sellers throughout the chain can incur more solicitors fees, be forced to pay removal cancellations, lose deposits on new-builds or plots or even delay starting a new job. Those tenants at the bottom of the chain may also have nowhere to live if notice has been handed in to the landlord of their accommodation.

Last-minute unwanted surprises…

Until all parties in a chain have exchanged and completed, sadly, there’s still time for unwanted surprises. This could be the chain breaking down, your buyer demanding £1,000s off the price at a key moment or new information about issues with your property or your planned purchase (worrying planning permission requests, flooding, neighbour disputes, structural issues – quite literally, anything can happen!).

Realistically, the longer your sale goes on for, the more at-risk you are to these unexpected and unwanted surprises.

“We accepted an offer 50k below asking price on our flat 3 months ago. Buyers have been awkward all the way, and now want to drop a further 25k the day before we are due to exchange. We can’t afford this, unless the next property in the chain takes the hit too, and we really don’t think he will.

About to speak to agents, but does anyone have any advice? Is this likely to be a negotiating position or might they really pull out if we say no?

Scared.”

Horror stories like these are an all-too-common occurrence when buying or selling a house. If you want to be certain your home will sell then the best way is to sell to a cash buyer with no-chain that will buy any property in any condition – someone just like us.

Get in touch with our team or visit our homepage for an instant, online cash offer for your property.

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Is Selling a Leasehold House Difficult?

selling leasehold property

More than six million properties in England and Wales are leasehold and almost 40% of new-build homes sold in 2018 and 2019 were leasehold, according to the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership

In June 2019, the Housing Minister announced that property developers would be banned from selling new-build houses as leasehold. The move came in response to a growing number of leaseholders protesting against being “trapped in their homes” due to high ground rent and service charges making their properties difficult, if not impossible, to sell.

The announcement is welcome news for future buyers of new houses, but what about the millions of existing leaseholders across the UK? Will the value of their homes be affected? Will selling a leasehold house become even more challenging? In this blog, we explain all.

What Is a Leasehold Property?

If you buy a leasehold property, you will only own it for a fixed period and you will have a legally-binding agreement with the “landlord” or “freeholder” — the person or business that owns the freehold for your property. This agreement will tell you how many years you will own the property.

If / when the lease comes to an end, the ownership of the property will return to the “landlord” or “freeholder” and you will no longer own your home (even if you have fully paid your mortgage).

The vast majority of flats are leaseholds, but in the 2000s it became increasingly common for new-build houses to sell as leasehold properties, which has ultimately led to the ban.

Can the Lease Be Extended? How Much Does Extending a Lease Cost?

The amount of time left on a lease can impact the house price. A property with a short lease may be more difficult to sell and is likely to achieve a lower sale price. There may be a smaller pool of potential buyers too, as many lenders will reject loan applications for properties with less than 70 years left on the lease. 

Under the 1993 Leasehold Reform Act, leaseholders are legally entitled to extend their lease by 90 years if they meet certain qualifying criteria. Most leaseholders will be permitted to extend their lease if they have owned a long lease for two years or more. 

The exact cost of extending your lease depends on how much of the lease remains and the value of your property. As the years remaining reduce, so does the value of the property, while the premium for extension increases.

The chart below shows the typical cost of extending your lease, depending on lease length. Be aware, the costs to extend your lease could be much higher —  these figures are based on a flat valued at £200,000 with a 999-year lease.

Credit: Moneysavingexpert.com

To demonstrate how lease extension costs can spiral when lease length gets below 60 years, in May this year, a flat in one of London’s most expensive squares where flats typically sell for £7,000,000, sold for just £90,000 as it had just 14 months left on the lease. This lease will cost £900,000 to extend for only 20 years.

What Are the Leasehold Rule Changes for New-Builds?

The government’s changes will ban builders from selling new-build houses as leasehold in England (unless there are exceptional circumstances) and ground rents on flats could be cut to as low as zero.

All new-build houses will be sold as freehold properties to tackle unfair leasehold practices and prevent leaseholders from becoming “trapped”.  There will also be a new time limit of 15 working days and a maximum fee of £200 for leaseholders from applying to buy their home. The Secretary of State has also stated that Help to Buy contracts will be renegotiated to rule out the selling of new leasehold houses.

The full details of the government’s plans, announced on 27 June 2019, can be read here

What’s the Impact for Those Selling a Leasehold House, or for Those Considering Buying One?

In many cases, leasehold flats and houses are subject to ground rates and other clauses that incur additional costs. Some of these costs can increase either with the value of the property or at certain milestones. It is these spiralling cost increases — along with the increasing costs of lease renewal — that can render a property unsellable at market value because it can become virtually unmortgageable for any potential buyer.

For example, ground rents may start as £200 per year on the property, but double every 10 years. This would make annual ground rent £6,400 by year 50 of the lease.

In addition, clauses can include a mortgage fee if the lessee decides to remortgage at any point. This fee could be 0.05% of the home’s value, for example, or a £150 charge for remortgaging a house valued at £300,000. Other mainstay charges could even include a fee (usually around £50 plus VAT) if the property owner wants a pet.

The key for leasehold homeowners is to buy the freehold (if possible) or keep your lease length above 100 years. Keeping the lease long will keep lease extension costs relatively low and mean potential buyers can acquire a mortgage for the property should you decide to sell.

If you’re buying a new build house, the leasehold should no longer be a problem following the ban. If you are considering purchasing an existing leasehold house, be sure to check the length of the lease, research renewal costs and research the possibility of buying the freehold.

A testament to the importance of this is a real case study from TheToysAreALIVEITellThee on Mumsnet:

“Bought our first and current home seven years ago. Was told by the solicitor that it was Leasehold with 63 years left but not informed what the implications of this were, just that it could mean we’d have a problem if we wanted to sell in the near future and she would advise that we either extend the lease or purchase the freehold when we can – great. I was young, excited that our offer had been accepted and we’d be moving into our dream home and trusted that the solicitor knew their job.

“Fast forward seven years and 2 DC later and finally… [I] start looking into buying the freehold.

“I feel sick, have read that it can cost tens of thousands of pounds, extending the lease can be just as costly, and if we just let the lease run out the land reverts back to the leaseholder and we can be forced to then pay them RENT for our own home that would have been fully paid off.”

Under the new regulations, where buyers are incorrectly sold a leasehold home, they can obtain the freehold outright at no extra cost. 

If your lease has become expensive to renew or if you’re struggling to sell your property because of unexpected lease costs, get in touch with one of our team. We’re cash buyers and in a position to purchase any leasehold property — regardless of the lease term remaining.  

You could sell your home in as little as seven days. If you need a swift sale, why not visit our homepage and enter your postcode for an instant cash offer on your home.

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Beware the Hidden Factors Stopping Your Home from Selling

You’ve cleaned and tidied your home from top to bottom, you light candles and spray air freshener to prepare your home for viewings, there is no sign of your pets and your home has never looked better – so why hasn’t it sold?

In this blog post, we look at the hidden reasons why your home might not be selling…

  • The Area

Unsightly neighbouring properties with structural damage or unkempt gardens might impact the chances of your own home selling – no matter how perfect your property is.

Equally, the issue might not be as obvious as a neighbour’s garden. It could be the overall appeal of the area in general.

  • Is there a lack of parks nearby?
  • Is the road too busy?
  • Are there good transport links?
  • Is your home outside the catchment area for a good school?

These ‘hidden’ factors have become increasingly important to house buyers, and sadly, there is very little you can do if your home is based in an undesirable area.

If you’re fed up with waiting for a buyer to come along for your home, get in touch to get a cash offer for your property and you could be moving in as little as seven days!

  • Planning Permission

You might not be aware that someone nearby has applied for planning permission, but this may be common knowledge to others which could be impacting your chances of selling.

Nearby planning permission can impact your home in the following ways which would put a buyer off making an offer:

  • Make the road area near your home much busier (e.g. building a new supermarket, school or new road system)
  • Cause your property to be overlooked (e.g. by a neighbouring extension)
  • Cause noise / light pollution (e.g. change of use of a nearby business to a nightclub / bar, or plans to erect floodlights or new street lights near your property)
  • Make it clear that any homebuyer would not get permission to extend your property post-purchase (if others have been denied permission for extensions nearby that a prospective buyer would want to make).

To find your local council website and search for planning permission submissions in your area, visit https://www.gov.uk/search-register-planning-decisions

At House Buyer Bureau, we buy any property. If you think planning permission has severely impacted your chances of selling, get in touch with us to see how we can help.

  • Signs of Structural Wear 

When you see something every day, it’s easy to overlook subtle changes that buyers might see as warning signs. Broken or missing roof tiles, wear and tear (that may be viewed as a sign of age and structural issues) and signs of damp can quickly cause potential buyers to rule your property out.

Any potential buyer is likely to get your property surveyed before committing to the purchase, so it may be worth getting a survey done yourself so that you can be in-the-know about underlying issues.

You could sell your home in as little as seven days. If you’re in need of a swift sell, why not visit our homepage and enter your postcode for an instant cash offer on your home.

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5 Most Common Reasons for Selling your Home

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There are many reasons people sell their homes, from avoiding costly repairs to relocating for a new job. A full list of selling reasons could be endless, but we’ve broken down the five most common reasons homeowners make the decision to sell.

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1. In Order to Release Equity

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Homeowners may want to release equity out of desire or necessity. Whilst some owners are eager to make a profit, others may be more interested in selling quickly to get cash in the banks. Those eager to turn a profit may want to liquidate a second home for the spending money or to earn a profit on home renovations. However, those in need of fast cash may need a quick sell to pay off back debts or stop a repossession or foreclosure.

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2. Housing Market Conditions

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Whether it’s low mortgage rates or a change in country leadership, housing market conditions can influence homeowners to sell.

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Sometimes the market is ripe for a sell and the temptation is irresistible. Other conditions that may indicate a good selling market include: strong buyer demand, rising home prices, a strong job market, an increase in interest rates, or an increase in rent. However, sellers will likely buy another home meaning any favourable selling conditions will work against them as buyers.

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Currently, house prices have fallen for four consecutive months, including in June. This is the first time house prices have fallen in June since 2009, but the results come as no surprise as uncertainty continues following the election result. This has stifled demand, meaning houses remain on the market for longer. If you don’t want to wait or leave your house sale to chance, get in touch with us to sell your fast.

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3. Size Requirements Change

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Whether it’s upgrading or downsizing, as families changes so do property needs. Most first-time buyers outgrow their homes when they plan to start a family and desire, better yet require, more space. On the other hand, as children flee the nest, space requirements reduce and the desire to downsize comes into play. These changes in size requirements can be a pressing matter that requires an urgent sell.

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4. Change in Relationship Status

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Relationships change for better or worse and a marriage or divorce can call for a need to sell fairly quickly. If both partners own homes but want to move in together, one or both might need to sell their home. On the breakup side of the equation, partners may separate and need to sell their shared home if the mortgage cannot be covered on a single salary. Therefore, a divorce may require a more urgent sell than a new partnership.

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5. Changes in the Neighbourhood

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The neighbourhood you once fell in love with years ago may no longer be the idyllic location it once was. An increase in the crime rate, changes in school catchment areas, a plan for construction of a new motorway, or even a change in the neighbours can be as good a reason as any to sell and move on. As unfortunate as it may be, these changes may prompt an urgent sell.

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With House Buyer Bureau, you could sell your home in as little as seven days. If you’re in need of a swift sell, why not visit our homepage and enter your postcode for an instant cash offer on your home.

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Home Affordability in 2017

Home Affordability in 2017

How affordable is the housing market in 2017?

House prices in the UK have fallen for three consecutive months for the first time since 2009, so now could be the best time to sell your house – and fast, before the value of your home decreases further.

New data released reveals the home affordability gap – the gap between median house price and median earnings – and suggests that we may have seen house values peak for the foreseeable future, as the gap between house prices and earnings closes.

According to ONS affordability data, the median price paid for a home in the UK leapt 259% between 1997 and 2016, while earnings rose by only 68%.

In 1997, house prices were 3.6 times workers’ annual gross full-time earnings. Now, prices are 7.6 times the average salary.

Of course, the extent of the gap varies across regions. In the London boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea house prices are typically 38.5 times greater than average earnings, while in Copeland, Cumbria, houses are typically 2.8 times the average salary.

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Source: The Guardian

So, what does the drop in house prices mean if you’re trying to sell your house? And where’s the link between this and affordability?

Basic economics suggests that when you make something less affordable, demand falls. That’s how a market balances out. This could well be why prices are on the decrease and could mean your house is on the market for longer.

So why wait? We buy homes all year round! If you think we could help you to sell your home, visit our homepage and enter your postcode for an instant cash offer.

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When is the best time to sell a house?

When is the best time to put your house on the market?

If you’re thinking of selling your house, then this question has probably crossed your mind. There are certainly trends that show that the housing market is seasonal and can also be impacted by political and economic events, so when is the perfect time to sell your house?

With a general election on the horizon, we look at the best and worst times of the year to sell your home as well as whether or not you should list your house for sale before an election.

The Best Time to Sell:

Seasons

Answer: Spring & Early Summer.

The months of March, April and May had the shortest ‘average time to sell’ according to RightMove data, averaging 60 days over these months in 2016. May was the best performing month, with the average house selling within 57 days (from instruction to removal of the property from the market / sale, subject to contract).

The Worst Time to Sell:

Seasons

Answer: Winter / Christmas.

November, December and January were the worst performing trio of months, with time to sell averaging 68, 73 and 79 days respectively.

Many buyers decide to wait until after Christmas to resume their property search, knowing that the sale wouldn’t be completed in time for them to move in before the winter holidays. This explains why this time of year is one of the worst times to sell and why spring time is thought to be one of the best.

Better weather in the spring and early summer also means houses can look their best both outside and in, but be aware that should your house remain on the market for too long, summer is a poor time to sell as buyers jet off on holiday and put house buying to the back of their minds.  

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Should I put my house on the market before a general election?

The announcement of the snap election to take place on June 8th will undoubtedly have made many homeowners wonder whether now is a good time to sell their home – even if it is the height of spring and meant to be the optimum time to sell.

It’s not uncommon for buyers to put plans on hold until the outcome of a political vote.

Yorkshire Building Society economist Andrew McPhillips said: “The housing market is going through a sluggish period at present and a general election adds to the chances of it lasting longer.”

Past trends have shown a clear correlation between general elections and levels of sales in the property market, with a dip in activity pre-election, but a bounce-back in the number of sales post-election.

We buy homes all year round! If you think we could help you to sell your home, visit our homepage and enter your postcode for an instant cash offer.

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Why Selling Your House With Us Could Save You £1,000s

Selling your home can cost thousands. On top of all the fees, the longer your house is on the market for, the more bills and mortgage repayments you have to pay.

So how much does it cost to sell the average home in the UK? 

The average UK house price was £218,000 in January 2017, according to the ONS, so we’ll use this figure in our working example.

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And how much does it cost to sell your house with House Buyer Bureau?

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When you add up agency fees, solicitor’s fees and the extra mortgage and bill payments you have to make while your house is for sale, the average cost of selling a house in the UK sits somewhere between £7,000 and £10,000.

When you sell your house with House Buyer Bureau, there are no fees to pay – no legal fees, estate agency fees, survey or valuation fees, potentially saving you thousands.

If you think we could help you to sell your home, visit our homepage and enter your postcode for an instant cash offer. 

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5 Reasons We’re the UK’s Favourite House Buying Service

We’ve had over 500 customers review their experience selling their property to us and we have consistently achieved a 95% or above customer satisfaction rating.

So, what is it about the service we offer that has made us the UK’s favourite house buying service? Collecting information from our customer reviews, we’ve listed the five most common reasons those customers gave us five stars:

  1. We’re fast!

We may not have broken any Olympic records, but if you need to sell your property quickly, we can certainly deliver.  

With us you can sell your house in as little as seven days. Or, if you need a little more time, we can adjust timescales to suit your needs exactly.

Pauline, Swansea – 

The service was excellent, it was very, very quick, I found that if I put it on for sale with an estate agent it would take too long and a flat came up that I really wanted. 

Dean, Pontefract – 

From start to finish everything was done on time, we needed an extension to our changeover date as our new property was not ready, and even after everything had been signed, even this was no trouble for this company.
I would recommend House Buyer Bureau to anyone without a shadow of doubt, once again, thank you and well done.

  1. No hidden fees

Many firms offering quick-sale services may charge fees which are hidden to customers, who then feel pressured to pay these unexpected charges.

Unlike these firms, we do not charge any fees. Valuations are free of charge and even if you decide to pull out before exchange of contracts, there are no costs. No pressure and no fees!

Andrea, Truro –

There are no solicitor’s fees to pay, no estate agents fees, in fact no fees at all! This suited me very well as I wished to move quickly to secure my new let, and with no upfront fees I was able to do this.
Many thanks to all involved.

  1. Value and Offer Transparency

Sadly, some unscrupulous house buying firms will reduce the price offered for a property at the last moment, hoping that the customer will be emotionally and financially committed to the sale and agree to the new price.

Our ‘Formal Offer’ will never be reduced unless there is adverse information that comes to light from the RICS survey or Report on Title (legal report).

Margaret, Tynemouth – 

The sale was handled efficiently and there was complete transparency surrounding the valuation and offer process. As promised once the sale price was agreed it was adhered to. The team were helpful and understanding especially as my mum was selling her home of many years as she had had to go into a care home, which was an emotional decision.

  1. Customer Service

Selling your house can be a stressful and emotional process. Although our service is designed to make the whole process stress-free, it can still be an emotional time.

That’s why we focus on delivering an exceptional and personal customer service. Each house is unique as are the circumstances behind each sale. We work with you to understand your needs and deliver our service to a timescale that suits you.

Jane, Walsall – 

Excellent service. Dorothy went above and beyond with her superb care and efficiency. She was with us every step of the way. The whole process took just 3 weeks. Dorothy handled all issues and kept us informed at every stage of the transaction. We cannot speak highly enough of her. I would certainly recommend House Buyer Bureau to anyone wanting a quick, easy and stress free sale. 

John, Rhyl – 

From the moment I approached House Buyer Bureau regards to the sale of the property I received a very professional and outstanding service.

Rebecca Tait, who dealt with the sale, is an extremely polite lady. Rebecca kept me informed at all levels regarding the sale of the property. Explaining the procedure in depth and in a friendly and easy to understand manner. Thank you Rebecca.

I would certainly recommend House Buyer Bureau to any potential house seller who wants and quick and easy house sale.

  1. Genuine cash buyers

Many house buying firms falsely claim to be cash buyers.

We’re the genuine and professional alternative to an estate agency sale offering competitive cash prices and completions from only seven days. You can see over 500 examples of our recent transactions here.

Anthony, North Yorkshire – 

House Buyer Bureau are very upfront in telling you how much you are likely to get after a visit from two local estate agents and possible adjustment after a valuation by a chartered surveyor. I was pleased to be able to make a quick sale and not be responsible for the house as I wanted to move into a retirement bungalow. House Buyer Bureau are genuine cash buyers. Some that claim to be are not. I thoroughly recommend them.

If you think we could help you to sell your home, visit our homepage and enter your postcode for an instant cash offer.

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We will buy your house today

Homeowners looking to sell their properties quickly are urged to take advantage of a nationwide service from House Buyer Bureau, which guarantees a cash offer for every home and the prospect of completing a sale within just seven days or around a timescale to suit.

Chris Hodgkinson, Sales Director of House Buyer Bureau, explained: “Latest statistics suggest the average property is on the market for around eight weeks before a buyer is found; however there is an alternative for frustrated homeowners who want to buck this trend and simply do not want to endure long delays, broken chains, and hidden costs.

“House Buyer Bureau buys properties for cash – no matter where the property is located or what condition it is in. By visiting www.housebuyerbureau.co.uk and simply entering the postcode on the homepage, homeowners can get a provisional and instant cash offer for their property. There are no hidden costs, in fact our customers save literally hundreds of pounds in fees as House Buyer Bureau pays for all the fees associated with the sale.

“With a long history spanning over 75 years, the team at House Buyer Bureau prides itself on delivering the very best levels of service, and this is reflected in our fantastic Feefo rating. Customers have the peace of mind of knowing they can pull out at any time up until contracts are exchanged, and our trained advisors – all of whom have direct telephone numbers – are on hand to provide a personal service.”

Mrs Salt recently turned to House Buyer Bureau when she was looking to sell a three-bedroom detached cottage she had been letting out. “When it came to selling the rental property my husband and I owned, we looked at the options but our priority was to secure a speedy sale. We also didn’t want the hassle as the property was located 60 miles away from where we lived and I felt it would take a lot longer to sell through local estate agents.

“The research I had done on House Buyer Bureau was very reassuring and I just knew it was the right company to go with. After speaking to Dorothy from House Buyer Bureau on the telephone, I was given a provisional offer which was based on valuations from two local estate agents, and the sale was completed in seven days.”

“By selling the property through House Buyer Bureau we achieved a remarkably quick, stress-free sale. I was kept informed by Dorothy every step of the way and I felt in control throughout, which was really important to me.”

Chris added: “There really isn’t a typical House Buyer Bureau customer. The circumstances of every seller is different from those who need speed, those who want the certainty of a genuine cash buyer to those that just don’t want the inconvenience of long chains, viewings and unnecessary delays. We also buy from those who can’t sell their home due to its condition or even a legal matter.

“Whatever your situation we are here to help and I would urge those interested to visitwww.housebuyerbureau.co.uk to get a no obligation instant online cash offer for their property.”

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Thank you to Dorothy

House Buyer Bureau property buyer Dorothy Barker got a pleasant surprise at work this week when a delivery man arrived with a wonderful bouquet of flowers for her.

The pleasantly unexpected delivery was from her customer Graham from West Yorkshire who was so delighted with the service he received from Dorothy on the sale of his sister-in-law’s house that wanted to give her an extra thank you.

The sale of the three bedroomed townhouse in Guiseley completed in less than four weeks, allowing Graham’s sister-in-law to move into sheltered accommodation.

Over the past five years independent surveys have revealed that House Buyer Bureau has consistently achieved a 95% or above customer satisfaction rating. CLICK HERE to see more customer testimonials.

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Receive £500 when you recommend a friend

House Buyer Bureau, the UK’s favourite house buying service, has this week launched a new scheme which will see its customers receive £500 for recommending a friend to sell their property with them.

House Buyer Bureau has launched its new Recommend a Friend scheme as a thank you to its customers for helping the company achieve a 95% or above average customer satisfaction rating over the past five years.

Chris Hodgkinson, director at House Buyer Bureau, commented: “We are very proud of our high customer satisfaction ratings and we wanted to give something back to our customers as a thank you.

“Our team work hard to pay the best price for our customers’ and make their property sale process as quick and stress-free as possible. We receive dozens of great customer testimonials every month telling us what a positive experience it was selling their property with us and we want our customers to help spread that message to others in similar circumstances who just want to sell their property without any hassle.”

The Recommend a Friend scheme rules state that House Buyer Bureau will only send a cheque for £500 to the customer once their friend’s property completion has taken place. The friend who is recommended must be a new enquiry to House Buyer Bureau and cannot have received a cash offer from us in the past 12 months.

House Buyer Bureau, the UK’s favourite house buying service, is a genuine cash buyer, able to offer completions in only seven days on purchases of all types of property in any condition and location in England and Wales. There are no legal, valuation or estate agency fees to pay, no inconvenient long chains, no viewings or unnecessary delays, just a certainty of sale at the most competitive cash price.

For a 60 second online cash offer, complete the form HERE and see what we could pay you

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Launching charity programme

House Buyer Bureau, the UK’s favourite house buying service, has this week launched a new charity programme to support Macmillan Cancer Support.

Many of House Buyer Bureau’s customers have been positively affected by the work of Macmillan Cancer Support and as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to customer are and ethical working it has selected Macmillan Cancer Support as the beneficiary for its charity programme.

Chris Hodgkinson, director at House Buyer Bureau, commented: “Selling a property is a big undertaking for many people, especially those who have just inherited a house or are selling to move into a care home. We appreciate that it isn’t just a simple transaction, it can often be a complete lifestyle change and we want to support our customers through this transition”

The House Buyer Bureau charity campaign will see the company make monthly donations to Macmillan Cancer Support in line with the number of properties purchased along with contributions from staff fundraising activities throughout the year.

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Gini Smith, fundraising manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “It’s great news that House Buyer Bureau want to support our work. A donation of only £40 could help a cancer self-help and support group hold their first meeting or £190 could fund a Macmillan nurse for a day. The donations we receive from House Buyer Bureau will go directly to those who need our support.”

To find out more information about the House Buyer Bureau charity programme CLICK HERE or to suggest a fundraising event for the team to take part in call 0800 028 2800.

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New website launched

House Buyer Bureau, the UK’s favourite house buying service, has launched a new website this week making it even simpler for people to sell their property quickly.

The website has been launched following a highly successful 2014 and in response to positive customer feedback. Now featuring a live chat function as well as its simple online cash offer generator, visitors will be provided with an instant cash offer and called immediately by House Buyer Bureau’s professional team of property buyers.

Simon Blunt, managing director of House Buyer Bureau, commented: “We pride ourselves on treating our customers with honesty and integrity and in 2014 we helped around 300 people sell their home and complete in an average of 10 days.

“We know there are more sellers across England and Wales looking for a quick sale and we want to make our business as accessible as possible to those people.”

The new website has been designed to reinforce House Buyer Bureau’s position as the friendly and approachable house buying service with softer illustrations and a warmer colour palette. The content is also promotes the company’s heritage and experience and demonstrates that it is an established, trustworthy organisation with a wealth of knowledge.

Also heavily featured on the new website is advice on how best to handle a quick house sale and hundreds of positive customer testimonials. Over the past five years independent surveys have revealed that House Buyer Bureau has consistently achieved a 95% or above customer satisfaction rating

Simon added: “We have worked hard over the past few years to improve the reputation of the quick sale industry into a genuine option for those looking to sell their property fast. Our new website will make our services even more accessible and we’re confident our business will continue to grow as a result.”

House Buyer Bureau, the UK’s favourite house buying service, is a genuine cash buyer, able to offer completions in only seven days on purchases of all types of property in any condition and location in England and Wales. There are no legal, valuation or estate agency fees to pay, no inconvenient long chains, no viewings or unnecessary delays, just a certainty of sale at the most competitive cash price.

For a 60 second online cash offer, complete the form HERE and see what we could pay you

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Launching Our Code Of Ethics

House Buyer Bureau, a leading provider in the quick house sale market, has launched a Code of Ethics in a bid to encourage a clean-up of the industry.

The company, which prides itself on the quality and integrity of its services, has drawn up its own Charter rather than wait for an Office of Fair Trading report into the sector.

Chris Hodgkinson, House Buyer Bureau Sales Director, said: “We welcome and will be supporting and working with the OFT on its study into the industry as it will help weed out unscrupulous companies that employ methods that give the sector a bad name. “However, while waiting for the OFT to complete its report, we wanted to publicly demonstrate our overriding commitment to treating clients with honesty and integrity. “We always have embraced the highest standards and are confident that our business processes and terms and conditions will be recommended as best practice for the industry in the wake of the OFT’s assessment. “The House Buyer Bureau’s Code of Ethics sums up the company’s principles and what customers can expect from our services.”

The company’s directors, managers and staff will put their names to the Ethics pledge – a public declaration that all its customers are treated with honesty and openness. The House Buyer Bureau Code of Ethics embraces the ethos of the company with the Charter comprising: ETHICS – Ethical, Transparent, Honest, Integrity, Considered, Sincere. The ethical approach adopted by the House Buyer Bureau includes: Not making false claims about the value of a property, but always instructing a minimum of two Estate Agents and a RICS Chartered Surveyor, all of whom are local to the property, to ensure that a considered valuation is provided regarding the price, Making a firm formal offer and staying committed to it unless there is an adverse survey or legal issues.

This is in contrast to other firms that reduce the price at the last minute for no valid reason. Being a genuine cash buyer unlike some firms that turn out to be a broker or a lead generating company that merely sells customers’ details on to a third party. No fees of any kind even if a customer decides to pull out of the sale before the exchange of contracts. Valuations also are free of charge. No customer being asked to enter into an agreement, with severe penalties for breach of contract, which prevents them from selling to other buyers. Clients can pull out of selling to the House Buyer Bureau without obligation or costs, at any time in the run-up to contracts being exchanged.

The OFT has asked more than 50 quick house sale firms to provide information on their business models and practices. It also has asked for evidence from people with experience of the fast house sale market including valuation experts, estate agents, debt advisors and home owners after which it will decide whether it needs to take action to stamp out rogue traders.

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House Buyer Bureau calls for sector watchdog with teeth!

House Buyer Bureau, a leading provider in the quick house sale-market, believes that the OFT has missed the opportunity to properly crackdown on unscrupulous operators in the quick house sale sector.

Simon Blunt, House Buyer Bureau Director is disappointed that the OFT has chosen to opt for self-regulation of the industry.

However, Mr Blunt has welcomed the fact that the OFT has ‘fired a warning shot across the bows’ of rogue traders by opening formal investigations into three quick house sale firms for alleged unfair practices that may have led to some customers losing tens of thousands of pounds. 

Mr Blunt added: “While the study by the OFT is very welcome as there are ‘rogue traders’ in the industry that are misleading and taking advantage of customers, the OFT has not gone far enough.

“A system with teeth needs to be put in place to weed out those companies that give the sector a bad name. 

“We understand the OFT proposal is to form an association of house buying companies with a Code of Conduct with voluntary membership. While this is a step forward for the industry, it does not go far enough.

“House Buyer Bureau strongly believes that membership should be compulsory to all house buying companies that advertise ‘quick house sale’ services.

“We believe there is a need for an independent  ‘redress scheme’ with a public body, such as the Property Ombudsman, that has teeth to stamp out the unscrupulous behaviour of some that give the sector  a bad name and the power to  rule on disputes including making awards of compensation.”

The House Buyer Bureau has been concerned for some time about practices which is why it welcomed the OFT’s scrutiny of the sector.

Mr Blunt added: “The worst two practices are reducing the price offered, without any legitimate reason, at the point of sale, known as gazundering and locking in customers in unfair contracts, known as option agreements, for six months or more which prevents them, through severe penalties for breach of contract, from selling to anyone else for that period.”

All of the House Buyer Bureau’s formal offers are Subject to Contract and a RICS Survey. The survey is conducted by a Chartered Surveyor local to the property and the survey reports are available for inspection by its customers.

The House Buyer Bureau only will reduce a formal offer for a legitimate reason, for example, if the surveyor found the property had structural problems which had a detrimental effect on the value.

Earlier this year the OFT asked more than 50 quick house sale firms, including the House Buyer Bureau, to provide information on their business models and practices.

It wanted to build up a picture of the market and is inviting evidence from people with experience of this sector, including valuation experts, estate agents, debt advisors and home owners after which it will establish whether it needs to take action.

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Interview on Radio 5 Live about OFT report

Simon has a phone interview with BBC Radio 5 Live and explains how our business works and describes the types of clients we have – with reference to the auction house.

Simon also touches on the OFT report that was being produced when companies where asked what they thought of the new company and what our response was.

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House Buyer Bureau interview on Radio 4’s You and Yours

A sad and unfortunate story from a lady called Anne Baker who struggled with the sale of her property with a rogue trader.

Cavendish Elithorn from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) explains how they are going to investigate these companies.

Simon then explains our average buying criteria and highlights the negative decisions that rogue traders will make when ‘buying’ your property.

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OFT launches market study into ‘quick house’ sale market

In April 2013 The Office Of Fair Trading (OFT) launched a study into the quick house sale market. House Buyer Bureau welcomes this review as we believe there are unethical firms in the market place taking advantage of consumers especially vulnerable sellers. The OFT identified 6 practices that they were concerned about. House Buyer Bureau business practices are externally reviewed by Regulatory Risk auditors Dickenson Dees LLP Solicitors. House Buyer Bureau can confirm that we do not engage in any of these practices that the OFT has identified.

Listed below are each of the 6 practices identified by the OFT in italics and House Buyer Bureau’s comments and policy on each one of them:-

(a) “Unclear fee structures, for example imposing an unexpected fee following an encouraging initial valuation, as a condition for progressing the service.”

There are firms offering quick sale services who make money out of charging fees, which can be hidden.

House Buyer Bureau does not charge any kind of fees what so ever, even if the Customer decides to pull out of the Sale before Exchange of Contracts.

(b) “Reducing the price offered at the last minute after someone is financially committed to the transaction.”

There are some unscrupulous house buying firms who purposely reduce their offer on the day before Exchange of Contracts to make more money out of the transaction.

House Buyer Bureau‘s ‘Formal Offer’ is subject to contract and RICS Survey. The House Buyer Bureau will never reduce a ‘Formal Offer’ unless there is an adverse Survey or an adverse Report on Title (legal report).

(c) “Making misleading claims about the value of the property or the level of discount to be applied to the sale.”

There are firms that offer a high percentage of value based on ‘their’ valuation. Their valuation may be artificially low and therefore the level of discount they are be getting is actually much higher.

House Buyer Bureau always instructs a minimum of two local Estate Agents and one RICS Chartered Surveyor to value the Customers property. The valuations’ and the Condition Report are available for inspection by the Customer and/or their Lawyer on request.

(d) “Falsely claiming to be a cash buyer”

There are many firms pretending to be cash buyer companies when in reality they are brokers or a lead generating companies who sell the Customers details onto a third party.

House Buyer Bureau is a genuine Cash Buyer. We will provide evidence to the Customers and their Lawyer if requested.

(e) “Inducing consumers to enter into agreements that prevent them from selling to other buyers, with severe penalties for breach of contract.”

There are house buying firms that tie customers into legally binding contracts e.g. an option agreement that basically blocks them from selling to another buyer for a period of time, sometimes up to 6 months or more. This may be because they are raising finance or need time to sell the customers details to a third party. Some firms may charge the customer thousands of pounds for being in breach of the contract.

House Buyer Bureau does not ask the customer to sign any agreement. The customer can pull out of selling to us, without obligation or costs, right up to Exchange of Contracts.

(f) “Saying the property can be sold quickly then taking a long time to conclude the sale.”

Some firms will take considerable longer to conclude the sale. This may be because they are raising finance or trying to sell the customers details onto another buyer.

House Buyer Bureau is a genuine cash buyer. Our property purchases are not subject to obtaining bank finance or mortgages. Our Lawyer will confirm that we have bought houses in in as little as 7 days.

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Bargain cliff top house sold at auction

A seaside house where the next door property hit the national headlines after it collapsed into the sea – who would buy a house like this?

Well a brave buyer has today (Thurs July 11) with Tor Cottage, which had a guide price of £25,000, successfully sold at auction for £33,500.

Owner of Tor Cottage, Torquay, was quick house sale specialists House Buyer Bureau, which boasts it will buy “any residential property”.

Ridgemont House, which was just a stone’s throw from Tor Cottage near the edge of Oddicombe Cliffs, at St Marychurch, made the news after it collapsed into the sea due to a landslide.

Bidding for Tor Cottage, situated on Redcliffe Road, was fast and furious. The detached home with fantastic sea views, which in a different location would be worth £400,000, took just four minutes to sell with four people battling to buy.

House Buyer Bureau Sales Director Chris Hodgkinson said: “We are very pleased with how the auction went. We have yet to find out who has bought Tor Cottage, but the property does have potential for the right investor.”

He added: “Tor Cottage is in a wonderful location and in another part of the town could sell for many times the guide price. The property and its plot have stunning views of the Devon coastline; however it’s those sea views that have influenced the low guide price.

“There is clearly a degree of risk involved, but Tor Cottage and the land still may have potential as an investment opportunity.”

Mr Hodgkinson added: “It cannot be predicted if Mother Nature will be kind to Tor Cottage, but if ‘she’ is and Tor Cottage escapes any subsidence problems then it is possible this shrewd buyer could get a return on their investment.”

With superb balcony sea views and a cliff top position, the property went under the hammer in a Graham Penny Auctions sale.

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Graham Penny Auctions had received instruction from HBB to sell the property, which under different circumstances could fetch up to £400,000. The property, which has enviable sea views, is relatively close to the cliff edge and other neighbouring properties have experienced substantial subsidence in recent years.

Tor Cottage, which is located close to the Torquay Golf Course, comprises a reception hall leading to an open plan living room and dining room, a fully fitted 27ft x 20ft kitchen, four double bedrooms, bathroom and a study.

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House Buyer Bureau is one of the leading and oldest house buying firms in the UK. Its aim is to pay the best possible cash price with the minimum amount of stress in as little as seven days, or around the customer’s timescale.