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How to Find a Chain-Free Buyer For Your Property

Woman with arms outstretched

When it comes to selling your home, a chain-free buyer is advantageous for several reasons. So it’s worth finding one if you can!

The property ladder can be a complex and often stressful place to find yourself. If you’re selling a property, it will always benefit you to do so while avoiding the unnecessary complications caused by property chains. It’s for this reason that chain-free buyers are preferable to those selling a house as they provide you with a transaction that is quicker, simpler and requires a lot less effort.

In this post, we’ll discuss chain-free buyers and how to find one for your property.

What Is a Property Chain?

A property chain causes significant frustration when people buy or sell properties. A chain is where people who are selling their home rely on their buyer to sell their property before they can complete the sale, therefore establishing a link. If a property chain consists of several buyers and sellers, it can prove to be a very complicated and stressful scenario for everyone. All it takes is for one link to pull out and the entire chain breaks. Of course, this isn’t always the case, but avoiding such situations with a chain-free buyer is an ideal way to avoid disappointment.

What Is a Chain-Free Buyer?

In short, a chain-free buyer is someone who can purchase your property without having to sell their property to raise funds. A chain-free buyer tends to be preferable to a seller as they ensure the transaction is much quicker, as you won’t have to wait for your buyer’s property to be sold. Also, you avoid the disappointment and financial impact of the property chain breaking. Many aspects of a person’s personal and professional life can impact the sale of a property.  So, if you’re relying on someone to complete the sale of their home, there’s always a risk something unexpected could occur. 

Can an Estate Agent Find Me a Chain-Free Buyer?

When you sell your home, you can discuss your requirements and situation with an estate agent. This will allow you to tell them you would prefer a chain-free buyer — which they will then relay in your property listing. While this will help to at least inform buyers that chain-free is preferred, in the process, you could also decrease the interest in your property as your target buyer is more specific. 

You may have a stroke of good fortune and stumble upon a chain-free buyer early on, but there’s always the possibility this could take quite some time. In the meantime, you will pay more in estate agency fees and have to wait longer to sell your property. In regards to the latter, this can prove to be an issue if you have your eye on a property and need to sell quickly to ensure you don’t miss out.

Consider a Cash Home Buyer to Speed Things up

When you sell a property with the hopes of finding a chain-free buyer, you are relying on the behaviour and real estate decisions of other people. So although you may well find yourself a no-chain buyer eventually, it could take some time. It’s for this reason that people who want a quicker turnaround or simply want to avoid the hassle and cost involved with the housing market opt for a cash home buyer. This is where we purchase your property — following a valuation and survey — and can exchange contracts within as little as a week. In doing so, you will avoid estate agent fees, viewings and many other costly and time-consuming aspects of selling a property. Also, we can provide 10% of your property’s value on the exchange if you need or want it.

Are you looking to sell your property as soon as possible with minimal hassle? Get in touch today to discuss your requirements with our team of experienced property experts.

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A Guide to Selling Property without an Estate Agent

Man putting for sale sign up outside house

Many people assume they must enlist the services of an estate agent to sell their property. But with the average agent fee reaching 1.53% of the sale price in October 2019 and some vendors being charged as much as 3.97% in premium locations, an increasing number of people are choosing to strike out on their own.

It is possible to sell your home privately or through a property auction instead of taking the traditional route of hiring an estate agent to do the job for you. In this guide, we’ll look at what private sale options are available, and consider the benefits and potential pitfalls to help you decide if selling a property without an estate agent is the right choice for you. 

What Is a Private House Sale?

If you choose to sell your home privately, you will sell directly to the buyer — be that an individual purchaser, property development company or a cash buying service. There is no need to pay for the services of an estate agent, which could save you thousands of pounds in fees. 

Is a Private House Sale a Good Idea?

If the property market is booming, with houses moving fast and plenty of potential buyers, selling your home without an estate agent can be a great idea.

However, it may not be the right choice for everyone. Going solo means a lot more effort is required from you to make sure the property sells. You’ll have to make sure you market the property effectively, schedule and conduct all viewings and coordinate the sale process once a purchase is agreed. Whether this effort is worth the savings made on estate agent fees is a personal choice and may depend on how easy your property is to sell. 

If you decide to sell your property to a house buying service, the process will be quick and painless with a lot of the effort made by the purchaser. You’ll still avoid agent fees and will walk away with a sum of cash in as little as seven days. 

Top Tips for Selling Property without an Estate Agent

If you do decide to go it alone, make the process as easy as possible by following a few simple steps.


Make the House Attractive to Buyers


We’re not talking about major renovation works here, but if you’re taking on the task of selling a property, make it as easy to do so as possible by presenting the house well.

If there are minor jobs — such as leaky taps or peeling wallpaper — that can be remedied quickly and at a low cost, get them fixed. Make sure the property is clean, tidy and clutter-free when viewings take place. Time visits with care. If the garden captures the early evening sun beautifully, encourage potential buyers to view when the property is looking its best.


Set a Realistic Price


Price may be the part that is most intimidating for a seller who is not a property professional. How do you know what the property is worth without an estate agent telling you? Simple. Take a look on websites such as Rightmove and find out how much similar properties are being marketed at. It’s important to also look up the recent sale prices for properties in your area as the asking price and the realistic sale price may differ significantly. Estate agents tend to give optimistic valuations to encourage vendors to sign with them.


Advertise with Care


When writing a property description and displaying photographs, it’s important to show the property at its best without being misleading about what’s on offer. Keep the description concise and consider the target market when choosing the tone and wording of the ad. Use a good quality camera and take plenty of shots from different angles and at varying times of the day. Choose the images that make the property look most attractive without suggesting it has something to offer it does not. There’s no point enticing potential buyers to view who will be instantly put off by the tiny garden made to look acres wide in the advert.  

Place ads in local magazines, directories and newspapers. There may be interested parties further afield, but the chances are most potential buyers will be those already living in and around the area — unless you have a particularly grand or unique property to sell. 


Negotiate the Sale


An estate agent acts as an intermediary between potential buyers and the vendor. They ensure negotiations on price and other matters don’t get personal and remain professional. Without an agent to manage the negotiation, you’ll have to take charge.

Regardless of how unreasonable requests from the buyer may seem, it’s important to stay calm and professional to secure a sale. Decide your limitations and deal-breakers before entering negotiations. Is there a deadline by which the sale absolutely must take place? How much are you willing to move on price? 

If you choose to sell to a cash buying service, the process is straightforward and quick. The House Buyer Bureau’s online cash offer enquiry form takes just 60 seconds to complete. Once we receive your form, one of our friendly team will get in touch to make a cash offer (subject to a property valuation). 


Instruct a Solicitor


Whether you agree to a sale with a private individual or a house buying service, you will need to instruct a solicitor or licensed surveyor once a formal offer is accepted. 

The solicitor will walk you through the process of exchanging contracts and completing the sale. 

Selling a property without an estate agent can save thousands of pounds in fees. At the House Buying Bureau, we have made the process as quick and easy as possible. Once a formal offer is agreed, the cash can be in your bank account in as little as seven days. Contact our friendly team of experts today to discuss your requirements or take the first step to sell your house by filling in our 60-second online enquiry form

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Helen, Welton, 13th January 2020

Need to sell quickly and need the cash then do not believe the pie in the sky prices other companies offer


We were struggling to sell our property so we decided to investigate the option of dropping the price and selling quickly to a cash buyer. Not least as various companies had approached us with promises of less than 10% below the asking price. Having done some research and realised that NO cash buying firm will offer you that much for your property, I spoke with Dorothy at House Buyer Bureau. She was very honest and upfront about the processes involved and how much we would get for our house if we were to go down the cash sale route. After speaking with her we knew exactly where we stood and it helped weigh up our options. In the end we did not sell through House Buyer Bureau (we stuck it out with a very picky and prevaricating buyer through the estate agent) but I’m sure the sale would have gone through smoothly. If you need to sell quickly and need the cash then do not believe the pie in the sky prices other companies offer and stick with someone who will give you a realistic price from the start.

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Should I Sell My House?

Should I Sell My House? 6 Signs It’s Time to Move On in 2020

Deciding it’s time to sell your house is never an easy decision. With Brexit-related uncertainty affecting the property market, it’s a decision that has been made even more complex. So how do you decide when it is the right time to sell your property? We’ve created a guide detailing six telltale signs it’s time to move on, to help you make this all-important decision. 

1. I’m Moving into Retirement Living

If you’re moving into retirement living, it can be tricky to know what to do with your home. Although it may be tempting to keep your property as an asset or for your family’s inheritance, worrying about the upkeep of a home you no longer live in can be expensive and stressful. If you are planning to leave the house to your loved ones, it is also worth bearing in mind it will be heavily taxed due to inheritance tax laws. 

2. I Can’t Decide Whether to Sell or Rent My Home 

Most people need the cash freed up by selling their existing home so they can afford their next move. But this may not be the case for some and perhaps you are one of those people struggling to decide whether to rent out your home or sell up. This is a tricky decision and there are positives and negatives to consider. Renting a property can be a handy way to generate extra income, but it requires you to pay the upkeep and either manage tenants’ issues or pay a letting agent’s fees. It is also worth noting that when buying a second property, you incur a higher stamp duty tax. 

3. Your Financial Situation Has Changed

For some lucky people, this may be due to an inheritance or a payrise that means they can upgrade their home or area. However, for many of us, changes to our finances due to more children to support or a decrease in our monthly cash flow, means we can no longer afford the home we live in. If this is the case, this is a sure-fire reason to sell up and look for more affordable accommodation. In these cases, a quick sale is preferable to avoid building up debt or subjecting yourself to the stresses of being hard up. It may be useful to look into genuine cash buyers as an option for a quick and simple sale. 

4. I’m Relocating or Moving Abroad

A common reason for selling a property is when people are relocating or moving to another country, often for work reasons. While it may be tempting to rent your property out if you are relocating and you believe you will return, it is also worth factoring in the cost and worry of being a landlord — especially remotely. Selling your house often feels like additional stress to juggle as part of your already big move. But if you select the right method, it can be relatively fast, simple and hassle-free. 

5. My Circumstances Have Changed

Changes to personal circumstances are one of the main reasons many people decide it is time to move on from their current property. These changes can take many forms. Perhaps you are concerned about lack of space, maybe you are separating from a partner, or your tenants have moved out unexpectantly. Whatever the reason, biting the bullet and putting your house on the market is often an important but necessary decision. 

6. I’m Ready for a Change 

Sometimes, there is no concrete or single reason for selling your house. Perhaps there is a combination of reasons that have led you to feel unhappy in your current home, or maybe you just have itchy feet. In some cases, relationships with your neighbours can begin to grate or perhaps the area doesn’t feel right for you anymore. If any of these are the case, being brave and trusting your instinct can be hard,  but it can often reward in the long term. 

Need an instant Valuation on your home?

In reality, there is rarely a “right” time to sell your home. Life will always get in the way and you can find yourself putting the decision off due to seasonality or personal circumstances. But, if you’re reading this article, then you’ve already taken a step towards making this important financial decision! If you’re curious about how much money you could get for your home, why not get an initial cash offer today. Simply begin by entering your postcode.

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Serena, Baguley, 16th December 2019

I was very impressed by the level of service I received


My house sale was handled quickly and efficiently. It was handled very professionally and without any problems from start to finish.

I was very impressed by the level of service I received, it was outstanding. Emma was very friendly, polite and extremely professional. Emma’s telephone manner was exceptional, she explained everything in detail to me so it was easy to follow the process. Emma is clearly very knowledgeable and enjoys her role.

I would highly recommend the House Buyer Bureau.

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Barbara, Walford, 2nd December 2019

Open, considered and fair


I cannot praise enough the service I received from Kim. She worked tirelessly and professionally to work out a deal for me which was a lifeline at a difficult time. Although in the end it was not needed I would wholeheartedly recommend the service we received which was open, considered and fair.

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Mr Hall, Ystalyfera, 29th November 2019

Would definitely recommend


Thank you very much for the help you gave my wife and I through the process of selling our house. It was done professionally and we were always involved in any discussion and always updated on progress.

Kim’s patience was much appreciated as the sale took longer than we thought it would so thank you for that.

Would definitely recommend.

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Joan, Stafford, 15th November 2019

Level of service was outstanding


House buyer Bureau handled the sale of my property brilliantly. They were very helpful and supportive particularly Dorothy who was very understanding.

The level of service was outstanding and I would recommend this company to anyone.

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Lisa, Northolt, 26th October 2019

Handled fantastically and so professionally


The sale was handled fantastically and so professionally. Kim Tristram was incredible at every stage and instrumental in getting the sale over the finish line. Thank you Kim! Kirsty Marcer was fantastically helpful too – thank you Kirsty and to all the team!

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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.


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.



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.


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.  



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.


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.


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



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?


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.


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:


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:


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.  


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.