What are the ‘Cash Buyer’ scams and why is House Buyer Bureau different?

The Office Of Fair Trading (OFT) recently 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. Follow our latest review 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. You and/or your Lawyer should seek written or published clarification from the quick house sale company you have approached to confirm their policy on each of these 6 practices:-

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

Some firms offering quick sale services may 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 you decide to pull out of selling to us before Exchange of Contracts. Valuations are also free of charge.


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

Some unscrupulous house buying firms may 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."

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

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


(d) "Falsely claiming to be a cash buyer"

Some firms may claim to be a cash buyer when in reality they are a broker or a lead generating company who will sell your details onto a third party. You and/or your Lawyer should seek written or published clarification.

House Buyer Bureau is a genuine Cash Buyer. We are happy to provide evidence to your Lawyer. You can also see over 200 examples of our transactions on www.HouseBuyerBureau.co.uk/what-do-we-pay/


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

Many House Buying firms will tie you into a legally binding agreement e.g. an option agreement that basically blocks you 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 your ‘enquiry’ to a third party. Some firms may charge you thousands of pounds for being in breach of the contract.

House Buyer Bureau does not ask you to sign any agreement. You 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 as little as 7 days.

If you are talking to another firm offering ‘quick sale’ services please download the Word document below and send it to the firm to clarify their policy on each and every point above before you proceed with the sale of your property to them.

Click here for a Word document template


Why choose House Buyer Bureau?

  • Completion in as little as 7 days
  • Free RICS Survey worth up to £300
  • Genuine cash offer
  • Strictly no fees – we pay all costs
A house buying company you can trust – member of The Property Ombudsman (TPO)
Member of the Association of the National Association of Property Buyers

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