If your home has been on the market for some time and you are struggling to sell it, you may have considered a cash property buying company. Since the dawn of the internet ‘cash buyers’ have advertised to buy your house fast for cash – however according to some sources the cash buying market is not all it seems.
Inevitably selling to a ‘we buy any house’ company means you are likely going to be offered a below market value price. However, in exchange for accepting a below market offer you would like to expect that the company you are dealing with are offering a legitimate ‘quick’ service and that you can rely on them completing on the sale in a timely fashion.
According to research in the quick house sale industry there are a number of scam’s being practiced that leave already vulnerable homeowners out of pocket. The industry governing body the NAPB (National Association of Property Buyers) recently showcased a 21 point safety guide for potential sellers looking to use a ‘we buy any house’ company to sell their home.
In brief the types of companies that are currently operating in the industry are as follows:-
Estate Agents pretending to be cash buyers: Several estate agents have reportedly been advertising online as cash buyers, however asking vendors to sign up to lengthy estate agency contracts. This not only is false advertising it also gives vendors a false sense of hope they are going to have their property sold quickly – only to find it’s listed on Rightmove or Zoopla, no more than their high street agent would do.
Lead generation companies: Some websites are specifically set up to capture vendors details in order to trade this information with other companies. If I website states they are going to do this, and genuinely pass the vendors information across to a regulated cash buying firm – this is generally ok with the consent of the vendor. However, what generally happens is when a lead generator has vendors details, they will sell those details to multiple companies, meaning the vendor gets numerous annoying calls, emails and text messages.
Option agreements: Although creative sales methods like option agreements, lease options and assisted sales are often genuine; some companies claim to be purchasing for cash and trying to trick the vendor into a creative way of selling. This is not only misleading for the vendor it’s also running the risk of the sale falling through. The only type of sale that is 100 percent guaranteed is a cash purchase, and if a vendor believes they are selling for cash, they expect a guarantee of sale and the sale process to be swift!
Mortgage buyers: Some so-called fast house sale firms claiming to be cash buyers rely on mortgages or selling a ‘packaged deal’ to an investor (also relying on a mortgage). Stipulating that a company is buying only to trade the ‘deal’ to a third party is misleading for the vendor and relying on finance is never guaranteed. A vendor is always within their right to request proof of funds when dealing with a cash buying company.
What else to watch out for in the world of ‘quick sales’
As well as the companies falsely advertising as cash buying firms there are other companies doing far worse tactics in order to trick a vendor out of their hard-earned equity. In particular a number of cash buying firms are known to be gazundering homeowners in desperate situations.
Gazundering is where a quick sale firm agrees a price with a vendor and then upon the day of completion drastically drops the price.
Not all companies are bad
It has to be stated that not all cash buying companies can be tarnished with the same brush, and many of them obey the rules stipulated by the NAPB. However, homeowners must do as much due diligence as they can on a company before they decide to proceed into a transaction involving the sale of their home.
Some ‘we buy any house’ companies like https://www.readysteadysell.co.uk/sell-house-fast/ offer an ultimate guide to selling your home fast, which doesn’t always mean taking a lower offer. There are many opportunities to sell a house quickly without a significant reduction in price.
To summarise on ‘quick sale’ firms; be sure to do your homeowner, ask as many questions as you possibly can – and stay safe!