Quick house sales

What are quick house sale companies?

Selling your home can take between three and 12 months, but quick house sale companies can offer to sell your home in a week.

They do this by buying your house from you or finding a third party buyer very quickly.

They pay cash for your property and usually buy at a discounted rate.

Reasons you might consider using a quick house sale company

Quick house sale companies can provide a service for homeowners who need to unlock cash in a hurry. Some companies can buy your house within days and pay all fees (such as for solicitors and searches) for you.

You might want to sell a property quickly to:

  • avoid repossession, clear debts or sort out financial issues

  • dispose of inherited property

  • move for age or health related reasons

  • sell as a result of divorce or relationship breakdown

  • relocate due to a change of job or to emigrate

  • try a different route if unable to sell through a traditional estate agent – to avoid issues making a property hard to sell. For example, if it has a short lease or a high risk of flooding.

Cons
  • Other problems people have had included fee structures not being made clear.

  • Companies making false property valuations.

  • Contracts that tied people in, stopping them from selling to anyone who had a better offer.

What protection do homeowners get when selling to a quick house sale company?

The quick house sale market isn’t regulated so you aren’t protected when selling a property to one of these companies.

But some companies choose to join The National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB), who make sure all members register with The Property Ombudsman (TPOS) and follow their Code of Conduct to treat sellers fairly.

By using a company that’s part of the NAPB or TPOS, homeowners can complain to the ombudsman and get compensation if they find that the company has broken the TPOS Code of Practice

Is using a quick house sale company right for you?

To answer this question, you need to think about why you’re selling and what’s important to you.

Before deciding to go ahead, make sure you’ve thought about your other options.

Alternatives to a quick house sale

Use a traditional estate agent

Before deciding whether to go ahead with a quick sale company, ask some local estate agents for a lower price that could get you a quick sale.

You might find the amount you need to drop the price by is less than the 25% discount a quick sale company would usually ask for.

Negotiate with your mortgage company

If the reason you’re selling is because you can’t keep up with your mortgage payments, contact your lender to discuss your options.

Mortgage companies have to consider a request to change the way you pay your mortgage.

One of the things they might suggest is extending the term of your mortgage (the amount of time left to run on the mortgage) to reduce your monthly repayments.

Look at other ways of funding your long-term care

If the reason you’re selling your home is to pay for your long-term care, make sure you’ve looked into all the alternatives and have spoken to an independent financial adviser who specialises in funding long-term care.

Checklist for going ahead with a quick house sale

If you decide you want to sell your property through a quick house sale company make sure you’ve looked at the checklist below.

  • Do your own valuation: get valuations from three different estate agents so you can check if the offer made by a quick sale company is fair.
  • Shop around: not all quick sale companies are the same, make sure you look at what different ones can offer.
  • Consider using a quick sale company that’s a member of the National Association of Property Buyers.
  • Check the company’s credentials: if the provider is a broker (someone who introduces you to a buyer), check that they’re registered with TPOS If the provider says they’ve signed up to a code of practice, or they are regulated by an official body, check for yourself.
  • Don’t be shy: it’s always worth negotiating the terms and/or the price.
  • Get everything in writing: ask them to email you over the details, it could help you if they change their offer later on.
  • Take your time: don’t rush or be pressured into a decision.
  • Get your own independent legal adviser: the company you’re using can’t make you use the legal representative they recommend. See below for where to find a solicitor.
  • Read the agreement carefully: don’t sign an agreement unless you fully understand what you’re agreeing to. Get your legal adviser to explain anything you’re not clear about.
  • Avoid long tie-ins: don’t sign any agreement tying you to the quick sale company for a long time. A typical estate agent’s contract lasts 8-12 weeks. A quick sale contract should be shorter and there are companies which don’t insist on any kind of contract before sale.
  • Be honest: giving incorrect information or leaving important things out might cause hold-ups further down the line and even mean a reduction in the price you’re offered.
  • Ask to see the survey: if the company you’re using lowers their offer, ask why. If the survey’s findings are to blame, ask to see them. A fair business won’t hide them from you.
  • Don’t commit too early in the process: don’t sign on the dotted line until all the surveys and legal checks are done and you have a final offer in writing.

Finding a solicitor

Questions to ask a quick buying company

At each stage of the process, make sure you have all the information you need and that you understand everything.

Here are some questions to ask the quick sale company.

  • Who is valuing the property and how?
  • Is the company buying your property themselves or is someone else buying it?
  • What are the timescales for the sale? What are the different stages and when will each happen? What might cause timescales to change?
  • If they are buying it, how will they pay for it? If the company says it has funds available immediately, ask for proof. A genuine cash buyer will be able to provide it.
  • If someone else is buying the house, who are they? Can they afford to buy the property? And can they guarantee the sale will complete within the timescale you need?
  • What fees and charges will you have to pay (for example surveys and legal fees)? What are the fees and charges if you don’t complete the sale?
  • What might cause the offer price to change and when would this happen? Is the offer conditional, is it ‘subject to survey and contract’ or anything else?
  • Are they a member of the National Association of Property Buyers or registered with The Property Ombudsman

Got a problem with your quick house sale company?

If you’re not satisfied with the service provided by a quick house sale company, tell them and give them a chance to look into it and deal with your complaint.

If you’re not happy with the way your complaint is dealt with, and they are a member of the NAPB or registered with The Property Ombudsman (TPOS) you can refer the matter to the TPO. But if they aren’t, then unfortunately you can’t take your complaint any further other than in a civil court.

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impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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