Moving home is repeatedly cited as one of the 5 biggest life stresses people will go through.
As a result, the rate at which the average person moves home has slowed down from every 8 years (in the 1980s) to a sluggish 23 years.
It’s no wonder that an increasing number of homeowners are looking to cash house buyer companies to sell their house. Avoiding the hassle and unpredictability of the open market in favour of a guaranteed sale and a timeframe that suits you makes that daunting house move a little less daunting.
Unfortunately, the sad fact is that some property buying companies aren’t trustworthy. False claims and unrealistic offers have given the property buying industry a bad name. Here are 7 handy tips for you to consider when selling your home to a property buyer.
1. Are they regulated?
Check that the company is a member of the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB). This means that the organisation has signed up to The Property Ombudsman Code of Practice and is committed to providing the highest possible standards in the cash buying sector.
The easiest way to identify this is by looking for the following logos on their website. However, please be aware that some companies are displaying these logos without being members. To check if a company is a member, please go to napb and The Property Ombudsman.
2. Where are they based?
All companies are required to provide a registered office address, which you should be able to find at the bottom of their web page. Take a look at where their offices are based (Google maps is particularly helpful for this). Do they look like an authentic company? What kind of area are they based in? This is a simple yet effective way of getting a sense of how legitimate the company is.
3. Are they actually buying your property?
Sadly, some companies falsely advertise themselves as cash buyers, when in fact they are little more than listing services or estate agents. Always request evidence that the company themselves are buying your property, rather than trying to sell it to a third party. In addition to this, look to see if the company is listed on sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla. If they are, this company is not buying your home directly and therefore cannot guarantee you a sale.
4. Are they offering market value?
If a company is offering you between 90-100% of market value, then this is not a cash buyer. Avoid.
It is not possible for a genuine cash buying company to buy your house for this amount. The government forces companies to pay a significantly higher stamp duty than private individuals. This, in addition to legal fees and the cost of resale, means that such companies would be operating at a loss.
Companies that do initially offer 90-100% of the market value will either lower their offer later into the process, or are not legitimate house buyers, and cannot guarantee a sale.
5. What do their reviews look like?
The best way to get the measure of a company is through its customers. Hear the good, the bad and the ugly by checking Trustpilot and Google Reviews. Both sites have strict usage rules, which means you can gain genuine insight into a company.
6. Do they cover fees?
Any reputable cash buyer will not charge you fees. Like We Buy Any Home, legitimate cash buying companies will cover all legal and estate agency fees (saving you thousands). They will also help you if you are selling a house with tenants.
7. What is their valuation process?
Genuine property buying companies ensure that their valuation process is conducted safely and accurately by using RICS qualified surveyors/ valuers to assess the condition and value of the property. If a property buyer is vague or guarded about how they value your home, they may be affiliated with an estate agency, and any valuations will most likely be biased in their favour.
Unfortunately, there are still some companies out there that give our industry a bad name, and at We Buy Any Home we are committed to changing this. So please bear these tips in mind when selling your home.
Good luck with the sale, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 0800 774 0004 if you do decide to go with the UK’s number 1 property buyer.