Quick House Sales – A Brief History

Quick House Sales - A Brief HistoryYou may sometimes hear of homebuyers approaching owners to discuss a private sale.

Perhaps they’ve heard on the grapevine that a house is going up for sale and they approach the seller directly.  Or sales can often happen between family or friends.

In such scenarios, the seller benefits from avoiding estate agency fees and the buyer gets what he/she wants.

Although there’s a lot to be said about putting a house on the open market to get the best price, this type of sale has worked out well for many homeowners.

The Growth of Quick House Sale Firms

In recent decades, the number of companies focusing on direct sales has increased considerably.

Usually run by professional investors and property buyers, the entire process is much faster than selling a house on the open market.

For example, although our typical completion time is 1 month, Property Solvers can get things done in as little as 7 days where necessary.

This is because we are cash buyers and do not rely on long, drawn-out funding sources.

Property Solvers Local House Market Insights Tool Our monthly updated local house market insights tool shows that it’s currently taking at an average of 16-17 weeks for people to sell across the UK.  

Furthermore, sellers that use quick sale firms avoid many of the associated hassles associated with conventional house sales.

Our clients also have no legal fees to pay and, as it’s a one-to-one sale, you usually won’t have any estate agency costs to worry about.

Quick House Sale Firms – The Unfair Criticism

Growing in presence, these days quick house sale companies like Property Solvers often come under fire.

One of the main criticisms is that our purchase prices are too low.  Most companies in our space offer between 80 and 75% of the market value.

At face value, this is a big hit to take.

It’s therefore assumed that it’s only for those who are ‘desperate to sell’.

Therefore, firms like ours are simply out to exploit homeowners in vulnerable situations.

Why Quick House Sale Firms Deserve More of  Chance

We argue that such many of the assertions made about companies like ours are untrue for the following reasons:

  • As highlighted in the next section, the decent quick house sale companies should be exploring all of your options.  It makes little sense to pressurise you into selling when there are other, simpler solutions;
  • Unlike an open market sale, the price we offer is gpropuaranteed.  There will be no silly games or risks of ‘gazundering‘ (i.e. dropping the price at the last minute);
  • As mentioned above, we can exchange contracts in 24 hours and complete on the sale (for cash) within the following 7 days;
  • We buy homes in any condition and under any circumstances.  We’re not deterred by structural issues.  We can and do take on properties being sold as shells or with other major works needed.  Think of us as the ‘we buy any car’ for houses;
  • We’ll also buy properties with underlying legal complications.  This can range from third-party consents or negative easements to restrictive covenants and/or other planning-related issues;
  • We buy properties with tenants even if there are arrears, damage or other problems;
  • We will ensure the sale is completely private.  There is usually only one viewing followed by an independent survey, no ‘for sale’ boards or people coming in and out of your home;
  • Sellers deal with us directly.  There are none of the stresses and hassles that come with a normal open market sale.  It’s in our best interest that everything is done quickly;
  • The team at Property Solvers have many years of experience of helping those facing the prospect of repossession (see our extended guide);
  • As we get things done fast, sellers avoid the ongoing costs of homeownership.  This includes everything from mortgage and insurance payments through to council tax and utility bills.  See our quick cash sale page for a comparison table;
  • Sales at the level we pay regularly happen through estate agencies and auction houses.  It’s unfair to single out companies like ours when we all operate similar business models.

Quick House Sale – Your Real Options

Quick House Sale - Your Real OptionsLifted from our selling your house quickly options blog post, below we’ve summarised the main considerations worth thinking about…

Reduce Your Asking Price with the Estate Agent

If your house has been on the market for a while but not had many viewings, it usually comes down to price.

A slight asking price drop usually does the trick.

Make sure you check the real house valuation to ensure that the price is well-aligned with the realities of the market.

Work With a Different Estate Agent

Sometimes the problem lies with the sales agency managing the entire process.

Make sure that the estate agent is doing the best job to get your property the maximum amount of exposure.

If you find that the agent is simply not delivering, it may be time to swap.

Remember you’ll have to check the contract to make sure they haven’t tied you in.

Use an Auction House

One of the traditional ways to sell up within a reasonably short timeframe.

Auction buyers are usually made up of professional investors, small builders and people looking for refurbishment projects.

Although the whole process takes a lot longer than people often expect, you’re generally guaranteed more security.

Essentially, once the hammer falls, the buyer has to move forward with the sale. If not, they’ll lose their entire deposit (and face heavy penalties).

Sell Your Property at AuctionOur post on how to sell a house at auction delves into the process, fees plus some essential tips on getting the best outcome from the sale.

Changing Your Mortgage Terms

If the main reason you’re selling is due to issues with your mortgage, maybe you can negotiate better terms with your lender.

Although most adopt a ‘computer says no’ approach, you may be able to get them onside if you’re going through tough times.

For example, some borrowers are able to extend the term of the mortgage loan, swap to interest-only payments or refinance to a better product.

With so many different types of mortgages out there, it’s often worth speaking to a qualified mortgage broker or Independent Financial Advisor (IFA).

Renting Out Your Property

If you really don’t want to sell up and have somewhere else to live, then putting up your house for rent is a good option.

We often see this with people who have to relocate.  Others simply wish to keep hold of their properties to a later date.

Perhaps the biggest downside is that tenants, by and large, do not treat homes in the same way as owner-occupiers.

You’ll also have a number of other costs and responsibilities.

However, it’s a good way to keep hold of the property and earn an income.   You can use the long-term equity gains for savings and/or to fund your retirement plans.

Take Out Bridging Loan

If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of a house sale chain breaking down, a short term bridging loan can be the answer.

Be wary about taking out this time of loan without a clear repayment strategy.

The bridging lender will take the first charge on your home as security.  The interest pay rates are also considerably higher than mortgage lending.

Getting Fair Treatment with a Quick House Sale Firms

Getting Fair Treatment with a Quick House Sale FirmsDespite the common misconceptions, by no means is our industry without its flaws.

As with most consumer-led services, there are ‘bad apples’.

It takes a handful of unfortunate experiences to bring the professionals into disrepute.

But things are changing for the better…

Today, quick sale companies are taking full responsibilities for their actions.

Those that understand that treating clients fairly have a better chance of ensuring longevity.

Redress Scheme Membership

These days, more companies like ours are becoming part of voluntary organisations and government bodies.

Joining means that quick sale firms are subject to enforceable regulations and legal requirements.

As well as having our own code of practice, here are some of the organisations that Property Solvers is a part of:

The Property Ombudsman (TPOS) – A industry trade body that encourages ethical business practices.   Members must meet the guidelines laid out in the Code of Practice for Residential Property Buying Companies.  Call 01722 333306 if there are any issues / concerns you have with using a quick house sale company.  Their lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4:30pm (apart from bank holidays).
National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) – Established in 2013, as well as requiring members to be part of the Property Ombudsman, this organisation pushes for better standards and transparency across the industry.  They can be contacted during office hours on 01903 331329.
Trading Standards (Approved Code) – We joined this body as part of our work in the estate agency industry. The Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCCS), for example, lays out the principles of effective customer service, protection and trust. The Consumer Helpline number is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 03454 04 05 06 (call charges apply).
Anti-Money Laundering regulations – We pay an annual fee to HM Revenue & Customs which supervises the clean flow of money. If you come across any suspicious activity, call freephone 0800 595 000  (lines are open 24/7).
Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – In the days where online privacy seems continually under threat, we thought it appropriate to join this body.  Dealing with sensitive information, our clients can rest assured that their details are kept 100% secure under the Data Protection Act (1998). The ICO helpline number is on 0303 123 1113 (lines are open Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm).

Other Quick Sale Company Checks

Below are some of the checks you should make before moving forward with a quick house sale company:

Companies House Check

Visit the Companies House website.

Here, you can check the firm’s annual accounts and download a range of relevant information.

It’s worth noting that many companies in our industry have similar names.

Credit Reports

If you’re planning to sell to an individual, ask for the buyer’s personal credit report.

Reputable online services like Experian or Check My File are usually good for this.

You can also make further checks on the company should you need to.

Property Buying Company Background Checks

Remember that the buyer may be using a different entity to purchase the property.

It’s worth doing some quick background checks to confirm that nothing is untoward.

Unusual Contractual Terms

Ask a solicitor to run through any out-of-the-ordinary contractual terms.

Confirm There are No Legal Fees

Most quick sale companies shouldn’t charge you any legal fees.

Confirm There are No Estate Agency Fees

As a direct sale, there should not be any sales or agency fees.

Check for Proof of Buying Funds

A quick cash purchase should mean exactly that.

Don’t be afraid to ask for proof of funds (usually via a recent bank statement).

A lot of firms are using ‘draw-down’ facilities.  This means they can get access to capital in a short time frame (even though it isn’t directly from them).  This is fine, but you may want to check the terms (or ask your solicitor to);

Check the Reviews

Decent quick sale firms should have good online reviews.  You can usually search the company name followed by ‘reviews’.

How Experienced is the Quick House Buying Firm?

Ensure that the company is experienced in completing fast.  Anything above 28 days from the point at which you agree the sale should ring alarm bells.

Head Office Address

Check that the firm has a legitimate head office address.

How Long Has the Quick House Buyer Been Established?

As well as checking the year the company was started on Companies House, check how old the quick sale company website is here.

Social Media Exposure

Take a look at the firm’s social media pages which active and full of relevant information.

Check out the Property Solvers’ Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Company pages for examples.

Make sure they’re active and full of useful information.

Beware of ‘Last Minute’ Price Drops

Always make sure that the price the quick sale company offers you is what you will actually achieve.

This is because there are some firms out there that start off by offering what seems like an acceptable price.

After getting your commitment and progressing with the sale, the offer price is suddenly dropped.

Worst is when the house sale is close to exchange, when you may not have any other choice but to move forward.

This practice is known in the industry as ‘gazundering‘ and is a breach of consumer rights law.

Note that there are certain exceptions.  Usually, the quick sale company will conduct some kind of professional survey which will flag up any issues.  Examples may include serious damp or structural issues.

They should get back to you within good time.  This means you can continue going ahead, pull out of the whole process and look at your other options.

However, if this happens close to exchange and completion…

What You Can Do if a Quick Sale Company Drops the Price

  • Ask about the quick house sale company’s complaints policy;
  • Speak to an independent solicitor about the situation;
  • Contact the Property Ombudsman (01722 333306);
  • If you have financial obligations, call your lender and see if you can get more time;
  • Contact other quick sale companies like Property Solvers.

Use Property Solvers for a Quick House Sale

Use Property Solvers for a Quick House SaleProperty Solvers are a team of quick house sale experts that are changing the way our industry is perceived.

We’re one of the only firms in the space to offer a first-class estate agency service.

Our aim is to find our clients the very best solution.

When you get in touch with us, we’ll never pressurise you into using our services.

Our advice will be based on how urgently you need to sell.  If your timescales are short then, by and large, our sell house fast service is the better option.

Quick House Sale Process

We always start by making sure you know what your real options are (see above).

At that point, if you wish to find out more, we explain how we operate as professional cash buyers.

We take on properties in any condition and can help in a range of different sales situations.  Please click on the box below to find out more about some of the scenarios we cater to…

Below are some of the key benefits of using our quick sale service:

  • We’re legitimate buyers that can show proof of funds for the cash purchase (through bank statements or a letter from our solicitors);
  • With us, there are no middlemen (such as estate agents or auction house managers);
  • You’ll pay no legal fees or estate agency fees/commissions;
  • Property Solvers is regulated at The Property Ombudsman (TPOS), National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB), Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations amongst others;
  • Our experienced panel of solicitors can exchange contracts within as little as 24 hours;
  • The sale can then complete in the following 7 days;
  • We’ll guarantee the price we state.  There’s no risk of any sudden price drops;
  • We’ll buy homes with physical/structural issues (including subsidence, serious damp, flooding history, Japanese Knotweed) and/or legal complications (restrictive covenants, negative easements, third-party consents, ransom strips);
  • Should you need cash instantly, we can provide a cash advance.  This may be for moving costs, rental deposits or other expenses/debts you may have to deal with.

After our initial conversation, we’ll engage in some very quick research before making you an offer.

Once we’ve had a few conversations over the phone, and you agree in principle to our offer, we’ll then organise a viewing.

This will be your chance to ask us any questions you have.  We would also request the opportunity to look around the property,

If you’re happy with our proposition, we will establish a clear timeframe to exchange / complete on the sale.

We will instruct the solicitors and get things done.  A simple sale with no stress or hassle.

Property Solvers - We're Open 24 Hours, 7 Days a WeekProperty Solvers are available all day, every day to help.  We’ll never place any pressure for you to use our services.

Quick Estate Agency

With our purchase prices lying in the region of 75% of the market value, our clients often have no interest in accepting a quick cash sale offer.

For this reason, our Quick Estate Agency service is often a better way forward.

We use ‘realistic pricing model’ which uses real-time data sourced from the Land Registry to get a broader idea of what properties are selling for in your area.

We’ll then apply specific details on your properties comparative size, condition, and any other unique characteristics.

For example, if your property has a larger garden or an extension then it’s fair to command a higher price.

Secure a House Sale in 28 Days

It’s through using this pricing strategy that we’re able to secure sales in less than 28 days.  We also minimise the risks of buyers pulling out or playing games.

There will be no fees until you complete plus no tie-in contracts.  There really is nothing to lose by giving us a try.

We’ll take high-quality photos (and won’t publish unless you are 100% happy), produce a floor plan and mount a high impact for sale sign.

Express Estate Agency - Sell House Online in 28 Days with Property SolversExpress Estate Agency - Sell House Online in 28 Days with Property Solvers

As well as Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location, we’ll also market your property on a range of other portals to get your property maximum exposure.

Property Solvers Quick Estate Agency - Where We AdvertiseSee our where we advertise page which also has direct links to where our work has been featured in a range of local and national media publications.

What’s more, our estate agency service also includes:

  • Professional accompanied viewings (unlike many online estate agents who will often leave it with you);
  • A 24/7 enquiry line and chat service (we never miss a beat!);
  • Weekly sales reports from the UK’s leading property portals: Rightmove and Zoopla

To discuss any aspects about the sale of your home, contact Property Solvers on 0800 044 3733 (freephone).

Our lines are open 24 Hours, 7 days a week.

Alternatively, fill your details in the contact box below or e-mail us at info@propertysolvers.co.uk.

We look forward to helping…