You may have heard of the term “gazumping”, where a property seller who has accepted an agreed price from one buyer suddenly decides to move forward with a higher offer. An opposite situation can sometimes occur in the fast property sale industry, where offer prices are dropped at the last minute (usually at exchange of contracts).
Some years back, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) was heavily critical of fast property buying companies, particularly those that are effectively lying to vendors in vulnerable situations. The practice of cutting prices at the eleventh hour was one of the major concerns, and companies that do engage in such behaviour are now liable for public prosecution. However, we are aware that the problem does still occur and homesellers are forced into accepting unfavourable prices when there are often other choices.
As members of the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) and a number of other regulatory organisations, Property Solvers is very clear about its position and offer price from the start. Prior to viewing the property we will ensure that all options have been explored and, should it be of interest, provide an approximate purchase price either over the phone or face-to-face. This will be followed by a firm and written confirmation once we have engaged in a full fact-find – a process that we undertake very quickly, sometimes without even visiting the property.
From an outsiders point of view, it is fair to criticise quick sale companies like Property Solvers due to offers being lower than Estate Agent estimates. However, our clients are aware that we are purchasing properties for long-term investment purposes (primarily rental), requiring us to factor in a range of cost-factors including different tax rules, regulatory requirements, market risks as well as ongoing maintenance / repair works, current / future refurbishments, void periods and other legal obligations.
Should you and any co-owners accept the offer, we will only discuss an alteration in price prior to the exchange of contracts should it emerge that there are serious issues that have not been disclosed. Examples of such problems include subsidence, flooding history, Japanese Knotweed. However, in our experience, situations like this are very rare.
Please feel free to contact us 24/7 0800 044 3733 (freephone from your mobile) or fill your details on the contact box below or visit Property Solvers. We very much welcome your feedback on any aspects of our service and will happily provide evidence of our membership to the various regulatory organisations.