Selling your property quickly can be very stressful, especially if things are not going in the way you expected.  In such circumstances, people often think that some sort of fast private sale is the best way forward.  In reality, despite what many in our industry might say, there is often a simpler solution and you will rarely need to use the services of a quick house sale company.

For this reason, during our initial phone calls, we always spend the time to understand your specific circumstances.  We then go on to discuss what options you have, some of which are highlighted below:

Reduce Your Asking Price with the Estate Agent

If your property is already on the market, you may want to consider dropping the asking price. How much of a drop is entirely up to you.  However, you should ensure that the value is competitive so you can attract more potential buyers.  Our previous post on how find out the “sold value” of your property is a useful read on this topic.

It is also worth explaining to the estate agent that you are looking for a fast sale.  They can relay the situation to prospective buyers.  Some also have serious cash property buyers on their database who can move quickly.  However, at the same time, be careful not to give too much information to ensure you eventually get the best possible price.

Work With a Different Estate Agent to Sell Your House Fast

Whilst there is no “best” time to sell a property, the marketplace across the UK tends to be busier during the spring and late summer months. However, should you find that the estate agent is not proactive enough, and there are no contractual restrictions, you may want to consider swapping to another firm.

We generally do not recommend having two estate agents marketing one property as it can give the wrong signals to prospective buyers. Depending on where you are located, we are happy to help you find the best-performing agencies with good customer reviews (contact us here).

Remember that there are some estate agents that may try to take advantage of you.

Use an Online Estate Agent

Online estate agencies have grown phenomenally in recent years. Some require a lower up-front fixed fee to take professional photos, floorplans and advertise your property on the larger portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla[1].  Paying the fee once the sale is complete is also possible, but your total costs will generally be higher.  There are also agencies that provide “local experts”.  Their job is to conduct viewings on your behalf and accompany you during the sales process.  These are often referred to as “hybrid” estate agencies.

The advantage is that the overall costs of selling usually work out cheaper. However, you could end up paying for a service without a guaranteed buyer in place. Many sellers also prefer the more “personalised”, local service offered by high street estate agencies and private buyers.

There are also companies that offer a guaranteed price for the sale of your property, which we have written more about here.

Online / Offline Auction Sale

Auctions are another way to sell your property reasonably quickly.  The majority of buyers are either professional investors, people looking for “fixer-uppers” (i.e. properties in need of extensive refurbishment works) and small builders. The benefit is that once the hammer falls, contracts are exchanged, and the buyer must immediately pay a deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price). The buyer is under a legal obligation to complete – most commonly within 28 days – or he/she will lose the deposit.

We can recommend reputable online and offline auction houses that operate across the UK.  The auctioneer will talk to you about market conditions and his/her own experiences of how properties are selling at the current time. The auction house will also want to organise open days for prospective buyers to view the property – usually 1-3 weeks before the auction.

As with estate agencies, you will normally be charged a percentage of the sold price upon completion.  You may be able to request for the buyer to cover your legal expenses.  This cost is often factored into the agreed guide price.

Remember that each auction house works differently and you should through any contracts carefully before signing.

See our post Selling Your Property At Auction where we explore this option in depth.

Payment “Holiday” with Your Lender

In certain circumstances, your mortgage company may consider some kind of break with your monthly instalments or at least accept lower payments. This may be the case if you and your family have hit hard times financially.

The mortgage company will want to know that you are doing your best to resolve the situation.  They may also impose a strict deadline in addition to extra payments in the future. Please note that the lender will extend the length of the mortgage term.  In turn, this may place an extra financial burden down the line (for example when interest rates go up).

Worried About House Repossession?

If you have been missing mortgage payments and receiving arrears letters, your lender may start repossession proceedings. In such situations, it is important not to panic. In our experience, there is often a very simple solution and you will probably not have to sell at all.

Most importantly, remember that communication is key. Mortgage lenders generally do not want to repossess people’s homes and will always listen to your circumstances.

We have produced a series of blog posts on this topic, accessible by clicking on the links below:

Change from a Repayment to an Interest Only Mortgage

Similar to the above, your lender may consider changing your monthly payments to interest only.  Again, this could be an option if you are struggling to keep up with your mortgage payments.

In this scenario, there is a “roll up” of the repayment of the mortgage to another date.  This could negatively effect your household finances in the future.  Therefore, please think about such a plan carefully.

Renting Out Your Property

Provided you have another place to live, choosing this option has a number of advantages.  For example, you may be able to get a better price in the future and you will also benefit from the eventual appreciation of the value of the property and receive rental income.

At the same time, it is not a simple case of “let and forget”.  There are a number of financial and legal responsibilities you must follow.  Also, not everyone likes the idea of being a landlord.

We explore this option in detail in our post Thinking of Renting Out Your Property?

Sell Your Rented Property / Portfolio

[Please skip this section if you are not a private landlord]

Many private landlords were shocked to hear of the implications of Section 24 of the Finance Act 2015.  This will significantly restrict mortgage interest tax relief on personally owned properties. In short, this means that income tax calculations will be based on revenues and not profit. As a result, the number of buy-to-let property owners with unfeasible business models looks set to increase in the coming years.

As landlords ourselves, we are seeing that there many opinions of how to deal with these extra tax liabilities that started from April 2017.  Strategies include paying down your mortgages, seeing if you can remortgage to a better interest rate, transferring properties to Limited companies or simply selling to release equity.

As every situation is different, your first port of call should be a suitably qualified accountant / tax advisor – preferably with demonstrable experience of working with private landlords. Should it be desired, we would be more than happy to put you in touch with a reputable contact we have within the industry.

In addition to our posts on the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) stress-testing and the Stamp Duty surcharge and the impacts of the build to rent industry on smaller landlords, please see our exploration of this topic in detail by clicking on the links below:

 

BEWARE! – Accepting a Lease Option on Your Property

You may come across a companies that propose to purchase your property for an agreed price in the future (anything from 2-15 years).  They will usually draw up a contract called an “option agreement” which will give them legal control of the property. Once you move out, they would cover any mortgage payments until the date of the agreed purchase price. Some in the industry refer to this as “babysitting”.

The practice is largely used in the commercial property sector and by professional developers to secure land and sites. However, when used for houses and flat purchases, it is important to note that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Law Society all warn against lease options.

The main issue is that the name on the mortgage is not transferred and, if payments stop, the original homeowner remains liable for the debt. Also, the very fact that the contract is optional means there is no obligation to purchase at the end of the term – potentially leaving you in a very complicated situation.

Property Solvers as a company is very wary of lease options.  We generally feel they leave homeowners at the mercy of private property buyers.  However, in certain circumstances, specific agreements and delayed completions may be suggested.  This is usually where there are tricky situations related to land, the physical condition of the building and/or planning issues.  These will usually be short-term arrangements to resolve any imminent problems.

Above all, most reputable fast house buyers prefer a straight cash sale.  We want our clients to be sure that they will receive the agreed price within the set timeframe.

Selling Your Property Quickly – Checklist

The checklist below runs through the options discussed above. We suggest ticking all the boxes on the right before considering any “sell house fast for cash” offer:

Sell Your Property Quickly – Checklist (Property Solvers)

A Fast Cash Sale with Property Solvers

Once we are sure you have explored all of the above options, we are happy to discuss a private fast cash sale of your property.

Please see our short introductory video below:

Our guaranteed transaction process means that you can sell much faster than with estate agents and auction houses.  There are also no legal, estate agency or other associated fees to pay.

We deal with all kinds of situations and help empty / problemtenanted and landlord portfolio property owners as well as people who have inherited a property or are divorcing, separating, retiring, downsizing and relocating / emigrating.  We buy from homeowners who are simply selling because of money worries and debt or to stop repossession.  As professional long-term investors we are also very interested in land / development sites and commercial property.

Our clients are safe in the knowledge that we are fully regulated by The Property Ombudsman (TPOS) and Trading Standards.  We are also registered with the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB), the Data Protection Authority, Anti Money Laundering (AML) regulations and accredited by the National Landlords Association (NLA).

Our Fast House Sale Process

After our initial investigations, we will come back to you on the same day with a no-obligation offer.  At this point, we can also show proof of funds to demonstrate our commitment to purchase.

If our offer is acceptable, we can visit within 24 hours (or less where required),  With your permission, this may coincide with a professional survey. We will run through how the service operates and confirm that you are completely happy to move forward.

We will not force you to sign any kind of option or “tie in” agreement.

Once you are absolutely sure you want to move forward, we follow very similar conveyancing procedures as if you were selling through an estate agent.  The major difference is that we are cash buyers, so we do not have to deal with mortgage applications or many other common delays.  Furthermore, our legal team has extensive experience in dealing with fast property sales.  This means that we can exchange contracts in as little as 24 hours, with completion in the following 7 days.

Please fill in the form below, visit our homepage or call us 24 hours, 7 days a week on 0800 044 3733. We would be more than happy to provide you with a free valuation and run through the various options.

[1] Property Solvers is one of the experts on Zoopla’s “Ask Me”, the UK’s leading online property community (see our profile here).