‘We Buy Any House’ Companies: How Do They Work & Should You Use Them?
If you need to sell your house quickly, using a company like Good Move or similar services like We Buy Any House might be the right choice for your situation – but make sure you do your research first. There are lots of ‘we buy any home’ style companies that have appeared across the internet, and while most of them – like Good Move and other NABP approved companies – are legitimate, there are some questionable sites out there looking to scam people.
In this article:
- What is a ‘we buy any house’ company?
- Why would I use a ‘we buy any house’ company?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a ‘we buy any house’ company?
- What areas of the UK do ‘we buy any house’ companies operate in?
- How can I tell if a ‘we buy any home’ company is legitimate and safe?
- How to tell if a ‘we buy any house’ company is a scam – in five steps
- How do we compare to other ‘we buy any house’ companies
When we use the term ‘we buy any house’, we’re using the generic term to describe companies in the quick house sale or cash buyer industries. There are two trading companies – We Buy Any House and We Buy Any Home – that use the phrase as their branding, but generally a ‘we buy any house’ company describes any business that will purchase your property for a cash value, often with a quick turnaround that estate agents or traditional selling methods cannot achieve.
A property buying company like Good Move is one of these businesses – we offer a quick sale method in order to sell your house for cash. We have plenty of helpful guides on how it works to help steer you through the process, including each of the steps to exchange.
Some companies are just middlemen or brokers, which could leave you relying on potentially unstable investors. This is not the case with Good Move – you can rest assured that we will buy your house directly.
For many house owners, selling in the traditional method via an estate agent works just fine – but there are plenty of situations where selling your house quickly via a ‘we buy any home’ company may be preferable. If you’re looking for a cash house buyer, a company like Good Move may be a better option for selling your house.
In general, a standard high street estate agent will take months to sell your home, with plenty of complications and delays possible if you’re in a chain – but with a ‘we buy any house’ company you’ll be looking at weeks or days. For example, Good Move pride ourselves on our average sale time of 2 weeks, to get you moving as quickly as you need to.
There are plenty of reasons to choose Good Move, but here are just a few reasons why someone would prefer to use a ‘we buy any home’ service:
- You want to sell without a chain
- You’ve been caught in a long chain, or had a sale fall through
- You’ve had your house on the market for a long time without a sale
- You need to stop repossession
- You don’t want a public sale with viewings or sales boards
- You’d prefer to avoid estate agents fees and timescales
Whatever the reason, if you’re using a ‘we buy any house’ service, it’s important to make sure you’re working with a completely legitimate and above-board company.
If an easy, quick, stress-free house sale is what you’re looking for, all of these advantages are available through ‘we buy any house’ companies:
- The major advantage of selling your house through a ‘we buy any home’ company such as Good Move is the ease with which you can do so. All that is typically required is that you fill in an online form and then await a free, no-obligation cash offer on your property. With Good Move, this offer arrives within 24 hours of you filling out the form.
- Another advantage is the absence of any hidden fees or house chains. When selling your home through a traditional estate agent, costs can escalate rapidly as everyone involved in your transaction claims payment for their part in the process. That’s not the case with a ‘we buy any house’ company, because the buyer covers all of the costs involved in the sale, with none of the complications caused by house chains and middlemen.
- The speed of the process when selling to a ‘we buy any home’ company is another advantage, with the entire sale usually completed within well under a month – 21 days or less in the case of Good Move. This can be crucial if you’ve found your dream property and want to ensure you’re at the front of the queue to buy it!
- The speed with which ‘we buy any home’ companies can operate reduces much of the stress normally associated with property sales, and stress reduction is an area where these companies really shine. They will buy your home regardless of condition or location, so you don’t need to spend months decorating and making your house beautiful before you make a sale – although the offer is likely to vary depending on the condition and location of your property.
We have also shared some of the disadvantages to be aware of below if you decide to use a ‘we buy any house’ company when selling your home:
- The major disadvantage of using a ‘we buy any house’ company is that the offer you receive will typically be no higher than 85 per cent of the market value of your property. As such, if you’re looking to get the highest possible price for your property, this kind of company is unlikely to be your best option.
- Another disadvantage of ‘we buy any home’ companies is that some operate in ways that can be confusing and leave you with a worse deal than you thought you were getting.
- Practices to be wary of include ‘gazumping’, whereby a company will agree to buy a house for a price your are happy with, only to reduce the price just before completion, leaving you in a difficult situation. Some companies operate complex fee structures, luring customers in with the offer of a ‘no fee’ sale but then essentially charging them anyway by reducing the value of their offer.
- False property valuations can cause problems, by creating the impression that your property is not worth as much as it truly is. Some companies deliberately provide low valuations in order to get themselves a better deal when they come to sell your property on.
- Another disadvantage of working with certain ‘we buy any house’ companies is that some enforce a ‘sole agency’ policy. If a company you are thinking of selling to operates this type of policy, they will prevent you from accepting offers from elsewhere and this could lead you to miss out on a better deal.
- Just as you should when choosing an estate agent, it is important to do some research into any company through which you choose to sell your property. A wide range of ‘we buy any home’ companies are all out there and ready to compete for your business, but it is important not to simply go with the firm that offers you the best valuation.
- Make sure you gather information and read reviews of the company you’re thinking of working with, and check that it is a member of the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB). If they are, then they will have been required to register with The Property Ombudsman, and this offers you access to independent redress in the event of a dispute.
While location is the name of the game when it comes to selling a house through an estate agent, it is something of a non-issue when making a sale through a ‘we buy any house’ company.
Many of the larger, more established ‘we buy any house’ companies operate all over the country. Good Move, for example, has completed fast, stress-free property purchases in Portsmouth and Southampton in the south, all the way up to Sunderland, Newcastle and Hartlepool in the north.
So even if your property is tucked away in some quiet corner of York, nestled near the centre of Northampton, or in the leafy suburbs of Leicester, you’ll be able to take advantage of a quick, easy house sale through a ‘we buy any home’ company working in your area.
There are lots of ‘we buy any house’ companies out there – many of which are genuine and legitimate. However, as with any industry, there are some disreputable companies out there, or even scam websites posing as legitimate companies. We’ve actually gone to the trouble of reviewing some of the other businesses out there – you can read reviews of these companies here. But if you’re still not sure, here are a few of the things to look out for to tell whether you’re dealing with a legitimate, safe company like Good Move.
How much below the market value are they offering?
Generally, a ‘we buy any house’ company will facilitate a speedy sale – sometimes within days – but you should expect to receive less than the market value. With Good Move, this can be as high as 85% (depending on your location). While all of our services are designed to make selling your house quick, easy, and efficient, some ‘buy any property’ businesses might seem too good to be true. If a quick house sale company is offering you 100% of the market value, this could be a red flag that the business is not legitimate – be warned and be careful.
Are they NABP approved and regulated?
Any company looking to buy your home should absolutely be a member of the NAPB (National Association of Property Buyers) and the Property Ombudsman as a minimum, and you should also look for other trademarks and regulatory bodies that you can trust. for example, we’re very proud that Good Move are the most regulated property buyers operating in the ‘Quick House Sale’ industry, regulated by the NAPB but also by the National Association of Estate Agents, RICS (the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), the Property Ombusdman, and the Approved Code of Trading Standards.
We Buy Any House reviews
Look for reviews – most reputable ‘we buy any house’ companies will use a trusted partner review site, like TrustPilot, feefo or Reviews.co.uk. Look for verified reviews, where a review needs to be linked to an email address or account in order to be posted. Often, if you look at a website’s header or footer you’ll find a link to reviews – like our own link to our ratings on Trustpilot, where we have a 4.9 star rating.
Ideally, the business will have their reviews listed on their website in order to demonstrate their trustworthiness, but if the reviews are just hosted on the company’s website as text – rather than using a widget showing a live feed of reviews – it might be worth doing some more digging. If a ‘we buy any property’ company uses the badge of a third party review site, search for the company name and check if the same reviews appear on that site. Make sure you do a Google search to check that the reviews online match what you’re seeing on the company’s website.
Testimonials are a slightly different case, as a company might want to use a longer, more personal testimonial on their site to explain the benefits of a ‘we buy any house’ service – but ideally these will be backed up by plenty of normal reviews.
Are the reviews up to date?
If the only reviews you can find are out of date, or there’s a noticeable dip in the rating the company has been given, it could indicate issues. The benefit of a ‘we will buy your home’ type of business is a fast, easy selling process – so if there is a lack of reviews for a consistent period – months, rather than weeks – it could suggest that there are some issues behind the scenes that are causing a lack of business and therefore a lack of reviews.
Do the reviews seem legitimate?
Something else to look out for are falsified reviews – these can be hard to spot, but look for multiple reviews within hours or days of each other with similar turns of phrase. Some trusted review sites will have processes to stop falsified reviews, but it’s still worth looking out for. Repeated reviews are a red flag, as are lots of reviews using identical wording. With any house selling company, and especially ‘we buy any house’ style companies, reviews are very important to build trust with potential sellers, so a disreputable business might try to artificially boost their rating to attract new clients.
Look for reviews that specifically mention anything that’s been negatively rated in the past – of course, most of the time reviews are likely to be legitimate, from sellers like yourself, but keep an eye out for especially negative reviews followed by several glowing ratings immediately following it, in order to offset the bad rating.
When searching for house buying companies, you are likely to come across Webuyanyhouse.co.uk. They can purchase properties across the UK. They’re also a member of The Property Ombudsman, and cover the cost of all legal and valuation fees, so you don’t have to worry about additional costs arising throughout the process. They use RICS certified surveyors and Hometrack software to ensure their valuations are fair and ethical.
How much below the market value does webuyanyhouse.co.uk pay for your home?
Based in Cheshire, Webuyanyhouse.co.uk is a cash house buyer that offers up to 90 per cent of your property’s market value. Established over 10 years ago, they will purchase any property regardless of the location or condition. They don’t charge any fees for their services, as they cover the cost of all legal and valuation fees themselves. You could receive a formal cash offer in just 24 hours, and have the money in your account in as little as seven days – although they do state they will work to a timescale that suits you.
The fastest they can complete the purchase of a property and transfer the funds into your account is seven days. To start the process, you can either give them a call or fill out their online form. Once they’ve spoken to you and found out more about your property, they will give you a cash offer – this can be done in as little as 60 minutes.
If you wish to proceed, they’ll arrange for an independent appraisal of your property to be carried out via video. Once Webuyanyhouse.co.uk have received this detailed assessment, they’ll be able to make you a formal cash offer, which can be done just 24 hours after initial contact. If you are happy with the offer, Webuyanyhouse.co.uk will arrange a completion date that fits your timescale.
The positives of Webuyanyhouse.co.uk include:
- You can enjoy a quick sale with Webuyanyhouse.co.uk, receiving funds in your account in as little as seven days.
- They’re registered with The Property Ombudsman, and have lots of 5-star reviews, giving you peace of mind.
- They cover the cost of all legal and valuation fees, so you don’t have to.
- Their phone lines are open 24/7, so you can get in touch with them whenever you have a question.
And the negatives:
- Webuyanyhouse.co.uk aren’t recognised by the NAPB, which is a major trust signal.
- They don’t have as many reviews as some of their competitors.
- You won’t receive your property’s full market value – although their offer of up to 90 per cent is higher than many of their competitors.
Webuyanyhouse.co.uk can purchase properties in as little as seven days, and they cover the cost of all legal and valuation fees. Whilst they aren’t members of the NAPB, they are registered with The Property Ombudsman, and have good reviews from their customers.
To make things simple, here are our top five tips when you’re looking at ‘we buy any home’ companies online, to make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate company and not at risk of being caught up in a scam.
- Are they approved and regulated by the NAPB and TPOS as a minimum?
- Do they have reviews from genuine customers?
- Do those reviews seem legitimate and up to date?
- Are their reviews hosted on their site, as well as on third party sites?
- Does their offering seem reasonable – not too good to be true?
If you’re looking to sell your house quickly for cash, make sure you use a legitimate company, like Good Move. We buy any house, anywhere in the UK, regardless of value or condition, and we can turn your sale around quickly. Get in touch with us today for your free cash offer, and find out how we can help you to sell your house.
The major difference between Good Move and other ‘we buy any house’ companies is that we are the most regulated cash buyer in the UK.
Good Move is regulated by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), which is a claim very few ‘we buy any home’ companies can make. The NAEA ensures the validity of our credentials, providing our customers with peace of mind that they will receive the service as advertised.
Another regulator to look for, as mentioned elsewhere on this page, is the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB). This body was established to help the house-buying industry self-regulate, embedding fairness, transparency and honesty throughout the market. If the company you choose to sell with is a member of the NAPB, as Good Move is, then you are protected by the terms of the NAPB Code of Conduct, and also by The Property Ombudsman with which all members of the NAPB must be registered.
To help you ascertain the difference between Good Move and other ‘we buy any house’ companies, we have created a house buyer reviews page that goes into detail on what you can expect from a long list of firms.
You can peruse our handy table that outlines the key differences between different buyers, and find out which companies can match our fastest sale time of seven days, which companies are members of the NAPB, and which offer no hidden fees or, like Good Move, no fees to pay at all.
One of Good Move’s key selling points is that we will purchase a property regardless of its condition. While the condition of the property may affect the price we offer for it, the fact that we will buy houses in any condition sets us apart from a lot of other firms.
Good Move comes out on top of many other firms when it comes to customer service, given that our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You can also visit our Good Move reviews page to read what previous customers have made of our service. We are hugely proud of our high Trustpilot score, and the positive comments we receive from happy customers motivate us to maintain our high quality standards as we strive to be the very best in the industry.
Comments left in our recent reviews include:
I was really pleased with the service I received. My property sold for the price I wanted and despite it being a busy time with the stamp duty exemption ending, the sale went through fairly quickly.” – Anastasia Betts
They responded same day. The offer price was not enough for me but there was no pressure at all to proceed. The advice they gave me was fantastic and reassuring. If you are needing to sell fast and can take a lower than market offer then these guys are great.” – Michelle Lees
Good Move have all been so helpful and understanding of my needs. They advised and kept me informed through each stage, and have acted with utmost professionalism, and because of this I would not hesitate to recommend Good Move as agent to sell a property.” – J Ross
Does Good Move have professional indemnity insurance?
We carry professional indemnity insurance to provide all of our customers with peace of mind throughout the process of selling their property with us. Should an error occur during the work we put into completing the property purchase that causes you financial or reputational loss, you can rest assured that it will be covered by our professional indemnity insurance policy.
Does Good Move have a complaint handling procedure?
We do, as part of our commitment to delivering the very best service in the quick house sale industry. Should anything go wrong or if mistakes are made during the process of your property sale to Good Move, you can make a complaint in writing to the address on our complaints page. We promise to respond with acknowledgement of your complaint within three working days and then carry out an investigation, which will be completed within 15 working days of the acknowledgement letter being sent. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, we will conduct a separate review involving a senior member of our staff. What’s more, if after eight weeks you feel we have not sought to address your complaint, you can refer it to The Property Ombudsman without charge.
Can Good Move’s solicitor provide recent evidence of house sales?
We would not recommend that any customer sell to a ‘we buy any house’ company without first seeing evidence of the company’s experience in quick property sales. Should you wish to see evidence of Good Move’s recent sales, we can put you in touch with our solicitors who will provide TR1 forms and completion statements from our recent purchases.
Is Good Move a cash buyer or is the company reliant on a mortgage?
Good Move is a cash buyer, meaning we make sure we have sufficient funds to purchase every property for which we make an offer. There is no property chain and no mortgage lender, which means sales to Good Move are less likely to fall through.
Does Good Move purchase properties or act as a broker to investors?
Good Move purchases properties rather than acting as a broker. In some cases, we may elect to transfer the property to a third party, and if this is the case the seller will always be informed in writing. Transfers of this nature do not affect the seller’s rights under the agreed contract.
Does Good Move really buy any house?
Provided we can agree on a price, Good Move will buy any property you wish to sell. We are regulated by independent bodies including the RICS, NAEA and NAPB, which allows us the freedom to operate as a cash buyer for anyone seeking a quick sale of their house.
Can I still sell my property with Good Move even if it’s currently listed?
Yes, you can fill in our online form for a cash offer even if your property is currently on the market. Once you enter into an agreement with Good Move, we will ask that the property is taken off the market. This is just to ensure that once we have entered into costs we don’t run the risk of the seller withdrawing from a sale.
What if I decide against selling my house fast?
You have the right to change your mind about any property sale to Good Move within 14 days of entering into a contract with us, and you don’t have to provide your reasons. If that happens, we won’t seek to recoup any costs from you and you would be released from all obligations of your contract with us.