Quick House Sales and Cash Buyers

house contract

Quick house sales have revolutionised the property market in recent years, with house sellers now taking advantage of many more ways to sell their homes beyond traditional estate agents. House buyers like Good Move can vastly reduce the amount of time it takes to complete a house sale and receive the profits. But in an unregulated market it pays to make sure you’re dealing with a reputable company.

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What is a quick house sale company?

Quick house sale companies are all about speed. They pay cash for your property faster than selling on the open market or at auction. Depending on the company you deal with, a sale can be completed within few days to around a month. House buying companies will normally offer between 70% and 80% of the market value of the home. This is still an attractive offer to some people because you don’t pay any estate agent or solicitor fees and are not subject to the frustrations of long chains and buyers pulling out.

How long does a quick house sale take?

Some companies are quicker than others. For instance, some firms have to take out a mortgage to buy your home, adding up to 12 weeks on to the process. A genuine cash buyer like Good Move will have cash in hand to offer you a fair cash price within 24 hours and the money could be in your bank account in as little as seven days.

Who uses quick house sales and why?

There are many reasons why people turn to a quick house sale provider to sell their home, rather than follow the traditional route of selling through an estate agent. With a reputable cash buyer like Good Move, your home can be sold in as little as 7 days – and speed is of-ten a huge advantage to all kinds of sellers.

There’s not one stereotypical type of quick house sale customer. Some people are looking to downsize quickly, some want to relocate within a strict timeframe and others simply want to remove the hassle of house chains and move quickly. This method of selling your house quickly can be advantageous if you’d like to release equity too, or if you’re facing financial hardship or need stop house repossession and need to recover finances quickly.

Is the quick house sale market regulated?

Unfortunately, the quick house sale market isn’t independently regulated. However, the sector has a self-regulating governing body called the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB). It was formed to put self-regulatory processes in place to ensure members operate with transparency, fairness and honesty.

It’s important to note that being a member of the NAPB is voluntary so the vast majority of companies do not take part in self-regulation. Therefore, it’s essential to make sure that any company you deal with is a member of the NAPB if you want your house sale to be protected.

How does industry self-regulation work? Am I protected if something goes wrong?

When dealing with a NAPB member, you are always protected because firms must adhere to the NAPB code of conduct and be registered with the Property Ombudsman in order to qualify for NAPB membership. The Property Ombudsman offers added peace of mind with a comprehensive, independent redress and compensation scheme available should any disputes arise.

How do I find an NAPB member?

All NAPB members are listed in the members page of the NAPB website.

Compare quick house sale companies / cash buyers

To help you find a member we’ve collected a list of property buying companies below:

  • Good Move: A strong advocate of regulation as part of our vision to change the house buying industry for the better. Not only are we a proud member of the NAPB, we went one step further, becoming regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors too. We’re proud to be the only company in this niche sector that is run by qualified chartered surveyors.
  • House Buy Fast: Established in 2008 and accredited by the Property Ombudsman. It was initially created to assist sellers to connect with investors and has now evolved into a popular house buying company.
  • Property Rescue: Property Rescue is a professional house buyer established in 2005 and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for undertaking sale and rent back schemes.
  • House Buyer Bureau: House buyer that has been acquiring properties for around 20 years. Buys all properties regardless of condition and is a member of the NAPB and the Property Ombudsman.
  • National Property Trade: A regulated professional property buying company set up in 2010.
  • We Buy Any Home: One of the founding members of the NAPB and worked with the Property Ombudsman to establish the comprehensive Code of Practice for Property Buying Companies.
  • Speed Property Buyers: A member of the NAPB and Property Ombudsman, Speed Property Buyers are growing in popularity within the quick sale industry.
  • Quick Move Now: One of the original operators in the quick house sale industry, Quick Move Now was established back in 2001.
  • Homes Bought Fast: One of the founding members of the NAPB, Homes Bought Fast was established in 2007 and is monitored by The Property Ombudsman, adhering to the Code of Practice for Property Buying Companies.

The pitfalls of unregulated quick house sale companies

If a seller decides against using a sale company a member of the NAPB and registered with the Property Ombudsman, some of the potential pitfalls are:

  • You can end up in a long, drawn-out sale that goes on for months, not weeks.
  • There may be no transparency in terms of surveys or valuations.
  • There is no code of practice, meaning the house buying company can treat its customers as they please without any repercussions.
  • If a sale goes wrong, there is no recourse action you can follow up on.
  • An unregulated firm may reduce the price it offers for a property without reason or push homeowners into paying their own legal fees and valuations.
  • An agreed price is never guaranteed to go through as an unregulated firm may not have the required funds, instead relying on unstable investor funds.

What should I expect from a genuine cash house buyer?

Transparency – A good cash house buyer will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision, striking the right balance between being comprehensive and not bamboozling customers with endless small print.

Regulation – A reputable company will be a member of the National Association of Property Buyers and The Property Ombudsman. A code of conduct will always be adhered to, meaning the house is in safe hands with property professionals. If anything were to go wrong, you have access to a redress scheme through The Property Ombudsman.

Fees – Where fees are payable they are detailed upfront and never hidden away in lengthy contracts. With a genuine cash buyer, there are usually no fees to pay.

Speed of sale – On average, selling your house quickly for cash will take two to three weeks. If a cash house buyer quotes a time frame they should always stick to it. Sales can be pushed through quicker if necessary – at Good Move we’ve achieved sales in just 48 hours.

Professionalism – A fast house sale should be organised coherently from start to finish. Good Move is staffed by qualified chartered surveyors, not salesmen, and we’ll always be on hand to answer your queries.

No pressure – You should never feel pressured by a house buying company. Sellers should be open and honest throughout the entire process and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision. Here at Good Move, our qualified chartered surveyors and expert staff will always be available to answer any of your questions in a non-obligatory way.

No misleading claims – A reputable house buying company should always provide you with accurate, clear information about their services.

Freedom to use your own solicitor – You should be free to use your own solicitor – which is always the case at Good Move. We can sort all the legal fees and processes out for you however, if you’d prefer.

Good communication – A great quick house sales company will let you know what’s happening, every step of the day. At Good Move we’ll always keep you updated, so you know exactly what’s happening with your house sale.

Comprehensive complaints procedure – Hopefully everything goes smoothly with your house sale, but if you do have an issue there should be a comprehensive complaints procedure to log and deal with your problem effectively.

How can I avoid quick house sale scammers?

The quick house sale market has expanded rapidly in recent years and, as with any successful industry, there are unscrupulous individuals seeking to exploit customers, as stories like this demonstrate. Scammers operate in several ways. They could simply be ‘middle men’ seeking to sell your details on to real cash buyers, or even traditional estate agents working under false pretenses. They may inaccurately value your property or reduce their offer just before completion. Often, they will hide fees in lengthy contracts or make false promises about fast completion dates. Below you’ll find our essential guide to avoiding the scammers.

9 tips for dealing with a quick house sale company

  1. Make sure they really are a cash buyer. Confirm this multiple times if you have to and then check again with their solicitor when the sale is being processed. For extra security, make sure they are members of the NAPB and the Property Ombudsman.
  2. Beware of long tie ins and exclusivity clauses – Not all providers are the same. While Good Move won’t tie you in with fiddly contracts, other quick house sales buyers might. Make sure you do your research first.
  3. Is their valuation correct? Get independent assessments from local estate agents to see whether their figure is too low or too good to be true (it almost certainly is).
  4. Beware offers that go down just before completion. Unscrupulous firms will make high valuations (see above) before reducing them just before completion. This is your cue to walk away.
  5. Scan the small print for hidden fees. Even reputable companies may charge extra for various services. At Good Move we guarantee there are no fees and no hidden costs.
  6. Watch out for deadlines slipping. The best cash house buyers really can buy your house in seven days. But if the timeframe you’ve been quoted comes and goes it should set alarm bells ringing – they may be trying to sell your house to a third party.
  7. Scan the small print for ‘option agreements’ which give cash buyers the right to sell via someone else. In particular, look for phrasing like ‘have the right to assign to a third party’. This will not be a quick sale.
  8. Always feel free to walk away at any point – If, at any point, you change your mind a reputable company will let you walk away from the house sale.
  9. If things go wrong – Not happy with the outcome? If you’re unsatisfied, make sure you inform the company and give them a chance to rectify the issue before taking things

Six essential questions to ask a quick house buying company

If you’re contacting a house buying company, it’s worth arming yourself with a few essential questions. It could be the difference between a hassle-free sale and an expensive mistake. If you’re happy with the answers, your house sale is in safe hands.

  1. Are you regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB)? Both organisations oversee the property market and NAPB members also belong to the Property Ombudsman who offer independent redress for any disputes.
  2. Do you purchase the properties yourself or do you act as a broker to investors? If the company says they act as a broker, you should avoid them at all costs. They are reliant on potentially unstable investors.
  3. Are you cash buyers or are you reliant on a mortgage? Property buying companies may claim “we buy any house”, but if they need a mortgage you are best off going elsewhere. Mortgages can take up to 12 weeks to go through and are becoming increasingly difficult to get through mortgage lenders.
  4. Do you have Professional Indemnity Insurance? Any large property buying company should carry professional indemnity insurance to give homeowners confidence that if anything were to go wrong, insurance is always available.
  5. Do you have a complaint handling procedure? Homeowners generally like to know that a formal system is in place to manage any problems and resolve them accordingly.
  6. Can your solicitor provide recent evidence of house sales? It is fundamental to know whether a house buying company has any recent experience in quick house sales. Ask to speak to the solicitors of the company, requesting evidence of TR1 forms and completion statements from recent purchases. If the company refuses, it’s obvious they aren’t cash buyers and are likely acting as a broker trying to facilitate a sale with an investor.

Alternatives to quick house sales

A quick house sale isn’t for everyone, and it’s important you spend time doing your research to ensure it’s the best option for you. Everybody’s personal circumstances are different – what works for one person might not work for you.

While there are many advantages to choosing a cash buyer buyer like Good Move, if you’re looking to sell your home to manage financial problems, you may wish to seek help from the Citizens Advice Bureau, Money Advice Service and National Debtline.

Similarly, if you’re struggling to keep up with your mortgage payments, selling your home might not be the only option. You may be able to renegotiate with your mortgage lender to make your payments more manageable.

If you decide you do want to sell your property quickly and safely, contact one our experienced surveyors here at Good Move, who will be happy to help.

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Good Move believe that every homeowner should have the opportunity to receive a quick house sale.

Good Move are regulated property buyers who offer a unique quick move method which your traditional Estate Agency practice just can’t offer on the open market. No viewings, no sales boards, no house chains, just sell your house for cash.

We are regulated by...

  • NAPB
  • RICS
  • NAEA
  • The Property Ombudsman
  • Trading Standards

Good Move are proud to be the most regulated property buyer operating in the ‘Quick House Sale’ industry.