Sell your house fast/we buy any house/home
type of sites
For those caught in a nightmare scenario of losing their jobs or taking a substantial pay cut and being unable to afford their mortgage repayments, selling up and moving on can prove problematic if the market is slow or stagnant.
As a result, a number of companies have sprung up which operate along similar lines to those offering to buy your car or your motorbike. “We-buy-any-house” type organisations now proliferate and operate throughout the country. With sales patter such as ‘purchase guaranteed’, ‘cash in your bank account in a week’ and ‘no fees’ they can be a tempting option. But are they preying on those caught up in a desperate situation or do they offer a viable alternative to traditional estate agents? We take a brief look at the “sell your house quickly” market.
How Does it Work?
Property owners are invited to fill in their details on the companies’ websites in order to value the property. After the value of the property has been established, the firms state that they will provide the vendors with an offer. The time scales for this stage vary from 4 – 24 hours. Once written confirmation is received and agreed upon, the money on offer can be transferred into the vendor’s bank account in as little as a week.
Companies who operate in this manner claim to offer many advantages, some of which include:
• Simplicity – the process can be very straightforward
• Speed – if the seller wishes to move quickly, a sale can be accomplished in a very short time scale
• Low fees – in contrast with selling a home through the traditional route, many companies offer vendors a free service so there are no estate agent or solicitors’ fees to pay.
In common with the majority of rapid online purchasing services, selling a house to one of these companies has a number of drawbacks, the most significant of which is the price. In many cases, the cash sum realised is between 75-85% of the market value of the property. This represents a substantial loss in the context of the value potentially achievable via a traditional sale. This loss must, however, be weighed against the fees usually incurred in a sale, together with any other financial ramifications associated with the protracted time scales inherent in a traditional sale prior to the release of funds.
However, of greater concern is the fact that many of these companies are not Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulated and some are not even registered at Companies House. Both should ring alarm bells.
Whilst understandably viewed with scepticism by many, online quick-purchase companies can offer a viable alternative to a normally protracted process for those faced with extreme financial hardship. It is essential, however, that sellers enter into these financial arrangements with their eyes wide open and that they or their advisors perform appropriate due diligence on the firm in question to avoid becoming the victims of a potentially-devastating scam.