Over the past few years, we have seen more and more vendors looking for different methods to try and achieve a quick house sale on their property. According to The Advisory, the average time to sell a house is currently at 176 days which is 5.8 months. So what do you do if you six months just doesn’t cut it for you and you need to move quicker? Many homeowners are turning to the likes of Sell House Fast & We Buy Any House style companies to try and achieve a sale, but are they any good? Like most industries, there are the good and the bad and the darn right ugly. So in this blog, we have a look at some of the better companies in the sell house fast market, those companies that you should probably steer clear from and the tips and tricks to picking the best quick house sale companies.
So what’s the difference between a sell house fast company and your average high street estate agent? Well, a quick house buyer will claim to buy your house within a time period (usually 28 days) and allow you to make your onward move. Your high street estate agent will offer your property out to the buying public however they will normally want exclusively for 20 weeks, roughly five months.
Things to look out for when using a quick sale company
Can they show proof of funds – Any company that is offering to buy your property should be able to provide you with proof of funds that they are able to do so.
Are they agreeing on a reasonable timescale to complete the sale – Most sell house fast companies will look to offer you a ‘quick sale’. Depending on the tenure of your property this should normally take around one month. Any company that is trying to tie you in for a long period (three months +) should be avoided.
Will they be buying the property or looking to sell the property to an investor – Many property companies agree to purchase your property but don’t physically have the funds to do so. Ask the company if they are buying the property or plan to sell the property on to an investor.
Is the company going to allow you to see the survey any survey they get against the property – It’s common that the sell house fast company will request to get survey against your property. This survey should be made available to you at your request. Although they aren’t legally obliged to, most will offer to show you the report to offer complete transparency.
Will they be paying your legal fees – Most good sell house fast companies will offer to cover your legal fees for the transaction. It’s also not uncommon for them to recommend a solicitor, the purpose of this will be to speed up the transaction.
Are there any upfront fees – Some companies will offer to help you but will request that you pay an upfront fee in advance. This can range from £250 to £2000 and should be avoided at all cost as its normally a ploy to tie you in.
Does it sound too good to be true?
Like any industry, there are companies to steer clear of. Sometimes it is alluring to consider going with a company because what they are offering sound very attractive, but is all is it seems?
Completion within seven days – Some sell house fast companies claim to offer to buy your house within seven days as an incentive to sell your house to them. What is the likelihood of them being able to do this? If your property is a freehold then quite unlikely and if its a leasehold then it is highly unlikely that they will be able to complete in that timescale. Why? Well, as you can imagine selling a house is a complex transaction and as such things take time. From filling in protocol documents, obtaining searches & survey, ID checks, management packs and solicitors enquiries. Most leasehold companies will advise that they will provide the management pack within fourteen days, which will eclipse the seven-day time scale offered.
Pay 90 – 100% of market value – This can sound attractive and as most homeowners are looking to achieve the highest value for their property, the lure of a high offer from a sell house fast company can be very tempting. However, it is a common tactic used by some companies to try and win business at the start and then reduce the price at a later stage. We have a look below at the basic cost for a sell house fast company.
Marketing Price – £100’000
House Value – £95’000 (Marketing to sale price is on average 5-7% less according to Home)
90% Offer = £90’000
Stamp duty – £3000
Legal Fees – £1600 (solicitors fees on both sides).
Home Buyers Report – £700
Admin costs – £1000
Total Cost -£96’400 (£1400 over the value of the property)
This isn’t factoring in the cost to run the business however, it is highly unlikely that a company will invest £96’400 on an asset worth £95’000. So we would advise to tread carefully and question them before accepting any offer.
Large Cash Advance – If a company offer you a large cash advance then make sure you read the small print. What happens if they no longer want the property due to an issue with the survey? How will you pay them back their initial fee? Always read the small print to see if there are any hidden caveats.
Instant Exchange – Most companies will want to do their checks before fully committing to a sale, would you spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on a property without doing getting a survey? Most companies wouldn’t. We advise against this and again, read the small print!
Should I use a Sell House Fast Company or a local estate agent?
This all depends on what you are looking to try and achieve from a house sale and what is motivating you.
Timescale – If you need to sell your property fast due to not wanting to lose your onward purchase or for any other reason then using a sell house fast company may be the better option. An estate agent will typically tie you into a 20-week contract and even if your house sells quickly you may have to wait eight weeks for the sale to go through. Most quick sale companies will look to offer you a sale within 28 days, helping you to make that move a little bit sooner.
Price – If you are looking to achieve the highest possible price your property and you have time on your hands then we advise to try a local Estate Agent first. We would advise to only tie yourself into a short contract so that if it doesn’t sell then you could look at other options. Selling through a sell house fast company you should expect to receive an offer of 15-20% below market value and they should offer to cover your legal fees.
Ease of transaction – If you are looking for a stress-free purchase for whatever reason (debt, probate, etc) then a quick sale company may be the better option. Then going down the quick-sale route may be the best option for you.