Watch Out for the Unethical

Beware of dishonest and unscrupulous operators, both quick sale companies and individuals!

What to look out for

Typical practices used by such companies and individuals include:

  • Charging up front for a valuation (which is often a desktop valuation costing a quick sale company little or nothing) on the promise that they will make you an offer – only for the offer to be so low that you will inevitably decline it, and so forfeit the Valuation Fee (usually several hundred pounds).
  • Dropping the price previously offered just prior to completion (in the knowledge that the vendor has no alternative but to accept the reduced offer).
  • Split payments. Making a reasonable offer, with part of the money being paid on completion, and part at a future date. Most people who offer such schemes are notoriously difficult to track down, or have closed down the company, before the second payment becomes due.

Who to trust

All this might seem like selling to a Quick Sale company is a high risk strategy!

However it need not be, as long as you research the Buyer fully (in particular search on Google using the Buyer’s or Company name followed by the word “complaints” or “problems”) to see if there are any adverse comments about them.

You should insist on meeting anyone you’re thinking about selling your property to face to face, and don’t pay anything up front.

If you’re concerned that they might let you down or reduce the price at the last minute, ask them to lodge a deposit of £1,000 with your solicitor, refundable at completion subject to them buying at the agreed price. If they aren’t prepared to do this, think hard about whether you can trust them.

Here are a few examples of the kind of information you can find doing an internet search. Note: these won’t always appear on page 1, so click through a few pages!

If you need a quick sale at a price closer to full market value, there are some Quick Sale companies who offer more than 75% of open market value – some even advertise that they will pay full value.

This may well be the case for specific properties or situations.

For example, some of them are able to negotiate mortgage reductions or payment holidays with Lenders, and some may offer full value, but with completion delayed for a period of up to several years.

Whilst such options do exist, for most people who want a straightforward quick sale to release equity and move on with their lives, these are not viable. However there’s no harm in exploring these options.

In Summary

Quick Sale companies who will offer to pay cash in exchange for a discount exist in all industries for “non-new” items – cars and furniture, to name just two. The housing market is no different.

These Buyers fulfil a useful role. If you can sell your house using more traditional methods, and time is not an issue, then you’ll achieve a higher price. If such options are not open to you, a Quick Sale company can be a good solution. Just be careful who you use.

Find out more about the ways to sell a house:

1 Using an Estate Agent
Types of Estate Agent
How Estate Agents Market Property
How Much is it Worth?
How Much are Estate Agent’s Fees?
Once the Property is Listed
Once a Sale has been Agreed
Estate Agent Tricks
Selling Without an Estate Agent

2 Selling to a Quick Cash Buyer
• Watch out for the Unethical

3 Selling at Auction

4a Equity Release

4b Sell & Rent Back (SARB)

5 Creative Solutions
Exchanged with Delayed Completion

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By Richard Watters

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