Using a national or local homebuying service is a viable option if you want a certain, quick sale. Most likely you’re very pushed for time... or have a particular timeframe in mind. Either way there are many companies offering a 'cash for your house' or 'cash for your property' service.
Our top tips cut through the chase, helping you on your way to a speedy, safe sale using a cash property buyer. They should save you time and money.
One - take advice first if you’re unsure of your options
The chances are if you sell to a cash property buyer or make use of a homebuying service you’re not going to get as much for your house as you would on the open market. But that's really not the point, is it?
The premium can be worth it under two different sets of circumstances.
financial issues - you need to sell to release equity. There may also be other issues surrounding the sale but your main motivation comes down to hard cash....
non financial considerations - such as relocation, or preserving a property chain.
If you're selling mainly because of financial issues, it may be worth speaking to one of the no cost organisations such as Shelter just to confirm you have assessed all your options. A surprising number of people don’t appear to.
You’ll find the contact details for a handful of expert (no cost) organisations on our repossession pages.
Unfortunately the homebuying service is not well understood. The vast majority of companies who offer this service attempt to arrive at fair solutions in what can be difficult or stressful circumstances.
Two – involve everyone who needs to be
One of the most common reasons why a cash offer grinds to a halt is because one family member initiates the process..and doesn’t involve the other owner, typically their spouse, from the very beginning. This is usually because of marital stress or one party burying their head in the sand.
It’s a dangerous road to go down – there’s a high risk you'll scupper your sale.
Ideally get all parties involved in researching and contacting a few companies that offer a homebuying service.
You have been warned….
Three – take time to research your house valuation
You need to establish a range for the open market value for your property so you can assess any offers against it. Use our methodology or a process inspired by it. As long as your house is not unique then the best use of time is to buy the Hometrack report for your property and to speak to estate agents about current prices (or look on Rightmove for asking prices in your area).
Similarly, if and when an offer is made for your property it’s up to you to query it if it was not what you were expecting.
If, for any reason, the open market value of your house is difficult to establish, we suggest you involve an RICS surveyor of your choosing (preferably at the cash buyer’s expense).
Four – researching homebuying companies
We’d always suggest you contact two or three cash property buyers initially. Chances are not all of them will be able to help. A bit of competition does no harm but don’t over-do it or you won’t be taken seriously as a seller.
For many people ‘local’ tends to suggest trustworthy. While ‘national’ suggests professional. Again it’s all a matter of taste. Most of the national companies offering a homebuying service are franchises or similar arrangements.
The better companies of all shapes and sizes, have processes and procedures in place which should ‘streamline’ the process. Note that some guarantee to make you an offer..at some level or other.
No matter which type of homebuyers you decide to contact prepare for your meetings by writing down a list of questions in advance. The homebuying service offered by one company may differ from another. Take notes and try to involve at least two people in the meetings.
Five – be open and honest in your dealings
Be prepared to be open about your circumstances from the start – those that influence what you want out of the sale. This will enable the cash buyer to tailor a solution to meet your needs.
Cash buyers tend to check-out the facts of a sale thoroughly so it’s not worth trying to mislead in the hope of getting a better offer. It just won’t happen.
Companies offering a homebuying service tend to fall into two camps: those that focus on the property or those that focus on people. You’ll know which approach you prefer or which is better suited to your circumstances.
Six – pay attention to the legal side
Take legal advice before entering into any arrangement to sell your property. Typically companies offering a homebuying service pay some or all of your legal fees. So even if money is tight it's worth doing. It’s just not worth taking those kinds of shortcuts.
The homebuying service is a lifeline for people whose circumstances don't allow them to sell on the open market through estate agents. But it pays to pick your cash property buyer wisely.
Finally, if you're unhappy with your existing cash offer or the way you're being treated, why not speak to us? If your existing cash offer terms are good - we'll tell you!