2019 update:
I Need to Sell My House Fast, What Are My Options?

Impartial Expert Advice

Key takeaway:

The only way to 100% guarantee a sale (that puts money in your bank account on a date of your choice) is by selling to a genuine cash house buying company.

 



The Fastest House Sale Options (Ranked)

#1. Sell to cash home buying company

  • This is the fastest way to turn your house into cash.
  • It is the only way to 100% guarantee a sale.
  • Often used by those facing financial difficulty.
  • No agent fees to pay.
  • Your legal fees are often paid for.
  • Genuine cash buyers can put money in your bank within 28 days.
  • Expect realistic offers to be around 75-80% of market value.
  • Not suitable for property over £500k.
  • Lots of fake companies and scams to avoid.
  • Get matched to safe-to-use cash property buying companies

 

#2. Auction

  • Worth considering if your property needs work, has defective title or a short lease.
  • Finding a buyer is not guaranteed.
  • Completion dates are usually set for 28 days after the hammer falls.
  • Be wary of anyone pushing “The Modern Method” of auction (it’s NOT free and it doesn’t always work).
  • Expect to achieve roughly 75-85% of market value.
  • Get matched to a suitable auction specialist

 

#3. Quick Sale Estate Agencies

Also known as – ‘30-Day House Sale Specialists’.

Perfect for you if:

  • Cash house buying companies won’t pay you an acceptable price.
  • Traditional estate agents have failed to find you a serious buyer.
  • You’re looking for the fastest way to sell for 95-100% market value.

Need to know:

Are you willing to accept a small discount from market value in return for a quick sale?

If you said ‘yes’ then you’re not alone…

There are 1000’s of house sellers out there just like you.

To meet this demand from house sellers, in recent years an increasing number of ‘fast sale estate agencies’ have sprung up.

Most of them are ‘off-shoots’ / ‘sister’ companies of cash house buying firms.

You’ll know you’re speaking to one if you’re hearing talk of  ‘revolutionary marketing systems’ or ‘databases of investor buyers’ (all willing to pay close to full market value in 30 days).

Here’s the thing…

As confident as their friendly representative will claim to be (at being able to find you a buyer), in our opinion these agencies are to be avoided as they tend to offer nothing more than empty promises, high fees and a slick sales patter carefully crafted to get you to sign-over control of your property sale.

Sure, their testimonials will be glowing (until you scratch the surface), but know this – No cash house buying company uses its own ‘sister’ quick sale estate agency to sell the properties they buy – That should speak volumes!

But that’s not the whole story. This sector is NOT all hot air and false promises…

If you are willing to sell for a small discount in return for a speedy sale, then there are some genuine 30-Day House Sale Specialists out there worth speaking to.

These genuine specialists are the true ‘quick sale’ experts that cash house buying companies actually do use to sell their properties.

They are not expensive and they are very effective at beating the market and quickly securing you a solid buyer at 95%-100% of market value.

You just need to know where to find them…

 

#4. PX (part exchange) with new home builder

  • Only useful if you are buying a new-build property.
  • House builders only offer this scheme if you’re ‘trading up’.
  • Not all house builders offer part exchange.
  • Expect to be offered 95-100% of market value.

 

#5. Change estate agent

  • Worth considering if you’re out of contract.
  • Definitely worth considering if you’re currently using a cheap online/hybrid agent.
  • Often a change of agent can negate the need for a price reduction.
  • Offer the new agent a full fee (>1.5%+VAT) but negotiate a short contract (>4 weeks).
  • Get matched to estate agents we’ve used & rate highly in your area

 

#6. Bring in second estate agent (multi agency)

  • Worth considering if you’re in contract (and your current agent agrees to this)
  • Multi agency (done right) makes traditional estate agents work harder.
  • Increases your chance of getting best price and selling your property fast.
  • Avoid fee arrangements where the agents share the fee regardless of who find the buyer.
  • Not for the inexperienced as agents can be hard to manage.
  • Expect fees to rise to 2.5%-3%+VAT.
  • Get matched to estate agents we’ve used & rate highly in your area

 

#7. Slash your asking price

  • Only do this if you’re unable to bring in a second agent or change agent.
  • The less appropriate your agent is for your property, the more you’ll need to reduce your price.
  • If you’re in a cold market, dropping your price may not guarantee a sale.
  • How hot is your market is right now?

 

#8. Assisted house sale

  • Worth considering if your property is proving hard to sell because its empty and needs work.
  • Assisted sale specialists will pay for (and manage) its refurbishment (and sale) in return for a share of the sale profit.
  • Get matched to an “Assisted Sale” specialist

Frequently Asked Questions

Please do not take mention of any company below as an endorsement or recommendation.

Can i trust online reviews for ‘Fast Sale’ companies?

Absolutely not!

Fake reviews (and even online video testimonials) can be easily bought online.

Facebook and Google reviews are harder to fake (compared to 3rd party dedicated review websites like Yelp, Trustpilot and Feefo) but are also not immune to manipulation.

Quick tip: To check if a company is faking their reviews, take a look at which country the reviewers are from.

It’s amazing how many people based in the USA leave positive reviews for companies that buy property in the United Kingdom…

sell house fast fake reviews
source: trustpilot

 

…Suspicious or what!?

Are instant cash offers or online quotes accurate?

Absolutely not!

Before an offer (you can rely on) can be made, all cash home buying companies will need to spend 3-5 days doing research to work out what will be a realistic purchase price for your property on the open market.

Local estate agents will be interrogated and a number of other property market data sources will be analysed.

This is why ‘initial offers’ (received over the phone or from an online calculator) aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

In reality, shopping around and making a good decision is impossible (if basing your decision purely on a comparison of initial offers).

Initial offers are simply teaser rates…

…These teaser rates are inaccurate figures thrown out there to get the conversation started (and get a foot in the door).

Here’s a good rule of thumb that (over the last 13 years) has proven itself to be true:

Whoever offers the most at the ‘phoning around’ stage usually pays the least when it comes to the ‘handing over the cash’ stage.

Who are the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB)?

The NAPB are a self interest trade body that represents a number of companies operating in the quick home sale sector (England, Wales & Northern Ireland).

Membership is a mixed bag:

  • There are a few excellent companies.
  • There are also some of the worst companies in the industry.

Lynne wrote to us recently:

NAPB-regulation-quick-house-sale-industry

The mistake Lynne has made is thinking the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) and The Property Ombudsman (TPO) are regulators…

The Quick Sale industry is NOT regulated.

  1. Anyone that claims differently is either mistaken or trying to mislead you.
  2. All we have is a voluntary redress scheme (and code of practice / conduct) overseen by The Property Ombudsman.
  3. Members of the NAPB have signed up to this code of conduct.

If this code is worth anything or provides any meaningful protection is yet to be seen…

…It did nothing to protect Lynne.

In fact it seems to have done more harm than good, and only served to lower her guard by providing a thin veneer of credibility to a company that didn’t deserve it.

Bottom Line: Do not take membership of the NAPB as a guarantee the company you’re dealing with is reputable and will treat you fairly.

Who are the best cash property buyers?

Ultimately, this depends on what type of property you’re selling, and where it’s located.

There are 100’s of websites out there all claiming to provide a guaranteed cash sale (and even pay your solicitor fees).

They all claim to ‘be the best’, to ‘pay the most’, to ‘be the safest’

…If you’ve never dealt with these companies before it’s impossible to to know who to trust.

This is why we offer the following free help:

Free help: Find out who are the best property buyers

Should I use a fast house sale company or sell at auction?

If you need a guaranteed sale, think very carefully before you choose auction over a reputable fast house buying company.

You only get one chance to get it right – Here’s why:

  1. The big problem with auctions (especially online auctions) is that your property is publicly advertised with a low guide price on Zoopla & Rightmove.
  2. If your property does not generate much interest at that level, and is either withdrawn prior to auction or doesn’t sell at auction, this failed attempt to sell (at a low price) will have been seen by most of the home-hunters active in your local market.
  3. This will cause you problems with any future marketing of the property, and is highly likely to reduce your achievable price, speed of sale and interest levels.

A failed auction sale will effect cash offers from ‘Quick Sale’ Co’s

Lets say you’re on the market with a traditional estate agent at £200k and you lose your buyer (perhaps they couldn’t get mortgage finance or their buyer pulled out).

In this scenario, property companies will be using a figure close to £200k as a starting point for calculating their offer.

If instead you go down the auction route with a guide price of £180k and you fail to sell, home buying firms will now be minded to use this lower figure as their starting point for calculating their offer.

Your failed auction attempt provides cash home buyers with fairly compelling evidence that your house is unlikely to achieve £200k on the open market from a buyer that can go the distance.

Prior to a failed auction attempt, that piece of compelling evidence wasn’t there. They would have had to work it out for themselves:

  • They may well have previously been thinking £195k was an achievable selling price and so their offer would be 80% of £195k (approx. £156k).
  • Now, their offer will be 80% of £180k (approx. £144k and that’s a best case scenario).

Bottom Line: If your property is not suitable for auction (and you need a guaranteed sale), be very clear that a failed auction attempt will have a negative impact on the price you could achieve from any companies that buy houses for cash.

Will I sell my house faster if I spend time getting it ready for sale?

If you spend a little time getting your home ready to sell, you’ll be rewarded with a faster sale and a higher sale price.

Presentation is often the difference between:

a). The house that sits unsold until you’re forced to reduce its asking price.

b). The house that sells almost immediately for the full price.

It really is that simple.

Pro Tip: If you want to sell house fast, it needs to present just as well as (if not better than) the competition and remain competitively priced.

Here’s the winning formula:

Competitive asking price + Good presentation = A quick property sale

What sells a house fast?

The old saying, “the customer is always right” is worth bearing in mind when getting ready to sell.

The customers are your prospective buyers and what they all want is this:

A tidy, well-ordered house, filled with light, space and storage

What is the fair market value of my house?

Fair market value (FMV) of a property is the price a willing buyer would pay (subject to securing finance).

Fair market value is NOT:

  1. Your Zoopla valuation estimate.
  2. What you need to sell the property for.
  3. What you bought the property for + the cost of any improvement projects.
  4. What any prospective buyers (that have property to sell) have offered you.
  5. What an agent gives you as their opinion of value.
  6. An RICS valuation (although if the only interest in your property is from a buyer that requires a mortgage, then to all intensive purposes this IS fair market value).

At the end of the day, until a property sale completes, all attempts to define fair market value are just guesses.

Hopefully the agent advising you is making a good guess based on relevant facts and evidence in the marketplace.

Never the less, their guess is not gospel and often inaccurate because ‘deliberate overpricing to win the instruction’ is rife in the UK.

Read: How much is my house REALLY worth?

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Gavin Brazg

Gavin Brazg

MSc Dip Arch

Founder & CEO

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