“TheAdvisory drips in honest-to-goodness practical advice for todays house sellers” – The Independent
Shady cash buying companies will make an unrealistic high offer and promise to get the money in your hands in a matter of days pending an official valuation.
They'll push you to sign paperwork hoping you don't read the fine print that prevents you from selling to anyone else.
Using every delay and stall tactic in the book, these companies will drag out the process for months.
At the last possible moment, these companies will cut you back savagely when you’re out of time and unable to do anything other than to accept.
Despite their many promises to buy your home with cash, only a few companies actually have the cash on hand to buy your home and quickly solve any property related problem you’re facing.
Be aware that 99% of the companies out there are not ‘genuine’ cash buyers.
Although their websites may suggest otherwise, the vast majority of these firms are lead generators selling your personal details or brokers passing your details on to small-time investors.
They promise you the world to trick you into signing an option contract.
The option contract is needed to hold you in place (i.e. stop you being able to sell elsewhere) while a buyer and/or mortgage funding is secured. This makes the process risky and your sale far from guaranteed.
From our research, we estimate that in fact, over 70% of sales agreed to these types of buyers fail, because mortgage funding cannot be secured. In other words, a massive waste of your time.
The quick sale industry is NOT regulated. Anyone that claims differently is misleading you.
No one is effectively policing this space.
That’s how many shady companies are able to routinely take advantage of vulnerable people trying to cope with high-stress situations.
Protect yourself with the right knowledge and know exactly how to navigate the treacherous waters in dealing with cash buying companies.
We’ll guide you step-by-step to find reputable cash buying companies and how to get the highest cash offer.
I’m Gavin Brazg, the founder of TheAdvisory, the UK’s only dedicated independent consumer advice group for home sellers.
Since 2005, we’ve helped over 20,000 home sellers get the best outcome with practical advice and guidance.
When it comes to selling your home, we empower you with the truth so that you can make informed decisions and avoid being taken advantage of.
I’m a real person!
Even listen to recent interview with the Property Investors Blog
Founder & CEO, TheAdvisory
The Sunday Times’s favourite house selling expert
We mystery shop all the main cash house buying companies (and any new entrants) quarterly.
We continually collect feedback and reviews (both positive & negative) from houses sellers using these companies – this keeps our finger on the pulse of who is (and isn’t) providing a fair service.
We verify that companies actually have the cash readily available to buy your home.
If a company asks for any upfront payment of any kind.
If a company cannot provide ‘proof of cash funds’ upon your request.
If a company will not provide contact details of recent clients (so you can ascertain customer service levels).
If a company claims to provide a guaranteed sale within 28 days for close to full market value.
If a company claims they (or the industry) are ‘regulated’.
If a company asks you to sign a ‘lock-in contract’, ‘option agreement’ or ‘RX1’ form - DO NOT SIGN!
If a company claims to have access to a network of property investors.
If a company claims to pay 90% - 100% of market value.
We’ve observed 1,000’s of quick sales and 99.99% of them have gone through at 75%-82% of a conservative estimate of open market value.
The shady companies will claim they pay ‘up to’ 85% or 90% of your home’s open market value.
Some even say they pay ‘up to’ 100%.
The words ‘up to’ are deliberately chosen to mislead.
Be wary of adverts like this:
If anyone makes a claim that sounds too good to be true…it is!
In fact, any offer above 82% should be treated with a certain amount of suspicion.
Anyone claiming to pay 85%, 90%, 95%, 100% is NOT offering a ‘guaranteed‘ cash purchase of your property.
They are offering to ‘sell’ your property (not to ‘buy’ it).
The easiest way is to talk to a couple of local estate agents and ask them:
“If I give you 6 weeks to sell my house, what price could you definitely secure a buyer at?”
The question above encourages agents to give you a more considered estimate of open market value (as opposed to the usual deliberate overvaluation used to impress and win new clients).
The reputable firms we’ve identified in the market do not charge any fees, and most also pay your legal fees (although that is deducted from their offer price).
There are a number of ‘we buy any home type companies’ that will make you a verbal offer, but then insist you pay an inflated price for their surveyor’s valuation (anywhere from £200 – £600) before they’ll put an offer in writing.
They will usually phrase it as a ‘refundable payment for valuation’ which sounds fine – it’s ‘refundable’ after all.
However, because the money is only refunded if you accept their offer, this system is wide open to abuse.
Companies can pocket a quick £200 by making you a strong verbal offer and then lowering it after you’ve paid for the valuation.
Do that a couple of times a day and you have a business that doesn’t even need to buy any property to be profitable.
Steer clear of any home buying service that asks for an upfront payment of any kind.
Just got off phone to a distraught vendor. Last minute offer reduction from £170-£109k from one of the UK's most prolific "fast cash for property" type companies. Just because no one is complaining to @TPOmb doesn't mean self-regulation is working. @katefaulkner @JayneDowle— Gavin Brazg (@AdvisoryUK) May 24, 2019