7 September 2016
The latest report by the National Association of Estate Agents reveals that first-time buyers made up just 23% of sales in July – down from 29% in May.
That is bad news for those such as young families who are looking to move from a starter home into their next property, with fewer potential purchasers around to invest in bricks and mortar.
Property-buying experts are now urging those needing to sell quickly to consider approaching a specialist firm – but to make sure they don’t get ripped off.
The National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) was set up to represent those companies that purchase property professionally and ethically.
To become members, businesses must sign up to an industry-wide code of practice designed to protect sellers by banning tactics that would leave the vulnerable at risk.
The code, which was set up with the Government watchdog, aims to prevent people being tricked into selling their homes for a fraction of their value, being hit with exorbitant fees or suddenly finding the amount they were being offered being cut when they have no option but to accept the offer.
The average house price rose by £3,000 to £277,000 between May and June, data from the Office for National Statistics reveals.
Jonathan Rolande, from the NAPB, said:
“That rise looks great on paper to you if you are trying to sell but if you’re aiming at the first-time buyer market it isn’t really.
If you can find a buyer you’ll have more cash in your pocket or to invest in your next home.
But if you’re struggling to find a buyer then your home has just become that little bit less affordable – making it even harder to attract people trying to buy their first place.”
Companies that specialise in buying homes fill the gap in the market by helping people who need to sell their home quickly.
Because they are cash buyers, the companies can make a quick offer and allow the sellers to have the money in their bank account within a week.
That can be tempting for those who need to move home quickly, such as because they have a baby on the way and don’t have enough space for the expanded family where they currently live – but opens the door to rogue property firms.
Mr Rolande said:
“Property-buying companies can make a real difference to owners who are struggling to sell their home and need to do so fast.
But that can leave you at risk of being bullied into accepting an unfairly low offer for your property.
We formed the NAPB to protect people from being preyed upon by unscrupulous individuals who decide to make a fortune at the expense of the vulnerable.
If you are thinking about using a property buying company, first make sure they are members of the NAPB so you can be confident you get what you need from the sale.”
The NAPB website lists all the companies that have signed up the national code of practice – and includes a handy list of questions you should ask if you are considering using a property-buying firm.
To check visit napb.co.uk/members.