If you’re considering using a ‘we buy any house’ company to sell your home, it’s important to do your research first. There are many companies out there who will potentially want to scam homeowners and take their money without delivering on their promises. Below, we’ll give you some top tips for the best way to avoid these companies, as well as answer some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about ‘we buy any house’ schemes.
Who are we?
We are the NAPB, the National Association of Property Buyers. We were formed in 2013 to protect homeowners using we buy any house schemes, and we are the only organization in the UK that does this. Our members are all reputable and professional house buyers who are committed to following our strict code of conduct. ‘We buy any house’ schemes can be a great way to sell your home quickly, but it’s important to choose a reputable company. Our members must be members of The Property Ombudsman (TPO) as well as prove they have the correct insurance and the ability to uphold the high standards of the NAPB. This means being respectful to customers whilst giving fair, transparent and honest services. Quick house sales can be a great alternative to a traditional high street estate agent for some people who require a quick sale.
What do we do?
Our main aim is to make sure that homeowners are not scammed when using house buyers in the UK e.g. ‘we buy any house’ companies. We do this by providing a list of accredited companies on our website, as well as offering advice and guidance to homeowners.
We aim to self-regulate the quick house sale sector of the property industry. We strongly believe that house buyers should be regulated, and we are working with the government to make this happen. In the meantime, we will continue to provide a voice for homeowners and fight for their rights through self-regulation of the sector. We can refer to redress schemes for homeowners who have run into trouble, we will also provide support and guidance to help them with disputes.
As recommended by HM Government:
“One option to sell your home may be to consider a company offering an instant cash purchase… you should use a firm that is a member of the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB), as they are signed up to The Property Ombudsman’s Code of Practice.”‘How to Sell’ Guide Published May 2019.
The quick house sale sales sector is not regulated, traditional routes like auction estate agents. Due to this there is a lot of websites claiming to be trading companies who offer to buy a house quickly and with a guaranteed sale but they have neither the funds nor infrastructure to do so. Some websites will sell the data and act as a broker leaving customers vulnerable and with the potential to get ripped off.
We’ve put together ten things to look out for when looking to use cash buyers.
10 signs to look out for:
Refusing to give you their full company name and address:
Some companies will try to hide their identity by only giving you a PO Box number or an email address. Reputable companies will have nothing to hide and will be happy to give you their full contact details.
If a company is reluctant to do this, it’s a red flag that they might be trying to scam you.
We would also recommend checking the company’s website and social media pages to see if they are active and legitimate. A reputable company will have an up-to-date website with clear information about their services. We would expect to see customers reviewing their property sale services.
If you can’t find any information about the company online? Does the website look outdated and unprofessional? this is another red flag.
We buy any house companies should:
– Give you their full company name and address
– Have an up-to-date website
– Be active on social media (or with new reviews of service)
– Be an accredited member of the NAPB
We would expect to see customers reviewing their property sale services regularly. We expect to see recent reviews showing the company is active, look across multiple sources from places like trust pilot, feefo etc.
Be wary of only 5-star reviews, if a company has been around for some time we do not expect to see 500 5-star reviews, there would be a mix of varying star ratings from different customers with different experiences. 5-star only review could be a sign of bought reviews of a fake site and should be scrutinized.
‘Seller beware’ is a phrase that is often used in relation to we buy any house schemes. It means that it’s up to the seller to make sure they choose a reputable company, and to do their research before entering into any agreement. Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous companies out there who are looking to take advantage of people in vulnerable situations. Members of the NAPB are bound by a code of practice and so should also being aware of any vulnerable customers they are dealing with.
Get everything in writing:
Make sure you have a written contract that sets out the terms of the agreement, and that you understand all the terms before you sign it.- Don’t be pressured into anything: reputable companies will give you time to think about your decision and won’t pressure you into signing anything.They should be happy to answer any questions you have too.
If you’re ever in doubt, we would recommend contacting a legal representative for advice. You should have a positive experience when selling your home.
You should be on the lookout for if you’re pushed into a ‘lock-in contract’, ‘option agreement’ or ‘RX1’ form. These can be warning signals. An RX1 form is a land registry restriction form e.g. stopping transactions or transferring data etc.
Upfront payment :
Be wary of companies that ask for an upfront fee. You should only ever pay for services once they have been carried out. Cancellation (or withdrawal) fees: Reputable companies shouldn’t charge you a fee if you decide to cancel the agreement or you change your mind. Legitimate companies will not charge for any fees including legal fees and/or processing fees. You should be able to get a no-obligation cash offer without any strings attached.
The company is not on the NAPB register: Only use a company that is part of the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB). This will ensure that they follow a strict code of practice. Have policies in place like anti money laundering regulations, finances, insurance etc.
Offer 100% (guaranteed sale) market value:
It’s very unlikely that any we buy any house company will offer you the full market value for your property. They need to make a profit, so they will usually offer you around 80-85% of the market value. Be even more cautious of any guruntees of full market value. If they offer to sell to ‘investors’ for a suspiciously high amount this should also be a red flag they cannot help you.
Proof of funds:
Cannot give proof of funds: A reputable company will be able to show you proof of cash funds before entering into an agreement. This is usually in the form of a bank statement or letter from their solicitor.
High-pressure selling tactics:
Reputable companies won’t use high-pressure selling tactics, such as pressuring you to sign an agreement on the spot. They will give you time to think about your decision and answer any questions you have. This should also include not dropping the price at the last moment. A professional cash homebuyer will aim to give you a hassle free house sale.
Quick house sale companies are not currently regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means that there is no protection for you if things do go wrong. If you’re thinking of using a property-buying company, we would recommend doing prior research and taking your time to make sure you choose a reputable company. You should be cautious of any company offering advice or recommendations on products or services that they are not qualified to give. You should always get advice from a suitably qualified professional before making any decisions about selling your home. If you have any questions or concerns about selling your home, we would be happy to chat with you and offer our advice. You should also feel confident talking about the entire process and be aware of how it will work with any company.
What is a we buy any house company?
A we buy any house company is a company that promises to buy your home, regardless of its condition or location. They’ll often buy it at less than the going market value. It can be a faster option to sell than e.g. estate agents and legal costs are normally covered.
Are we buy any house companies legitimate?
Yes assuming that you are using a genuine company, like many things there are also none-legit versions so it pays to do your research before committing.
How do we buy any house companies work?
The process varies from company to company, but generally, you’ll get an initial (purchase price) offer for your home based on its current condition. It varies on calculations but will roughly be based on the going property rate for the area and specifics of the property.
If you accept the offer, the company will then send out surveyors (normally RICS) to assess the property. Once the assessment is complete, you’ll be given a final offer. If you accept, the company will then arrange for the sale (and paperwork) to go through. Normally you shouldn’t expect to pay for e.g. solicitor fees and you should get the amount specified in the final offer once everything is complete. You should expect less than you’d get with an estate agent and a traditional method of selling but you’ll be able to sell much quicker e.g. just a week if needed.
How can I avoid getting scammed by a we buy any house company?
There are a few things you can do to avoid getting scammed:
– Do your research. Read reviews, talk to friends or family who have used we buy any house companies, and get as much information as you can before making a decision.
– Be cautious of companies that make big promises without asking many questions about your property. A legitimate company will want to know more about the property before making an offer.
– Be wary of companies that require you to pay upfront fees. Most legitimate cash-buying companies do not require any upfront fees. Fast property buying companies normally offer a free service and there should no be any fees or hidden costs.
Are there any risks involved in using a we buy any house company?
There are a few risks involved in using a cash buying company. There are good, bad and in-between companies out there. You should always get advice from a suitably qualified professional before making any decisions about selling your home.
What should I look for when choosing a we buy any house company?
When looking for a company, it is important to do your research. Some things you should look for include:
– The company’s reputation
– Do they have a good track record?
– How long have they been in business?
– Are they licensed and insured?
– What kind of purchases do they make? (i.e. only residential, or commercial as well?)
– Are there any complaints against them with the Better Business Bureau or other consumer protection agencies?
– What is their buying process like? (Do they require a lot of paperwork from you, or are they very flexible?)
– Can you speak (or read reviews) to current or past clients of the company to get feedback?
You can check independent review sites like Feefo, Trustpilot and Google, there are a lot of places.
How can I be sure that the company will follow through on their promise?
One way to ensure that the company will follow through on their promise is to check that they are a member of the NAPB. This is an organisation that sets standards for we buy any house companies and only those that meet these standards are allowed to be members. You can also ask the company for references from previous customers. Checking reviews online can also be helpful. When you’re looking at reviews, pay attention to both positive and negative ones to get a well-rounded picture. It can be a good idea to look at independent review sites too. This should give you an idea if they are known for dropping prices or pulling out of a sale etc.
Is WeBuyAnyHouse a member of the NAPB?
No, they are a trading style of Cromwell Equity Limited.
What happens if the we buy any house company doesn't want to buy my home?
If a cash house buying company doesn’t want to buy your home, there are a few things you can do: – Talk to them. See if they have any suggestions about how to proceed or if they know of another company that might be interested in buying your home. There are a lot of other companies that will buy any house so don’t get disheartened if one declines, try some other members of the NAPB via our members page. If you feel the company has been discriminatory you can check if the company is registered with the Property Ombudsman. The Property Ombudsman is a free, independent service that deals with complaints about property sales and purchases.
How do quick sale companies compare to high street estate agents?
You can’t directly compare the two as they offer different services. Whilst estate agent fees are high you get a larger amount of profit with a property but it can take longer to sell. You should expect solicitors fees and more but there are guides galore on the subject. Quick house sale companies are best suited for people who need a quick house sale, this might be someone who has inherited property and it is far away, relocating or repossession or just a dilapidated property that won’t sell. Prices tend to be lower than market value but sell very quickly. Generally, you’d expect a hassle-free sale but at the cost of some of the property value.
Did we miss something? If you still have a question that is not here let us know and we’ll get it added!
When deciding whether or not to work with a we buy any house company, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. Here are some things to consider:
Speed – These companies can buy your home very quickly, often in as little as seven days.
No Fees – These companies typically do not require any fees, upfront or otherwise. There should be no hidden fees.
Convenience – There’s no need to deal with realtors or go through the hassle of listing your home.
Low offers – We buy any house companies typically offer less than market value for a home.
Limited protection – as the sector is not regulated you have limited cover if something goes wrong, its why it can be worthwhile to use an NAPB member.
Limited options – If you are unable to sell (to house buying companies) you may be out of options.
Asking the right questions can help you avoid getting scammed by illegitimate companies.
We buy any house schemes can be a great way to sell your home quickly and without the hassle of estate agents, but it’s important to do your research before working with any company. There are many legitimate quick property sales companies out there, but there are also many scams. Make sure to check that the company you’re working with is legit and has funds so they don’t try to secure finance after making a free cash offer. Read the fine print before signing any agreement. The process varies from company to company, but generally, you’ll get an initial offer for your home based on its current condition. If you accept the offer, the company will then send out surveyors to assess the property. Once the assessment is complete, you’ll be given a final cash offer. If you accept, the company will then arrange for the sale to go through. You should expect the money in your bank account promptly.