A complete guide to finding reputable property cash buyers.

Moving home has rightfully earned a reputation as a scary and incredibly stressful process. The procedures involved in finding estate agents, then finding a buyer for your property, negotiations, taxes, stamp duty, and several other hidden expenses that seem to pop out of nowhere like props on a haunted Halloween ride can be overwhelming, especially for the person looking to quickly get a property off their hands. This has precipitated a proliferation of property cash buyers that promise to take away all the stress from selling property away from house owners. 4 out of 10 homes were sold to cash buyers in 2015, and the numbers are rising. Some promise to get your home sold for up to 90% of the listed price in as little as 7 days. The promises made by property cash buyers are often tempting, and while they might sound like the perfect alternative to the traditional method of selling your houses, how do you know which property cash buyers actually deliver on their promises to sell your house fast and deliver the cash to you in 7-28 days?

A quick google search for property cash buyers will return hundreds of cash buying companies, and many of them will make claims that seem attractive to the average uninformed person. This article presents you with ways to screen property cash buyers so you can make a distinction between actual property cash buying companies, and companies that will take you and your property for a ride. Read on to find out how to spot genuine property cash buyers.

The Office of Fair Trading, before it was closed in 2014, conducted a study on the UK’s quick house sale sector. They focused on finding out how useful the quick house sale service was to customers. They discovered some practices that failed to meet expected standards and often tried to take advantage of the perceived desperation of the homeowner who wanted a quick sale. They spotted a few unsavoury practices from property cash buyers, which included:

  • An unclear fee structure and suddenly asking for a fee after a (favourable) valuation as a condition for their services to be taken any further.
  • Companies that spin stories and do a last minute reduction of the initial offer for your home after a financial commitment has been made.
  • Companies that are not transparent about the value of your home (often giving much lower valuations than the home is actually worth) or being dishonest about the discount to be applied.
  • Companies that promise a quick sale and then take a long time to complete the sale.
  • Asking homeowners to sign a “lock-in” contract or an “option agreement” that often contain unpleasant surprises.
  • Asking for upfront payment from homeowners for services.
  • Companies that make false claims about being cash buyers, when they are in fact middle men and try to find cash buyers after they lock homeowners in.

When you are trying to choose a property cash buyer, there are a few signs that you need to look out for, and things to ask from your property cash buyer. They include:

  1. An independent valuation report for your property from a RICS chartered surveyor. Genuine Property Cash buyers will offer this service for free. You don’t have to pay for it upfront.
  2. A formal offer that is based on the independent RICS chartered surveyor.
  3. A list of references or contact details of recent clients that you can contact.
  4. Proof of cash funds or access to investors that are ready to buy your home for cash.
  5. Membership of regulatory bodies such as the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) or The Property Ombudsman (TPO) is a good sign that the company is committed to ethical practices and are indeed sincere in their dealings. Membership of NAPB is also an indication that the companies buy properties for cash themselves and do not act as “middlemen” for actual investors in property.

Find below a review of 5 top property cash buyers in the UK that meet these criteria.

House Buyer Bureau

The House Buyer Bureau is a house buying service in the UK that buys all types of property, regardless of its condition and location. They are genuine cash buyers and promise completion of sales in as little as 7 days. House Buyer Bureau charges no legal fees, valuation fees, or estate agency fees for their services. They also guarantee the certainty of a sale at a very competitive price.

Valuation: RICS independent valuation

Transaction history: Their website contains details of the last 500 purchases and the price paid for each home.

Sale completion: House Buyer Bureau promises an instant cash offer for your home in 60 seconds, and sale completion in as little as 7 days.

Reviews: House Buyer Bureau has a Feefo service rating of 5 stars based on 47 customer ratings. The survey gizmo service rating is also 99%. Their website features 581 customer reviews, which give them an average of 4.8 stars.

Regulation: They are members of both TPO and NAPB.

Good Move

Good Move is a regulated house buyer that promises to buy your home with their unique, quick sale method. They pay all seller fees associated with the house sale and expect nothing from the homeowners. They also buy any house in the UK, regardless of condition and location. They are established house buyers and pay competitively for houses. The Good Move team consists of property buyers, surveyors, and top estate agents.

Valuation: Good Move instructs two RICS valuations on your home and will make an offer based on the valuation.

Transaction history: Good Move has a list of recently purchased property on their website

Sale completion: Good Move promises a cash offer in 24 hours, and then agrees to a completion date with the homeowner. An average fast house sale is completed in 3 weeks.

Reviews: Good Move has a reviews.co.uk rating of 4.89 based on 94 customer reviews.

Regulation: Good Move is accredited by TPO and NAPB. They are the most regulated property buyers, and are also accredited by the National Association of Estate Agents, RICS, and National Trading Standards.

National Property Trade

National Property Trade pride themselves on being straightforward property buyers who have been cash property buyers for over ten years. They promise a face to face visit, giving a personal and reassuring touch to their transactions, and guarantee a cash offer in 30 seconds, with a promise to beat any other genuine cash offer.

Valuation: National Property Trade offers a free, independent RICS Chartered surveyor’s valuation

Transaction history: National Property Trade website lays claim to having sold property worth 6.2 million in the past month alone.

Sale completion: National property Trade guarantees a cash offer in 30 seconds and promises a sale completion in as little as 7 days, or in time to suit the homeowner.

Reviews: National Property Trade has a reviews.co.uk rating of 4.90 average, based on 223 customer reviews. Their website also features several customer testimonials with an overall positive vibe.

Regulation: National Property Trade is regulated by TPO and NAPB.

Vivo Property Buyers

Vivo Property Buyers are a family-run property buying company that buys homes only in the South East, Greater London, and the Home Counties. They offer homeowners who want to sell an alternative to selling on the open market with a fast, simple, and guaranteed service. They claim to be an open, honest, and friendly service that will offer you 85 –90% of your property’s current market value.

Valuation: After you accept an offer, Vivo Property Buyers pay for an independent RICS property valuation.

Transaction history: Available on request to potential property sellers.

Sale completion: Vivo Property Buyers make an offer on a home within one hour, and can buy your house within 7 days in a guaranteed sale.

Reviews: Vivo Property Buyers have a Trustpilot rating of excellence, with a trust score of 9.8/10, based on 83 customer reviews.

Regulation: They are accredited by NAPB and TPO, as well as the Federation of Small Businesses, and the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Any House Wanted

Any House Wanted will buy any house fast and for cash. Their over 30 years of experience in the buying of old homes, new homes, and commercial property guarantee that they can easily buy your home in a matter of days. If the homeowner requests it, they can let you stay in your sold home for a period of time after the sale. They buy houses in any condition and guarantee you confidentiality and transparency in all their dealings. They offer up to 85% of the listed price on a property.

Valuation: Any House Wanted offers a free no-obligation valuation service before an offer is made.

Transaction History: They boast of 30 years of house of buying property for cash.

Sale completion: They promise sale completion, including cash transfer, in a matter of days.

Reviews: Any House Wanted has no reviews on independent websites, but their website contains testimonials with an overall positive vibe.

Regulation: They are members of the NAPB.

Published on 31st October 2017

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