How do I sell my Property for Cash?

The process of selling your property can be intimidating, especially if you don’t have any prior experience with trading properties. The first step is to determine the route you want to take, understand the process of selling houses in the United Kingdom, and identify the most efficient method to sell your house for cash.

What are the options when selling my home?

Acquiring the services of an estate agent

An estate agent is a business or person who arranges the renting, selling or management of buildings and other properties in the United Kingdom.

Simply contact an agent, who will then come to value your home, conduct the market viewings and manage the sales procedure. They charge fees based on commission (High Street estate agents) or a fixed fee that you pay upfront (online estate agents).

Private property sale

The internet has advanced the way homes are sold, with more people selling their properties themselves, by advertising via online portals or holding auction sales, in a bid to avoid thousands of pounds worth of agency fees.

Selling to a cash buyer

If you want to sell your home without any hassle, or you are moving to a different country and need cash fast to facilitate the move, a cash buyer is your best option. There are no delays with your payment. There is free valuation and the cash buyer covers a speedy offer on the property and all legal costs. This is a popular option for homeowners in need of quick cash, who are looking to skip the tedious process of private or estate agency sales.

How do I sell a property on my own?

Get a valuation

The first step to a successful property sale is to get a proper valuation for your house, which is the price at which you want it to sell. Sites like Zoopla and Rightmove offer tools that you can used to get a valuation based on similar prices in your area. Alternatively, you could contact an estate agent to conduct the valuation without any commitment, for the best result.


A picture taken with your phone isn’t going to cut it; you need to acquire professional images that show your home in a positive light. You will also require a professional floor-plan of the building, so that prospective buyers have a general idea of what the house looks like.  There are several sites in the UK where you can market your property. You could use an online service like Zoopla, Prime Location or Rightmove to market your property or you can advertise free on sites like House Ladder, Property Sell, and other social media platforms. Print brochures and For Sale sign-boards are amongst  the best ways to promote the listing to people in your locale.

Do I need an Energy Performance Certificate?

Yes. Before you list your building on the UK market, you need an EPC certificate, so it’s best to sort that out before advertising your home. You can find an accredited energy assessor on the EPC register site or via a quick Google search.

How do I make my house ready for viewings?

Pictures only help buyers imagine how your will look. An actual viewing shows prospective homebuyers the best features of your home. To make your home ready for viewing, take the following steps:

  • Ensure the outside of your home is clean, because buyers always drive by a property they are interested in.
  • The interior must be spotless. Remove all clutter such as baby toys, toiletries and medications. Imagine your home is the inside of a hotel room that you’re trying to convince a customer to pay for. Open the windows for fresh air and replace all towels with clean, folded ones.
  • Keep pets away, because the potential viewer might not like animals. If you have a garden, add colour by using a seasonal fertiliser to brighten your dull lawn.

Negotiate a price

Before you start negotiations, there should be a figure in your mind that represents the lowest selling price you’re willing to drop to. No matter what happens, do not go below this figure.
You can always reconsider if other buyers are not forthcoming. When you have decided on a buyer, have a lawyer present to help with contracts and sale completion.

What should I consider if I decide to go with a property cash buyer?

There are dozens of companies and individuals who claim they can pay cash for your property, but only a few are genuine. There are three types of cash buyers: professional cash buyers, private investors and third-party cash buyers.

Ask for proof of funds from the buyer, so that you know if they’re borrowing through mortgage, using their own money or selling the details to a third party. Most companies are not genuinely cash funded. They may advertise otherwise, but they are really a group of small investors who sell your details or buy with mortgage finance and chain you to an option contract. This option contract prevents you from opting out or being able to sell to another company, which lengthens the process and increases the risk.

If it’s a professional buyer such as a company, ensure they’re members with The Property Ombudsman Scheme or National Association of Property Buyers.

Companies always have a code of practice that protects you during a cash sale. Check the code of practice to ensure they won’t suddenly drop the price when you’re close to completing the sale, without justification.

If the company charges a fee for their services, look elsewhere, as others will cover any incurred costs instead of charging you for services.

What is their process of valuing your home?

Will they do a desktop valuation that involves a quick check of houses in your area and confirm details with local agents or personal valuation, where they send a representative of the Royal Institution Chartered Surveyor to conduct the evaluation? Find out who pays for the service and ask for a copy of the survey.

What factors might affect the initial offer you receive? Will the survey results show problems with the building?

Ask the company how long the process takes. Some websites advertise days, but in reality, it could take up to six weeks to complete the process. Others always have funds to hand and use solicitors to speed up the sale.

If the company withdraws their offer for whatever reason, will they refund you for any expenses incurred or will another cash buyer be found on your behalf?

The process of selling to a cash buyer

Selling to a cash buyer is easy.

  • Book a free property valuation on the merchant’s website.
  • An accredited property buyer will contact you to arrange a survey.
  • After the survey, a fair valuation is reached and the buyer offers a guaranteed cash offer for your home.
  • A solicitor from the merchant works with you to finalise the deal, taking care of all legal work and exchange of contracts on both your behalf. 

How much should I expect from a cash buyer?

Some reputable cash buyers say they will pay between 80%-100% of the property value for your home, but this is false advertising.  Companies will at best pay 75% of the property’s real value.

What can I do to stay safe?

Walk away if:

  • The cash buyer asks for any sort of up-front payment.
  • The buyer refuses to provide proof of cash funds.
  • The buyer refuses to show contact details of their most recent customers, which would allow you to confirm the level of service they received.
  • A RICS surveyor does not base the offer on an independent valuation.
  • The buyer refuses to give you a copy of the RICS report.
  • The buyer requests you sign an option agreement or lock-in contract.

Benefits of selling to a cash buyer

  1. Speed: a worthy cash buyer always has liquid funds available to buy your property and make payment in the fastest time. If you’re desperate to move and need cash to facilitate the move, a cash buyer is your best option, as most of the cost is covered by the merchant on your behalf.
  2. Lower sales fall through: a cash buyer eliminates the situation where a deal falls through at the last minute because the buyer can’t acquire the necessary loan. Cash sales are mostly on the basis of ‘as the house is’ during the survey, so you don’t have to spend money renovating or replacing anything after an offer has been made. The process is usually completed within a month where a genuine cash buyer is concerned, as they have the funds available.
  3. No fees: unlike an estate agent that charges you from start to completion of the sale, a cash buyer is a straightforward deal and is 100% free for you. You save money on the agent’s commission, professional photos, staging of your home, back and forth haggling and other strenuous processes that might not lead to a sale, due to potential hassles.
  4. No buyer refinancing problems: most homebuyers have to apply for a loan or mortgage when they put in an offer, especially with the rigorous lending criteria that has made it harder to acquire financing for homes. With a property cash buyer, you avoid all the drawbacks, because the money is available.

To conclude, do your own research and read review sites to see testimonials from clients who had successful sales and to gauge what their experience was like, so you’re properly informed before choosing a cash buyer. The one thing you want to avoid is linking up with a deceptive property cash buyer who can only finance the sale with a mortgage loan.

Published on 31st October 2017

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