National Homebuyers (Cash Buyers) Review – What’s The Catch?

National Homebuyers Property Cash Buying Company

Oh, will you look at that!

National Homebuyers advert just popped up on my TV! I have no idea how long it’s been airing for, but it certainly looks like their marketing budget is in a healthy place. Business must be sweet as a nut. Good for them.

As with the majority of these “property cash buying” companies (also commonly known as “We buy any home“) – and yes, there are a buttload of them – they make a super compelling case for us to sell their house to them pronto.

If you’re in the market to sell, it’s hard not to get enticed by their mouth-watering hooks;

  • “Any property, any condition”
  • “Guaranteed cash offer”
  • “Complete with in 7 days”
  • “No legal fees”
  • “We’ll buy any ol’ crap for cash”

Well, shit, where do I sign up? Daddy’s got a legitimate derelict pile of rubble to get rid of ASAP!

Since their advert is doing the rounds across national TV channels, my presumption is that there’ll be an increased thirst for information on National Homebuyers and how these cash buying companies operate. Specifically, what’s the bloody catch (because it rather sounds too good to be true)?

If that’s why you landed here, then you’re probably in the right place.

Before I kick things off, I just want to clarify that this won’t necessarily be a direct review of National Homebuyers service, but rather an overview of how cash buying companies operate. I haven’t used National Homebuyers services, but I’m familiar with how the industry cogs turn. Essentially, I’m shameless and filthy enough to admit that I’m attempting to piggyback off National Homebuyers marketing efforts to gain traction. But you can rest assured that I’m a straight-shooter.

I’ve broken down this blog post into the sections listed below, so if you’re looking for specifics, feel free to skip straight to the area of interest…

Page contents:

Is there a catch? Are they safe?

I’m guessing this is where most eyes will pry, because they’re the most commonly asked questions after being confronted with a compelling sales-pitch by a cash buying company.

Are they [cash buying companies] safe?

I’m going to start off by ripping the band aid off nice and quickly! The property cash buying sector is currently unregulated! That means the industry is full of cowboys ready to rip you a new one, and they often do. I’ve heard some horrifically gut-wrenching stories.

Here are some of the most common issues/scams you should be aware of, to name a few:

  • Inaccurate valuations which lead to under valuations (the best way to prevent this is by getting multiple valuations from different sources).
  • Last minute changes to the offer (i.e. a company will make an initial cash offer and then lower it during the final stages).
  • Claims to provide a guaranteed sale for close to 95% – 100% of market value. If they any cash buying company does that, they wouldn’t make any money.

For a more elaborate menu of scams to be wary of, you can read my complete guide to property cash buying companies.

Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are plenty of good apples within the space, which will provide a fantastic service. I can’t tell you if National Homebuyers is specifically “one of the good guys” [because I’ve never used their service], but I can say that they wouldn’t personally be my first choice (more on that in the Would I specifically use National Homebuyers section).

So to answer the question: they can be safe if you use a reputable company!

I know, I know!

That’s about as useful as a chocolate teapot! Don’t worry, I’ll fill in the holes further down the post, which should hopefully provide more clarity.

Is there a catch?

Yes, of course. But it’s not a surprising one. At least, it shouldn’t be, because most of them are transparent about it.

So, actually, not really a catch, is it?

Reputable cash buying companies will do exactly what they say in the tin – all their glistening and luring headlines stack up – but the kicker is that it’ll cost you. They’ll typically offer anywhere between 75% – 85% of the market value for your property. That’s how they make their money (i.e. buy low, sell high).

That’s the catch.

On a side note, if you’re being offered less than 75%, then you’re probably being low-balled. If you’re being offered more than 85%, then you’ve probably been given an inflated valuation in the first place, because it would be unviable for them to purchase at those rates and still turn a profit.

Should you use a cash buying company like National Homebuyers?

Oh come on, don’t be like that, you know I can’t answer that question for you.

But what I can say is that their there is definitely a market and place for their services, and they have become incredibly popular among the following:

  • Sellers that are after a super quick and hassle free sale
  • Sellers with problematic properties/situations e.g. Japanese knotweed, subsidence, occupied by hoarder etc.
  • Sellers that have struggled to get a sale on the open market

Needless to say, there is definitely a demand for their services.

Cash buying company Vs Estate Agent

The majority of cash buying companies will occupy their homepage with a nifty little comparison table that highlights their service Vs Estate Agent, which demonstrates a predictably biased overview of why you may want to consider their service over your local high-street estate agency. It goes something like this:

Cash buying company VS Estate agent

Is it accurate? Well, it does highlight realistic benefits of using a cash buying service, but for in one specific example. The reality is, using traditional methods to sell can be a notoriously long process, which in itself comes at a cost (which is what the comparison table shows).

Either way, make of it what you will.

Important: do your due diligence!

If you decide to that a cash buying company might be a good option for you, it’s critical to do your own due diligence. Here are a few tips:

  • Use a company that is a member of redress schemes (e.g. The National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB), members of The Property Ombudsman and Trading Standards etc.). Is should be clearly stated on their website!
  • A competitive and realistic cash offer will be between 75% – 85% of the market value.
  • Use a registered company on Companies House
  • Check impartial reviews/ratings on platforms like TrustPilot and Reviews.co.uk.

    Although, I’m increasingly sceptical of reviews these days, because a lot of them seem to be fake (not all, mind you), so that’s something you may want to bear in mind.

National Homebuyers Vs Other cash buying companies

I won’t dive too deep into this section, but just realise that National Homebuyers is just one out of several dozens of these companies to choose from; some are better rated, some lower.

I’ve actually compiled a list of recommended cash buying companies, which you can check out. And before you ask, nope, sadly National Homebuyers didn’t make the list (I explain how someone makes my list on that page).

Would I specifically use National Homebuyers (based on my analysis)?

Since there’s a high probability many unsuspecting folk will land on this page (and abomination of a blog) after Googling “National Homebuyers review” (or a variation of those keywords), I should probably share my initial and objective thoughts on their service.

In short: Nah, I wouldn’t use their service from the perspective of a window-shopper.

To clarify once again, I haven’t used their service, so I’m basing my thoughts on anecdotal evidence. Also, don’t get it twisted, I’m not telling anyone not to use their service, because they seemingly do have a good reputation and they have been around for a long time. However, I’m just saying I wouldn’t, and that’s for the following four reasons:

  • Members of redress schemes: most cash buying companies make it very clear if they’re members of redness schemes (e.g. The National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB), members of The Property Ombudsman and Trading Standards etc.) – because it’s so incredibly important to be in an unregulated sector.

    Usually, there are redness logos at the bottom of every page of the website.

    I’m not saying National Homebuyers aren’t members of any (it’s easy enough to find out, and they probably are, to be fair), but I can’t see any evidence of it from looking through their website. Maybe they’ve tucked the information away in the small-print.

    In the famous words of Duncan Bannatyne, “I’m out” (Scottish accent)

  • Legal fees capped to £1000: it’s interesting that they have capped legal fees, because I imagine legal fees can easily exceed that amount in difficult cases. Ironically, cash buying companies usually deal with difficult cases. Either way, my bet is that they can’t always anticipate whether legal fees will exceed the cap until after the fact. That’s concerning.

    I’m not saying other companies don’t also cap legal fees, but National Homebuyers is the first one I have seen that does.

  • Cash offer amount unclear: there’s no indication of how much of the market value they will offer. Almost EVERY company’s website I have seen makes it pretty clear (as mentioned, it’s usually between 75% – 85%).

    I don’t see any reason to hide this information unless they’re not particularly competitive. That said, there’s only one way to find out if they are competitive, and that’s by getting a cash offer.

    Either way, alarm bells are ringing because they have chosen not to make it clear.

  • My Homebuyers: I genuinely believe MyHomebuyers.co.uk are currently the best property cash buying company, and that’s why they would be my first port of call if I was looking for cash buying service:
    My Homebuyers / Property Cash Buying Company
    ServiceRatingFeaturesOffers (up to)
    Rating

    4.7

    TrustPilot Reviews
    Features

    • Guarantee to beat any genuine cash offer
    • Members of The National Association of Property Buyers, members of The Property Ombudsman and Trading Standards
    • Any property, any condition considered (England or Wales)
    • Cash offer within 24 hours, Sales completed in as little as 7 days
    • Free Legal fees included, No agent costs or hidden fees
    • Guaranteed sale
    Offers (up to)
    80-85%of Market Value
    Get cash offer

    And no, this isn’t a sponsored blog post, but they are an affiliate partner of mine (only because they’re awesome, though), as are a few other cash buying companies (which I didn’t proclaim as my preferred choice).

    For a detailed justification, you can read my review on My Homebuyers if you want.

    That said, I still think it’s imperative to do your own due diligence, which should include getting a few quotes from different companies.

Time to wrap it up, folks.

In conclusion, if you feel interested in going down the route of using a cash buying company, have your wits about you! It’s an industry plagued with bad actors. However, find the right company to work with, and your house selling service can be a wonderfully simple experience, especially for anyone with a difficult edge case.

Happy selling!

Oh, and before I make like a banana and split, please drop a comment if you’ve used National Homebuyers or any other cash buying company, I’d love to hear your feedback!

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