Compare Quick Sale / Cash House Buyer Companies

Quick House Sale

“I need to sell my house NOW!! How can I sell my house fast for cash?”

Apparently there’s a market full of homeowners willing to accept 10% – 25% less than the market value of their property in exchange of a super quick and effortless cash sale. Using a cash house buying company used to be reserved for desperate sellers, but over the recent years their appeal has managed to penetrate into the main stream market, which is why they have become insanely popular. And I totally get why.

But what’s the catch? Should you use a cash house buying company? Here are the need-to-knows, including the traps to avoid…

The reason I’m covering this topic (on my landlord blog) is because there’s been a recent uptick in demand for more information on this topic from fellow landlords. I ‘spose it makes sense, because it’s easy to understand why landlords would favour a quick cash sale, especially with tenanted properties.

In any case, let’s go through the details of how you can go about selling up quickly for cash (whether you’re a landlord or an individual selling a residential home)…

Page contents:

What are quick house sale/cash buyer companies?

I’m hoping no one is sitting there scratching their ass in confusion, because the name is very telling.

Quick house sale companies (also known as ‘We buy any house‘ companies and “Cash House Buyers”) offer to buy your home quickly for cash. So unlike the traditional high-street estate agent (which involves finding a buyer), this process of selling a home is fast.

Cash buying companies generally work in two ways:

  • They will find a 3rd party cash buyer
  • The company will directly purchase the property from you (which is usually the quickest way to achieve a sale, for the obvious reasons)

In both instances, you’ll be expected to accept a discounted rate for your home, somewhere in the region of 10% – 25% below the market value. But I suspect (and hoping) that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, because that’s the catch of using one of these companies.

Be wary of any property cash buyer that offers 100% of the market value! A genuine property cash buying company will never pay full market value!

Best rated Quick House Sale/Cash Buyer Companies

While I’ve never used any of the companies below (so I can’t personally recommend any of them based on experience), I did shuffle through, what felt like a gazillion “Quick house sale” services, and the below looked to be the most promising (I explain how they made the shortlist below the table).

I’ve tried to accumulate the ‘selling features’ of each service, but I recommend doing your own due diligence!

Best rated Quick House Sale / Cash Buyer Companies
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
  • Direct buyer, with no middlemen
Offers (up to)
80-85%of Market Value
Get cash offer
Rating

4.9

Reviews.co.uk
Features

  • Members of The National Association of Property Buyers, members of The Property Ombudsman and Trading Standards
  • 14 days average sale time
  • Service is 100% FREE
  • Cash offer guaranteed for 7 days
  • Direct buyer, with no middlemen
Offers (up to)
80-85%of Market Value
Get cash offer
Rating

4.8

feefo Reviews
Features

  • Founder of The National Association of Property Buyers, members of The Property Ombudsman, NAEA Propertymark and Trading Standards.
  • Any property, any condition considered (England and Wales)
  • No legal or estate agency fees to pay
  • No viewings required
  • Property bought vacant or let
  • Direct buyer, with no middlemen
Offers (up to)
85%of Market Value
Get cash offer
Rating

5.0

Reviews.co.uk
Features

  • Members of The Property Ombudsman, The National Association Of Property Buyers, Trading Standards & Anti-Money Laundering regulations
  • Any property, any condition considered (UK)
  • Sales completed in as little as 7 days (with exchange in 24 hours)
  • No legal or estate agency fees to pay
  • Guaranteed sale
  • Cash offer within 24 hours
  • Direct buyer, with no middlemen
Offers (up to)
75%of Market Value
Get cash offer
Rating

5.0

feefo Reviews
Features

  • Members of The Property Ombudsman & The National Association Of Property Buyers
  • Any property, any condition, any location considered (UK)
  • They claim to buy it quicker than any of our competitors (can have funds in your bank within 14 days)
  • No fees or hidden costs, free Legal service
  • Cash offer within 24 hours
  • Direct buyer, with no middlemen
Offers (up to)
75-85%of Market Value
Get cash offer

Please note, I try my best to keep the information of each service up-to-date, but you should read the T&C’s from each companies website for the most up-to-date information.

If you have any experience with any of the above companies, or if you’re in the midst of weighing up your options, I’d love to hear your feedback (leave a comment below!).

How did the companies listed make my shortlist?

As I’ve said, I’ve never used any of the companies listed – so I can’t recommend any of them based on personal experience. On that basis, I had to come up with a formula to help generate an objective shortlist of the crème de la crème, so that’s exactly what I did. Not a very sophisticated formula, mind you. However, I think it does build a practical and reasonable case to justify my choices.

Simply, when scouring through all the various companies in the sector, I ensured they all met the following prerequisites:

  • Genuine cash buyer – they will buy the property directly, and therefore don’t need to source a buyer (and essentially act as a middleman) or secure finance before being able to purchase your property, like many of the other cash buying companies do (this can massively slow down the process).
  • Professional and functional website (sidenote: I was baffled to discover as many butt ugly and unusable websites as I did! The industry seems to be suffering from a condition that impacts their judgement for design and basic usability)
  • Highly rated across impartial review/rating platforms (e.g. Feefo, TrustPilot, Reviews.co.uk. The usual suspects)
  • Members of redress schemes (e.g. The National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB), members of The Property Ombudsman and Trading Standards etc.)
  • Competitive and realistic cash offers (between 75% – 85% market value)
  • Transparent contact details, including physical premises
  • Registered company on Companies House
  • Reputation (as in, they didn’t open their doors last week and start trading)

Now, before you get your knickers in a twist, I’m not saying some good soldiers didn’t slip through the net – I’m sure they did – so if there’s a company you’re investigating (or representing) that isn’t on my list, it doesn’t necessarily mean I think they suck donkey balls (although, it quite possibly could).

The Pros and Cons of using a Quick House Sale company

Pros

  • Achieve a quick sale;
  • A lot less hassle than traditional methods, particularly because all the legal work is taken care of for you;
  • Quick way of liquidating asset in order to access cash;
  • Can help avoid repossession, clear debts, and generally resolve financial issues quickly;
  • A good solution for anyone that has been struggling to sell their property via the traditional means.

Cons

  • Of course, the trade off of using a quick house sale service is that you’ll have to accept a price that’s lower than the current market value (they typically offer between 75% – 90% of the market rate);
  • Some companies have been known to agree to buy a house for a price, but then reduce the price at the very last minute (also known as “gazumping”). That can be gut-wrenching;
  • Fee structures can be confusing and unclear, so home-sellers often end up paying more in fees than expected;
  • Some companies make false property valuations (i.e. they provide low valuations to get a better deal);
  • Some companies enforce a “sole agency” policy, which prevents sellers from accepting offers from anywhere else. This can often lead to better deals being missed out on.

Points to consider when selling your house via quick sale company!

  • Think carefully about whether using a quick house sale company is right for you! It’s important to understand both the pros and cons. It’s also worth looking into all your options, and then deciding which is the best decision for your circumstances.
  • Don’t purely rely on the property valuation provided by a quick sale company, do your own valuation. Here’s a guide on how you can value your property.

    I have a read a few horror stories of vulnerable sellers have lost up to 50% by selling to quick sale companies, because of undervaluing!!

    It’s also worth asking the company how they conduct their valuations. Normally, you will receive an initial preliminary estimate over the phone. They will then send someone to assess your property, accurately evaluate its condition and make an offer accordingly. You will then receive a final offer (which you shouldn’t be under no obligation to accept it). But it’s definitely best to check what the policy is before agreeing to an in-person valuation!

  • Negotiate! Following on from the point above; don’t be afraid to negotiate!
  • “Free service, no legal costs” – almost ALL quick sale companies offer a completely free service to sellers, and they’re definitely not shy in flaunting it: the “no legal costs, we take care of it all” headline is very alluring. But it’s important to note that it’s not really free, because they take the costs into consideration when making you a below market value offer!!

    I don’t think it’s a particularly vicious tactic, but it’s worth bearing in mind, and I definitely wouldn’t put too much value on the flashy headline.

  • Shop around! There are plenty of options, including companies and service types, to choose from in order to achieve a quick sale!
  • Cash property buyer companies aren’t regulated nor is the industry so consumers aren’t protected when selling a property to one of these companies.

    So it’s important to use a company that is a member of the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB), because they require all their members to register with The Property Ombudsman (TPOS), which means homeowners will have to access their independent redress in the event of a dispute. I also recommend using a company that allows their customers to leave reviews on third-party platforms like TrustPilot (but, please, bear in mind that reviews are frequently faked).

    Just to emphasise the importance of using a reputable company, here’s a news article on the MailOnline reporting a story on The Office of Fair Trading investigating three unnamed ‘quick house sale’ companies for alleged unfair practices that may have led vulnerable customers being left tens of thousands of pounds out of pocket.

    Only use a Quick House Sale / Cash Buyer Company that is a member of the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) and registered with The Property Ombudsman (TPOS).

  • Are they buying directly or sourcing a buyer? As mentioned already, there are generally two types of services available when it comes to selling fast via a quick sale company. Either they will buy the property off you directly, or they will source a third party buyer. It’s important to understand the difference between the two, because generally speaking:

    • If they buy directly: you will get offered a lower price (e.g. 80% of the market value) but the sale will be quicker (e.g. 7 – 14 days).
    • If they source buyers: you will get offered a higher price (e.g. 90% of the market value) and the sale will take longer (e.g. 4 – 8 weeks).
  • Read the contract(s) carefully, and don’t agree to work with a company unless you fully understand the T&C’s, particularly all the associated fees. Everything should be written down, so don’t rely on verbally agreed upon terms.
  • Most companies will have their own internal/recommend legal adviser which they will try and encourage you to use. They can’t legally force you to use their recommended legal services, and it’s generally better to source your own independent legal adviser.

    If you don’t already have one (either by recommendation or previous use), you can search for legal representation from the following websites:

  • If the company you’re using is going to look for a third-party buyer, avoid tying yourself into long contracts! A typical ‘sole agency’ contract with an estate agent is 8-12 weeks. A quick sale contract should be shorter, but it’s also important to note that there are companies which don’t insist on any kind of contract before sale.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Ask every question you need before agreeing to work with a company. For example, ask them how quickly they expect to achieve a sale, how quickly you should expect the money in your account, and what their recent results have been like. A more complete list of questions you may wish to ask is further down this page!

Common signs of a scam!

You can sell your home fast to a ‘Property Cash Buying’ company without being scammed, but be wary of any company that:

  • Isn’t registered with National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) and The Property Ombudsman (TPOS) (you should check on each website to verify, do NOT take the company’s word for it).
  • Claims to be ‘regulated’ by a government body (the industry is currently not regulated).
  • Asks for any form of payment, particularly upfront payments.
  • Asks for any cancellation or withdraw fee within their paperwork/contracts/terms of service.
  • Asks you to sign a ‘lock-in contract’, ‘option agreement’ or ‘RX1’ form.
  • Claims to provide a guaranteed sale for close to 95% – 100% of market value. If they did that, they wouldn’t make any money.
  • Wants to put a ‘restriction’ against the title of your property with HM Land Registry.
  • Does not have a clearly visible Company Registration Number on their website.

Questions to ask Quick House Sale / Cash Buyer Companies

  1. Which redness schemes they are members of e.g. Property Ombudsman (it should be clearly displayed on their website, but it’s worth asking anyways). You can also check their member directory on the Property Ombudsman’s website to ensure they actually are a member!

    Many companies (not just quick house sale companies) advertise they are members of various redness schemes when they actually aren’t!

  2. If the company is buying the property themselves with their own cash, or if they need to source a buyer. If the latter, ask how they will source the buyer.
  3. What fees you will have to pay, including if there are any charges if the sale doesn’t complete.
  4. How they value your property.
  5. How long it takes for you to receive the cash in your account.
  6. How long it takes for the sale to complete.
  7. If you’re tied into any contracts.
  8. If the in-person valuation is 100% free and without any obligation.

Quick Sale Cash Buyer Companies Vs Traditional Estate Agents

Here’s an example I found on a cash buying company’s website, which displays what you can expect in terms of costs/net value when comparing against an estate agent, so make of it what you will…

Cash buying company VS Estate agent

Alternatives to cash buying companies…

  • If you’re looking to sell cheap, and not necessary quick, you may want to try using an online estate agent instead of venturing down the quick sale route. Online estate agents can market your property on the biggest property portals (like Rightmove & Zoopla) for as little as £99.
  • Before tossing the idea of using your local high-street agent out the window, it might be worth talking to a couple of them to see whether they can offer you a “quick sale” deal. It might also be worth asking them what their average sale time is.

    I’d personally rather work with a local brick and mortar agent over an online ‘quick sale’ service if possible.

  • One of the main reasons for selling quick is to get relief from financial difficulties, mainly suffocating mortgage payments. If that’s your reason, it’s worth contacting your mortgage lender to discuss your options. They might be able to amend your policy so it’s easier for you to manage your payments.

3 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
John 24th September, 2019 @ 21:00

Thanks for the great information.

I'm currently looking into using one of these companies to sell a few of my btl's. I was just wondering if you know why there is such a big difference in the percentage of the market value they offer? A spread between 75 - 90% can equate to alot of money. Do you have any thoughts? Many thanks

1
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 25th September, 2019 @ 12:51

@John,

Many thanks! Appreciate it.

I think most of them will pretty much offer the same amount, and the percentage disparity may play a factor if the valuations differ (i.e. one company may value your property more than another, so the percentage would be different even if they offer roughly the same amount).

I would personally get offers from a few of them and then make a decision. Perhaps even haggle if it seems appropriate.

2
Guest Avatar
Stuart Haynes 23rd August, 2020 @ 09:08

This is a very useful site - thanks for all the info.

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