Addressing Quick House Purchasing Concerns and Scams
You may or may not have seen that some companies, and the industry in general, has received some negative press in the past.
We would like to take the opportunity to highlight some practices that ought to be avoided, but also to say exactly who we are and how we operate.
All of the information provided below has been sourced from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) report into the Quick House Sale market.
In this study, the OFT first identified the different types of service that companies in the sector provide:
- Buying: some providers buy properties direct from home sellers, either for resale or to let.
- Brokering: some providers seek to introduce home sellers to third party buyers and may take steps around progressing a sale.
- ‘Lead Generation’: some businesses identify home sellers who are interested in a quick sale and pass on details (or ‘leads’) to other quick house sale providers.
National Homebuyers are a house buying company. We do not act as a broker, lead generator or deal with third parties in any way, shape or form. It is worth bearing in mind that ‘brokers’ and ‘lead generators’ often claim to provide the same speed and certainty that buyer’s do when often this cannot actually be guaranteed.
They then identified practices of ‘most concern’ that related to:
- “reducing the price offered at the last minute after the seller is financially committed to the transaction”
We rely on the customer to provide all information about the property’s interior prior to the offer. After the offer is made and accepted, the property will be subject to an internal survey. Sometimes we find that the information provided about the property’s interior is not accurate and we reserve the right to revise the offer amount for this reason. If in the unlikely event, we do reduce the offer amount, the customer will always be informed as to the reasons why.
- “making misleading claims about the value of the property or the level of discount to be applied to the sale”
Beware of companies that say that they will offer the market value or close to it. As the old saying goes: if it seems too good to be true, it usually is! This is usually based on the valuation they provide and not on one that is generally accepted by industry professionals (estate agents, surveyors). Most reputable companies in the sector will be offering around 70-80% of the actual market value on average, although obviously, offers can fall either side of this range.
- “falsely claiming to be a cash buyer”
As is mentioned above, some companies are acting as a broker or a ‘lead generator’. National Homebuyers are a cash buyer and do not rely on third-parties to make the purchase on our behalf.
- “unclear fee structures, for example, imposing an unexpected fee following an initial valuation, as a condition for progressing the service”
The valuation fee is the only fee we charge and it is charged right at the very beginning of our service – before the valuation process even begins. What’s more, it is fully refunded if you go on to sell your property to us.
- “inducing home sellers to enter into agreements that prevent them from selling to other buyers, with severe penalties for breach of contract”
Again, some house buying companies who rely on third-party investment will require their customers to sign an exclusivity agreement that states they may not sell the property to another buyer – usually a period of around 6 months – and breaking this contract can incur significant charges.
National Homebuyers do not ask our customers to sign any agreement and they can, at any time, cease their dealings with us. The valuation fee, however, will not be refunded if you do not sell your property to us.
We hope that we have managed to address some of your concerns about the quick house sale sector. To find out more information about how we work then please see our frequently asked questions. Or, if you prefer, why not apply for a no obligation cash offer with our sell house fast service.
We buy any house, regardless of its condition. Contact us today for a fast, no obligation valuation of your home.