There are always going to be properties that are less desirable than others, and inevitably take longer to sell on the open market. This often leaves homeowners feeling stressed, agitated, and vulnerable (especially if they need a quick sale due to financial or other reasons).
This is where ‘quick sale’ companies come into play; offering homeowners cash in exchange for a faster than open market sale (typically in 7 – 14 days). Whilst there is a need for these types of services, and homeowners who are genuinely desperate and have a need to sell their home fast – they also do come with some warnings that homeowners need to be aware of, and scams that are currently being advertised online to unknowing homeowners.
Scam 1. Pretending to be genuine cash buyers.
The first scam that is present in the fast sale industry is a website that claims to be able to purchase for cash but lack the funds to do so. Generally, these are estate agents or investment companies that will lie to the seller in order to get them on board, and once doing so proceed to try and find a buyer on the open market. This is something the seller’s estate agent could have done in the first place and doesn’t give the seller that assurance of sale that a genuine cash buyer can.
Scam 2. Last-minute price drops.
Some cash companies promise the vendor a high price only to reduce the offer drastically on the day of completion. This puts the seller in the position of having to accept the new lower offer, or walk away to start again finding another buyer.
Scam 3. Selling your details.
Some websites that aren’t genuine cash buyers are set up purely to harvest email addresses to spam homeowners. Homeowners can expect emails from numerous firms when signing up to one of these sites, and not always related to selling a property.
Scam 4. Using mortgages.
Some cash buyers who claim to be able to purchase quickly actually rely on getting a buy to let or some other source of funding on the purchase. As with any financial borrowing, there is a risk of the process breaking down, it takes considerably longer – delaying the whole process; and it’s no better than a sale on the open market.
Scam 5. Lease options & creative sales.
There are some unscrupulous companies advertising online that claim to be able to offer 100% of market value as well as offer the seller a fast sale. If we think about it rationally, there is no cash buying firm that would offer 100% of the value. They are running a business, have staff and overheads and as a business, I’m sure they are in it to make a profit. Therefore, any company offering 100% market value for a quick sale is either an estate agent, trying to perform a lease option or some sort of creative sale – or they are simply lying to you!
How can I be sure I’m dealing with a genuine cash buying company?
The most obvious way to ensure your safety when dealing with a cash buying company is to check them out with the NAPB (National Association of Property Buyers). The NAPB members have passed strict guidelines in order to be a member, and assure with the backing of the NAPB that they are genuinely able to purchase property with their own cash.
If you want to go one step further you could check out the 21 point checklist created by an independent firm that helps homeowners make wise decisions when choosing a quick sale company.
The key to staying safe when dealing with cash buying companies is to do as much research as you possibly can. Be sure to check out independent reviews, blogs, and forums for the best advice from industry experts. Remember, selling your house is a very big decision – and not something that should be taken lightly.