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How to Identify a Genuine Cash House Buyer?

Property Saviour » Cash House Buyers » How to Identify a Genuine Cash House Buyer?

According to Rightmove’s 2022 survey, selling takes an average of 150 days.

With such a long wait, it is natural that you’d want to look for alternative ways if you need to sell now.

This is where cash house-buying companies can help.  

Cash house-buying companies buy homes directly from sellers.  They pay less than market value but offer a faster method to sell your property with certainty.  They’ll buy property in any condition, including those with title issues or neighbourly disputes.

They are willing to underwrite the risk, whereas buyers introduced via estate agents or auctioneers want to ensure there are no issues.

I have worked in the cash house-buying companies industry since 2006, and over those 17 years, I have competed with some of the biggest players.

In this article, let’s pull back the curtain and see what’s going on.  I’ll reveal the truth about selling your house fast to a cash house-buying company, their trade tricks, and whether they will be a right fit for you.  If you are thinking of selling quickly, you will find this information useful.

Table of Contents

How do cash house buyers work so fast?

When a typical house sale can take 6 months or longer, it can be difficult to get your head around ‘how can anyone buy a property in under 3 weeks’?

The difference is that with a normal sale, you are dealing with a nervous and often inexperience first-time buyer, whereas when it comes to cash house buyers, you are dealing with professionals.

  1. It is a direct private sale.  There are no estate agents, viewings, negotiating on offers, wasting time with buyers stuck in a chain or unqualified buyers yet to apply for a mortgage!
  2. Finance is ready.  Cash house buyers will be ready to show you their bank statements and won’t need a bridging loan or a mortgage.  There’s no chain.
  3. Offer is issued within 48 hours. A formal offer is issued within two days.  They can carry out a desktop valuation, and there shouldn’t be a surveyor in sight!
  4. Use best solicitors.  Normal solicitors take three weeks to ‘open a file’ and send you everything by post!  They use solicitors who understand speed is of the essence, and that all documentation is completed online without worrying about documents getting lost in the post.
  5. They are customer-focused.  True cash house buyers are property professionals and not salespeople.  They are focused on getting the best outcome for you and being flexible to your needs.

Are cash house buyers any good?

Whether property cash buyers are any good depends on your circumstances.

Genuine cash house buyers are a good option for a fast sale.  They can make you a formal offer within 2 days and complete the purchase within 2 weeks.  

Just because you are selling to a property cash buyer for a discount doesn’t mean they are perfect for everyone. 

The table below shows you a comparison between selling to a cash house buyer and selling through an estate agent:

Selling to house buying company

Selling with an estate agent

Formal offer within same day or next day.

Conduct viewings, collect feedback and chase for offers

Complete in as little as 10 days or quicker.

It can take up to 6 months to agree a sale then there are delays with solicitors.

No contracts to sign.

Lengthy 3 or 6 month contracts and you can’t withdraw or pay a fee if you do.

Just one viewing and no chains.

Viewings at inconvenient times. Many buyers will be in a chain.

Sell your house ‘as is’ condition.

House must be at its best to impress and invite offers.

Sell for around 70-75% of value depending on condition.

Get the highest price possible.

Some disreputable companies.

Estate agents are regulated.

If you pick a reputable cash house buyer (who doesn’t need the cash – more on that later), it will be the easiest house sale you have ever experienced.  Effortless with a minimum of fuss or delay.

Let’s cover some of the benefits in more detail.

Why are cash buyers better for houses?

Selling your house with an estate can be very painful experience. So why is it so bad?

  • Delays: it can take up to 6 months to sell on average and possibly longer for some unlucky homeowners.
  • Stress: delaying with estate agents, solicitors, buyer’s surveyor, all the haggling after the survey, the painful property chain, and filling in the forms.
  • Uncertainty: even without a property chain, a sale is 31% likely to collapse for various reasons, including mortgage-ability,  buyer changing their mind, horrible solicitors, adverse searches or unfavourable survey report.

The best part of selling to a cash house buyer is that you’ll avoid a lot of delay, uncertainty or stress.

Pro #1 - The need for speed

Even property auctions can’t compete with genuine cash house buyers.  These are companies that buy houses in ‘as is’ condition.

Cash house buyers can buy any property in any condition within 10 days – or at a timescale that works for you.

If you are auctioning a house, it will take at least 12 weeks with no guarantee of a sale and lots of upfront fees.

Pro #2 - The certainty of a quick sale

Savvy sellers know there’s no certainty until ‘the money is in the bank’ and their property is truly sold.

 

Sold subject to contract sign outside a property
A property isn't sold until the money is in the bank.

Pro #3 - Their "We buy any house" guarantee

One of the main attractions of cash house buyers is that they’ll buy any house.  They are happy to overlook issues such as subsidence, unregistered title or Japanese Knotweed.  

They’ll take risks that a normal buyer requiring a mortgage or a bridging loan can’t take.

Pro #4 - No fees to pay

No estate agent, survey, or legal fees will be paid.

You must understand you’ll be selling your house for a discount, and any property cash buyer will be looking to make a profit after a refurbishment. 

Cons of selling to a house buying company.

If you are a seller looking to achieve a quick sale of your residential property, then you do not need months of delays when it comes to selling your property.  You certainly don’t want to wait until April to have a good chance of selling, as that’s usually when the property market starts to pick up

Unfortunately far too many ‘we buy any house‘ companies act as property sourcers for investors or as online estate agents.

To share our knowledge, we have put together our tips on differentiating between an estate agent, a property sourcing agent or a true cash buyer.  What if you are selling a problem property that is unmortgageable and therefore, can’t be sold on the open market?

These 6 questions will help you decide whether or not you are dealing with a genuine cash house buyer or not.

Con #1 - Who will buy my property?

Online estate agents can often pretend to be ‘cash buyers’ acting on behalf of their investors.  These non-regulated individuals can also be called property sourcers.  They are not genuine cash buyers, and your property details will be published in several property chat groups on Facebook.

Property Saviour is a Yorkshire-based company. We will actually buy your property using our company funds anywhere in England or Wales.  We are reputable cash house buyers.

Con #2: What is the name of the company?

Read their reviews on Trust Pilot and check their Google Reviews (ours are here).  

Property Saviour proudly features some of our lovely clients on this site. Detailed case studies with the client’s personal story (published with their permission) help you gain a real insight into why people sell their home, how it all works and most importantly, how they felt after dealing with us.

Con #3: Who are the solicitors acting for them?

Read the solicitors’ reviews. Can they complete a purchase in 20 days or quicker? 

Phone their office and ask them how long it would take to sell your property if you had a cash buyer.  Then you can ask them if they acted for them before.  You don’t want to be changing solicitors halfway through a sale.

To give you an idea, a normal run-of-the-mill solicitor will take 2 weeks to ‘open the file’ and send you the documents in the post and ‘await instructions’.   They probably will use pigeon mail too, but let’s not get into that.

Con #4: How long will it take?

It should not be more than 3 weeks maximum from start to finish. Contracts should be able to be exchanged quickly since they should have the funds readily available if they are a true cash buyer.   We will complete the sale in 10 days or quicker.

If you sense any hesitancy or doubt, this means that your property will be advertised, without your permission or knowledge, on property-sourcing Facebook groups.  The buyer will be an investor requiring a mortgage. 

The entire process can take months. We have spoken to sellers who were stuck for well over 12 months.

Check if your cash house buyer has the cash?
Check if your cash house buyer actually has cash! Many don't. Ask for today's bank statement and you'll be surprised their response.

Con #5: Do they have proof of funds?

Not all cash house buyers are the same, and many don’t have the cash to prove it.  They’ll use a bridging company to fund their purchases which will instruct a fault-finding surveyor.

This will wind up anyone who is not a true cash buyer.  Ask them if they are a property source? We believe they will quickly hang up the call.

Go to the Companies House website, type in their Limited Company, click on Filing History and then Charges.

Look at Companies House to see their history of borrowing.

Con #6: Can you speak to their previous clients?

Try to speak to people they bought properties from in the past and ask if they’d be willing to let you chat with them direct. A genuine company will have no reservations in offering you access to their case studies and the real people featured in them. 

Look at their adverts featuring sellers.  Are they filmed in a studio with a perfect script and smiling actors?  We believe these are fake reviews.  Quite a few ‘we buy any house’ companies buy reviews to show off how they have so many reviews.

If you are ready to sell to an honest company that genuinely cares and wants your five-star review.

Conclusion

Not all cash house-buying companies are the same.

If you aren’t in a rush to sell, we recommend finding a good estate agent and incentivising them to sell your house.

If you need a quick sale, we’ll be happy to make you an offer, provide proof of funds, and view and instruct solicitors.  We will never drop the price because we want your five-star review.  Please fill in our enquiry form to sell your house in 10 days or within your timescale.

Sell with certainty & speed

auction hammer

Property Saviour Price Promise

  • The price we’ll offer is the price that you will receive with no hidden deductions.
  • Be careful with ‘cash buyers’ who require a valuation needed for a mortgage or bridging loan.
  • These valuations or surveys result in delays and price reductions later on.
  • We are cash buyers.  There are no surveys.
  • We always provide proof of funds with every formal offer issued.
calculator

We'll Pay £1,500 Towards Your Legal Fees

  • No long exclusivity agreement to sign because we are the buyers.
  • You are welcome to use your own solicitor. 
  • If you don’t have one, we can ask our solicitors for recommendations.
  • We share our solicitor’s details and issue a Memorandum of Sale. 
Sell

Sell With Certainty & Speed

  • Our approach is transparent and ethical, which is why sellers trust us.
  • 100% Discretion guaranteed. 
  • If you have another buyer, you can put us in a contracts race to see who completes first.
  • Complete in 10 days or at a timescale that works for you.  You are in control.
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