Who is the best company to buy your house?

  • By Dan Green, Home Selling Expert Founder
  • 4 minutes read

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I'm a property expert that still remembers the days when having broadband was a selling point! My articles cover issues that homesellers face in the UK and answer the questions we're all asking. I've bought and sold properties and helped others do the same, so my writing comes from years of experience.

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Who is the best company to buy your house? Dan Green’s guide to everything you need to know about house buying companies


Introduction

Hello, Dan Green here, your go-to guy for all things about the property market in the UK, (and self-appointed biscuit aficionado). Now, let’s have a chat about something that’s really changing the face of property sales in the UK as we know it – house buying companies.

These companies are becoming an absolute game-changer for homeowners looking for a quick, hassle-free sale.

But how do you spot the champs from the chumps?

Well, that’s why I’m here, to help you pick out the good ones. So whether you’re knee-deep in mortgage statements and need to downsize, you’re dreaming of a new start elsewhere, or you’ve just had enough of fixing the faults, house buying companies can turn your property into cash, quicker than you can say ‘Bob’s your uncle!’

Now, I’ve seen a thing or two in the property world, and I’m here to share my treasure trove of insights. From the must-dos to the definitely-don’ts, I’ll go through the ins and outs of navigating the fast-paced world of companies that buy houses. Grab a cuppa, a biscuit if you fancy (mine’s a custard cream if you’re offering!), get comfy, and let’s go through this together. After all, knowledge is power, and I’m all about empowering you to make the best choices for your home sale.


Understanding
house buying companies

Alright, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of house buying companies. If you’re scratching your head, wondering about companies that buy houses, imagine a company that comes in, takes a look at your property, and says, “Yes! We’ll take it off your hands, pronto!”

That’s them, in a nutshell.

House buying companies are a bit like the superheroes of the property world. They swoop in to save the day when you need to sell fast. Whether it’s because you’re moving for a job, dealing with a probate property, or avoiding repossession, these house buying companies can be a real lifeline.

They’ve got the cash ready to go, meaning they can often skip all the to-ing and fro-ing that comes with traditional sales. No need for endless viewings or waiting with bated breath for that elusive buyer to secure a mortgage; these companies can make a straightforward offer and close the deal faster than other sale methods.

Advantages and considerations when dealing with companies that buy houses


Advantages:

  1. Speedy sale: You could have your house sold in a matter of days, which is great if you’re in a rush.
  2. Certainty: With these companies, what you see is usually what you get. There should be no pulling out at the last minute, so you know you’ll be sold.
  3. No fees: You can forget about estate agent fees. These companies usually handle all the costs, so you get to keep all the funds from the sale.

Considerations:

  1. Offer expectations: The offers might be less than market value, but that’s the price you pay for speed and convenience.
  2. Research is key: You’ll need to do your homework. Check out their reputation, read online reviews, and don’t be shy about asking for references.
  3. Legal advice: You might want to get legal advice before you sign on the dotted line if there’s anything that you’re not certain about on the contract.

 

Next up, I’ll guide you through spotting the creme de la creme of house buying companies…

How to identify the best house buying companies

Ok, so you’re ready to sell, and you want to do it without a hitch. But here’s the thing; not all house buying companies are cut from the same cloth. To separate the wheat from the chaff, you’ll need to do a bit of detective work and channel your inner Sherlock. Here’s how you spot the best in the business:

  1. Reputation: A sterling reputation is worth more than the crown jewels. Look for companies with lots and lots of glowing reviews and top-notch ratings. Remember, a good name is hard to earn, and even harder to keep.
  2. Transparency: The best companies are as clear as a pane of freshly cleaned glass. They’ll walk you through their process, step-by-step, and answer any questions you’ve got.
  3. Fair offers: The best companies provide offers that make sense and don’t leave you feeling short-changed.
  4. No pressure: The top performers won’t rush you. They should understand that this is a big decision, so they need to be patient.
  5. Accreditations: Look for companies that have memberships in reputable organisations, such as The Property Ombudsman. It’s like a badge of honour, signalling they’re committed to high standards.
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By now, you should feel equipped to sift through the crowd and pick out the best house buying company. It’s all about due diligence and lots of research.

Okay, up next, we’re going to learn more about valuations.

The importance of valuations and how to get them right

Getting a fair valuation is crucial because it’s the difference between selling your house for a fair price, and selling yourself short. Here’s how you can nail it:

  1. Get multiple opinions: Don’t just take the first valuation that comes along. Get a few different takes to see what the consensus is. If they’re all around the same area, you know that there’s some agreement. If one is wildly higher than the others, be careful that they don’t lower that valuation at the last minute, when it’s too late for you to back out.
  2. Be realistic: It’s easy to overvalue your own home, but you’ll need to be realistic about what it’s worth in the current market.
  3. Negotiate: You can always negotiate. If you think the offer is too low, say so, and ideally, you’ll be able to show evidence for why you think the valuation should be higher. At the end of the day, if you ask for more, the worst they can say is ‘no’.

Up next, I’ll share my insider advice on how to navigate potential pitfalls. Stick with me, and you’ll be scoring a winning goal, just like my beloved Leicester.

Dan Green’s insider advice on navigating pitfalls

Even the smoothest paths can have a few potholes. Selling your property to a house buying company is no exception. But fear not! I’ve gathered some advice to help you steer clear of common pitfalls and make sure your journey is as smooth as a ride in a new Rolls-Royce.

Common issues that sellers face (and how to avoid them)

  1. Low-ball offers: Some companies might try to test the waters with an offer that feels more like a bucket of cold water being thrown in your face. Always get a few different valuations and know the minimum you’re willing to accept.
  2. Miscommunication: Sometimes, wires get crossed. Ensure you’re always on the same page by asking for regular updates and confirming details in writing.
  3. Rushed decisions: It’s natural to feel pressured to make a quick decision, especially when promises of fast cash are floating around. You might feel that you’re going to miss out if you don’t say ‘yes’ right away. But it’s okay to take a breath and mull things over. After all, this isn’t a race. Make a cuppa, have a sit down, and think it through to make sure you’re happy in your own mind. The best companies will understand and let you take your time.
  4. Hidden fees: The old ‘read the fine print’ advice holds true here. Some companies may sneak in fees for legal work or other ‘administrative’ tasks. Clear this up before you agree to anything. After all, as I’ve always said, there’s no need for small print if you’ve got nothing to hide.
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The financial aspect: understanding offers and payments

Understanding how offers are calculated and what to expect in terms of payments is crucial. Let’s break it down…

How offers are calculated:

  1. Property value assessment: First up, the company should evaluate your property. They should be looking at the location, condition, and current market conditions.
  2. Quick sale discount: Since these companies offer the convenience of a quick sale, they typically propose a price that’s below the market value. Think of it as the cost for speed and convenience – a bit like paying for express delivery to get things faster.
  3. Profit margin: Remember, these companies aren’t charities. They need to make a profit. The offer will include a margin that allows them to resell the property at a profit later.

The process of payment and legal considerations:

  1. The payment is usually a straightforward cash transfer into your bank account. No need to wait for cheques to clear, you should see money in your account upon completion.
  2. A reputable company will handle all the legal aspects. They’ll often have solicitors who ensure that everything is above board and squeaky clean.
  3. Once everything is signed, sealed, and delivered, payments are typically processed quickly, but as ever, ask at the start of the process how long things are expected to take.

Tips for navigating financial discussions:

  • Get everything in writing: Just like any contract, having it in black and white means there’s no possibility for those awkward ‘Oh, I thought you said…’ scenarios.
  • Understand the breakdown: Ask for a clear breakdown of how the offer was calculated. If anything looks fishy, don’t hesitate to point it out and ask questions.
  • Be prepared to negotiate: If the first offer doesn’t sit right with you, remember, it’s not carved in stone. Negotiation is part of the game so don’t be shy to ask for a better deal.

FAQs: Addressing common queries about companies that buy houses

Time now to tackle eight frequently asked questions that might be swirling around in your head like leaves on a blustery day. These FAQs are designed to clear up any confusion and dispel some of the fog surrounding the process of selling to a house buying company.

  1. What exactly is a ‘house buying company’?
    A house buying company specialises in purchasing properties directly from owners, often using cash as payment. This method skips the traditional property chain and offers a much faster transaction process.
  2. How quickly can these companies typically buy my house?
    In many cases, these companies can complete the purchase of your house in as little as one month. This speed is a significant advantage if you need a quick sale due to personal circumstances or if you simply don’t want to deal with long, drawn-out selling processes.
  3. Are house buying companies trustworthy?
    Like any industry, trustworthiness varies. However, reputable house buying companies will operate under strict regulations to ensure fair dealings. Always look for companies with good reviews, transparent practices, and preferably those registered with industry bodies.
  4. Can I sell my house to a buying company if it has a mortgage on it?
    Yes, you can. The company will usually handle the details of settling your mortgage as part of the purchase process. The payment from the sale can go towards paying off your mortgage, with any remaining funds transferred to you.
  5. How do I know I’m getting a fair offer?
    To ensure you’re getting a fair offer, it’s wise to compare the company’s proposal with similar properties in your area and perhaps even get an independent valuation. Remember, while the offer will be below market value, the convenience and certainty of a quick sale can sometimes offset the difference in price.
  6. What should I do if I receive a low offer?
    If you feel the offer is too low, don’t be afraid to negotiate or ask how the company arrived at that figure. If you’re not satisfied, you can always decline the offer and consider other options. It’s important that you feel comfortable with the deal before proceeding.
  7. Are there any fees I should be aware of?
    Typically, one of the benefits of selling to a house buying company is that there are no additional fees such as agent commissions. However, it’s crucial to confirm this upfront as terms can vary between companies.
  8. What happens if I change my mind after accepting an offer?
    Most house buying companies will give you a period during which you can withdraw from the sale without penalty. Make sure you understand the terms of any agreement, particularly any cooling-off period that allows you to back out if you have second thoughts.
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Conclusion

To come back to the original question of ‘who is the best company to buy your house?’ my answer in all honesty would be the one that has a great reputation, is a member of reputable organisations (such as The Property Ombudsman), has lots of great reviews, and provides the service you need.

The company that gives you a fair offer and an honest, transparent service is going to be the best company to buy your house, and as long as you’re happy with the deal, that’s what matters.

Final words

We’ve covered quite a bit of ground together, from understanding what house buying companies are and the advantages they can offer, to navigating financial considerations and tackling frequently asked questions.

As we wrap up, I want to leave you with a few final thoughts to take with you as you consider this route for selling your home.

Selling your house to a house buying company can be an excellent option if you’re looking for speed and convenience. It strips away many of the complexities and uncertainties that come with traditional property sales. Remember, the key is to approach this option well-informed and with your eyes wide open.

Things to remember:

  • Do your homework:
    Like any significant decision, the more research you do, the better. Check out multiple house buying companies, read reviews, and understand their processes thoroughly.
  • Always trust your gut:
    If something doesn’t feel right, take a step back and reassess. This is your property and your decision.

If you decide to go forward with a house buying company, remember that they should provide a service that suits your needs, and enables you to go into the next chapter of your life with confidence.

Good luck, and may your house sale be as smooth and successful one.

Further reading

I’ve put together a table of resources that will prove invaluable as you dive deeper into the world of property sales, house buying companies, and more. Whether you’re looking for detailed guides, legal advice, or market insights, these UK-based websites are treasure troves of information.

Title Website Description
Money Saving Expert www.moneysavingexpert.com Offers comprehensive advice on quick house sales, providing financial tips and tricks to navigate the property market efficiently.
Land Registry www.landregistry.gov.uk Official government site providing detailed reports and statistics on housing market trends across the UK.
Citizens Advice www.citizensadvice.org.uk Provides free, reliable advice on consumer rights around property sales, helping you understand legal protections and obligations.
Property Investor Today www.propertyinvestortoday.co.uk Keeps you updated with the latest news and strategies in property investment, ideal for those considering selling to or buying from investors.

Remember, the property market is one that’s dynamic and ever-evolving. Staying informed and connected with current trends and regulations will help, so you might want to set-up some news alerts for ‘house buying companies’ and ‘UK property market’ so that you’re kept up-to-date with all that’s going on.

By Dan Green, Home Selling Expert Founder

author

By Dan Green, Home Selling Expert Founder

I'm a property expert that still remembers the days when having broadband was a selling point! My articles cover issues that homesellers face in the UK and answer the questions we're all asking. I've bought and sold properties and helped others do the same, so my writing comes from years of experience.

Read Full Bio >

Success rate when selling
through estate agents

Selling to house-buying company

  • Formal offer within 24-48 hours
  • Complete in as little as 14 days
  • No contracts - change your mind if you aren’t happy
  • No viewings or chains
  • Sell your house as-is
  • Sell for approx 80-85% market value
  • Some disreputable companies

Selling with Estate Agent

  • Wait for viewings and offers
  • Delays with solicitors
  • Lengthy contracts - can’t withdraw
  • Viewings at inconvenient times, many will be in chain
  • House should be at its best to impress viewers
  • Get the highest price possible
  • Estate agents are tightly regulated

On average, you should expect to sell for 85-90% of you property’s full value when selling by auction.

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