Selling Property Privately

Selling Property Privately To A Trusted Buyer

Before the birth of the internet, selling your house privately was often a difficult task as there was not many cash buyers around and finding them was a task in itself.

Now in the digital age, there are well over 500 ‘quick sale’ websites on the internet, all claiming to be able to buy your house for cash, and give you a sale in as little as 7 days.

Recently, the OFT (Office Of Fair Trading), made a large scale investigation into the sector, and found that 99% of the companies trading were doing one if not all of the following practices.

1.     Making a high offer then dropping at the last minute.

This appears to be quite common practice in the industry, and is probably the most frowned upon by vendors. What generally happens is the company involved will make you an attractive offer, something that you will likely accept, get you all the way down to valuations being carried out, solicitors involved and paperwork prepared – then they will pull the plug on you at the last minute. That is, unless you accept their new and revised much lower offer. Their aim in doing this is that the seller will buckle and accept their new offer, because if they don’t the whole sales process will have to be started again.

2.     Tying a vendor into a 6 month + contract

At we found this one a little strange. Why would a ‘cash buying company’ need to make you sign a contract to say you can’t sell your house with anyone else for 6 months to a year? If they have the funds to buy your house in 7 days as they claim, they wouldn’t need to. The method in the madness behind this one is that the so called ‘cash buyer’ doesn’t really have any cash, and is either relying on investors buying, relying on selling your house on the open market (ie really an estate agent), or they are up to some other sort of scam. The quickest way to finding a genuine cash buyer is to ask them up front for proof of funds. If they can’t send you a bank statement or similar showing they have the funds available to buy your property, the likelihood is they aren’t a private buyer after all.

3.     False claims on timescales for buying your property.

Most of the companies on the first page of the search engine, when you type in ‘sell my house fast’ or similar; claim to be able to buy your property in as little as 7 days (some even sooner apparently). The likelihood is this is just a scam to get you to sign up, so they can try to convince you to sign in to a contract as mentioned in the previous point.

4.     “We buy your house for 100% market value”.

This statement is brandished around a lot amongst the quick sale companies, and generally it is complete nonsense. No ‘business’ is going to buy something for 100% market value in order to sell it for 100% market value. That wouldn’t be a very good business as they wouldn’t make any money out of it! Any company that states it can buy your house for 100% market value is lying. The chances are that they are just using this as a tactic to get your details in order to try and persuade you to drop your asking price considerably. The facts are simple, just make sure you read into the small print!

For further advice on selling your property privately, or for friendly chat about your house sale, why not call our team on 0800 612 7917. We are here to help 24/7 any hour of the day or night. Calls are completely private and confidential – alternatively, you could just enter your postcode above, get an indicative offer on what we will pay for your property and let us call you back.

Remember, any advice we give you is free and completely confidential. Just enter your postcode above now for a FREE offer online or alternatively give us a quick call on 0800 612 7917. Lines are open 24/7, any time day or night.