We breakdown what you need to know
If you’re selling your house, you may have had someone approach you who describes themselves as a cash house buyers and wondered what they actually are and whether or not selling to a cash buyer is a good idea.
You may know selling to a cash buyer means a different selling process, but exactly how different is it? Does a cash house buyer need a solicitor? What do I need to check when dealing with a cash buyer? Is a cash buyer right for me?
A cash house buyer, or cash buyer in short, is an individual or company who is able to buy a property outright in cash, without the need to acquire a mortgage or sell another property first. As a result of this, a cash buyer will be your best bet if you’re wanting to get the quickest possible sale.
A common misconception about cash buyers is people believe themselves to be a cash house buyer as they’re getting a mortgage or selling a property, meaning they will have the funds to purchase a property. This isn’t the case as, in order to be considered a cash buyer, you mustn’t be reliant on another sale in order to fund your property purchase.
As we mentioned, cash buyers tend to be the most desirable buyer for a seller due to the faster nature of selling to them, with a reduced amount of paperwork. The fact that a cash buyer is a chain free buyer also significantly reduces the chances of the sale falling through.
In order to find a cash house buyer on the open market, you can have your property listed on property portals as ‘cash buyers only’ or you can go to a specialist cash house buying company, like ourselves.
If you decide to sell your house through the ‘traditional’ method of selling on the open market, then the process is fairly similar for most. We’ve outlined the steps of the process for you below:
When you’ve decided you want to sell your property, the first step is to get an idea of what your financial situation is like.
By this we mean, know the minimum amount you need for your property, how much you’ll need to pay in estate agent fees, legal fees, and stamp duty, and also work out how much you’re able to spend on your next property.
Once you’ve got an idea of your finances, it’s time to choose your estate agent. In recent years the choice for estate agents has grown dramatically, with there being high street agents, hybrid agents and fully online agents.
Before you make your shortlist of estate agents, you need to consider what their fees are and what their reputation as an estate agent is. We recommend asking friends and family for word-of-mouth recommendations, as well as looking at the companies’ reviews on Trustpilot, and other popular review platforms.
Once you’ve got an estate agent shortlist of about three estate agents, it’s time to invite them round to your house to give it a valuation.
It’s important that you’re aware that a lot of estate agents will value your property at too high a figure in order to get your business, so make sure you’re aware of what more the estate agent can offer you in terms of getting your property sold instead of simply being tempted by the highest valuation.
Once you’ve decided on an estate agent, it’s time to get the estate agent contract signed, get your photos, floorplan and EPC done, and get your property advertised on all the best property portals as well as on any other channels the estate agent recommends.
Now your property is on the open market, it’s time for potential buyers to organise viewings on your property. During the viewings, either you or your estate agent will show the interested parties around your property, answering any questions they may have.
There’s no telling how many viewings it will take until you find a buyer, but eventually, you will get an interested buyer, or multiple buyers, who will submit an offer.
When offers are submitted, your estate agent legally has to tell you about every offer, even if they know some of them are far too low and you won’t accept them.
Eventually, you will get an offer that you’re happy with and then you can tell your estate agent to accept the offer, which moves you onto the conveyancing process.
Once you have accepted an offer, it’s time to appoint your conveyancer or solicitor. They will conduct the conveyancing process for you, which will take you from under offer to exchanged and completed.
A solicitor is also going to be a costly part of the house selling process so it’s important you make sure you shop around before you decide on the conveyancer you want to appoint.
During the conveyancing process, it’s mainly your buyer who will be taking action through having a survey and searches on your property. They will also apply for their mortgage so it can be approved, ready for exchange.
This is where, if you’re selling to a cash buyer, the process is much quicker, as they don’t have to apply for a mortgage and often you may find cash buyers don’t bother with a survey or searches.
Once everything is in order and all paperwork is completed, you’re able to exchange contracts. Exchange of contracts is the part of the process where the deal becomes legally binding and neither party can pull out without consequences.
Before you exchange contracts, you will also have a completion date set, so you will know how long you have to go before it’s time to move out.
Finally, when completion day comes, it’s time to pack up and move out! You will receive the sold price from your property, minus the estate agent commission and the legal fees.
Now we’ve talked you through the traditional house selling process, how does this differ when selling to a cash buyer? And what ultimately makes selling to a cash buyer more desirable?
Well, when selling to a cash buyer, you take out one of the most time-consuming parts of the process – your buyer acquiring their mortgage. Waiting for your buyer to get mortgage approval can take weeks, if not months, adding a large amount of time to the house selling process.
On top of this, a buyer not getting mortgage approval is one of the biggest reasons why a property sale will fall through, so by selling to a cash buyer you’re cutting out that risk completely. Also, naturally, cutting out a step will speed up the selling process, meaning you can go from offer accepted to contracts exchanged in a matter of weeks.
Selling to a cash house buying company also means the process differs again, as you completely cut out the ‘estate agent and open market’ stage and cut straight to them providing you with an offer.
A cash house buying company, like ourselves, will cover all the costs for you too, meaning you won’t have any estate agent fees or solicitors costs. We will also handle the whole process for you, meaning you won’t have any confusing paperwork to deal with, making the whole selling process a lot easier for you.
As most cash house buying companies will set up to complete your house sale as quick as possible, most companies will be able to buy your house in as little as 7 to 14 days.
With a cash house buyer, the selling process is changed quite significantly. The conveyancing process is no different – as a cash buyer doesn’t require a mortgage and some don’t bother with searches and a survey this takes out two huge steps, leading you to question whether a cash buyer actually needs a solicitor?
Well, whilst a cash buyer does mean a large amount of the selling process is different, there’s no difference in that a cash buyer will still require a solicitor just like a traditional buyer would.
A cash buyer will still need a solicitor to take care of the legal proceedings, as a buyer isn’t allowed to directly speak to a seller’s solicitor, and it’s still encouraged that cash buyers get a survey and searches on the property they’re buying.
Whilst there’s no obligation for a cash buyer to get this, it’s still encouraged as it’s important to know the condition of the property being bought and also the valuation of the property according to an external surveyor, in order to be sure the cash buyer isn’t paying too much.
Property surveys and searches will also highlight any issues that are important for the buyer to know about that could potentially lead to negotiations on the sold price.
Even if a cash buyer decides they don’t want the searches and a survey, they will still need a solicitor to complete all the necessary paperwork, communicate with the seller’s solicitor and organise the exchange of contracts and completion.
If you choose to sell to a cash house buying company, like ourselves, we have an in-house progressions team who will complete the full legal process for yourself and us, meaning the conveyancing process will be sped up as there are no time delays in communication.
When selling to a cash buyer, whether it’s an investor or a company, there are a few things you will need to check first to make sure you’re confident they’re the best option for you:
Ask for proof of funds
Check for any tie-in clauses
Ask if they will be getting searches and a survey
If you sell to a cash house buying company, ask if they’re willing to cover the legal fees if you decide you want to use your own chosen law firm
Ensure they’re not requesting a large amount of discount (25% or more)
Have all paperwork checked by an independent solicitor
If you’re selling to a company, check whether they will be buying your property directly or if they’re passing on your details to a third-party buyer. A lot of companies will act as though they’re buying your property themselves, but they’re actually just acting as ‘lead generation’ and are simply passing on your details
Also with a cash house buying company, ask for them to tell you about their valuation process. If they don’t want to tell you about it, then you will need to proceed with caution as there’s a likely chance they’re undervaluing your property significantly
Ask how quickly they’re able to complete and whether there will be any potential delays
If you’re selling to a cash house buying company, check that they’re members of The Property Ombudsman and the National Association of Property Buyers. This will mean there are certain rules and procedures that must be stuck to and will mean you as a seller has a layer of protection
Ask to be made aware of the consequences should either party pull out
Finally, with a cash buying company, make sure you check out their reviews. Look on the most trusted platforms, such as Trustpilot, and look for ‘approved’ reviews to be sure the reviews are from real customers. Make sure you read a mix of both the positive and negative reviews to get a better idea of the service and the potential pitfalls
We’re always open and honest about the fact our quick ‘cash for house’ service isn’t for everyone, so it’s important you decide if it’s right for you.
The main reason a cash buyer won’t be right for all is because cash buyers are typically looking to pick a property up for a discount off the market value – something that not everyone wants to or can accept, depending on the equity in the property.
On the other hand, however, selling to a cash buyer can be really useful for those who are looking for a super quick sale and don’t have the time to let their house sell on the open market with an estate agent.
There can come a time in life when people decide they need to downsize and move into a property more suited to their needs. The need to downsize may be a result of age or ill health, so it’s important to get a speedy sale.
Inheriting a property and having to deal with probate comes at a time when you have other stress, and you don’t want to be weighed down with further worries of paying the bulls for the inherited property. In this situation, a lot of people search for a quick, stress-free sale.
A divorce is a difficult and stressful time for all involved, so often couples will look for a quick sale, leaving them with one less thing to worry about.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re moving to a different city or country, relocation can be something that needs to happen very quickly, meaning you will need to get your house sold ASAP, which makes our service an ideal selling route.
Often people can run into financial difficulty unexpectedly, leaving them needing to release some equity from their house quickly, especially in those situations where you’re looking to avoid repossession. In these circumstances, time is of the essence, making a quick sale a top priority.
We’ve touched on cash house buying companies a few times throughout this article but after doing some research online you may come across people warning you to avoid selling to them – but why?
A lot of the negative press that surrounds cash house buying companies comes from a lack of understanding of the service. We will always be open and honest about our service and, as cash buyers, we simply can’t offer you the full market value for your property – how much we do offer you will be dependent upon each individual’s property situation, including its location and condition, but any offer we make is completely no obligation and it will only take a quick conversation to give you a ballpark figure.
As a general statement, you’re safer using a cash house buying company than using an independent cash buyer, providing you do your research. As we mentioned earlier, you should check a company’s reviews and check to see if they are members of The Property Ombudsman and the National Association of Property Buyers, as they add more layers of protection for you as a customer.
A cash house buying company, like ourselves, will also conduct all the paperwork for you and handle organising a survey, should you need one, meaning it’s a hassle-free process for the seller.
Attracting an independent cash buyer can be difficult and you’ll have to pay an estate agent to market your property. Going down the route of selling your house to a cash house buying company, you don’t need to put your property on the market, and they can operate a lot quicker due to pre-existing relationships with solicitors and surveyors.
Also, if you choose to sell your property to us, we will cover all the fees for you – no legal fees, no estate agent fees, nothing for you to pay! This means that whilst the offer may be lower than you may receive on the open market, you could actually end up with more, as you’ve not had to pay anything to sell.
If you have decided that a cash buyer is the right option for you, then you may want to consider seeing what a cash house buying company can offer you. There are lots of these types of companies out there though, so why would you choose to sell to us?
Well, we’re more than just a standard cash buying company. The Property Buying Company is owned and operated by property professionals, founded in 2012, and with over 50 years of combined experience, you can be sure you’re in safe hands.
Unlike a buyer on the open market, we’re able to complete the sale in a timescale of your choosing, with us having the ability to complete in as little as 7 days.
As we touched on earlier, we’re also members of The Property Ombudsman and the National Association of Property Buyers, allowing you to feel confident we will follow rules and regulations, whilst also meaning there are extra layers of protection for you as a seller.
We’re also very highly rated on major review platforms, with us receiving an ‘excellent’ rating on Trustpilot, with over 1,000 reviews.
As well as this, we also understand what it’s like to sell a property and all the stresses that come along with it, so we will always be up for a chat to listen to your worries, and we will handle the whole process for you, making it hassle-free.
We will always be open and honest about our process and service – we will tell you upfront what we can offer for your property, and we will keep you constantly up to date on where we are in the process, including any issues we face and how we will do our best to overcome them for you.