We reveal everything you need to know...
If you are selling your home, you might have had someone approach you and offer to buy your property with cash – or perhaps you’re looking solely for cash buyers due to the speed.
Do you know how the process differs between the traditional house sale process and a cash house sale process? Well, we go through everything you need to know here!
A cash house buyer, or cash buyer for short, is an individual or company that looks to purchase a property outright for cash, without requiring a mortgage or loan.
To be classed as a cash buyer you can’t be relying upon the sale of another property for the funds, they must be immediately available.
There are fewer hurdles to jump through when selling to a cash buyer which is why you may have come across listings on Rightmove or Zoopla of properties selling to “cash buyers only”.
When you choose to sell your home, if you go down the traditional route of selling through an estate agent then the journey is pretty similar for everyone.
Once you’ve decided that you want to sell your property, the next step is to make sure that you are financially able to do so.
You should hopefully have a rough idea of how much your house is worth and factoring in all the expenses that you’re going to incur such as estate agent fees, conveyancing costs, and stamp duty on your next purchase for example.
There’s a lot of choice when it comes to estate agents, you’ve got both online and offline options, all of which vary wildly in the fees paid.
Taking the affordability out of it, you need to choose an estate agent that you know will put in the extra mile to sell your home, and that’s harder said than done.
We would highly recommend listening to word-of-mouth references in regard to estate agents, and you should also look into their reviews on Trustpilot.
Invite a few of your chosen estate agents round to view the house and provide you with an estimate of how much your property is worth and what you should market it for.
Beware in this situation however, some estate agents will provide a high valuation figure just to try and get you to sign a contract with them, it may not actually sell for this, so you need to ensure you do your own research and estimate on the value.
Now it’s time to choose which estate agent you want to instruct.
When this is done, they should come round and take photos of the property, and when that’s together your property will be listed on property portals like Rightmove & Zoopla.
Fingers crossed that the interest starts rolling in and viewings get underway.
Within time, you’ll then hopefully receive and negotiate on an offer, finally coming to an agreement and accepting.
Now it’s time for you to appoint a conveyancer or solicitor to sell your home and get all the legal documentation together.
You should do a lot of shopping around as prices vary wildly depending on the firm that you use, but some will also be far quicker than others, so again it’s worth looking into reviews before appointing a conveyancer.
At this point your buyer will move forward with acquiring the mortgage and arrange any surveys that they want to be done on the property, undertaken by a RICs surveyor – which you will need to grant access for.
Upon receipt of this survey, depending on what it highlights, they may want to renegotiate on the price.
You’ll have the typical forms to fill out as dictated by your appointed solicitors. There are a few things that the solicitor will require that may need your input, including:
Proof of identity
Property title deeds
Shared freehold documentation
Management information pack
Fittings and contents form
Property information form
Mortgage details of monies owed
Acceptance of offer
This is one of the final stages of the process, and it’s when the buyer becomes the legal owner of your property.
The deposit will be paid, and any contracts will be signed to make the transaction official from a legal perspective.
Finally, it’s time to move out!
Now we’ve highlighted the typical process of selling your home in the traditional way, how does it differ when dealing with selling to a cash buyer, and ultimately, why is it more desirable to sell to a cash buyer?
If you choose to sell your home to an independent investor (cash buyer), then you take a significant time-consuming step out of the process, the mortgage.
The approval of the mortgage adds weeks, if not months, to the selling process, it’s also one of the main reasons that a property sale may fall through so avoiding it lowers that risk significantly.
Cutting this step means that it may only take a few weeks to go from an agreed purchase to a completed sale.
A cash house buying company could also be a good option if time is critical, as they also cut out the steps of choosing and appointing an estate agent.
Many of them will also have an in-house progressions team that can help you navigate through the conveyancing process and further reduce the time taken to sell your home.
As they are usually set up to complete on a purchase as quick as possible, most house buying companies can buy your home in just 7-14 days.
If you are planning on using a cash house buyer, whether that is an investor or company, there are a few things that you should consider before agreeing to sell to them.
You can’t check this for investors, but you can for companies. You should do your research to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable company.
Take a look at their Trustpilot profiles and read through some of the genuine reviews from real customers who have been through the journey, both from a positive and negative perspective so you can get a better idea of the service and some of the potential pitfalls.
Cash buyers are in a strong position, and they know it. They will almost always want to get a great deal on your property and will be offering you below market value, so if there overpromising at an initial stage – be extremely cautious!
This is especially true if they’re a property buying company, as at the end of the day, they need to make money, and how would they do so by offering full market value.
You should always ask them to prove that they have the funds to buy your property – there’s nothing stopping someone from saying they are a cash buyer to negotiate you down, and yet relying on external funding which delays the process.
It’s not rude to request to see how they are going to buy your property, you should be able to see they have enough money and proof of how they acquired the money, to ensure it wasn’t by illegal means.
It’s hard to check if an investor is genuine, all you can do is ask them and get a feel for how committed they are!
That being said, if you choose to use a company instead, there are a few things that you can look at. Aside from the reviews and actual customer experiences, you can also check that they are members of The Property Ombudsman & The National Association of Property Buyers.
These offer customers a free, impartial and independent Ombudsman service for any disputes between customer and agent, an extra layer of protection, they also have strict Codes of Practice that the companies who are members have to abide by.
You know what to look for, and you know the benefits of selling to a cash house buyer but is it the right option for you in your personal circumstance?
We’ll start by saying, selling to a cash house buyer isn’t for everyone.
The main reason for that is they are typically looking for a discount on the market value of a property, which not everyone either wants to, or can, accept due to their equity in the property.
It can however be EXTREMELY useful for those that need a quick sale and don’t have the time it would take to let your house sell on the open market through the traditional process.
We’re experienced in the cash house buying sector, and generally find that the service is beneficial for a few circumstances in particular, for example:
Do you need to downsize your property quickly to help you financially?
Do you need to avoid repossession from the bank?
Are you moving to a new country, or city and don't want the stress of selling?
Want to sell an inherited property quickly to avoid the utility bills or simply move on?
Is your property keeping you tied to a relationship?
We’ve spoken about cash house buying companies a few times within this article, but if you do some research online, you’ll find a lot of people warning you to avoid selling to cash buyers, so should you?
Most of the negative press surrounding cash house buying companies comes from people’s lack of understanding of the service.
We’re upfront and honest about our service, and as cash buyers, we simply can’t offer you the full market value of your property – how much we offer is dependent upon the property itself, including its location and condition, but any offer we make is completely no obligation and only take a short amount of time on the phone to give you a ballpark figure.
Generally speaking, you’re safer using a cash buying company than you are using an independent cash buyer, as long as you do your due diligence.
As we’ve mentioned previously, with companies you can check their reviews, and look to see if they are members of The Property Ombudsman which adds more layers of protection for you as a customer.
As well as that, attracting an independent cash buyer can be difficult, and you’ll have to pay an estate agent to market your property.
If you go down the route of choosing a company, you don’t have to put your property on the market and they can operate significantly quicker through the process due to this, and pre-existing relationships with solicitors and conveyancers they know will be quick.
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.
A cash 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.
We’re also able to buy any house in any condition, so we won’t be put off by short leases or houses in need of some care.
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.
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.
Compared to a buyer on the open market, we are 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, making you 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.
On top of this, we also understand what it’s like to sell a property and all the stresses that can 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.