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We dig into everything you need to know about both sides

And find out what option might be more suited to your personal circumstances

Ding, ding, ding! In one corner, we have the sell house fast companies & in the other online and traditional estate agents.

But which is better?

Spoilers, neither option is “better” than the other, it completely depends on your situation as to which option might be better for you in your unique circumstance. In this article we give you a rundown of what exactly these two methods of selling are, the pro’s & con’s and the circumstances either option might be best for.

You can navigate to the section you’re most interested in reading by using the table of contents below:

What do sell house fast companies do?

Sell House Fast companies, or cash house buyers, are an increasingly popular way of selling your home – an alternative option to the traditional, in which you can sell your house directly to a company for cash, in a guaranteed timeframe.

Most companies will quote they can buy your house in anywhere between 7-10 days, which is mainly due to being able to operate with cash, so there’s no need for a mortgage, and having great business relationships with solicitors.

In return for the speed for a quick sale, they won’t offer you full market value – and if they do, avoid them! It’s not a suitable option for all, but if you are in need of a quick sale, it could be a beneficial option to at least explore, but we’ll dig more into that later.

What do estate agents do?

Estate agents come in two forms nowadays – the online-only estate agents and your more traditional brick and mortar options. As you may already be aware, estate agents are the most common way of selling your home.

They will visit your property, get you to sign a contract to sell with them for an agreed fee which is usually either a percentage of the sale price or an agreed fixed cost. Once you’ve done that, they will photograph your property and put it live on online property portals like Rightmove, Zoopla or more.

You will then hopefully attract enquiries through the general public to view your property and the viewings can often be done through yourself or an estate agent, depending on your original agreement. Some of the better estate agents will go a few steps beyond, trying to attract potential viewers from other properties they have on the books, sending out flyers or emailing their databases to push your property.

This method can take a lot of time as there’s a lot to consider such as the asking price being correct, the pictures being good, the fact the potential buyer will likely need a mortgage & more. That being said you are able to list the property for the price you wish and you’ll likely achieve close to this value if you’ve marketed it correctly.

Pros and cons of a fast house buyer

As with any method of sale, there are pros and cons. You really need to consider the type of method you want to use to sell your home based on your unique situation, which is why it’s integral to have a good idea of what the pros and cons of the sell house fast service is, and whether it’s suitable for you specifically!


  • You can sell your home in 7 days.
  • All your fees are covered – so you don’t have to worry about paying extra before receiving the cash for your property.
  • Everything is handled for you, selling a property is usually stressful, but not when it comes to using a sell house fast company.
  • It can help you get out of certain situations quickly like if you are at risk of repossession, struggling with a divorce, even wanting to move from a property for health reasons.
  • You can save a lot of money on the utility bills, council tax and house repayments when you compare the sale duration vs the open market.


  • You won’t achieve full market value for your property
  • Some sell house fast companies are unscrupulous so you need to ensure you read their reviews and that they are members of The Property Ombudsman & National Association of Property Buyers.

Pros and cons of an estate agent

Now lets move on to estate agents to offer a comparison with sell house fast companies,


  • You’re likely to achieve closer to the market value of the property.
  • Local knowledge may help you sell quicker.
  • They might have extra contacts or parties they know that might be interested in your property before they even launch it on the open market.
  • They provide you with access to Rightmove, Zoopla & more.
  • Some will host viewings for you.


  • Tendency to overprice to win your business.
  • The fees generally speaking are quite high!
  • They act in the interest of both parties, buyer and seller.
  • Your home is listed on the open market for the general public, meaning there’s no control over when you actually sell-by and it usually takes months.
  • You need to be flexible to accommodate viewings, which can put your life on hold for a bit.
  • Estate agents in general can be hit or miss, some of them won’t go the extra mile for you – so you have to really research the good ones.
  • The open market is not always suited to all properties such as unusual, run-down or repossessed properties – which may struggle to sell.

Which sale option is right for me?

As we’ve made clear throughout, it really depends on your personal circumstance. If you can wait, have the spare time and money to warrant a sale through an estate agent, then that’s definitely the method that you should use as it will maximise your profit.

If you require a sale that is more guaranteed, with a fixed completion date, then a fast house sale might be the option for you. That being said, you need to be able to have some flexibility on the sale price, as you won’t get offered full market value.

We tend to find that our sell house fast service works for some particular circumstances and scenarios, such as if someone is wanting to relocate for work, has inherited a property or is maybe wanting to escape some financial trouble.

What to look for in an estate agent

If you’ve decided that an estate agent might be right for you, the next question you may ask is how you can go about finding the best one! There’s a lot you need to consider when trying to find the best estate agent – and the biggest point is throughout everything you’ve got to remember that the estate agent works for you!

Let’s breakdown the steps and aspects you should consider when choosing an estate agent:

Creating a list

  • Start by brainstorming and researching to collate a large list of estate agencies that are of interest and meet your initial criteria, like cost. You should also always make sure to ask family, friends and even local neighbours as personal recommendations go a long way!
  • Look at the properties they have for sale on the open market, through portals like Rightmove or Zoopla. Do they have properties like yours? Are the descriptions of the properties detailed? Are the pictures really good?
  • You need to check the terms and conditions suit what you want, some estate agents won’t do viewings unattended, and some will, it really depends if you want them to take the lead on the selling.
  • Look into the finer details of the contract such as the commission rates, tie in periods and whether you can have multiple agents – should they not perform as expected.

Invite the estate agent(s) to visit your home

  • Query them about how quickly they sell homes, and how close to the asking price they generally achieve.
  • When they offer their valuation, query how they got to that value and how it compares with nearby local properties – have they sold anything similar recently?
  • Check to ensure they are members of The Property Ombudsman.
  • Ask them what they would do if your property wasn’t selling as quickly as you expected.
  • Be wary of the valuation, do your own research and determine if they are close to the mark on their figure. A lot of estate agents will over-promise on the price, to try and ensure that you sign with them, only to very shortly after asking you to reduce the price.
  • What are their working hours? Are they open at times that may be key for buyers who are working – i.e weekends or after work appointments.

What to look for in a sell house fast company

If you’re leaning more towards selling to a cash house buyer, then similarly you want to try and find the best company that is trustworthy and you’re going to get the best trade price. Just like estate agents, there are a lot of things to consider, and watch out for, as well as some tips to ensure you’re getting a good deal.

Here’s the breakdown on how to choose a cash buyer:

Choosing the right cash house buyer

  • Look at their reviews across a few different popular online portals like Google & Trustpilot. Make sure you read them in detail to ensure they are genuine and more importantly gauge how they reply to the negative ones.
  • You should ask how they value your property and come up with an offer. Does it seem fair? Are they looking into the property enough to provide a value that’s going to be accurate, and therefore less likely to affect the offer later in the process.
  • How long have they been operating? It’s a question you should ask because to buy a property quickly, you need to have everything down to a science. If the house buying company is newer, you may run into more unexpected issues throughout the process, causing delays.
  • Get them to define the timescales that they expect parts of the process to happen, when solicitors will be instructed when the survey will happen, and most importantly when it will be completed by.
  • Ask them to explain each step of the process, so you are clear on exactly what is going to happen and when you can expect certain pieces to fall in line – this allows you to keep on top of the cash house buyer and ensure the property is going through the process at the expected pace.
  • A lot of house buying companies will cover all your fees, including paying for your solicitors. If they don’t do this, then there might be other companies out there that will cost you less.
  • Do they have the funds to buy the property? This is an important one, check to make sure they are actually buying the property themselves and not using a third party to do it, as this may cause additional delays – especially if they are relying on borrowed money to purchase the home.
  • You should check to make sure they are members of The Property Ombudsman and The National Association of Property Buyers – this will offer you further protection as a seller, although these are not regulating bodies.
  • Is there anything that could cause the price to change later down the line? Make sure you’re fully aware of the T&C’s before jumping in.

What to watch out for

  • Sometimes property buying companies won’t provide accurate valuations, they will provide a high and close to market value offer only to reduce the price at the last minute. You need to ensure that the valuation is somewhat accurate, and close enough to what the RICs survey will dictate.
  • Sometimes the more unscrupulous cash house buyers will work excessive penalties into the fine print of the contract should you wish to pull out of the process.
  • If they aren’t a member of The Property Ombudsman (TPO) this is a big red flag! Check to ensure that they are actually registered as members on the TPO website, not just displaying the logo on their website.
  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is! No cash house buying company is going to offer you full market value for your property, or they wouldn’t be in business.
  • As well as that, another red flag should be if there are unachievable selling points. 100% market value offered, buying in 24 hours, get your offer in 16 seconds, INSTANT offer! Companies that use those types of selling tactics are ones to stay away from, for instance, you can’t get an accurate offer on your property instantly, it’s too complex and requires an in-depth conversation and valuation to get an accurate figure.

Some tips for dealing with quick house sale companies

  • Make sure you do your own valuation and have an idea in mind of exactly what it’s worth – this goes for any method of sale really!
  • Shop around, see what multiple cash house buyers will offer you.
  • Check they are actually registered on The Property Ombudsman & The National Association of Property Buyers members list.
  • Get everything in writing or over email, at least the important aspects. Alternatively, record the phone calls.
  • Make sure you read and understand the contract fully.
  • Don’t get tied into the contract, ensure that there are no hidden fees for pulling out of the sale – circumstances change!
  • Be upfront and honest from the start. In our experience, a lot of the reasons for having to change the price later is that the customer hasn’t provided accurate details on the property – which can cause tension and issues during the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve collected a few of the common questions we get around whether people should go with an estate agent or choose a service like ours, and we’ve answered them for you below:

Will I make more money selling through an estate agent or to a fast house buying company?

An estate agent. Fast house buying companies such as ourselves offer below market value, and you’re likely to achieve more through the open market, but it takes a lot longer.

How do I know I can trust a cash house buying company?

You should make sure they are members of The National Association of Property Buyers and The Property Ombudsman & on top of that, make sure you read through reviews on third-party platforms.

How long will a house buying company take to buy my property?

It really depends on the property and the circumstances, and we can only really speak for ourselves here & say that we can complete within a timeframe that you want. We’ve actually bought a house in under 48 hours before, but that was a rare occasion and we typically say 7 days.

What will a cash house buying company offer me? 

Again this really depends on the company, you would expect it to be anywhere around the 70-85% of the market value range. Every company will offer slightly different and it’s obviously dictated quite heavily by the initial valuation, so you should shop around and find the best deal – as long as it doesn’t seem too good to be true!

  • No stress. No hassle. No fees.
  • We even cover your solicitors costs!
  • And you can sell in as little as 7 days.
  • Not to mention, we're also members of the NAPB & TPO.
  • We'll also handle absolutely everything for you, making the process easy.
  • There's no obligation, getting a quote is completely free.

Want to find out more? You can give one of our property experts a call on:

0800 024 8444

How much can you get from our we buy any house service?

Complete a few details to see if your property qualifies and get a cash offer – remember we buy any property, in any condition, in any location!

5 simple steps to having your property sold!

Our quick (but thorough) 5 step sale process means we can buy your house fast and at a great price

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  • 01.

    Check to see if your property is eligible check now

  • 02.

    Receive an offer from us within 24 hours

  • 03.

    We’ll visit your property & formalise our offer

  • 04.

    We’ll instruct solicitors and pay all fees

  • 05.

    Exchange contracts & complete as usual

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Independent reviews of our service from Trustpilot

Why choose us as your cash house buyers?

We’re one of the leading we buy any house UK companies for residential/commercial property and land in England and Wales. We buy using our own cash house buying facility meaning we can offer the best prices in our industry and complete the sale quicker than anyone else.

Your options Average sale length Typical cost to you
The Property Buying Company 2-3 weeks £0.00
Other House Buying Companies 2-10 weeks £1000
Property Auction 6-10 weeks £2500-£5000
Online Estate Agents 16-52 weeks £1000(upfront)-£5000
Estate Agents 16-52 weeks £5000

Unlike most of the other options available to you, we are not a broker or middle man, meaning you skip the fees and get a sale quickly and easily.

The Property Buying Company is registered with the Property Ombudsman and is a member of the National Association of Property Buyers

National Association of Property Buyers The Property Ombudsman

Properties bought by us
for cash


Of our own money spent buying
property for cash

2-3 weeks

Average time taken from initial offer
to completion