Best Quick House Sale Companies In 2021: A Spotter's Guide

Written by Myles Hemingway

Myles is our self-confessed ‘word nerd’ and property geek. You’ll find him mythbusting everything from house repayments to maisonettes, as well as giving you our spin on the latest property news and industry trends.

Need a quick house sale? Here's our full-fat guide to finding a legit cash buying company

Selling your house fast through a quick house sale company can at first seem daunting - we get that. Compared to the traditional open market sale or even going to auction, cash buying companies are the new kid on the block - i.e. they sit outside the average buyer's comfort zone. And it's this unfamiliarity which can often deter buyers from using a cash buying company altogether.

Not that it should though. You see, how a cash buying company works isn't as alien as you may think. In fact, the process tends to be more straight forward than that of the open market. What's more, it'll be faster too and leave you (the seller) with far less legwork. But, just as you would be with buyers on the open market, with house selling companies you need to be picky. Quiz them and do your homework on who they are and where they operate before giving them responsibility over your house sale.

Although, that's not easy, especially in an industry which the majority of sellers are unfamiliar with. So to help ease this unfamiliarity, we've compiled everything we know about house selling companies into one giant article to help you spot a reputable cash buyer. Read on for our spotter's guide to the best quick sale companies in 2021.

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What is a cash buying company?

A cash buying company is much like it sounds. A business that specialises in buying homes for cash without the help of a house repayments or loan. Think of them as like the cash buyer you'd find through the open market, only you won't have to spend hundreds of pounds in property marketing to attract them. In fact, because the majority buy ANY house in ANY condition, you could actually say that you've the upper hand in negotiations; if you don't like their offer you can simply walk away.

What's more, going through a property buyer also comes with a few more added perks. You eliminate the faff that comes with property chains, be it the long wait times or the risk they could break. You also complete far faster than the average sale if you go through a cash buyer. According to The Advisory, even in a hot market, the average time to complete on a purchase is in-between 60 and 90 days - a long while when compared with the 7 day completions boasted by the best quick house sale companies.

Are companies that buy houses for cash legit?

Yes, the majority of cash buying companies are legit. Although, how legitimate they prove to be ultimately depends on which quick sale company you use. Do business with a reputable cash buyer and you'll likely have a smooth and stress-free sale, much like how you imagined. It's only when you fail to spot a buyer who's slightly less kosher, that things could start to turn sour.

Although, that's not just the case with the property buying industry. When it boils down to it, companies in every business niche all vary in terms of reliability and reputation. For some, they're first on the agenda and something they build their entire business around. Whereas for others it makes an appearance further down the pecking order. Not that it's something you can't sense though.

Understand what to look for in a cash buyer and you're far more likely to end up selling your house to a reputable company. Something you have to be especially well-versed on when selling your home to a cash buying company because as of yet, the industry isn't regulated. Not that it's anything to be afraid of though.

In the UK, there's actually a fair few industries which still remain unregulated. These include cryptocurrencies, mobile learning, certain strains of business loans - the list goes on. Basically, new industries which haven't yet aged enough to reach the point of being regulated. So all this really means is that before selling your house to a quick sale company, you should do your research and get to know the industry first before diving in headfirst. Essentially what you're doing now.

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How to vet quick sale companies fast

While vetting an agent is relatively straight forward, vetting a cash buyer is less so. Opposed to agents, property buying companies use the internet as their shopfront - you'll find very few on the high street. So as a business you could say they're harder to vet. But that's not to say that doing so is impossible. Here's a couple of key details to look out for when searching for a legit cash buying company...

  • Companies that buy your house with finance - If a company labels themselves a cash buyer, you'd assume they're sitting on heaps of their own cash poised and ready to buy your home, but that's not always the case. A fair few cash buyers have been known to use loans to purchase properties instead - i.e. they don't actually have cash, just access to it. So in short, they don't actually have full control over your sale - their lender does. Luckily for you, we buy property with cash ALL from our own reserve!

  • The Property Ombudsman/ NAPB - The best quick house sale companies will be members of the Property Ombudsman scheme and NAPB (National Association of Property Buyers). However, just because you see these logos on their website, it doesn't mean they're active members. For less legit cash buyers these are just a trust builder, designed to give you confidence in their brand. If in doubt, we'd suggest ringing the organisations to check.

  • Lead generation websites - Contact a cash buyer and you are what's known as a business lead. Something that's worth a good chunk of money to any quick sale company. As a result, lead generation websites are another trip hazard to watch out for, as they're not actually quick sale companies at all. They're merely websites designed to capture your details, so they can be sold on to other cash buyers for a profit (yikes)!

Thankfully, we're not here for your details... we're after your house

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  • Physical Presence - You can always tell legit cash buying companies by their physical address. Put it into Google Maps and you'll likely be met with some interesting results. Some companies will have a big branded building (ours is over 3000sqft), whereas others won't look like a place of business at all. You may even find that you're not actually dealing with who you think you are, as it's not uncommon for various cash buying websites to be connected to the same address. In other words, you're not actually be dealing with who you think you are. Useful to know

Want to have a peak inside our office? Here's our CEO, Jonny Christie, to walk you through its design...

How do cash buying companies work?

Before putting your trust in quick sale companies, you first need to understand how they work. The reason why is simple. Your average cash buyer take a completely different approach to your local estate agent. While there does remain some similarities, there's a good amount of differences to be aware of. One of the perks of selling privately, opposed to through the open market - the process with a cash buyer is a far more clear cut.

Some of the most noticeable changes being the lack of a need for marketing or the entire process of finding yourself a buyer. So, getting a grasp of this slimline process is essential, especially if you're looking to complete fast. Hence why we've outlined the process that's used by some of the best quick sale companies out there...

Our process makes an agent's look unnecessary

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1. You reach out about a cash offer

Sell you house to a cash sale company and straight away you're faced with a choice - reach out to them via their website or give them a ring for a talk in person. Which route you choose to take is entirely up to you, however it is worth considering the value of each route.

Picking up the phone and you'll likely get the most personal experience. Something we'd recommend you do, as unlike an email, a phone call gives you a sense of who your buyer actually is. Are they purposefully going for 'the hard sell' or are they upfront and humane in their approach? This also gives you a chance to gauge a cash buyer's knowledge too; don't be afraid to ask questions.

A good tip is to actually ask each quick sale company the same questions. As backward as it sounds, comparing their answers is an easy way to suss who's the most knowledgeable and ultimately who'll be the buyer best suited to you. But that's not to say contacting a cash buyer online is inferior.

In fact, it's also pretty useful, especially if speed is high on the agenda. Remember, at the end of the day it's communication that gets your house sold fast - a cash offer is just a head start. So, if a company takes 3-days just to reply to your enquiry, you've a pretty accurate idea of how the rest of their process is going to take.

FYI: When it comes down to it, we'd use both. An online enquirey is a great starting point if you're looking to whittle down a shortlist. A shortlist you can then go on to cull further by comparing your experience over the phone.

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2. The cash buyer assesses your house

Reach out to a quick sale company and they'll likely want a chat about you and your property, so it's important that you're armed with all the relevant information. Just think of them as a buyer on the open market. They'll be inquisitive and ask questions all so they can build an accurate picture of your house and what it's worth to them.

To calculate this they'll use tools like Google Maps, HM land registry and advanced property portal software to establish your house's whereabouts, position and past sale history. They'll also be interested to hear about the condition of your property too, as this can largely determine the amount they're willing to offer.

FYI: While this is your chance to big up your property and 'sell it' so to speak, you should always remain truthful about your property's condition. Fail to do so and you'll only be shooting yourself in the foot. Because just as a buyer would on the open market, a cash buying company is perfectly entitled to lower their offer at any point before contracts exchange if later down the line they realise your house is not as described. So if it's unhouse repaymentsable, tell them. Same goes for low leases or forms of non standard construction.

The best quick house sale companies will even send someone out in person to give your house the once over before the offer is confirmed. So if your property is unhouse repaymentsable or has been wrecked by a previous tenant, be upfront about it. It'll save you a lot of time and hassle down the line!

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3. Accept the cash offer or negotiate

Prior your conversation, the sell house fast company will then go and speak with their underwriters. These are the ones who'll evaluate the sale and assess how much the company is willing to pay to purchase your property. To do so they'll use the information that you tell the negotiator, so be clear about everything your house has to offer, as it could well increase your offer.

Once the underwriters have supplied the negotiator a figure, the company will be back in touch. It's at this point where you'll have a choice to make. You can either accept the offer and proceed with the sale (ideal if speed is of the essence), or do your best to negotiate a higher price. However, before you do so, here's a few points to bear in mind...

  • Even the best quick house sale companies will NOT offer you 100% of the market value. They're a business remember, so there has to be at least something in it for them.

  • Cash buying companies are willing to negotiate if you have a valid reason. However, the trick is in how you do so. In most cases, simply saying that you "want more" isn't going to cut it. You need to show the cash buyer why your house is worth more. So say something like "the extension we built set us back £XXX, and two local agents have agreed that it's added £XXX to the property's value ". Basically, have a point and the evidence to prove it.

Once you reach a price that's mutually beneficial for both parties, you then proceed to the next step of your sale. Congrats! You're already Sold STC!

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4. Talk timescales

With the offer now verbally accepted, the quick sale company will now draw up a timescale for the move. Of course, this will be orientated around how fast you want to move - not everyone wants to move in 7-days. So this could be anywhere from a week up to a couple of months from agreeing your offer. Basically, as long as you need to get your affairs in order - house repayments, removals, onward purchase, that sort of thing.

5. Surveys and solicitors

With a timescale sorted, the quick sale company can now progress with booking in the necessary surveys, much as a buyer would do on the open market. Providing they come back clean, the cash buyer will then work with you to instruct solicitors and get the legal side of the sale moving. But, if any unforeseen issues crop up, you may have to re-negotiate the offer, although thankfully this is a rare occurence.

FYI: One of the reasons cash buyers are able to buy your house SO quickly is their access to fast legal services. By 'fast' we don't mean they rush, but instead that they know the right people. More than often cash buyers will have a strong relationship with a group of solicitors, who in exchange for the extra business, give their sales priority. So if you've sold via the open market and conveyancing is proving slow, it could be because your solicitor's had a sudden influx of work from a cash buyer and yours has got back-benched.

6. Contracts exchange and the cash is transferred

Once you and the cash buyer have vaulted all the legal hurdles that come with conveyancing, your sale will go through two stages:

  • Exchange - Here your solicitor exchanges contracts with the quick sale company and the deposit is paid. Just like it would on the open market, exchange of contracts means the sale is legally binding and that if you were to back out, you'd lose your deposit.

  • Completion - This is moving day, and also when the remainder of the funds will be paid. Only once you've completed is your house officially sold. Usually to get to completion with a cash buyer takes around 14 days, although some of the best quick house sale companies can do so in as little as 7!

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The best quick house sale companies in 2021 are...

When it comes to judging the best quick sale companies which are currently on the market, it's not so much the businesses you need to be looking towards - it's their customers. The people who were at one stage were wondering the exact same thing as you. Are property buying companies legit?

To finally put this to bed, we've scoured Trustpilot for the best quick house sale companies so you don't have to...

Ranking Cash Buying Company Star Rating Out Of 5 Number Of Reviews
1 The Property Buying Company 4.7 738
2 We Buy Any Home 4.7 607
3 GoodMove 4.9 290
4 We Buy Any House 4.4 213
5 Quick Move Now 4.2 36

*Data last updated on 25th May 2021.

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Which house buying company is the best?

As much as we've love to say w're the best house buying company in the UK, we're not the type to brag. Neither slate our competitors, but what we will say is that we, The Property Buying Company, do tick all the boxes.

  • We're a cash buyer with a physical presence. We operate from an office that's over 3000 sqft and have a team consisting of over 20 property professionals and industry experts. They've over 50 years property buying experience!

  • We're NOT a lead generation website. Your data privacy is our top priority!

  • ALL our purchases are financed with cash from our own reserves - dodgy loans aren't for us.

  • We're active members of both The Property Ombudsman & the National Association of Property Buyers. In fact, with NAPB we're a founding member.

So if you're looking to for a cash buyer who's legit, cash-ready and eager to buy your house...

Why waste any more time? Give us a call today...

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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