Speaking to property buying (sometimes called quick sale) companies can be a tricky business and with so much money at stake, it is essential to take some top tips from one of the ‘good guys’ in the industry to make it a bit of an easier decision.
1) Who are the company that you are dealing with? You need to be sure of exactly who they are, where their office is, and the name of their company. Many companies have a name however if you search for it on Google or companies house there is no record of it.
To me, all property buying companies should display the following key information on their website:-
A) Office address
B) Full name of the limited company which will enable the customer to check this on companies house along with company documents
C) Directors details
D) Company affiliation or professional body memberships. Open Property Group are members of The Property Ombudsman Scheme and so we keep up with lettings legals, we are also members of the Residential Landlord Association.
2) Type the company trading name in to Google and also add 'reviews' to the end of the company name – Just like you would for a restaurant or hotel. Ie:- Hilton reviews
If there are no reviews ask the company if you can speak to a few of their genuine customers who they have bought property from.
3) Are there any hidden costs or fees? As a company we don’t charge any fees – so you shouldn’t accept any from other professional house buyers, be wary of any companies or individuals that do try to charge you.
4) What is their process? Is the offer subject to a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors survey? Is it subject to a mortgage approval or inspection? Or do they have funds readily available to purchase. Always ask if there is anything that you have to do or pay for once you have accepted the offer and proceed to a sale.
5) Secure in writing that the offer won’t be changed before exchange and if it is that they will pay any costs you do incur. Some rogue companies and individuals make a high offer, then reduce it before exchange as a matter of course. If in doubt speak to someone like Citizens Advice and ask them to check the terms and conditions of the offer.
Finally ask the buyer's solicitor to provide a reference of how many times they have acted for their client and to confirm that they are genuine cash buyers, not reliant on mortgage finance.
For more help on how to choose a quick sale or professional buying company, see our checklist from Jason and the Open Property Group:-
How to sell your home quickly
And to find out more about how and why Open Property Group are a professional buying company, hear from Jason about the lengths they go to offer you peace of mind:-
About Jason Harris-Cohen
Jason is Managing Director of Open Property Group and has experience in residential property spans a decade and ranges from agency, valuation, development, project management and investment. He has been responsible for the valuation of thousands of properties throughout England and Wales.
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