What kind of companies will buy your house?

When it comes to selling your home, there are many options available. The choice you make will depend on your own circumstances, needs and preferences. This article looks at the routes you can choose when looking to get your property on the market and sold quickly.

Estate Agents

The traditional way of selling your property is through an estate agent, many of which have prominent high street premises, online presence in terms of their own website and relationships with major online property websites such as OntheMarket.com and RightMove.com.  An estate agent is well versed in all you need to do for the house selling process and is equipped to handle paperwork, deal with your solicitor, take professional photos and market your property widely to their own established list of buyers, and publicly via their own networks and online presence. They can handle viewings for you and negotiate with potential buyers on your behalf. From start to finish they will guide you through the process of making the sale.  For this level of service, there is of course a fee attached and you are looking at a fee of between 0.75% and 3.5% of the selling price to the estate agent.

Auction Houses

As highlighted by the ever-popular TV show Homes under the Hammer, auction purchases are an alternative way of selling your home quickly.  Turn around on auction sales can be fast, many within 28 days from the auction date but auction buyers are looking out for a bargain so it’s important to have a realistic valuation in mind when you list the property.  It’s also not always the least expensive option and you’ll have to consider the cost of potential entry fees to be listed in the auction catalogue, any relevant commission and your own solicitors fees and survey costs.

Private sale

It’s perfectly possible to sell your home yourself, it just takes a bit of work to get it out into the public domain and to build up potential interest.  Advertising in your local paper, on Gumtree or even Facebook has been done before.  You will need to have a home report produced which will be available for your potential buyers to read. The cost of a home report varies from different providers but expect to pay between £400 and £800.  The upside to selling yourself is no expensive agents fees, the downside is a fair bit of work to promote the sale and ensure you have a good amount of people interested.

Online sellers/ Quick sale company

If a private sale is not for you but you really want to avoid those estate agent or auction house fees, there are many online companies that buy houses, and that promise to do so  quickly.  Not all these companies operate in the same way and it is well worth thorough research into those you are considering, making sure you’re picking the right one for your circumstances. Using a quick sale company can result in a quick cash sale and money in your pocket much more quickly than a traditional estate agent and faster still than auction houses.  The process is easy, fast and holds no hidden fees.  Sounds perfect?  In many ways it is but if choosing this option, be realistic about the value your property will achieve.  The company is able to operate quickly and efficiently because they buy your home at a discount from that which a standard agent may advise.

For that reason, it’s important that you know the value of your home so arrange for at least 3 estate agents to come and value the property.  Most high street estate agents will value the property for free and having a clear idea of what your house is worth will help you get an offer that’s right for you.

It’s worth checking the credentials of any company you are considering using for something as important as selling your home so do your due diligence and check up on them.  Are they a member of the National Association of Property Buyers and if they are introducing you to prospective buyers, are they registered with the Property Ombudsman?  You can check the websites for these organisations which hold their members to standards and practices to protect clients like you.

Don’t really want to sell? Negotiate with your mortgage lender

A final note if you are looking for a very fast property sale, are you considering the sale because you are struggling to make mortgage payments?  If you would rather not part with your property, it may be worth considering speaking with your mortgage lender.  Lenders are required to consider a request to a change in your payments and you could look at extending the life of your mortgage to reduce monthly payments in the short term.  Explore this option before feeling you have no choice but to sell.

Do your research

Whichever option you pick for the sale of your property, there are some hard and fast rules to protect yourself during the process.  Most importantly, do your due diligence and check out the seller you are considering in detail.  Whether quick sale company, traditional estate agent or auction house, it is your responsibility to work out if you’re happy with what they suggest and how the sale proceeds  Even if you are looking for a quick sale, take the time up front to work out what will work best for you and then commit – don’t let anyone rush you into a decision on the basis of market changes or external deadlines. Once you’ve agreed to go with an agent or property seller, get things in writing and appoint your own solicitor to keep you right legally, you are not required to use the legal advisor recommended by your agent.

Sell with us

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