How do I sell my house to a cash buyer?

Selling your home to a cash buying company can be a great way to get a quick, guaranteed sale. It’s a very straight forward process with the right buyer and we’re here to help you find them.

Typically the process is as follows:

1) Initial offer

Once you have told us about your property and what you’re looking for, we will contact cash buying companies to obtain an initial offer in principle for you.

2) Valuation

If you are happy with and choose to accept the offer in principle, the cash buying company may arrange an appraisal of your property in person, usually using a local estate agent or RICS qualified surveyor.

3) Formal offer

Once the buying company has valued the property, they will make you a formal offer. As long as the searches and legal side proceed smoothly, the offer you’re made at this stage is the amount you’ll get upon completion.

4) Legal process and searches

The buyers solicitors will perform the necessary legal work and carry out local authority and other searches on your property. The buyer will normally pay your legal bills if you use their preferred solicitors, or make a contribution if you select your own.

5) Exchange and completion

You will exchange contracts making the sale legally binding and complete usually simultaneously or later if you’ve indicated that as your preference. The funds should appear in your account on the day of completion. Job done!

To make the process as smooth and rapid as possible you’ll need the following information and documents to hand:

  • Confirm whether the title is freehold or leasehold - If leasehold, you will need to confirm who the management company is, that the freeholder is contactable, what the maintenance arrangements/service charges are etc.
  • Proof of legal ownership such as a Title Deed - If you want to sell your property quickly, make sure you have evidence of the legal owners of the property in question.
  • Proof of identification - You need to provide state issued identification documents such as a passport or driving licence, and proof of address in the form of a utility bill or bank statement issued in the last 90 days, to confirm that you have legal ownership and right to sell the property.
  • Contact information for any third parties involved - Ensure you have the contact details and account numbers for any mortgages, loans or other secured debts against the property.
  • Confirmation of title transfer on inherited property - If the property has been inherited, has the title been transferred (assent of title) or has the probate process been initiated/ completed?

How do I know the cash buying companies on your panel are genuine?

Questions we to ask the cash buying companies before they-re accepted onto our panel.

Do you have immediate access to the cash amount you’re offering?

It’s important for us to make sure that buying companies are able to provide proof of funds. This will ensure that the company you are dealing with is actually a genuine cash buyer. The legitimate companies we deal with are well aware of this concern in the industry, and have had no problem providing us with this information. Proof was provided to us by way of evidence of cleared funds and completed transactions.

Do you buy property for yourself or others?

We asked this to help us get a sense of whether the company is legitimate or whether they are buyers of property for 3rd parties. This is particularly important to check if you are asked to sign an ‘option agreement’ that ties you in to working with the company for a specific length of time. In most cases, companies requiring that you sign this sort of contract are acting as middlemen and do not have the full amount in cash on hand.

What is your complaints procedure?

A company’s response to this question will give us an insight into their level of customer service. If the firm didn’t have a formal procedure, or they seemed unsure, reluctant, or rude when we asked this question, this was a real warning sign and they weren’t admitted to our panel.

Are you a member of any professional bodies (for example, the National Association of Property Buyers or The Property Ombudsman)?

Although the professional cash buyer industry is not officially regulated, some companies choose to join professional bodies to demonstrate their trustworthiness. Companies that are members of these professional bodies have made a voluntary agreement to act in line with their codes of conduct. They will be required to uphold certain standards throughout the house sale process or they will be penalised, or even expelled from the organisation.

In addition to asking these questions, we made sure that you receive written confirmation of any cash offers and, if possible, written assurance that they will not lower the offer once you have accepted it after the survey has been completed by a RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) Surveyor. Although this is not completely failsafe, obtaining written confirmation can provide you with extra protection from gazundering. And, if a company is reluctant to offer more than a verbal promise, you will know to look elsewhere.

Pros of selling to a cash buying company through Offerpal

The genuine cash house buying service guarantees a quick chain-free sale, and removes some of the most stressful aspects of home selling. You won’t have to have lots of people coming to view your home, or deal with a lengthy conveyancing process. In some cases you may even be able to sell your house within a week. (Though it’s more usual for companies to offer the chance to purchase your home within a month.) This could provide much needed peace of mind if your financial position has changed dramatically, or you’re required to move at short notice for work or family.

Moreover, property buyer companies are often willing to purchase hard-to-sell properties. If you want to sell a house that isn’t mortgageable, or is in a state of disrepair a cash buyer could provide an appealing solution. Selling to one of these cash buying companies removes the hassle and cost of dealing with these issues pre-sale.

One of the main reasons why some home sellers are attracted to cash property buying companies is the lack of selling fees. Because you’re selling your property at a below market rate, it’s standard practice for cash house buying companies to cover the costs of any legal fees. The 15-25% discount you are taking on the market value of your property is partially compensation for not having to pay estate agent fees (which are usually 0.75-3.5% of the final sales price) or legal fees (which tend to be about £1,500+).

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