FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions from our clients

What exactly is your house buying process?

We buy your house quickly with minimal fuss and without the long waits - taking the time, stress and uncertainty out of your house sale. 

This FAQ page gives detailed answers to many of the most common questions asked by our prospective customers before their start their house sale to us.

Our process is split into 3 main stages: Valuation & Offer, Sales Progression, and Completion. You can read more about our whole process here, but we've answered many of the most common questions about each stage below.

 

Valuation and Offer

If you're considering contacting us to buy your house, this section answers many of the queries you may have about how we value your house and formulate our offer.

The first stage is to value the property. To start the valuation process we spend some time on the phone with you getting information about your property, its internal condition, and about the local area.

We then use sophisticated valuation software and the opinions of local estate agents to accurately determine what the “full market value” of your property is.

Once we’ve established what the property is worth we can make our formal offer. Clients can normally expect to receive our formal offer within 7 working days of contacting us.

Here we answer many of the common questions that crop up from our customers about this stage on the process. Click on a question for more information.

Is there any cost for a valuation?

No. Some companies do charge for a valuation – sometimes as much as £1,000. Beware of companies who charge for valuations in this way, as it is often actually their main source of income. They might charge you a fortune for a valuation and then make you a ridiculous offer that you’d never ever accept – but you’ve lost the money you paid for the valuation.

We don’t charge a penny for the valuation or to make you an offer, and if you aren’t happy with the price you’re under no obligation at all to accept it.

If we can’t make you the offer you want, then at the very least we guarantee you some helpful, free advice from our team of experienced property professionals.

Am I under any obligation to accept your offer?

No. If you ask us for an offer then you're simply a seller and we are buyers trying to see if we can offer a price you're happy with. We’ll make you an offer, and if you aren’t happy with it you just reject it.

You’re under no obligation to accept it. And whether you accept it or reject it, there’s no cost to you either way.

So if I ask for an offer, how will you value my property?

The first stage in valuing a property is to spend some time on the phone with you getting information about your property, its internal condition, and about the local area.

We then use sophisticated valuation software to examine your local market, area, and recent comparable house sales nearby. When this “desktop valuation” has been completed we call to give you an idea of what our offer is likely to be.

If you’re happy with the ballpark figure, we begin work on making you a formal offer. We instruct local estate agents from your area to have a quick look around the property for us and to report back.

This ensures an independent, impartial valuation. (Unlike some other house buying companies, Yes Homebuyers do not send out sales reps or our own “valuers” to view your house – we use independent 3rd parties only).  

Once we have their property reports, we can aggregate the various bits of feedback we’ve received to determine what the “full market value” of the property likely is.

What do you mean by "full market value"?

We usually consider the “full market value” of the property to be the price you’d generally achieve in a traditional estate agent sale lasting around 6 months.

The asking prices of properties on Rightmove or in an estate agent’s window are generally higher than the realistic market value. The price houses sell for, many months after first being advertised, are normally much less than their asking price. This is for two main reasons:

Over inflated house prices

First, estate agents often inflate the valuations they give you when you’re considering selling your home with them. This is because sellers usually go with the agent who tells them they can get the highest price – whether it’s based on anything factual or not. So by setting a higher expectation than is realistic, the agent is more likely to win your business ahead of their local competition.

Negotiating down

Second, people generally expect to “negotiate down” from their asking price. So by starting at a higher figure, they anticipate ending up with a better price after negotiations have concluded. This doesn’t always work though, and may put people off coming to look at the property at all.

Our job at Yes Homebuyers is to establish what your property is really worth – the full market value. This is the price that you might generally expect to achieve after marketing your property with an agent for around 6 months on the open market.

The offer we make is at a discount to this “full market value” figure. There is more information below on how we calculate our offer.

Does someone from your company come to value the property?

No. We never send out “sales reps” or our own staff to meet you at the property to value it.

Beware of house buying companies who do, as the sales rep is usually only there to try and talk you into selling, or perhaps to try and tie you into a legal agreement with them.

As genuine house buyers, we don’t need to send one of our team out to meet you – all legal paperwork is done through the solicitors.

In determining what your property is worth, we first conduct a wealth of online research on your property, area, and recent comparable house sales nearby to give you an idea of what our offer is likely to be.

If that offer stacks up for you we instruct two local estate agents, from your area, to have a quick look around the property for us and to report back.

This ensures an independent, impartial valuation. Yes Homebuyers do not send out valuers.

Once you've valued my property, how do you make your offer?

We go through the valuations we’ve received to determine what we think the realistic “full market value” of the property is. The full market value is the price you might expect to achieve after around 6 months on the open market with a local or online estate agent.

Our offer is, on average, around 80% of that figure – but it can be more or slightly less depending on other circumstances. This is to allow us to make an offer that’s more tailored to your specific property.

The reason we sometimes offer slightly more or less than 80% is to reflect the risk-level of the property, the time we are likely to have to hold onto it for, and the level of certainty we can reach around what the house is likely to sell for in the future.

As an example, it’s generally easier to value and sell a terraced house in a town-centre than it is to value a more niche property in a very rural area. This is why we are sometimes able to offer slightly more than 80% on certain properties.

The only way to find out exactly what we’d offer is to give us a call now, or complete on of our enquiry forms, let us quickly go through our valuation process, and we’ll make you a formal offer.

How do I know that the market value figure you reach is correct?

Valuing properties is always difficult, but the best way to get an accurate valuation is to be very thorough.

Our team have years of experience valuing and buying property. They first use sophisticated valuation software to get a rough idea of what the full market value of the property is, then we gather the opinions of two separate independent local estate agents to help us reliably establish what the likely full market value of your property is.

This ensures an independent, objective, and impartial valuation.

How do I know that you won't undervalue my house?

Simply put, we’re here to buy property – we have the funds available to buy, and we want to buy as many houses as possible.

We know that the more money we can offer you for your house, the more likely it is that you can accept our offer – so we want to offer as much as we can, taking into account our other business costs.

Our valuation process is set up to build a true picture of what the house is worth so that we can make you our best possible offer.

After all, if our offer is too low, you can just reject it and walk away at no cost, and we lose the business.

What's the rough price you'll pay?

On average we pay around 80% of the market value. Depending on the location and numerous other factors we can sometimes pay slightly less though, or sometimes pay more.

We don’t make money on all of our properties – sometimes we make a loss. So on those sales where we’ve made losses, our client actually received as much as 90-100% of what the property was worth, and had the benefit of an extremely fast and convenient sale to us. This is the exception though, rather than the rule.

What if I don't want to accept your offer once you've made it?

That’s fine - you simply reject our offer. Our valuation is done at no cost to you and with no obligation. If we can’t make an offer that you’re happy to accept then you simply reject it and we part ways.

If that ends up being the case, then at the very least we guarantee you some helpful advice from our team. Having a clear an up to date valuation may prove very helpful to you in any case.

If you do decide to reject our offer, it’s worth bearing in mind that we generally leave our offer on the table for around 12 weeks. This means that if you reject our offer then change your mind later, you can get back in touch and we’ll be happy to stand by our original price.

What if I do want to accept your offer?

That's easy - just call and let us know. We'll talk you through the next steps. 

If you're currently considering accepting an offer from us, or if you'd like to know more about what happens if you do accept an offer, please continue to the "Sales Progression" section below.

Do you have any fees?

No.

We do not charge any fees at any stage at all. In fact, we even pay your legal fees. This means that the price we offer is the price you get. There are no charges at all, and no hidden fees.

If you don't charge fees, where do you make your money?

When we buy a property we don’t hold on to it; as a company we simply buy and sell. So we make our profit by selling the property for more than we buy it for. This means that the offer we make is less than what you could get for your house by selling it on the open market. But although you receive a lower price, the benefit is that you can avoid the long waits, stress and uncertainty involved with selling your house in a traditional sale

To read more about how we value your property and how much we offer, visit our “Value My House” page.

We use sophisticated valuation software and the opinions of local, independent experts to value your property. Once we've done that, we can make you our best possible offer. 

Sales Progression

This section answers many of the questions you might have about what happens after you've accepted an offer from us.

If you accept our offer, you’re free to set a target completion date that is convenient for you. For many clients this can often be in as little as 7-14 days, but many clients want to set the completion date several weeks in advance though – and that’s fine too.

We instruct the solicitors to begin work (we only work with the fastest solicitors, who are used to turning things around quickly). Our dedicated “sales progression” team will then be in touch regularly to help guide you through the conveyancing process.

Click our questions below for more information.

If I accept your offer, how long will it take for the sale to complete?

Because of the way we finance our purchases (we don’t rely on mortgages like normal buyers), we've been able to exchange on some properties in the past in as little as 48 hours (“exchange” is the point at which the sale becomes legally binding).

Because of the compliance work that solicitors need to complete on any transaction though, the entire process typically takes around 14-21 days. For houses with serious legal issues it can be longer, but such issues are uncommon.

If you have requirements for a particularly fast sale please discuss them with our team, and we’ll always do our best to accommodate your requirements. The idea of selling to a company such as ourselves is that, regardless of circumstances and other complications, the sale goes through as smoothly and as quickly as it possibly can do.

On the other hand, if you aren’t in a great rush and would like the completion to take place many weeks or months from now, that’s fine with us too.

Do I need a solicitor?

Yes, you will need a solicitor to act for you. This won’t cost you anything though, as we cover your legal fees.

Who will my solicitor be?

There are two main options. You can either use a solicitor of your choice – perhaps a nearby solicitor or someone who has been recommended to you by a friend – or we can allocate you to a solicitor we recommend.

Both options have their benefits. You may feel more confident using a solicitor close by who you know and can visit personally. Not all solicitors are used to working to fast turn around times though, so this mean the sale may go slightly slower.

If you use a solicitor we recommend they can be extremely fast and efficient. All your paperwork will be done through the post and your conversations with them will be over telephone rather than in-person. This is the fastest possible option, and the one we recommend if speed is important to you.

It’s completely up to you which you prefer to use. Either way, we cover their bill, so neither will cost you a penny.

Is there anything I need to do in this part of the process?

In short, you’ll just need to complete a couple of questionnaires about your property and send them back to your solicitor, along with copies of your ID.

 

If you’d like a bit more of a detailed answer though, here’s a bit more information about what’s happening at this stage:

So that our solicitors can begin the legal work on your property you’ll first need to provide some information about the property.

The first thing that happens is that your solicitor (the one you’ve chosen, or the one we’ve allocated you with) will send you out some standard questionnaires about the property.

They’re called “property information forms” and “fixtures and fittings forms”. They’re mostly tick-box forms with several questions about the property, and about what is being left in the property after you leave.

They usually take around 30 minutes to complete, and are surprisingly straight-forward. Once you’ve completed them you’ll send them back to your solicitor along with copies of your ID.

When your solicitor gets these they verify your ID and then send the questionnaires over to our solicitors along with a couple of other legal documents that they put together..

Together, all these bits make up the “contract pack” for the sale. Once our solicitors receive that, the balls in our court. It’s our solicitor’s job to work quickly through the paperwork to meet the completion date that you’ve set.  

After the initial forms, is there anything else I need to do?

Sometimes, but only answering further questions.

When our solicitors receive the contract pack from yours, they’ll work through the legal documents and will usually ask your solicitor a few additional questions about the property. These are called the “enquiries”.

In most cases, your solicitor will be able to reply to these without consulting with you. Sometimes though your solicitor will call you to get a few answers over the phone, or will send you a letter and ask you to write your replies down and send them back.

These will only ever be simple questions, asked in layman’s terms.

Rest assured that you don’t need to be a solicitor to get through this! Ourselves and the solicitors will make this part of the process as smooth as possible for you.

Do you get a survey on my property?

Yes, we have to get a RICS survey (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) on all properties that we buy. This is a requirement of our Professional Indemnity Insurance.

The RICS survey takes place while the solicitors are working through the legals.

The person who comes to see the house is a RICS-qualified, independent 3rd party surveyor, who will file a standardised conveyancing report with us.

This is done at our cost.

How do I know that you won't reduce your offer after the survey?

Unfortunately, many house buying companies use surveys as an opportunity to “pick holes” in your property so they can come back and reduce their offer. Unfortunately, this is a standard tactic for ordinary buyers from the open market as well.

We do not use surveys for this purpose. We have to get each of our purchases surveyed by an independent RICS surveyor (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) for the purposes of our Professional Indemnity Insurance.

We are not interested in minor issues like damp, missing roof tiles, cosmetic factors and so on – these will already have been picked up during our valuation process and are already factored into our offer. So they do not affect our position or our offer at all when they come up on the survey.

The only time that the findings on a survey may impact the sale or the price we have agreed is if a serious defect is found with the property – like subsidence, for example.

In reality though, 9 out of 10 times where a severe issue like this is found the owner will already be aware of it.

Usually, the seller will already have made us aware of the issue too. This means that we can factor the cost of the remedial work into our offer up-front, so that when such a result comes up on the survey it still doesn’t affect the price we’re willing to pay.

We do not use surveys to “pick holes” in your property.

Do you do any further ID checks?

Yes - as a house-buying company who buy houses fast and buy nation-wide, we are unfortunately a prime target for fraudsters.

One of the common frauds that take place is a type of identity theft, whereby a tenant or someone else who gains access to your property then pretends to be you, sells the house, and disappears with the money.

Alarmingly, this really does happen.

So to protect all our genuine customers, and homeowners in general, we insist on a quick ID check with all our clients.

We use a company to come out and verify your ID. An agent from the company will come to meet with you at the property to see copies of a few of the usual documents (passport/driving license, utility bills etc).

The appointment will usually only last around 15 minutes or so, and is extremely straight forward.

As always, this is done at our cost – not yours, and is in place to protect all parties.

What's the rough price you'll pay?

On average we pay around 80% of the market value. Depending on the location and numerous other factors we can sometimes pay slightly less though, or sometimes pay more.

We don’t make money on all of our properties – sometimes we make a loss. So on those sales where we’ve made losses, our client actually received as much as 90-100% of what the property was worth, and had the benefit of an extremely fast and convenient sale to us. This is the exception though, rather than the rule.

What if I don't want to accept your offer once you've made it?

That’s fine - you simply reject our offer. Our valuation is done at no cost to you and with no obligation. If we can’t make an offer that you’re happy to accept then you simply reject it and we part ways.

If that ends up being the case, then at the very least we guarantee you some helpful advice from our team. Having a clear an up to date valuation may prove very helpful to you in any case.

If you do decide to reject our offer, it’s worth bearing in mind that we generally leave our offer on the table for around 12 weeks. This means that if you reject our offer then change your mind later, you can get back in touch and we’ll be happy to stand by our original price.

How long does this "Sales Progression" process take?

This part of the process can usually be completed for around 14-21 days.

We can often move faster though if you need – so please discuss your requirements with our team. We will always aim to complete on the date that suits you best.

 The idea of selling to us is that, regardless of circumstances, the sale always goes through as smoothly and quickly as it possibly can do. 

Completion of the Sale

In the run up to the completion date your solicitor will send you the final forms to sign and return. We’ll sign our forms as well, and we’ll send the money over to our solicitors in readiness for completion.

On the day of completion we’ll arrange for you to meet one of the estate agents at the house again. They’ll give us a call from the house to confirm that you’ve moved out of the property, then we’ll call our solicitors and tell them to go ahead and complete the sale.

They send the money over to your solicitors, and once it hits their account the sale has completed. They'll then send the money through to you, and it should hit your bank account on the same day.

You can read more about our process on our "How it Works" page, or click the questions below for information about what happens in the closing stages of the sale to us.

 

What happens in the run up to completion?

By the time the completion date approaches the solicitors will have finalised all the legal paperwork, and the final documents will be ready for you to sign.

You’ll sign the Contract and the "TR1" form, which you’ll also need to have witnessed. The solicitors can witness this for you, or any family friend etc.

Depending on how near your solicitors are located you’ll either sign these forms in their office, or sign them at home and return them by post.

While you’re signing those documents we’ll be signing our’s too, and we’ll pay funds over to our solicitors in readiness for completion.

What if my circumstances change and I need to change the completion date?

This is absolutely no problem at all.

The benefit of selling to us is that you’re in control of the completion date, and the sale can go through whenever you want. So we can be completely flexible to suit your needs, and will never ask you to move sooner than you want to.

We’re here to work to your convenience.

What happens on the day of completion?

On the day of completion we’ll arrange for a local estate agent to meet you at the house. They’ll do a quick walk around the property for us to confirm that there’s no one living there. (Surprisingly, some people do try and sell their house but keep living in it! This can lead to legal complications, and as a result we have to complete this quick check on every property).

The estate agent will call us to confirm that there’s no one living in the property, and we’ll call our solicitors and authorise the completion.

They’ll send the money to your solicitor, and once it hits their account the sale officially completes. They release the money to you, and you’ll hand the keys to one of the local estate agents.

After that, you’re all finished – it really is as simple as that.

What happens if I have a mortgage or other loans secured on the property?

Your solicitors will take care of any mortgages or secured loans in the run up to completion. They’ll simply contact the lender, give them the proposed completion date, and the lender will respond to them with a “redemption figure”. This is the exact amount, to the penny, that will be left on your mortgage on the proposed date.

When your solicitor gets the money on the day of completion they’ll pay your lender that amount, and send you the remainder. 

Have another question?

If your question isn't answered here or if you'd like more information on anything else, then please don't hesitate to call us free on 0800 133 7687, or email your question directly to [email protected].

We'll happily answer your questions, and can add your query to this page for future visitors too.

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