Unfortunately, there are disreputable "we buy any house" firms who put profit before people, making headlines with their dodgy deals.
These companies are not interested in providing a professional service for their sellers, they simply want to make as much money as possible at your expense.
This is not how we do things at Yes Homebuyers.
We are working hard to build our own reputation, and the reputation of our industry, as a fair, open and honest service that can make a real difference to people’s lives. And we’re doing it by putting our customers first in every area of our business.
Like any company, we still want to make money, but we also want to make sure that we offer great value for our customers in return
We buy any home, but when we do we put you in control. There's no hard-sell, no contracts or tie-ins, and no fees. We're friendly, professional, and have funds here ready to buy. This means that by coming to us, you can sell your house fast.
In short, we buy any home in the most open, honest and fair way possible. We give you a great service and the easiest home sale possible
The Office of Fair Trading
Widespread concerns about the we buy any house market prompted an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading in 2013. We are proud to support this survey as it highlights many of the issues with some fast home buying companies and underlines the quality of others, such as Yes Homebuyers.
Far from condemning our sector, the study found that the prompt homebuying sector was ‘dynamic and innovative’, with some companies, like Yes Homebuyers, ‘modifying their business models to try to offer a better service.’ Unfortunately, the study also found that many other companies ‘fell short of the standards we would expect.’
So what are the best practices in the we buy any house market, how do you choose the best home buying company and what are the dangers you should look out for?
Changes to the offer price
The OFT’s biggest concern was that many companies make a generous offer to start with, only to reduce this figure significantly near to completion. This happens when the seller is committed to the deal and is already well advanced with other plans for the proceeds.
Sellers are then forced to accept much less than they were expecting, or face significant financial penalties if they pull out. It’s called gazundering, and unfortunately it is a widespread practice in our sector.
With Yes Homebuyers, the price we offer you is the price we pay, except in the most unusual circumstances (and even then the seller usually knows there is a problem with the property and tells us in advance so we can factor this in). We very rarely change the offer price we have agreed with you, and to prove it, we give you a £1,000 guarantee.
We give you a £1000 guarantee that our offer will not change
£1,000 price promise
We are so fed up with other we buy any home companies changing their prices and dragging down the reputation of our industry, that we not only promise not to change our offer, we guarantee it. Once we have agreed an offer with you, we will give your solicitor £1,000. If our offer changes, you keep that £1,000.
If you are shopping around for a company to buy your house, ask the company what guarantees they will give on their offers. If they cannot promise the offer won’t change, you will always be at risk of getting less than you expect.
Who exactly is buying your home?
Another issue identified by the Office of Fair Trading is the actual nature of the transaction. Many companies claim to buy your house, when in fact they are doing nothing of the sort. Often these companies are simply acting as brokers, finding homes for buyers, who may not move any faster than a standard estate agent sale.
Some don’t get involved in the transaction at all, but simply pass your details on, as a lead, to another company.
What are they buying with?
The OFT also had issues with companies who claim to be cash house buyers, when in fact they were either using mortgages - or finding other buyers in the background. Any buyer who has to apply for a conventional mortgage isn’t really a cash buyer at all, and they are subject to the same delays as any other mortgage buyer.
That means you will get less for your home, without gaining anything in terms of speed or service.
Yes Homebuyers draw funds from a pre-agreed source, which is always available to us at short notice, so we are a genuine buyer and can act as quickly as you need us to.
Yes Homebuyers draw funds from a pre-agreed source, which is always available at short notice
Costs and charges
If a company wants to charge you fees for their home-buying service, then you should be very wary. Some organisations make the bulk of their profits this way, rather than from actual home sales. Charges are common for offers, surveys, legal fees and so-called ‘professional services’, and you may find that there are also fees if you change your mind and pull out of the deal.
At Yes Homebuyers, we don’t charge any fees for our service. In fact, we even pay your legal fees for you. Not only does this protect you from some of the more common we buy any house problems, it also saves you a significant sum compared to selling through an estate agent.
At Yes Homebuyers, we are so confident that you’ll love our service, that we don’t ever try to tie you into a binding contract. Unfortunately, other firms are not so sure, so they will ask you to sign a contract which gives them the exclusive right to buy your home. It also prevents you exploring other routes.
That means that even if you don’t like the service you receive, or they drop the price at the last minute, you are forced to sell anyway. If you don't, you face fees and possibly expensive legal action.
Companies with no contract have to treat you properly to keep your business, and that’s exactly how it should be. When you deal with Yes Homebuyers, we never ask you to sign a contract for our services. We will always keep in touch with you to try and resolve any problems, but if you change your mind at any time, for any reason, you can simply walk away.
Companies with no contract have to treat you properly to keep your business
Times and tie ins
A key criticism with the OFT report was that many we buy any house homebuyers make unrealistic claims about the speed of their service. They quote the fastest possible time as their average turn-around. It’s not exactly dishonest, since they can sometimes complete a sale this quickly, but it’s not exactly open and clear either.
At Yes Homebuyers, we can buy your house fast. This means we will complete at a date to suit you. If this needs to be extra fast, then we will do all we can to accommodate you, but our standard service takes from a few weeks to as long as you need it to. At the end of the day, we are here to help you out, not rush you out.
Look for best practice
If you want the very best service and value for money, you need to choose a house buying company that acts in an open, honest and reputable manner. As part of their study, the Office for Fair Trading published a guide to business good practice, which recommended that companies:
- Give accurate, honest and clear information to home sellers
- Give sellers important information about their business
- Treat home sellers fairly through the process
- Do what they can to keep their promises
- Keep customers informed throughout the sale
When making your choice, don’t be afraid to ask probing questions to reassure yourself. The service will cost you a significant sum, so you want to know you are getting the professional service you deserve in return.
You should also check that the company is independently vetted. Yes Homebuyers are members of the Property Ombudsman, the National Association of Property Buyers and we follow an approved code from Trading Standards.
While these organisations don't police the home-buying industry proactively (meaning dodgy companies can still operate while being members), you should definitely definitely steer clear of any companies who aren't members
When it comes to choosing a buyer for your home, a little research at the start can save you a lot of heartache in the end. Here are some of the questions you should ask:
- Are you a genuine buyer?
- Do you have access to immediate funds?
- Do I have to sign a contract?
- Are there any costs or charges?
- Are you members of relevant trade organisations and regulatory bodies?
- How long have you been trading?
If possible, you should also ask to see customer testimonials, or to talk to previous customers, so you can see what their service is really like.
We are leading from the front, by operating in an open, honest and ethical way
Changing the industry one sale at a time
At Yes Homebuyers we are constantly striving to improve not only our own customer offering, but also the reputation of our industry as a whole. We believe we have a genuine service to offer, buying your house on your terms, at a guaranteed price, with no fees, no contract and no hassle. It is not for everyone, but it can be a real help if you are looking for a hassle free home sale.
We are leading from the front, showing customers and colleagues that it is possible to operate in an open, honest and ethical way and still make a deal that works both for us as buyers and you as sellers.
Over the next few years, we will be working closely with the authorities to stamp out malpractice and opportunism in the home buying sector, so that customers can choose this prompt, professional route with confidence, knowing they will get great service and an honest transaction.
About Yes Homebuyers
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