Are Reviews for Companies that Buy your House Legit? (Below market value offers & Scams)
With more and more companies propping up around that country that offer to purchase property for cash, it's important home owners are able to identify which are legitimate and which are not.
Some of these dodgy companies even advertise that they will buy your house at a 100% market value price! Homeowners should ask - does this sound too good to be true?
Are there loopholes?
Do the online reviews look fake?
How to Spot Fake “Buy my House Reviews”
The need for high-quality reviews for any organisation is important and even more so when it comes to selling your house. For most people, they will be parting with their highest value asset & they require assurance that they're working with legitimate people.
Fraudulent property selling reviews
Trustpilot just removed an incredible 2.2 million bogus reviews and they are just starting to get serious!
The sad truth is that some companies do post fraudulent reviews in order to boost their profiles and make themselves look like genuine companies.
The best way to spot these fraudulent reviews from companies that buy your house is to read them individually. If multiple reviews are very short, sound like a script or have some noticeable grammatical errors then it could be that they are fake reviews.
Too many reviews for the type of business
If a company has multiple 100's of reviews you do need to be vary as most customers do not actually leave reviews, statistics show that its only few percent in the property sector.
If a firm has 100s of reviews over the last few years then they should have bought 1000s of properties over this period – this is way too much as even the largest cash buyers only have enough funds to buy 150-250 homes per year.
Lots of positive reviews across multiple review websites
If a company has many 5/5 star reviews on multiple websites like Trustpilot, Google, Reviews.co.uk then again, there is a good chance this can be fishy. Customers don't give reviews away for free and usually a company would focus on 1 or 2 review platforms to compound their reviews not split them up.
It's also true that some external review companies have more strict policies when it comes to customers leaving reviews so if you come across companies that use Independent Business Reviews (IBR) such as Trustpilot and Feefo they are much more likely to be legitimate.
Do Companies that Buy your House Pay 100% Market Value?
We often get asked this question, and the truth is any firm that offers to buy your house for 95-100% market value is either not a true cash buyer (they will sell your house via a third party or put it up on their own estate agent site) or they are a fraudulent company.
Bare in mind that most genuine companies will cover legal fees, survey fee's and any admin fees. It does not add up for them financially to cover the cost of all of these additional fees and still pay close to full market value for your property.
Homeowners should be aware of this and cut ties with any company that offers them this
Our Top 9 Ways to avoid Scammers
1) The offer price is too good - a true guaranteed sale should be around 80% of the market value. Spend time looking at the website of your chosen company and gather as much information about the company as you can.
2) Request their company registration number and check companies house to see if they have been registered for at least 5 years under the same name showing an audit trail of the accounts. If the net value of the company is not over £1m they are usually a middleman and not a cash buyer.
3) They can't prove they are genuine buyers by showing you proof of cash funds.
4) Never sign any paperwork unless it is a solicitors firm as this way you are protected by the SRA ( Solicitors regulation authority).True cash buyers do not need you to sign paperwork upfront and simply need a survey and provide you with an offer thereafter. It is then up to you if you want to proceed or not.
5) They request cash payments upfront such as valuation fees or even a cancellation fee should you want to change your mind at a later date.
6) Check that they are transparent about any expenses you will be charged and read through customer reviews as these will highlight any problems.
7) If they ask for some odd or strict agreements with documentation & signatures very early on. The main ones being option agreements that are lock-in contracts.
8) A large number of obviously bad "buy my house reviews" mentioning late price dropping, dodgy contracts or asking for fees. They can have too many reviews for their size or hundreds of dodgy looking 5/5 generic reviews across multiple platforms.
9) One very common scam is that they initially offer you a higher price for your property, however, just before completion the offer is lowered.
Due to the above, the most cases is that the home owner is forced to sell because they really need the money.
You will also come across big companies who operate internationally that will offer to buy your home but it's recommended to avoid these and go for a UK company.
The genuine UK companies not only understand the market better but also are more likely to offer you their undivided attention because they only operate in the UK. The overseas markets are different and usually offer less.
The Bottom Line
It is worth noting these types of companies have been made popular over the last few decades due to the actual increase in demand from home owners looking for a swift & no-chain home sale.
They can buy your house without the need of a mortgage or having to wait for another property to sell which makes their service a very attractive option for those looking for a quick sale.
While it's true that there are some fake property buying companies out there, with some due diligence it's very easy to spot which are genuine and which are fraudulent.
Have a question about buy your house companies or want a free quote? Request a call back now for a friendly discussion with zero obligation.