House Buying Companies – Are they worth it?

We cover the pros and cons to help you make the right decision


Updated August 2022

This guide reveals everything you need to know about house buying companies. How are these house buyers able to buy in cash? How do they compare to estate agents?
We will cover the most important facts, history, positives and negatives.
If you’re considering selling to a company that buys houses, you’ll really benefit from this guide.

Use the content links below to skip to the section you need.

    1. A Short History of Home Selling Options
    2. The Current UK Housing Market
    3. What are Cash House Buying Companies?
    4. Types of Quick Sale Companies
    5. Reasons why People Contact Companies That Buy Houses
    6. Are National Homebuyers Any Good?
    7. Are Home Buying Companies Better than Estate Agents?
    8. The 8 Step Home Selling Process that Works Every Time
    9. Can a Limited Company Buy a House?
    10. How to Spot Scams & Fraudulent House Purchasing Companies
    11. Are Property Buying Companies Reputable?
    12. 7 Interesting Facts about Quick Sale Companies
    13. Bottom line: Is this the Quickest Way to Sell a House?

Everything you Need to Know about House Buying Companies in the UK (Infographic)

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Without a doubt, selling your house and moving to a new place can be exciting, overwhelming and scary. Similarly if this is your first time in the property market, it can be difficult to find agents and buyers you can trust, most importantly will be looking for prospective buyers who realise the actual value of your home.

The trouble is that traditional methods of finding a buyer are simply not as effective anymore – the offers are too low, the process is too long and the market has increasingly stagnant periods.
Quick house sale companies have revolutionised the UK property market. Thus giving owners more ways to sell their property beyond the traditional estate agent route. As long as you make sure that you are dealing with a reputable service, you can complete a sale and receive the profits faster than ever.

A Short History of Home Selling Options in the UK

Home buying and selling in the UK has generally followed conventional processes that have proven to be extremely lengthy and complicated, in addition to causing plenty of hassle for both parties. Here’s a short history of home ownership in the UK:
1900–1939: Low-interest mortgage rates were made available to the middle classes so they could buy homes in the suburbs. However these mortgages were rare as people preferred to rent houses and new properties were mainly bought by landlords.
Post-War Era: Low-interest rates and prices enticed people to take out a mortgage – as a result, home ownership increased from 29% in 1951 to 45% in 1964.
The 1980's: Nearly 2 million households purchased their own homes when the government gave council tenants the right to buy their own property. Subsequently auctions and estate agents received a boost and were viable options for anyone looking to sell off their property.
The 2000's: In 2001, nearly 70% of homes were privately owned. On the other hand, it is now estimated that by 2020, 70% of property related transactions will be made online, with companies that buy properties directly for cash leading the way.

The Current UK Housing Market

There are about 25 million homes in the UK and seven out of every ten are owner-occupied.
While the number of homeowners has increased by more than one million since 1997, the current economic conditions have forced a lot of people to sell off their home. In fact, there has been a 10% fall in house prices and people are ready to cash in on their properties.
And since house hunters are no longer rare, thanks to the rapid expansion of the internet, it’s easier than ever to find buyers without involving a middle man like an estate agent.
This paradigm shift has had a considerable impact on the property industry, giving an edge to cash house buyers who can purchase your property without the need for staging, viewing, boards, etc. – leading to a quick, pain-free sale.
As such, sellers are no longer willing to be tied down to an estate agent just because they are afraid of the market. It also means that the sale process can start in the comfort of your own home, with online house buyers like housebuyers4u.

So how do house buying companies work?

What are Cash House Buying Companies?

Simply put, a typical property buying company will make an immediate cash offer on the property you want to sell.
As the wait times rise in the UK's property industry, there’s been a need for ways to sell off property faster and at a profit. However house sales are lowering due to higher prices, and this general slump in the market makes cash purchase a very attractive option.
The best companies that will buy your house fulfil this very need; these house buyers have cash ready in hand to buy your property outright without the need for a mortgage – or having to sell off another property to access funds.
Here’s a quick tip for this: the better firms are regulated by the Property Ombudsman and fully disclose any added fees and legal charges. In turn, this makes for an easy and transparent selling procedure for property owners. It's always a good idea to do additional research to see how house buying companies are regulated and by who so you're prepared if you ever decide to use one!

Types of Quick Sale Companies

Above all, house buying companies in the UK expedite and streamline the entire home selling process for you.
But before you make your decision, make sure you read all we buy any house reviews for your chosen house buying company in England, Scotland and Wales so you can choose the most reliable one that suits your needs.
Generally, you’ll encounter the following types of house buying companies:

Genuine Cash Buyers

These buy my house now companies have cash ready in hand; they can buy your property outright and pay you immediately. Consequently they don’t need to take out loans, ask their investors or sell other properties to get access to enough cash.
This means that genuine cash buyers can quickly make an offer and follow through on it; there is no chance of the deal falling through.

Non Genuine Cash Buyers

These are mostly scam companies that rip-off sellers by unnecessarily undervaluing the property – and they may not be able to pay that amount either.
You might end up in a long, drawn-out sales process that can go on for months with little to absolutely no transparency to their surveys or valuations. What’s worse is that if the sale goes sour, you might not be left with any recourse or follow-up.

Real Estate Buyers Posing As ‘Advisors’

These companies act as real estate advisors or consultants who promise to help you find the best possible route to selling off your property fast. But in reality, they are acting as middle-men, hoping that you’ll sell your property at a loss to them just because you are in a hurry. Bottom line: having an extra person in the middle means they are creaming off your profits.
They then turn around and offer the same property to a genuine cash buyer with a handsome profit margin for themselves.

Reasons why people contact cash house buying companies

For home owners, there are a number of scenarios and individual circumstances where selling to a cash house buyer becomes the best option. Let's take a look at some of them below.

Which types of people can benefit most from selling to a cash buyer
People sell their properties for all sorts of reasons and there is absolutely no reason to feel that you are alone in your efforts.
They can help anyone willing to sell in the following circumstances:

    • Inherited property
    • Separation or divorce
    • Buying out a co-owner
    • Stopping repossession
    • Requiring a bigger home
    • Adverse market conditions
    • Changing neighbourhood
    • Need for finances
    • Relocating for a new job
    • Retirement or illness
    • Tenanted property
    • Property in poor condition
    • Buyers falling through
    • People who just need to sell their house as quickly as possible

Are National Homebuyers Any Good?

If you want a quick house sale with minimal difficulty, national home buyers are one of the best options. Here are a few reasons why:
Benefits of a national home buying company

    • They work on your timeline – so whether you need the sale process to complete in a few weeks or a month, let them know – they will honor the urgency of your particular situation.
    • A quick route to selling your property – unlike individual buyers, they aren’t waiting on the bank loan, investors or mortgage to come through so they can pay you. You can be secure in the knowledge that there won’t be any unnecessary wait time.
    • A straightforward process – they work quickly and efficiently to get you the money a lot faster than an estate agent can.
    • No added fees – a well reviewed cash house buying company takes care of any additional charges that are associated with selling properties, including legal fees.
    • Home house buyers - buy any property in any condition and any location in the United Kingdom. So you can rest assured that you can sell your house ‘as is,’ without worrying about repairs or renovations to attract buyers.

Are Cash Buying Companies Better than Estate Agents?

7 reasons why companies that buy houses are better than estate agents
Another disadvantage of working with estate agents is that you might end up selling 5.7% below the original asking price. In a market where more than 8 in 10 homes are routinely selling for less than the asking price, there has to be better way to access the full cash value of your property.
That’s where house purchase companies come in with the following benefits:

  • A fast, no-hassle sale
  • Straight cash sales using the company’s private equity
  • Direct communication between the property buyer and seller
  • Rapid response in case of an urgent sale
  • Coverage of all fees and costs
  • Coverage for all survey and renovation costs as needed
  • Services available across the UK, including Scotland and Wales

How Companies that Buy Houses Work

The 8 Step Home Selling Process that Works Every Time

Selling your property is a huge decision, one that you would want to pay off spectacularly. However, the trouble is that traditional methods of finding a buyer don’t work anymore – the offers are too low, the process is too long and the market is mostly stagnant.
Only a property purchasing company can ensure a quick house sale for you in this economy, thus relieving you from all the hassle and stress that comes with the conventional process.
Additionally, selling your house to cash buyers is straightforward. Here's how it goes:
The 7 step house selling process for a quick sale company
1) Get In Touch Call your property buying company and let them know about your property and how soon you want it sold.
2) Get An Initial Offer How much do home buying companies offer? The cash buying company will give you a ‘no obligation’ cash offer based on their in-house valuation service and the information you have provided.
3) Make A Decision Take your time to think about the offer from the quick home sale service. Ask them all the questions you have to ensure your satisfaction with the selling process.
4) The Survey Once you’ve accepted the offer, the company will move ahead with an independent structural survey of your property. If the survey results are satisfactory, they move on to the next step.
5) Formal Offer At this time, they make you a formal offer letter and go ahead with the paperwork once you express your agreement.
6) Easy Paperwork If you agree with the details in the paperwork, they move forward quickly, working with established solicitors to ensure that the sales process is smooth and quick. Costs such as conveyancing and solicitors fee's will also be covered by companies. These can typically amount up to £500-1000.
7) Sale Completion The sales process is considered complete on the same day as the exchange of contracts, but you can choose the date as well. Just let the staff from your house buying company know your preferences.
8) Get Cash ASAP The proceeds from the sale are usually transferred to your bank account within a week.

Can a Limited Company Buy a House?

From the perspective of a property buying company we know that many quick sale firms operate as limited companies so if you decide to sell your house via a house buying company then you'd probably be selling to a limited company.
If you're a business owner and want to buy a house through your limited company this is an option too, however, there are some possible drawbacks you should be aware of before proceeding and these include:

  • Fewer mortgage options available for companies
  • Possibility of increased corporation tax
  • Higher fee's and more paperwork involved when filing annual accounts if you're a company

How to Spot Scams & Fraudulent House Purchasing Companies

It's imperative for a home owner to work with reputable cash buying companies so you don’t fall victim to scams and devious tactics that could rob you of thousands of pound and waste your time. We always recommend you actually check their accounts, for example are they worth over £1M and been around for minimum 5 years under the same name? More ways to spot dodgy traders:
For starters, run away if the home buyers seem to:

  • Be undercover brokers or lead generation agencies.
  • Have an unnaturally high number of reviews that are essentially fake and when checking their memberships like Property Ombudsman or NAPB (National association of Property Buyers) they are actually not registered at all
  • Have a reputation for over promising and making unrealistic offers.
  • Lock you in by forcing you to sign paperwork for an option contract.
  • Some of these British home buyers use delay tactics to drag the selling process on for several months.
  • Drop the sale price just when you are about to sign, so you feel like you have no other option but to sign.

It’s very important to protect yourself from house buying scams by working with a reputable company.

Are Property buying companies reputable?

There are many so called cash buyers out there with a variety of names that include 'sell', 'quick', 'fast' and more. Despite using these types of phrases many of these companies don't offer a true cash sale.
One quick & easy way to find the best house buying companies is to determine if they are members of the National Association of Property In addition they and have a reputation for making genuine offers that they deliver on at all costs – there should be absolutely no chances of the deal falling through, unless the seller backs off first.

7 Interesting Facts about Quick Sale Companies

Before we finish up, below are 7 interesting facts about quick house sale companies in the UK:
7 Interesting Facts about house buying companies

  1. Cash house buyers are members of the National Association of Property Buyers.
  2. They are regulated by the Property Ombudsman and adhere to its Code of Practice.
  3. They have a reputation for making genuine offers, and they deliver on their word at all costs.
  4. Cash buyers are generally less impacted by worsening credit conditions. (Source)
  5. 29.6% of homes bought in the first half of 2018 were cash buys instead of mortgage. (Source)
  6. These companies will readily offer you 75% – 90% of the house’s market value.
  7. A sale can be completed as quickly as 7 – 14 days with a quick sale company.
  8. The most house sales to cash buyers happened in West Somerset, where 61% of the properties were bought in cash. (Source)

Bottom line: Is this the Quickest Way to Sell a House?

Genuine companies that buy houses for cash (in any condition) are by far the fastest solution. You do hear of complaints due to some bad traders but the truth is they very much play a big part in the property industry and offer solutions to many situations that typical estate agents simply cannot.
That said there will always be rogue companies out there who are just looking to make a quick buck. This is why it's imperative for homeowners to do their own research.
To sum up, the best property buying companies offer a no-obligation, stress free quote and allow plenty of time for you to review at no risk whatsoever.
Coronavirus update: With covid-19 still in full effect it's important or us to mention that house buying companies like ourselves are still 100% open and continue to purchase properties.
Although the virus has affected thousands of businesses already we are still able to operate because we buy in cash. We can to purchase properties fast with our own cash reserves and complete the sale of a house within 7 days if needed.


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