We Buy Any House Scams can be difficult to recognise when you’re in a rush to sell your home
So-called we buy any house scams are on the rise. Unscrupulous companies are involved in a range of dishonest practices aimed at cheating homeowners out of the true value of their home.
Selling a house to one of these house buyers can be a great idea. But you need to know that you’re dealing with a reputable, trustworthy property buyer that won’t rip you off.
At Flying Homes, we’re passionate about providing an honest and fair house buying service. That’s why we’ve compiled a few questions to ask yourself when looking for a service you can trust.
Is the house buying company legitimate?
Fraudsters and unscrupulous operators will go to enormous lengths to earn the trust of homeowners. They’ll create glossy websites, believable social media accounts, and a professional brand to fool you into thinking they can be trusted.
Don’t let these factors cloud your judgment. Before you even approach a “we buy any house” company, check the Internet for scams, such as fake customer reviews and testimonials. A big, established firm should have several decent reviews on Google and sites like Trust Pilot, and they won’t all be five stars!
The next thing to check is the company address. This is easily done by searching through company records or Internet listings. And you can verify the business is real by checking Property Ombudsman or Companies House
How fast can they sell your home?
Be wary of companies that promise buy your home within seven days, what they really mean is that they agree to enter into an agreement within 7 days, not finalise the purchase in 7 days, although it is possible. A timescale nearer 28 days is more realistic. Which Company is the fastest house buyer? Who knows, it probably varies from the buyer and sellers circumstances at the time.
Reach out to people on forums and discussion boards who’ve dealt with the company. How long did the company take to sell their property? Did the firm stick to its promises on timescales? A lot of “we buy any house” scams are predicated on tying people into house buying contracts with false promises.
Is the initial offer surprisingly high? Maybe it’s a We Buy Any House Scam!
One common scam involves house buying organisations offering a very attractive price at the beginning of the process. Just before the purchase completes, the firm suddenly reduces its offer to reflect “changing circumstances”, the last-minute price drop scenario. And because the buyer needs a fast house sale, they can’t go anywhere else.
Do a little research on house prices. If one of these fast house buyers is offering full market value for your property, proceed with caution.
Does the agreement include a “lockout” clause?
A “lockout” clause is something that stops you from dealing with other companies. So, if you agree to sell your home to a house buying company, you can’t then decide to take your business elsewhere. Or if you can, you’re required to pay a hefty release fee.
If you’re ever asked to sign a “lockout” agreement, don’t. Reputable firms offer fair prices and reliable service. They’re confident that they can deliver, so they don’t need or want to lock you into an agreement at the very beginning of the process. If a company does want this, it’s probably because they know you’ll find something better somewhere else.
Were you asked for upfront payments?
Never sell your home to a house buyer that asks for upfront payments. Companies that do this are probably involved in “we buy any house” scams. You should never have to pay for a valuation — this is something any reputable house buyer would do.
A trustworthy house buying firm will make a modest profit by selling your house — not by squeezing fees and upfront payments from homeowners at the beginning of the process.
Flying Homes is a trusted house buying company that doesn’t ask for upfront fees!