Beware of ‘Quick Sale’ Housing Companies
As more and more people struggle with the rising cost of living and high unemployment, many have found it difficult to meet their monthly mortgage payments eventually leaving them with no option but to try and sell their house. The current housing market isn’t being very kind to sellers though especially when they’re in a hurry to sell, enter the ‘quick sale’ company. We’ve all had those leaflets through the door saying something like ‘We’ll buy your house within a week hassle free and we’ll give you up to 95% of the current market value!’. In fact I’m sure I’ve had one that offered full market value for my house, thank you for the kind offer but please don’t take me for an idiot. Anyway some interesting news came out today from the OFT (office of fair trading) showing just how wary you need to be with these ‘Quick sale’ companies.
Taking Sellers for a Ride
The information was regarding complaints that had been received from vulnerable customers about the dodgy tactics some of these companies are employing to try and rip sellers off, the main one being false valuing. These quick sale companies are employing one of the most hated house buying tactics in the book, Gazundering. If you havn’t heard of Gazundering before it involves agreeing to buy a house for a certain price but then deliberately waiting until the last minute to lower your offer. Sometimes buyers even wait until the day before the move leaving the seller with no choice but to accept the offer or go through the whole process of selling the house again, which may not be an option if you’re in arrears with your mortgage as many of those in need of a quick sale are likely to be.
As I’ve already said Gazundering during the normal house buying process is questionable to say the least, but for a ‘quick sale’ house buying company to be doing it to the most vulnerable of house sellers is outrageous, and we’re not talking about small amounts either. One of the complaints came from a lady who had agreed to sell her home for a discounted price of £75,000 only to have the quick sale company drop the price to £40,000 the day before the move.
Most of the complaints the OFT have received involve:
• unclear fees
• reducing the sale price at the last minute
• making misleading claims about a property’s value
• falsely claiming to be a cash buyer
• exclusive contracts which prevent sales to other buyers
Explore All Your Options
If you’re in a position where you need to make a quick sale of your house don’t be tempted to use one of these companies thinking of it as the easy way out, as we can see from the complaints mentioned above it isn’t, selling to a ‘quick sale’ company is often fraught with hidden dangers. If you can afford to accept a lower offer then you could well be in a strong position to sell privately or through an agent. It might also be worth talking to your mortgage company to see if they can help you out in any way or perhaps you could rent out your property for a temporary period whilst you get back on a stronger financial footing.
If you do still decide to use one of these ‘quick sale’ companies be sure to read all the fine print thoroughly before signing anything, this might sound obvious but it’s amazing how many people don’t when they’re feeling pressured.
Have you ever thought about selling your house to a ‘quick sale’ company? Please help others by sharing your experience below.