We Buy Any House: Protect Yourself and Your Future
You have seen the ads and signs around your neighbourhood: We Buy Any House. You need to sell your home quickly because you need to move for your job or to be closer to family. You are facing repossession. You inherited a property that costs too much to maintain. You want to downsize. Whatever the case, you are interested in a solution that allows you to complete a sale on an accelerated timeline. But… you are always worried that you will be scammed; that if you sell without a realtor, you will be cheated; that the situation is dodgy; that you will be tricked into a situation that leaves you vulnerable – and broke.
Understandable. This is a challenging time in the best of circumstances and is even more difficult if you are not. You need to take every step possible to protect yourself and ensure that after the sale of your house, you are well positioned for the next steps in your life. How do you do it?
In any industry, there are upstanding, reputable companies – and there are those who are decidedly not. This is unfortunately true in the house buying world; some ‘investors’ do not have the funds to actually complete purchases and want to fleece homeowners in order to pad their own pockets.
Others engage in an entirely unethical – but not illegal – practice called gazundering. Here, they make an attractive initial offer but between that and completion, they significantly reduce it. By stringing homeowners along for weeks, they hope they will be so desperate or frustrated as to accept the lowball figure.
Again, there are bad apples and bad actors in any sector. The key for consumers is to carefully research and select a reputable partner as they sell their house.
Choosing a Reputable We Buy Any House Company
- A professional website with helpful, relevant information and clear contact details.
- Positive reviews – be on guard for those that are largely negative and even those who have reviews that are ‘too good to be true.’ Both are red flags.
- Current memberships with relevant industry organisations, such as The Property Ombudsman and the National Association of Property Buyers. Feel free to contact these organisations to confirm.
- Substantial capital and solid financial standing (if requested, they should be happy to provide proof of this to you).
- Companies that operate with transparency and integrity. This will include practices such as encouraging you to review any and all documentation regarding your property, such as valuations and RICS reports.
- A track record of success. Have they been in business for a number of years? What is their educational and training background? What is their real estate experience? Anyone can attend a ‘get rich quick’ investing seminar over a weekend and then convince others they’re an expert. Don’t let this happen to you.
- Companies that do not tie you into a restrictive contract. This is a tremendous signal that something is amiss. Reputable firms will not require you to sign a contract that obligates you to use their services (typically for a period of 6-12 months). You are under no obligation to accept any offer or continue with the process. Homeowners must have this level of flexibility and freedom when selling their house, and just because you want a fast sale does not mean you want your rights undermined.
- A gut feeling. Yes, you should do research, consult Google and use any other avenue you can to learn about a We Buy Any House company. But also go with your intuition. If you do not feel comfortable after viewing their website, looking at reviews, interacting with them via phone or email or upon their offer… walk away. It is better to go into such an arrangement with confidence. The right company will provide it to you.
We Buy Any House companies can be the solution for which you have been searching for as you try to sell your house. Take some simple precautions before you enter into any situation in order to protect yourself, your financial status and your future.
It is worth the little bit of time it takes to vet a company. Then you can proceed with confidence, sell your home quickly and use those funds to fuel your next steps.