Considering selling to a property buying company?

Who are the best quick house sale companies UK in 2024

  • Established 1998
  • £12m available to buy direct
  • You control timescales
  • No fees or obligation

Quick Move Now's Google rating

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If you’ve been looking at property buying company reviews and trying to work out which are the best quick house sale companies, the chances are you may be feeling a little confused. With most companies saying the same thing, how do you know who you can trust?

Unfortunately, despite Quick Move Now’s best efforts, the professional home buying industry remains unregulated. This means that, in reality, there is very little protection for a homeowner who falls prey to a bogus trader claiming to be able to offer a quick house sale.

If you’re considering selling your house to a property buying company, it’s important that you research the company – and the industry – carefully.

In an attempt to save you a bit of time and help you on your way, we’ve collected information about some of the biggest and most prominent quick house sale companies, and highlighted what you should be looking out for when doing your own independent research.

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Why is the house buying industry unregulated?

In 2013, in response to a complaint from someone who had a bad experience with a company claiming to be a cash home buyer, the Office of Fair Trading (now the Competition and Markets Authority) launched an investigation into the professional home buying industry. They invited 15 directors from home buying companies, including Quick Move Now, to participate in the investigation.

Unfortunately, at the end of the investigation - despite strong recommendations from the directors at Quick Move Now that the industry required formal regulation - the Office of Fair Trading concluded that the industry should remain self-governing.

Disappointed by the investigation’s conclusion, and determined to raise standards within the professional home buying industry, Quick Move Now joined forces with a select group of other home buying companies to create the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB).

The National Association of Property Buyers sets out a clear code of conduct that it asks member organisations to adhere to, but unfortunately does not have the capacity or authority to monitor the industry.

So how do you know if you are dealing with a genuine home buyer when they all say the same thing?

While it is a positive sign if the company that you are considering using is signed up to organisations such as the National Association of Property Buyers and The Property Ombudsman, it is important to remember that these are voluntary organisations and are not a substitute for property industry regulation.

It’s vital that you carry out your own independent research to ensure that the company you are considering is a genuine cash home buyer that can deliver on their promises.

Where can you find information about house buying companies?

There are several places you can look for information about house buying companies.

A company’s website is a good place to get an overview of what they do and how they work. Any sections of the website that talk about the company’s history or introduce you to members of staff will give you a bit more insight into who you’re thinking about working with. Unfortunately, because the industry isn’t regulated, it’s not as simple as just taking a website at face value. It’s important to dig a little deeper to see whether the claims they make stack up. You can do this by checking their financial credentials on Companies House (a government website that allows you to look up company accounts) and by looking at independent company reviews. If a company claims to be buying a substantial number of properties, they should have an annual turnover of several million pounds. You would also expect the number of customer reviews to reflect the number of properties they’re buying. If a company only has the funds to buy 20 properties a year, you should be suspicious if they’ve received hundreds of reviews over the last 12 months.

How do you know whether you’re looking at genuine property buyers reviews?

This isn’t necessarily as straightforward as it seems. Unscrupulous companies have been known to fake positive cash home buyer reviews and pay people to remove any negative ones. It’s important to keep that in mind when reading reviews, both on their own website and on independent review sites such as Feefo, Trustpilot, and Google. Look for any patterns in reviews, such as cash offers being reduced just before exchange, sales taking longer than a month (unless requested by the homeowner), and homeowners being tied into any sort of contract (sometimes called an option agreement).

Red flags to watch out for when dealing with quick house sale company

The following list is a summary of things to look out for when dealing with a property buying company.

  • They’re reluctant to send you a copy of their company accounts - Looking at a company’s accounts is the quickest way to establish if you are dealing with a genuine home buyer.
  • They claim to be regulated – The property buying industry is unregulated. Any company that claims to be a regulated home buyer is misleading you.
  • The number of reviews doesn’t correlate with how many properties they can afford to buy – The average property costs just over £250,000. A company with an annual turnover of £2million will have bought an average of 8 properties (maybe slightly more or fewer, depending on the value of the properties). If that same company has received 50 reviews over the last 12 months, the chances are they’re not buying the properties themselves and are instead a property broker, matching you up with investors.
  • They’re not buying your property themselves and are relying on investors – On the surface, it may not be clear why this is a red flag. If they have an investor that’s interested in buying your property and is willing to offer close to market value, that’s a great result, right? Sadly not. The main benefits of using a cash home buying company are the speed and certainty they can offer. This speed and certainty are only possible because they buy your property directly, with their own cash funds. Any company that requires a mortgage or investment funds, or who acts as a broker matching you with investors, will not be able to offer you any guarantees around when your sale will complete or how much you will get for it. Selling to an investor will mean you still receive less than market value, but with none of the benefits that come from selling to a genuine cash buying company. If a company is unable to offer you any certainty around price and timescales, you’re better off selling your property on the open market via an estate agent.
  • They try to charge you a fee or make you sign a contract - A genuine home buyer will never charge fees for using their service or ask you to sign a contract that ties you into using them. This is usually another sign that they are a broker rather than a genuine cash home buying company.
  • They don’t respond to negative reviews – If a company is reputable and legitimate, they will want to (and be able to) respond to any negative feedback from customers.

What makes Quick Move Now different

  • Quick Move Now is the UK’s oldest and largest cash home buying company. Established in 1998, the company has bought more than 6,000 properties directly from homeowners, with a combined value of over £1billion.

  • Quick Move Now only buy direct. This means the team are experts in the property buying industry and are able to offer a wealth of support and advice to homeowners considering using a quick house sale company.

  • Members of The Property Ombudsman and founding members of the National Association of Property Buyers, Quick Move Now have worked tirelessly to improve the property buying industry to provide a valuable and trustworthy service for homeowners.

  • You can read genuine customer reviews for Quick Move Now on Trustpilot and Google, or on the review page of the company website.

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