The UK’s leading home buyer, Quick Move Now, is tackling misinformation and misconceptions surrounding the home buying industry with a new film, explaining how their company operates.
Danny Luke, Business Manager at Quick Move Now, says the company is keen to both tackle misconceptions surrounding the industry and encourage other home buyers to commit to raising the level of service being offered to customers, to fall in line with the code of conduct put together by the Property Ombudsman.
Unfortunately the home buying industry is quite widely misunderstood, so we wanted to create a short film that would explain very clearly to the public exactly what we do as a company. In essence, we offer a quick, guaranteed cash purchase of your property. This is, of course, a service that you pay for, like any other service.
You would not expect to sell your house without paying solicitors or estate agents – the difference is that, for ease, speed and clarity, we calculate the fees up front and the cash offer we make to a customer is the value of your home minus our margin and other home sale costs such as solicitors fees and the creation of an Energy Performance Certificate, which is a prerequisite for any property sale.
We consistently receive fantastic feedback from customers who have used our service, telling us what an professional and much-needed service we provide. But those who don’t know much about our company can often be cautious and cynical of what we do.
If time, convenience and certainty are the most important factors in your property move, we provide a much-appreciated and highly valued service. If the price you achieve from the sale of your property is the most important factor, there are other routes that would better suit your needs.
Our customers come to us for a variety of reasons. We’ve had customer who are emigrating and can’t afford to take the risk of their sale falling through; we’ve had slightly older people who have built up a large amount of equity in their property and now wish to downsize, but for whom house viewings and sale uncertainty would cause significant stress; we’ve had couples who are going through a relationship breakdown and just want the house to sell as quickly as possible.
For all of these customers, the speed, convenience and guarantee of a no-hassle cash purchase is more than worth the fee we charge for the service.
Danny says that, sadly, not all home buyers operate with the same level of integrity as Quick Move Now.
Unfortunately there have been cases of less scrupulous companies making cash offers to home owners, tying them in to a contract and then reducing their offer or charging up front fees.
We would never recommend getting involved with any home buyer that requires you to paying anything upfront or that ties you into any deals. We asked for an investigation into these practices, and were horrified that such things were happening within the industry we’re a part of, but unfortunately membership of the Property Ombudsman is entirely voluntary so there are no repercussions for companies who are not members and do not adhere to the code of conduct.
In 2013 we worked closely with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to provide best practice examples for their investigation into the quick home sale companies, which we hoped would be adopted as a standard that the whole industry would need to commit to work to, but sadly this did not come to fruition.
If you are considering using a home buyer there are several steps you can take to ensure the company you use is a reputable one that is operating ethically:
1. Check the company’s financial records to ensure they hold their own cash reserves – you can also ask to see proof of funds from their solicitor and this should be provided within 24 hours. Companies House and Duedil are both good resources for checking that a company’s financial resources support the number of properties their reviews suggest they’re buying
2. Make sure the company you’re dealing with is the company who will actually be buying your property, and not a broker – a broker is unable to offer the speed and guarantee that a genuine cash buyer can because the success of the property sale relies on them finding an end buyer
3. Check the company has a fair and honest charter
4. Do not sign any option agreement or pay an up-front fee
5. Ensure the company offers a no-obligation service
6. Check for membership of the Property Ombudsman
Quick Move Now would also encourage those considering using a home buyer to beware of online reviews, in light of a recent report from the Competition and Markets Authority. The report found a rise in a practice known as ‘astroturfing’ – the creation of fake grass root reviews, which can be done to boost a company’s online presence and improve their ranking above their competitors.
We are committed to clarity and transparency. Each Quick Move Now review is submitted to our global feedback engine, Feefo, and matched to a client transaction to ensure that it is a genuine review.
It is sometimes fairly obvious that a review hasn’t been written by a genuine customer; if the company’s financial credentials, which can be checked online, do not tie in with the number of reviews they’re receiving, the language used has a ‘sales’ tone to it or a number of the reviews sound very similar, all may not be as it seems.