Blog > How To Avoid We Buy Any House Scams
Avoid House Scams

How To Avoid ‘We Buy Any House’ Scams / Sell Your House Quickly


Sale House Scam


You should know for starters, that there are legitimate "we buy any house" companies here in the UK. All they do is buy landed property. They restructure and renovate them, then resell at incredibly higher prices. Many times, they are the last resort for people who have houses that are in dilapidated conditions and would be lucky to sell their homes. Nonetheless, they buy any houses from anyone at all.

Beware, however! Amongst these companies are wolves in sheep clothing. These "we buy any house" scammers give offers that are too good to be true. As they say, if something looks like it is too good to be true, it probably is!

A lot of awful circumstances can culminate in the decision to sell your priceless house quickly. Nothing can be more painful than being scammed in the process. It is a good thing that the culprit scammers can only prey on unsuspecting folks. Hence, in this article, we will be pointing out red flags you should intentionally look out for when you want to sell your house.


1. Hurrying to sell a house

In property sales, hurry is poison and the "we buy any house" scheme is usually a scam! Regardless of the looming pressure, you should never be too much in a hurry when you want to sell your house. There is a due process property sales must follow. When you hurry, you tend to seek shortcuts. The moment you try to boycott any of these processes, you flag yourself as a potential victim of a terrible scam from the "we buy any house" companies. So, first things first, relax! The average duration for property sales ranges from 2-3 months. Anxiety tends to cause you to anticipate a shorter period. Once you start looking for unconventional ways to sell your house faster, in 7 days maybe, you can be sure you will find it! Be careful what you look for on the internet.

2. Patience when selling a house

While there are many scams on the internet other than "we buy any house" scam, tendencies to fall victim of any are slim, once you take enough precautions. While experience is the best teacher, there are some mistakes you might not have to make if you pay enough attention to those that have gone ahead. What we mean in essence is this: study reviews and make a habit of it. You can be sure that whoever the supposed buyers are, you are not the first to sell to them. Many, or at the very least, a few, must have employed their services before. Critically read about what those people have to say about them, and their services, and use that information to help you decide to sell or not to sell to them!

3. Paranoia vs Common sense

Look to find faults, and you just might! No, you are not paranoid. You are only really sensible. Any company that states the "we buy any house" motto from you must have an office address you can visit for one on one interactions. There is no virtual company anywhere! They should have numbers you can call, and names you can look up on the internet. As good as it is, a well-packaged website is never enough! There are particular bodies that certified property buyers are a part of. These include the likes of the National Association of Property Buyers and Property Ombudsman. These bodies ensure that the potential buyers adhere to the policies of TPOS; also ensuring that they provide the relevant insurance measures for their customers. If the potential, "we buy any house" company is not enlisted under any of these bodies, it is a total no-no!

4. Beware of Intermediaries

The general idea behind using ‘we buy any house’ companies for property sales is to sell your house quickly. They usually do this in the space of one week. The moment potential buyers state ‘we buy any house’ begin to offer longer durations to buy your house, back out while you still can! This generally means that they are not real buyers. They are probably intermediaries, who will only start looking for potential buyers. They profit from you in the sense that they pitch your house to the real buyers at a higher price than the one you have agreed to sell. Since they need some time to locate suitable buyers, they increase the time of purchase.

5. Can you have your cake and eat it?

One of the worst things to be in this world is a debtor with no money to pay back! House Repossession can be traumatic. It is a legal action taken by a creditor to take possession of the house of a debtor who has been unable to pay his debt. At the verge of repossession, ‘buy any house’ companies leverage on tragic incidents like this, and many times offer the infamous sale and rent back scheme: they buy your house, then rent it back to you.

Sometimes, this presents itself as a golden opportunity and the most feasible way to escape mortgage payments. The truth, however, is once someone proposes that you can have your cake and eat it, it is too good to be true! Remember what we said about offers like this? While you may live in your house and pay just rent, realise that you lose maximal rights over the house. You are living in your own house as a tenant! Since the scammers amongst them are not registered under the FCA, they have unchecked power. With no security or binding rules whatsoever, they may demand without prior notice that you move out after a meagre six months. What happens then?

6. Bronze, not Gold

It is essential that you know for yourself the value of your property. If it is not okay that it be undervalued, why do you think it is a miracle when it is overvalued? ‘Buy any house’ scammers have a habit of overpricing your property. They bait you, and you only know there's a dangerous hook attached after you take the bait. By then, it is usually too late to back out. You are generally required to pay hidden fees time, and again before the actual purchase takes place. They shock you back to reality when you realise that at the point of purchase, the price they agree to pay is a hundred and one percent lesser than what they initially declared to pay. You then realise that you have been scammed!

7. Online Estate Agents

Struggling to pay your mortgage or other grievances and you are looking for a quick house sale why not try an Online Estate Agent? For a price of £195, you can sell your own property on the biggest property portals for no fee and a fraction of the cost selling your house the traditional way, not to mention selling your house faster.

Other property scams include:

Online shopping and auction platforms - Sometimes homes are advertised through gumtree or eBay which may not be that person house, this is a common home scam and should be avoided at all costs.

Paying commission twice - If you switch estate agents, the agent may say you owe them a commission. This should be clearly stated in your contract as statutory regulations say that any sole agency agreement between a seller and an estate agent.

Final Words

Your heart speaks. Pay more attention to it. Never be in a hurry to sell your house. And if peradventure, you find yourself between a rock and a hard place, ask the necessary questions, and make the required findings. You are smart, own it!