We Buy Any House First Contact
I was greeted by a pleasant gentleman who explained that he would need to take some details from me, tell me a little about the company and how they work and that the call would take around 10 – 15 minutes. He then asked me a few questions about the property and the ownership of the property and if there was any debt currently secured against the property.
Then he asked if I knew anything about the company and if I’d done much research into them and proceeded to tell me that they are the “market leaders” in the quick sale industry and they specialise in buying properties quickly and offering a fair cash price and ultimately they save the time, money and hassle of selling on the open market through a traditional estate agent.
He then went on to say that they can complete in as little as 3 days or a time frame to suit you.
This is in our opinion a very dubious claim. 3 days, although perhaps technically possible, would be highly reckless from a company as they would have to cut massive corners to achieve this if this was the standard practice for a business they wouldn’t be around for long.
Read our article on how fast a company can actually buy your house here.
Then he explained that they don’t pay full market value but there are no fees to pay.
He asked some questions about what my reason to sell was and why I was looking at the quick sale route and went into what was essentially an over the phone valuation (see We Buy Any House Valuation Process for more information on how they come to their valuation).
After this he went on to explain that they have 2 options that they offer;
Option 1: The direct cash purchase, this is the one where they can buy your house as quickly as 3 days for a discounted price. He explained that they would usually look to pay around 70% of the value of the property if I were to go down this route.
Option 2: Have the property purchased by one of their “partners”. This takes longer, he said that 95% are completed within 6 – 8 weeks. These “partners” are pre-qualified cash or mortgage buyers which he assured are all pre-vetted and won’t “be stuck in chains or anything like that” and they are looking to buy property at a discount but not as much as them, the offer he quoted was around 85%.
The agent was certainly pushing me to go with option 2 rather than the “direct cash purchase” option. This is interesting given that they introduced themselves as the “market leaders” in the quick sale industry so you would think that would be the preferred option. It is also worth noting that the offer percentage is low at 70%, could this be to put you off going for this option?
There are companies who claim that they have investors waiting to buy your property and get you to sign a form of contract called an “option agreement” once this is signed they can try to sell your property how they wish, many just try to sell it on the open market. Any figure that they manage to achieve above what they have agreed with you is essentially their commission, which can potentially be tens of thousands of pounds.
The agent had already asked me some questions about the condition of the property and now he was taking a look in the area and talking to me about sold prices of nearby houses. He then went on to explain that they use a piece of software called hometrack which is used by mortgage lenders to value homes. He told me that hometrack had told him that properties in my area took on average 49 weeks to sell.
I looked at another source and the average sale time in the area was around 21 weeks.
He then went on to explain that if either of the offer figures were acceptable to me then they would book a “field agent” to come round and take a look at the property to check the condition, take photos and measurements, make my final offer and sign me up.
He then booked a follow up call so I could go away and think about it.
We Buy Any House Sales Process
The sales process is really a 3 step process;
Step 1: a call with a sales agent – this is the call described above. It consists of them asking you some questions about the property and circumstances, doing some proprietary research while you are on the phone and floating the offer numbers. It is also here that they introduce the “second” option of selling to one of their “vetted partners”.
Step 2: a follow up call – I imagine if you are really keen this step might get skipped altogether but I said I needed to think about it (which is always advisable before making any big decision). This second call is really only to see if you are interested in the offer and if you are, they will book in the “field agent”.
Step 3: Field agent visit – if you decide that you want to go with either of the options they then book an appointment with one of their “field agents” the way this visit was described was very much like if you were to have an estate agent come round and value your home for sale on the open market. The only difference here is that the agent will have a contract for you to sign at the end where you are agreeing to sell your house to them for a certain price.
We always advise caution when any house buying company asks you to sign any form of contract upfront. Always read every part of the contract carefully and don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a contract is a standard part of the process, the majority of reputable house buyers will not ask you to sign anything at this stage. Always seek legal advice if you are not sure about anything.
You can read our article about why it is not necessary to sign a contract with a home buying company here
We Buy Any House Valuation Process
The agent had already asked me some questions about the condition of the property and now he was taking a look in the area and talking to me about sold prices of nearby houses. He then went on to explain that they use a piece of software called hometrack which is used by mortgage lenders to value homes.
He then uses all of the information that he has collected to come up with a valuation of the property’s value. This is generally known as a desktop valuation.
If the offer is acceptable the next part of the valuation is to send a field agent to your house to carry out the final valuation. When they are in the house they can get a better understanding of the condition and could potentially spot any major defects that hadn’t been mentioned earlier (cracks, subsidence, japanese knotweed etc).
What Percentage Do We Buy Any House Offer
They offered me around 70% for my property.
This is certainly on the low side for a cash house buying company who would normally offer around 80% of the value of the property.
You can read our article on how much cash house buyers actually pay here.
We Buy Any House Communication
The two calls that I had with them were pleasant although I did ask some questions that the agent couldn’t provide sufficient (or any) answers to. I did not get bombarded with emails, in fact I asked for the offer to be sent via email for my consideration and they did not send it through in the first instance, when I raised it again in the second call they did email me the offer. They were unable to send me any of the paperwork before the ‘field visit’ which I feel could lead to a “pressure sell” situation during the visit. I would always want to read something and make a decision without someone standing there holding a pen waiting for me to sign a contract.