Video: Will The OFT Stop Quick Sale Companies? & How Do Quick House Sale Companies Value Your Property?
Jonathan Rolande answers the various questions asked by Zoopla users this week
Hello, my name is Jonathan Rolande and I’m here today again on behalf of House Buy Fast to answer some of your questions. I’ve got 3 here in front of me, which I’ll do my best to answer. So, here goes.
The first one, actually, it’s all anonymous today for some reason, but the first one is, how does the quick sale process work?
Well, it’s a very involved process. I really can’t explain all of it now, but I’ll do my best to give you a summary. Basically, we’ll take an inquiry from somebody who is looking to sell quite quickly. Perhaps, they got fed up waiting for estate agents to sell the property or they are in a hurry for some reason, job relocation or something along those lines.
If you are making clear that you are looking to move quite quickly, what we will do is that we call a desktop valuation. So, we will work out an approximate price and demand in your area for your property. We look at things like rental figures, comparable properties that are sold, even things down to how good the local schools are. Sometimes it can make a difference to price.
We’ll then let you have a sort of approximate figure. If that sounds like in the right sort of area for you, we’ll instruct 2 local estate agents to view your property and a qualified Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyor, otherwise known as RICS surveyor to come and have a look, and we will then pay a percentage of that value that we will agree with you in advance.
There are no fees to pay at any stage, and I would suggest that you never pay anyone, anything, actually. So, do check the terms and conditions before you sign anything.
Ideally, if you are using somebody else, you got a solicitor to cast an eye over anything that you have, we’ll pay your solicitor’s cost. There is a £500 cash back incentive as well once completion has taken place. That is to help with deposit on another property or moving expenses or a well earned holiday after the moving perhaps. And we will then take care of absolutely everything, working at time frame that suits you.
The quickest way we have done is 5 days from start to finish. That’s normally a bit quick for most people, but something perhaps around 2 or 3 weeks to completion from the beginning is quite normal if that suits you. Faster is better with us too. So, no problem.
The next question is, who values the property?
Well, as I have already said, we’ve got a team of valuers here. All of them are very experienced, very qualified, know exactly what to look for in a property.
So, it doesn’t matter that we are not local to the area. We got lots of clever tools here to help us to value for you. That’s just really an approximate figure. More for our own records, but also to give you an idea of roughly what we are able to pay. The real valuation comes when 2 estate agents who are local to your property know the area inside and out no doubt.
Also, local surveyor will visit as well.
Now, they are independent. You are welcome to see these reports if you like to and we’ll pay a percentage based on what they say. This is normally an average figure or 6 weeks sale figure so that we know that if worse comes to worse, we can squeeze the property quiet quickly after buying it from you. That’s how we value.
The last question today, which is a very current one has come in. This might not mean much to everybody because it has only just come to the news. Actually, over the course of today, but it’s going to be quite a big story in the world of property, I think.
Will the OFT stop the quick sale companies?
Now, the OFT is The Office of Fair Trading, and quite rightly they are looking at the quick sale market. Unfortunately, obviously like anything, not everybody is reputable and don’t follow along with basic rules and regulations that most people in the property business, surveyors, solicitors, estate agents all have to follow as a matter of legality, and also because they belong to associations. They have sort of minimum standards of work that they should do.
I should say that we are member of such an association. So, a quick plug for the company there.
I don’t think the OFT is going to stop the companies from trading. At the moment, they are conducting a survey of around 50 companies such as ours. We’ve been sent a questionnaire late last night.
They want to get a snapshot of what the business actually does, the market that we work in and how we work. They are also asking consumers who may have sold with companies, us for example or anyone else to contact them as well with, I suppose, all good or bad experiences.
From there, they will decide whether more regulations are needed or whether the industry needs to be closed down as a whole or can carry on exactly as it is.
I suspect, although the results won’t be up until July of this year, I suspect that probably regulations will be beefed up a little bit. There are plenty of regulations governing estate agents and so on and so forth as already said.
So, I think that probably just to include fast sale companies within a lot of estate agency law will probably be enough and hopefully that will stop some of the bad stories that you hear about people who have paid fees in advance and then not actually sold their property, or get caught on the last minute with the removal van on the drive with an unscrupulous buyer looking to re-negotiate the price really when they are up against difficult time.
So, there are certain things you need to watch out for. In the meantime, these regulations almost certainly won’t come in for some months if at all.
What I suggest is do your research if you are thinking of using a quick sale company, ensure that they are members of some regulatory organization. Also, find out who works there, do you like them when you seek to them on the phone, do they seem experienced, courteous, knowledgeable, and above all, and this is the most important thing, to seek the advice of a solicitor before you sign anything at all.
You shouldn’t really get committed to any form of contract until exchange of contracts on the property itself at a price that you are relatively happy with. If you stick to those rules even before the regulations come in, hopefully, you should be okay.
Thank you very much, and I look forward to speaking to you next week.