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Ever Seen the Ads Promising to Buy Your Property Regardless of Price, Area or Condition? Caution Advised!

by Ridley&Hall in Adam Fletcher, Alison Mason, James Clarkson, Liz Wallis, Residential property posted March 12, 2015.

A property owner needing to sell property fast may ‘take a punt’ of achieving an early sale in the traditional way before resorting to the perceived ‘fast’ methods of sale. This can include a sale at auction but have you ever had a leaflet put through your door from a company promising to buy any property with a guaranteed timescale to completion, irrespective of property condition and type or seen such an advert in local press? Such advertisements can also readily be found by an internet search.

Whilst it would be wrong to tar all such buyers with the same brush, these companies are generally about turning a quick profit and some can resort to some questionable, albeit legal, tactics in achieving that.

RH property copySellers wanting and desperately needing to achieve a quick sale may be sorely tempted by these advertisements but often such buyers will pay a percentage of the market price, for example, 20% less than the property’s value at that point in time. Whilst they do take the risk of acquiring a property, sometimes with a programme of works required to modernise the property before any re-sale or renting options can be explored and if re-sale is their intention the property could remain on the market for some months before a successful sale is achieved, a seller should still proceed with caution.

The fact that you have approached a buyer advertising in this way already tells the buyer that you are a seller desperate to achieve a sale at speed and the unscrupulous buyer can translate this to mean the seller can be exploited.

It is also worth bearing in mind that whatever is agreed at the outset a legal binding contract does not exist until contracts are exchanged. We have had first hand experience of a seller who, already having accepted an offer on property significantly lower then market value and in preparation for exchange of contracts and completion having arranged removals and onward accommodation, suddenly receiving a revised and further reduced offer of purchase immediately before contracts were exchanged. The seller having already expended money in plans to vacate the property and organising the onward accommodation felt trapped into accepting the offer.

The terms a buyer can offer in such cases may meet the requirements of a seller who simply wishes to offload a property by the quickest method that can be achieved. However, the moral of the story is, if you are tempted by such an arrangement, you should enter into it with your eyes wide open.

For legal advice on selling your property, please call us on 01484 538421 and ask to speak to a member of the Residential Property team.

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