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How to spot a “We buy houses cash” scam?

The last thing you need when your house is under threat from repossession is a ‘We Buy Houses cash’ scam merchant coming along. Because, at this point in your life, even getting through each day is stressful, never mind worrying about where you might be living next month and how you can pay the latest bill that has just arrived through the letterbox.

But, as life would have it, it’s when you aren’t thinking straight that these unscrupulous types come along. They prey on vulnerability, knowing that people in difficult financial situations will often make a quick decision without really looking into it too much. In fact, the temptation to instantly pay off debt can be enough to make scammers seem like angels from heaven. You think, ‘I can sell my house for cash’ then move on. Start afresh…

That’s a lovely scenario and certainly with ourselves here at Faster Property Solutions we can indeed help you start again debt-free.But we do that on your own terms. You don’t have to leave home if we can negotiate with your lender to let you stay. And we are very happy to do that. If you do want to sell, we could even help you add value to your propertyso that you’ll get a decent amount of money when you do finally move out. That way you can pay off debt and have a larger chunk of money left over to give you a decent start.

Why would we do that? Because we have seen too many homeowners suffer needlessly in the past, due to the fact that they didn’t manage to spot a ‘We buy houses cash’ spam. There are solutions to the ‘being in debt’ issue – and it’s not simply about taking the first cash offer that comes along.

Nor is it agreeing to a Sell and Rent Back scheme. Admittedly this can sound tempting – especially if you are being threatened by court action from your lenders. But this practice is now regulated as too many companies have – unfortunately – taken advantage of people’s desperate situations by promising long term rent back to then give them notice after the first 6 months. In short, stay away from the companies offering this!

Having said that, there are (very few) legitimate “Sell and Rent Back”  companies out there, but these are always FCA registered. If this is the route you want to go down, please always phone the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)yourself to double-check the company is a member of their scheme.

And on that note, how can you tell whether the individual you are talking to is not from a We Buy Houses Cash company, but a legitimate bonafide outfit? There are many individuals who will claim to be. Unfortunately, they are, in fact, just a middle man ready to pocket a sizeable percentage of the money you’ll get for selling your house. That’s money that you desperately need to clear debt or in order to pay a deposit on somewhere else to live, which is why you need to know how to spot a ‘We buy houses cash’ spam’.

Giveaways that you’re talking to a scammer:

Dodgy reviews

The company has plenty of testimonials on their website but when you ask to speak to someone they’ve dealt with to check if the testimonials are legitimate they keep changing the subject.

No industry back-up

You’ve called the Property Ombudsman (TPOS) but this property organisation has not heard of the company. This is despite the company using the logos on their website. What this means is that this company likely has no insurance so you’ll lose out Big Time if anything goes wrong with the sale of your property.

No physical office

These days people are suspicious if a company doesn’t have a website. Fair enough. But here at Faster Property Solutions, we are more concerned if there is no physical address where you can go and meet with them face-to-face if you prefer. After all, selling your house isn’t exactly a minor transaction like buying new curtains, etc.

No sale date

If they are humming and hawing over when you’ll get your money for the house sale then it’s because they can’t get hold of the lender. Either that or the lender has changed their mind and your scammer is looking around for a new financial partner. As to when you’ll get your money well, it’s not going to be any time soon…

They’re telling you you will get a cash offer at the market value

You probably expected to get less than the market value for your house. That’s especially the case because it needs quite a lot of work done to it – something you’ve not been able to pay for in recent years. Be particularly wary of this type of scam. The company will often come back and say your property has been down revalued at the eleventh hour for reasons out of their control and a lower price has been given. There may also be ‘admin fees’ to pay and will attest that they “definitely did mention them verbally – even if you can’t remember.”

What you can expect from a legitimate company

A company, like ourselves, which has our clients’ best interests at heart will sit down with you face-to-face if you prefer. We will then go through all the options open to you. This includes helping you add value to your home to maybe even sell at a later date. In the end you don’t have to decide to sell your house until you’re ready to do so. And even then, we can help you stay there without you having to sign up to some sort of Sell and Rent Back scheme.

You can get in touch for further information or advice. Simply call the Faster Property Solutions team on 0808 169 7403 or email enquiries@fasterpropertysolutions.co.uk.

We provide ongoing support too in the sense that once you have managed to clear your feet a bit and the panic is over, we can put you in touch with a financial life coach. They can help you with your current financial situation. The intention is to ensure you will never end up in such an incredibly stressful situation again.

Rest-assured too that we are happy to answer any questions regarding your situation and will keep you updated on what is happening every step of the way. Communication and transparency, we believe, are key to a smooth and easier transaction all round.