It may feel like a win-win situation when you receive an offer for your property from a cash buyer but is a flush purchaser with no need for a mortgage the best option? Open Online examines whether cash buyers are always all they’re cracked up to be.
When using a High Street estate agent, it is imperative that you trust the staff to make the necessary qualification and finance checks required when a cash buyer walks in. This is especially important as those buying mortgage-free will not necessarily undergo the financial health checks and stress tests run by a lender or an independent advisor.
You need to be confident in the agent’s guarantee that the potential buyer really does have the funds available to buy your property outright with cash. If there’s any shortfall, your sale could still be dependent on a mortgage, loan or bridging finance.
Even if a cash buyer can substantiate their funds on paper, there is always the possibility, although slim, that you are unwittingly getting involved in money laundering. Despite a good estate agent having strict anti-money laundering protocols in place, fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated and the fake documents they can produce – including bank statements, references and ID documents – do catch out even the most diligent of agents.
One of the crucial advantages of a cash buyer is usually speed. The buyer won’t have to go through the laborious mortgage application and approval process, which can shave weeks off the conveyancing stage. Cash buyers also frequently present themselves as chain free – another aspect that can add speed to your sale.
It is, however, a case of ‘seller beware’. A High Street agent will need to be scrupulous in checking whether the cash offer is actually reliant on the sale of another property the potential buyer owns – a common ruse. This is when the sale can get murky and the seller finds themselves in a chain, with no real time advantage. At Open Online, we sell property fast and pledge to find you a buyer within 28 days of listing with us – it’s a timeframe guarantee you won’t find on the High Street.
A cash buyer will often levy their power by asking for the seller to withdraw the property from the market immediately after their offer is accepted. Agree to this request with caution, as the transaction may fall through and you’ll have no one else lined up to take their place. As online estate agents, Open Online market properties for sale on the leading portals and on our own website until exchange takes place – even when they’re marked as SSTC (sold subject to contracts). This ensures we’re always taking enquiries and building a list of ‘hot leads’ until the legal milestones have passed.
It’s worth knowing that a cash transaction can move at the same speed as one where a home loan is being used. As long as a purchaser has a mortgage agreement in principle and a conveyancing solicitor is lined up, any sale can progress quickly – especially if you’re selling to a first-timer buyer or a purchaser with no chain behind them. Open Online’s experienced express sale agency team ensure we only process offers from the most reliable purchasers. We’re not blinded by a cash offer, preferring instead to weigh up all-round proceed-ability, which includes financial, property and personal circumstances, for the best outcomes.
There is nothing stopping anyone walking into a High Street agency and posing as a cash buyer, and there lies the problem. If you love the simplicity of a cash buyer but want to avoid any rogues, you can sell to our sister company Open Property Group. It is a leading, guaranteed professional property cash buyer who, as a company and not an individual, has immediate, legitimate funds to buy flats and houses.
If you are selling via a High Street estate agent and would like advice about a potential cash buyer on the scene, or would like to switch to our express property sales service, contact Open Online today. We’ll help put your mind at ease or provide you with a selling alternative.