How do you sell a property quickly if you are in debt?

publication date: May 24, 2011
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

How do you Sell a Property Quickly if you are in Debt?

Sell a Home Fast!

Many people when faced with the repossession of their house or have so much debt the only option they have is to sell a home fast, will turn to a ‘quick sale property company'. Many of these companies though are the worst and last place to turn if you want to sell a property quickly and there are many more ways to do this more safely.

Selling to a fast sale property company means that you have to sell your property for a lot less than it is worth. Kate Faulkner, MD of independent property advice website Designs on Property says "Selling to quick sale property companies should be a last resort for anyone in debt". Kate continues "These companies buy your property for 20-40% below what it is really worth. They aren't regulated and many of them, to be honest, are out to make money from your debt problems".

Kate's advice if you are in debt and own a property is to first speak to one of the free national debt helplines, or visit your local citizens advice bureau. Firstly, you need to find out from an independent person who looks after your interest not their own, whether you need to sell your home or whether there is another way of keeping your property.

There are some very good schemes currently offered by the government to help keep you in your home which most mortgage lenders have signed up to, which might mean despite your debt problems, you can still keep your own roof over your head.

Once you have had your finance and debt looked at by an independent specialist, if you still need to sell your home, the last place to turn is a quick sale company!

Kate's advice if you need to sell your home very quickly is to:-

  1. Find a local RICS estate agent which has a qualified surveyor that can visit
  2. Ask them to come around and value your home
  3. Advise them you need to secure a sale within a specific number of weeks (such as two to four weeks)
  4. Ask if they have any cash buyers that might be able to purchase the property in this time
  5. See if there is anything you can do to the property to help sell it that won't cost too much money

Another person to talk to is an estate agent who carries out auctions. They will be able to value your home and you can put the property into auction, either taking a chance to sell it at whatever price is offered on the day, or you can put a "reserve price" on it, eg don't sell the property for less than £125,000.

It is likely that you'll need to sell the property for a bit of a discount versus its market value. Kate says that you shouldn't need to sell a property for less than 15% discount to a buyer and ideally for around 10%. That means if your property is worth £150,000, then selling it for £127,500 to £135,000. Kate also suggests that you try and get a deal with the agent to sell the property, "If they normally charge 2% commission, as you are offering to sell the property very quickly, see if they would accept 1% instead". Kate points out that agents normally wait three to six months to get paid, so it's worth seeing if they could reduce their fee bearing in mind that they will get paid a lot quicker than normal.

Kate says "If you really want to sell your property quickly, you can. You just need to offer a buyer who has the cash a bit of a bargain that they wouldn't normal have access to. The quick cash sale companies will want to make tens of thousands of pounds from your property sale, whereas an ordinary buyer will just want to save some money as they will stay there for longer, so they are likely to pay a fairer price."

If you need to sell your property quickly, visit how to find the best estate agent and our property quick sale section.


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