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Agents handling private treaty sales accused of being behind the times

A quick buy firm which typically purchases homes from sellers at below market levels has accused estate agents and the private treaty sales process of being “light years” behind.

Yes Homebuyers says it takes an average of nine weeks between the point of listing your home for sale and accepting an offer. It then takes 11 weeks for a sale to complete, during which time a problem such as a mortgage offer being withdrawn or a problem appearing in a survey could lead to a fall-through. 

It claims that by this time a typical vendor will have already incurred £2,700 in costs which will then be lost if the sale collapses.


“While we can arguably boast one of the most attractive property markets in the world, the lack of certainty that plagues the actual process of transacting is unacceptable, to say the least” suggests Matthew Cooper, founder of Yes Homebuyer.

”Mortgage issues, chains collapsing, gazumping, survey problems and conveyancing delays are all rife in the home selling process. Not only do fall throughs cost home sellers a considerable amount of money, but they also waste a huge amount of time each and every year. Not to mention the additional stress they bring to a process that is already extremely stressful, to begin with” he adds.

He claims that many of the sellers who use his service do so following a fall through. 

”Home buying platforms are light years ahead in this respect, and although we purchase for a marginally lower price than you might achieve going down the traditional route, the speed and certainty we provide is far more appealing to many when selling their home” he continues. 

“It’s quite remarkable that we are yet to address the failings of the current property selling process given our obsession with buying and selling homes and until changes are made, transactions will continue to fall through at the expense of the nation’s home sellers.” 

Earlier this year the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agent Team told a BBC investigation that some quick buy companies were “on their radar” following reports of cases where some vendors lost tens of thousands of pounds off the market value of their properties.

However, the NTSELAT spokeswoman also told the BBC that some owners were willing to accept a lower offer price to secure a speedy sale, and that many quick buy firms provided a good service.

  • Richard Copus

    If you're in a hurry, not worried about money, or desperate, then losing thousands of pounds for a quick sale (which you could arguably do at auction and getter a better price), then using an agent that "typically purchases homes from sellers at below market values" is worth a thought. But for the majority to whom money is important, putting up with the hassle to achieve full value is worth it. And we are talking tens of thousands of pounds less here, not just a "marginal" few bob.

    The best and easiest way to solve the problem with private treaty sales is to amend the law, as have many other English Law practising countries such as Australia & New Zealand. It's not rocket science and doesn't need starting again from scratch as moving to the Scottish system, for example would require.


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