Can home buying platforms help you sell your house quicker?

There's a new kid on the block to help you sell your house quickly – as quickly as six days in some cases. Here's what it is and how it works

For sale sign outside a terraced town house
(Image credit: Getty)

If you're looking for the best way to sell your home quickly, you probably have a very good reason for the haste. Undoubtedly, many house sellers who are selling in order to move up the housing ladder are getting worried about not completing the sale in time to benefit from the stamp duty holiday on their new house purchase. 

With just about everything currently taking much longer than usual, from conveyancing to mortgages, if you have a specific completion date within the next six months as your goal, you need to act quickly. 

Traditionally, the best way to a quick house sale has been the auction. A house sale typically completes within 28 days of a home being sold at auction, and the buyer has to pay a 10-per-cent deposit as soon as they're announced as the winning bidder. In that sense, auctions can be a reliable way to sell your home quickly if you really need to move out soon.

This is not to say that auctions aren't without their potential risks. The first one is the house not selling at all – or selling well below the price the seller had hoped for if there's a very urgent need to move. The entry fee that the seller pays to enter the auction is non-refundable, and there are other fees to consider, including a 2.5-per-cent commission to the auctioneer. 

Auctions also aren't really suitable for people who are part of a housing chain and are waiting on their new home to become available. Once you've sold at auction, you have to move, which can be inconvenient if you don't have temporary accommodation sorted. 

Which is where home buying platforms come in. Basically, a home buying platform buys your home from you directly following a valuation. They typically don't charge fees, there are no contracts or tie-in, no listings, and no property viewings. Most homebuying platforms will also take care of all legal fees involved in your sale, making it far more cost-efficient than selling via auction or in the traditional market.

The best thing? The lightning speed with which you can sell your home via these platforms – typically within 30 days, but, if needed, many platforms can complete a house sale within one week. That doesn't mean that you have to move out within a week, though – it is possible to agree a moving out date of your choosing that suits you, which will be attractive to many people for whom the timeframes for when they want to sell and when they want/need to move out by don't match up.

There are a couple of caveats. While the best home buying platforms guarantee the agreed sale price with a deposit, some have been reported to try and lower the price last-minute. In all cases, home buying platforms buy at below market value, so expect to get 80-95 per cent of what you'd get if you were selling via the traditional estate agent route. This means the average UK home seller will achieve between £193,633 to £204,912 compared to the national average of £242,041. Only you can decide whether selling at a lower price is worth it to you. Founder & Managing Director of Yes Homebuyers, Matthew Cooper, commented:

'There’s no doubt that dark clouds are starting to form over the property market as an overwhelming level of activity is seeing sales drag on for months on end. We’re already starting to see indicators of a potential market decline with down valuations on the up, sales falling through and a huge backlog resulting in many left in market limbo.

'The good news for home sellers is that there are alternatives available for those that need to complete quickly. Property auctions can be a great method of selling for those with unique circumstances although, as with all auctions, they carry a greater risk where price is concerned. 

'Homebuying platforms offer far more certainty in this instance and can provide a tailored service to meet individual requirements. For those that need to move quick, utilising a homebuying platform can be a far better option than gambling at an auction or tackling the traditional market and the potential delays it can bring.'