This week we were approached by a “sell your house quick” type web site because they wanted us to pay for a guest blog on our site as an advertising medium. We have only hosted one other guest blog on behalf of a quick house sale type client. Initially, I was concerned because many sell your house fast types treat their clients rather poorly, and, in the main, the vendor is often ripped off at a time when they are desperate to sell due to impending repossession or other distress.
Normally we would steer clear of any such site because we feel that the practices used are often unethical. In the “no money down‘ era hundreds of such sites sprang up because they all knew that they could negotiate a massive discount and remortgage quickly to remove all the cash they may have put in for deposits or refurbs. Nowadays they are more likely to use a lease option, several joint venture partners, a cash buyer they have connections with, or sale and rent back to buy the home direct. (Remember the Office of Fair Trading and the Financial Services Authority now regulates sale and rent back.)
On this one occasion we did allow it, but only after extensive research into the company. The company we hosted a blog for have been in business over 20 years and there was not a single negative comment online that I could find. ( If I do begin to see any appear, we will approach the client and possibly take the blog down.)
First Check- The Quick Sale Web Site
Anyhow, I checked out the web site of this new potential client as a first step. The web site was littered with mistakes and was written from a purely search engine optimisation standpoint. So much so, that large portions made little sense when read by normal humans. This was a warning flag to me. If they can’t be bothered to even be professional on their web site it makes me wonder how they might treat their clients.
In the end I declined their blog via a polite email, I would rather not promote a company that cares so little about their client facing web image, because we had covered the subject of their suggested blog about valuations extensively already, and, that we did not want to promote quick sale web sites on a wider scale on our site.
The next day when checking my emails I find the same company has been on our blog and posted no less than three spam comments overnight which were there only to add a link to their site. This behavior just proved to me what their web site had hinted at. If they don’t get what they want, they choose an underhand method to get it instead.Would you want this company to buy your home? [The comments were deleted and reported as spam, by the way ]
Use Caution When Looking At Quick Ways To Sell Your Home
The moral of this tale? Be very careful if you are considering using a ‘fast house sale’ company, and remember that when they offer to cover all the expenses this usually means the expenses are hidden inside the deal, not that you won’t pay them. From an investors point of view, having a quick sale web site is a good way to get off market leads, but it shouldn’t be at the detriment of the seller. Not all sellers can be helped.
**UPDATE APRIL 2013** It has been announced that the Office Of Fair Trading are looking into quick house sale firms. The OFT has asked over 50 quick house sale firms to provide information on how their businesses work, and for past sellers to tell them of their experiences. Regulation in sight? Lets hope so.
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