From picking a restaurant for your anniversary to selecting your latest gadget, we all use reviews to make day-to-day decisions. But what about when it comes to something as important as selling your house fast…
Can you really trust house-buying company reviews?
Unfortunately, you cannot trust online reviews for house-buying companies. Online review-tampering is rife, meaning many of the worst companies appear to have great feedback. In reality, many of the companies post fake reviews, campaign for bad reviews to be removed or even pay customers themselves to take them down.
In this article we will take a look at the different ways house-buying companies manipulate their online reviews, with real examples. We’ll also explain how they can get away with using these unethical tactics.
Finally, we reveal the best way to find a trustworthy, reliable cash house-buying company with genuine reviews, and how to avoid the sharks.
If you want to cut right to the chase and see whether a house-buying company is right for you, AND get a recommendation for a scam-free house-buying company I know and trust, start with the quiz below:
1. What are house-buying companies and who uses them?
House-buying companies buy homes directly from sellers. They can be a fantastic option if you prioritise a fast, certain sale over getting the best price for your property. However, it can be difficult to find a genuine company that delivers on their promises as the industry is unregulated.
People often choose to sell their house quickly when time is more important to them than getting the best price.
If you pick the right company, selling to a cash house buyer will be the quickest, easiest, and most certain house sale you’ll ever have.
However, there are downsides which mean this selling method is not for everyone.
1.1 Pros and Cons of house-buying companies
Selling your home directly to a reputable, well-funded cash house-buying company is the fastest way to sell your house.
Let’s take a brief look at the main pros and cons of selling your property to a house-buying company:
If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of selling to a house-buying company, you can read my article: “Cash House Buyers: The 11 Pros & Cons (My Honest Advice Before You Sell)”.
There are no regulations creating a barrier to entry in this industry, so there are hundreds of these companies operating.
So, it’s understandable that a lot of people would turn to online reviews to try and create a shortlist of the best companies to contact.
BUT…can you really rely on online reviews to help you decide which house-buying company to trust your property sale with?
2. How do cash house-buying companies manipulate their online reviews?
If you think you can find a genuine cash house-buying company using online reviews, think again. Online review tampering is rife in this industry. So, many of the worst companies appear to have fantastic feedback when this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Cash house buyers manipulate their online reviews in four main ways:
- Companies post fake positive reviews for themselves to drown out the bad ones and bring up their average rating.
- Shockingly, there is evidence that some will pay disgruntled customers to remove negative reviews.
- When the customer doesn’t accept payment, many contact the review websites and campaign for the bad feedback to be removed.
- Many companies also seem to farm for reviews early in the process (before they drop the price, or communication disappears, and delays set in).
Let’s take a look at a few examples of reviews I’ve found online exposing the different tactics…
Posting fake reviews and removing bad ones
Paying customers to remove negative reviews
Requesting reviews early in the process
3. How can house buying companies get away with manipulating their online reviews?
House-buying companies are able to get away with manipulating their online reviews because the industry is unregulated. Organisations such as the Property Ombudsman or National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) have no regulatory powers. So, there are no consequences or penalties for unethical practices.
Many companies will display the Property Ombudsman and NAPB badges on their websites to give the illusion of safety when they actually have no regulatory powers over the house-buying industry!
If they can get away with these dodgy tactics, do all house-buying companies manipulate their online reviews…?
4. Do all house-buying companies manipulate their online reviews?
Gov.uk recently investigated the prevalence of online fake reviews and found that 11%-15% of all reviews on e-commerce platforms for 3 common product categories are likely fake.
Whilst it is impossible to know exactly how many "buy my house" companies manipulate their online reviews, in my experience, it is a lot more common in the fast house sale industry.
I’ve been in and around the house-buying industry for over a decade now. I know of countless companies who manipulate online reviews to maintain a positive online presence, including many of the biggest players.
It can be a vicious cycle, as other players might then feel like they have to manipulate reviews to keep up with the biggest, most unethical players. This makes it hard to differentiate between dishonest, unestablished companies and reputable companies with genuine customer feedback.
Thankfully there are a handful of companies who provide a level of service that generate genuine, positive reviews from their customers.
I can connect you with my #1 trusted house-buying company, so you can have complete peace-of-mind knowing you’re dealing with a genuine, reliable company.
All you need to do is click here to take a 2-minute quiz to find out if a house-buying company is right for you.
If it’s the right fit, I will introduce you to the most reputable house-buying company in the industry, and you can have a genuine cash offer within 24-48 hours.
5. Are property buying companies legitimate?
Unfortunately, there are hundreds of house-buying companies out there and only a handful of them are legitimate. Many of the biggest house-buying companies are also the most unethical. This makes spotting the dodgy companies really hard because they seem genuine at first glance.
However, I don’t want to scare you off using this service as it can be a fantastic option for some people. The main thing is finding a company you can trust to deliver the service they promise.
If this article has made you nervous but you want to sell to a cash house buyer, don’t worry. I can recommend safe-to-use house buying companies who are genuine, and don’t employ any of these tactics.
Read on to find out how to get a free, no-obligation cash offer from the most reputable house-buying company in the country…
6. Who is the best cash house-buying company?
There are over 200 cash house-buyers operating in the UK. The sheer volume is overwhelming and because the industry is so poorly regulated, it can be difficult to find a genuine, trustworthy company.
I’ve worked in and around the “we buy any house” industry for nearly 10 years, and I know nearly all the major players.
Based on my experience, there’s one company head and shoulders above the rest who I trust and have worked with for over 8 years. They deliver on their promises and provide an excellent level of service.
If you're thinking about a fast sale, the first thing you need to do is find out whether this is really the right option for you...
I designed a short quiz to help you do just that.
If a house-buying company is the right option, I'll introduce you to the company I know and trust on your quiz results page. They can give you a free, no-obligation cash offer within 24-48 hours.
Hit the button below to get started.
By Matthew Cooper, Co-Founder of Home Selling Expert