A True Story About National Homebuyers UK. Beware, they are advertising on TV again!
When anyone is selling a house, a quick sale at the right price is something we all hope for, and this is the main reason that some of us decide to use the services of businesses like National Homebuyers. I am not in any way saying that all similar house buyers fall into the same unscrupulous category as National Homebuyers, I can only pass on my/our direct experience. We had been talking about a move to a smaller home for quite a while, the kids had fled leaving the wife and myself residing in an old, very large, three bedroomed Victorian terraced house, we needed something more suited.
After searching on the Internet, and several rides out over the weekends, we found a possible home which seemed perfect, a new build, slightly out of our current area but still within 15 miles from the rest of our family. We decided that we were having a plot, due to be ready 12 weeks from choosing (early March 2014), it may have been silly at that point but we put a full deposit down instantly and agreed on a cash purchase. We then needed to sell our current home, the big Victorian terraced house.
Opting for free valuations we invited one local Estate Agent and one National House Seller to give us estimates, and both came in at £90,000, which we were more than happy with but at that point we didn't follow any of them through. Having seen advertisements for National Homebuyers on the Internet, we decided to give them a go, to see what they would offer and to see how quickly they could complete the sale. They did initially request £300 for their valuation, my wife, who made the initial contact (I can't recall the person from National Homebuyers who took the call), promptly refused, though they soon changed their mind and did offer us a free valuation. An appointment was made and their valuer arrived, it was a local person (I think) who did exactly the same as our previous valuers but did not give us any figures nor even speak much, never-the-less, progress was made. A few days later, 18th December 2013, we received a letter offering us £56,000 and on top of this they would pay up to £1000 towards our legal costs. This didn't sound too appealing so I called them (Customer Care Representatives, Carol Bailey or Helen Arnold on 01444 257111) to voice our thought that their offer was too low, Helen was dealing with me, she put me on hold for a few minutes and came back with £57,000 as a final offer. After a little debating we decided to accept their offer, on the grounds that the house could be on sale for years if we sold it the normal way, during which period we would still be paying our for Council Tax and Insurance; we returned the relevant forms and accepted the offer of £57,000.
National Homebuyers recommended that we use a certain solicitors, which we did (I won't mention their name as they only acted as instructed, and did it efficiently), all regular questionnaires were sent to us, which we answered and returned along with the original deeds to the house that we were selling, and a £60 deposit.
Then, Carol Bailey contacted us stating that they needed to do an assessment on our house, an assessment which would help them decide what do do with the house once they owned it, they could sell it as is, they could do some renovation then sell or they could possibly rent it out, we had no objection to this and a date was set. So, not long to go now, everything progressing nicely; our new home was built, with work continuing on the interior etc, all legal paperwork ready for signing on the change over date; relating to old house, solicitors had contracts ready and purchase was expected to be made on the same date as new house is ready...
I bet many of you will have anticipated National Homebuyers next move?
Correct! We were contacted by Carol, who informed us that their offer was now reduced to just £46,000...
This is a common action by such unscrupulous buyers, they believe that at the final stage that you have no other option but to accept their pathetic offer... Words can't describe how we felt at that moment! What can we do? Shall we accept the £46,000 and put it down as a bad experience.
We we're heartbroken! Disgusted!
If you search the net you will discover several stories similar to ours, all I have wrote is actual fact, even to the names and telephone numbers... Fortunately, in our case, we had some shares that were maturing nicely, we had to cash them in to continue with our new purchase, Then, regarding our old house, we used the first local Estate Agents, they sold the house within 6 weeks for a price very close to their £90,000 valuation. We are now settled in our new home!
Carol and Helen rarely reply to my emails, maybe it's just the norm to them ripping hard working people off?
So beware of National Homebuyers....