Can You Do ‘Flip’ It After You’ve Just Bought?
The ink is barely dry on the completion forms. You have purchased a property and now you want or need to move on, move away or otherwise leave it behind. Perhaps you bought it as an investment opportunity, hoping to flip it and make a profit, only to realise it will not move on the market. Or perhaps you bought it intending to live there but life had other plans, in the form of a job change, a family situation or any number of other wrenches that can throw themselves in the works.
Regardless of the ‘why,’ the reality is that selling a house quickly is a main priority for you. Can you do it? Are there any laws or regulations barring the sale of a property you have only just purchased?
What the Law Says About Selling a House Quickly
This is an easy question to answer. The law in the UK says nothing about sales on properties in relation to the duration of ownership. For instance if you have just paid cash for a house on Tuesday, there is no legal reason why you cannot sell it on Wednesday – or even Tuesday evening, for that matter.
You will notice that was worded that somewhat carefully; the law says nothing about sales on property in regards to the duration of ownership – but your mortgage lender may have a different answer altogether.
If you look at your mortgage contract, there may be language that prevents you from selling a house quickly after purchase. Many have clauses that prohibit a sale for a period of at least six months. In other cases you may find that lenders will not approve applications for homes that have been sold very recently. In other words, even if your lender does not include provisions against selling your home quickly, prospective buyers may not be able to secure financing. This is a very important factor to consider as you make a decision.
If you have an interested cash buyer on the other hand, there are typically no regulations pertaining to a sale based on the length of ownership. You are generally free to do what you wish and what you can with the property at this point.
If the law and your mortgage lender see no issue, are there any other factors to think about? Yes. Oftentimes, estate agents will be wary about homes that are put back onto the market soon after purchase. In their mind it may be that you are having issues with the house, the neighbourhood, the location… and these issues will impact value and their fees. While perhaps unfair, they are in the business of making money!
Is There An Alternative to Selling Your House Quickly?
We mentioned situations in which lenders will not approve applications for those seeking to buy a house that was only just recently purchased or when estate agents do not look favourably upon your home when it comes to potential fees they can earn. If you find yourself in these shoes, so to speak, do you have any options?
The good news is that, yes, there is a way to sell your house on an accelerated timeline. If you have a mortgage and do not have provisions regarding the duration of ownership, then you can seek out a cash buyer. Perfect! But what if good cash offers are few and far between? What if you are leary of accepting one in case it falls through?
There are investment groups – you may have heard them referred to as ‘we buy any house’ companies – that specialise in fast sales. Typically the process involves filling out a simple form online and waiting for an offer in principle. If this is acceptable and you decide to proceed, the company will send valuation experts to the property and then extend a formal offer. If there are significant issues with the home, such as a faulty roof or extensive water damage for example, they may revise their initial offer.
Again, it is up to you. If you find the offer acceptable, you can move on without incurring the costs of an estate agent, solicitor, RICS surveying and on and on.
Selling a house quickly is possible. You just need to educate yourself about the options available, do your homework regarding your mortgage agreement and select the best fit for your needs and goals. A company that focuses on fast sales may be the best way to alleviate yourself from the burden of a home you no longer want so you can move forward with confidence – and cash.