The impact of Covid-19 has seen many industries, such as hospitality and leisure, face extremely tough times. With guidance to stay at home and businesses to close, many parts of the economy have shrunk. However, during this period, the property market has been booming, helped in part by the announcement of a stamp duty holiday. We look at why this tax break was introduced, how it can benefit home buyers, and why getting a secure buyer is vital ahead of the holiday beginning to end after June 30th 2021.

Lost your buyer, what you can do

What is the stamp duty holiday?

On the 8th of June 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that until the end of March 2021, there would be a freeze on paying stamp duty on property purchases under £500,000. In the budget of March 2021, after much speculation, this policy was then extended until the end of June 2021, tapering until October 2021. For people looking to buy a house, this ‘holiday’ made it easier and more appealing as they would be able to save money on this common cost in the buying process.

Why was the stamp duty holiday created?

The government’s aim is to incentivise people to buy houses to stimulate the property market and in turn, boost the economy during the greatest financial challenge since World War Two.

As a nation of proud homeowners (especially compared to countries like France or Germany), the property market is an important contributor to the economy, and its impact is far wider than just the house buying transaction. There is a butterfly effect when lots of people buy homes, as they will continue to spend money which helps to stimulate economic growth to businesses associated with property. This can range from the hiring of removal firms to help with the moving day to furnishing and decorating their new home (interior design businesses).

If you’re new to property buying, we’ll now look at what this tax is and what purpose it serves.

What is the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)?

In England and Northern Ireland (the legislation is different in Scotland and Wales), if you buy property or land over a certain price, you must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax, commonly abbreviated to SDLT. It’s applicable whether the property is freehold or leasehold, you’re buying through a shared ownership scheme or Help to Buy, or as an investment (such as a buy-to-let). However, you do not pay stamp duty on inherited properties as you pay inheritance tax instead.

The amount of tax you pay is not fixed, but is instead a percentage of the property’s purchase amount over a set threshold. The larger the purchase, the more tax you’re likely to pay.

You must fill out and send an SDLT return form to HMRC and pay this tax within 14 days of completion. This is something normally done by a solicitor or conveyancer on your behalf. Although nowadays this is mainly done online, the term ‘stamp duty’ refers to the physical stamp that would be placed on the property deeds by the government to approve the purchase.

For this article, we will only focus on stamp duty paid on residential house purchases.

What are the stamp duty bands?

Before the holiday began, the 0% stamp duty threshold (meaning you’d pay nothing) was:

  • £125,000 for residential transactions or
  • £300,000 for first-time buyers that were buying a property up to £500,000

The threshold for paying 0% stamp duty on residential properties changed to £500,000 in June 2020 and will remain until the end of June 2021. The 0% threshold then begins to return to pre-Covid levels from July 2021 onwards:

  • July 2021 – September 2021: £250,000
  • October 2021: £125,000 – back to pre-Covid levels

You only pay tax on the purchase amount over the 0% threshold amount, rather than the transaction amount in full. For example, if you buy a property for £600,000 when the threshold is £500,000, your stamp duty tax would be on the £100,000 over the limit. If you bought the property before the holiday, when the 0% threshold was £125,000, the taxable amount would be £475,000 – a big difference!

However, while the benefits of buying during this temporary freeze are useful, it does put pressure on buyers to ensure the transaction is completed in time.

For example, if you purchased a house for £475,000 in February 2021, you wouldn’t pay any stamp duty. However, say you lost your buyer and your sale got delayed until August 2021, you’d need to pay SDLT as the property was purchased over £250,000 . Using the official Stamp Duty Land Tax Calculator, you would have to pay an estimated £8,750 – a significant amount.

It’s never been more important to have a buyer you trust and can rely on, as missing the deadlines will result in added costs into the thousands of pounds.

What stamp duty does a first-time buyer pay?

For first time buyers (or if you’re buying with someone who is a first-time buyer), the tax rate is slightly different. You only incur this cost if your purchase price is £500,000 or more. This means while other buyers will have to pay stamp duty on purchases over £250,000 from July 2021 onwards, the threshold for first-time buyers will remain in its current place, £500,000, for the foreseeable future.

To benefit from this, you can claim relief which exempts you from this tax and you are also eligible for the discount if you bought your first home before the 8th of July 2020.


How much is stamp duty tax?

Stamp duty is a progressive tax rather than a fixed one. This means that there isn’t a flat fee for all transactions. The more expensive the purchase, the more you’ll pay. As well as the purchase amount, other factors include:

  • If you’re a first-time buyer
  • If the property is freehold or leasehold
  • If you’re a non-UK-resident
  • If you have additional residential properties
  • If the property is residential or non-residential

The amount that you go over the threshold impacts how much tax you pay. It is separated into different bands, so the taxable amount increases are you go through the tiers. So, for a £650,000 property, you would pay 5% of the £150,000 post threshold amount = £7,500

In the initial stamp duty holiday, the bands were like this:

Lease premium
<£500,000 0%
Between £500,000 - £925,000 (£425k after) 5%
Between £925,000 - £1,500,000 (£575k after) 10%
Remaining amount (over £1,500,000) 12%

If you bought a property for £1,000,000, you would pay different tax amounts for different parts of the threshold:

Taxable Amount

% Rate

SDLT amount
£500,000 N/A 0% £0
£500,000 - £925,000 £425,000 5% £21,250
£925,000 - £1,000,000 £75,000 10% £7,500
Total £28,750

I want to sell in time, what can I do?

The impact of this policy is that it has created a host of keen buyers. The difficulty here is that these restrictions will gradually tighten and from October 2021, go back to pre-pandemic levels, so it does feel a bit of a race to exchange.

This makes it tricky if you’ve found a house you want to purchase and now want to sell your house fast, but have to rely and wait on people buying your property in order to secure the funds move forwards.

Especially if you’re not a first time buyer, you’ll likely need to sell your home in order to buy your next one. However, now there is a fixed date for stamp duty returning to normal levels, relying on the open market can be a huge risk, especially if your buyer pulls out.

If you want to sell your house fast and take advantage of the stamp duty savings, get in touch with Vivo. Not only can we buy within 7-14 working days, but we also provide a secure, stress-free solution. As we buy with our own money and not part of any property chain, we are immediately proceedable and can buy right away. There are no last-minute surprises either. Accept our formal offer and your sale is guaranteed, with no last-minute surprises.

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What is a secure house sale?

In a traditional house sale with an estate agent, the sale of a property becomes legally binding, or ‘secure’, when contracts are exchanged. At this point, both parties are bound contractually to complete the sale on the agreed completion date. However, anything before this point, there are no guarantees for your sale, which may easily break down. It can also take a long time to reach a point when it is ‘secure’, and when you factor in the costs involved, a sale that falls through can be both emotionally and financially draining.

On the other hand, when proceeding with a fast house buying company like Vivo, once you accept a formal offer from us, your sale is secure and guaranteed. We’ll provide you with how much you’ll receive and when to expect cash in the bank. We’re committed to keeping our customers informed throughout the whole process, enabling you to stay in control of your property sale.

Why is it difficult to get a secure sale on the open market?

In the years since the financial crash of 2008, selling your home the ‘traditional way’ has proved increasingly difficult. Buyers are finding it harder to secure a mortgage as lending criteria has become stricter. A buyer may be interested in buying your home, but if they’re unable to secure the required funds for a mortgage, they won’t be able to complete the sale. If they’re part of a property chain, events elsewhere may mean they lose their buyer, delaying their ability to buy your property.

Therefore, selling to a property buying company is a far more secure option when compared to the open market.

With house sales falling through more than ever, it’s vital to have a buyer that you can trust. One that has good communication skills and can adapt to the changing needs you have as a seller. And, ultimately, someone that can reliably proceed with the purchase of your property with minimal disruption.

This is something quite hard to find on the open market compared to a fast property buyer like Vivo.

How can Vivo provide a secure house sale?


We use our own cash

At Vivo, we use our own, readily available funds to purchase properties, with no involvement from investors or banks. This makes the process faster and simpler as there are no long waiting periods for people to make a decision. The cash is ready and waiting to buy your house!


Proceedable buyers mean no surprises

A proceedable buyer is someone that fits the criteria to proceed with a property purchase. This could be having a mortgage in place and not planning on selling their own property, or a cash buyer that isn’t reliant upon obtaining funds from a sale to purchase a property. Selling to a proceedable buyer means more security and no delays. Plus we’re chain-free, so we can just focus on your sale.


Covid-19 secure practices

We’re still able to follow our usual property buying process, while complying with the social distancing guidelines. By not having to host viewings, we can make our service safe for everyone, with minimal fuss or disruption.

Vivo is faster and more secure than the open market

Open Market
✓ Sale within your desired timescales (as fast as 1-3 weeks) ✘ Average sale - 3-6 months
✓ No viewings ✘ Average of 10 viewings
✓ Vivo covers all legal fees with no commissions ✘ Estate agent fees, solicitor fees, cosmetic repairs
✓ No-obligation offer in 24 hours ✘ Average of 2 months to accept an offer
✓ Private and discrete sale ✘ No privacy or discretion, FOR SALE board, block viewings
✓ Accept our formal offer and your sale is secure ✘ One in four house sales in the UK fall through

You are 5 steps away from selling your house securely and quickly

You can trust Vivo to buy your home

If this is your first experience with a fast property buyer like us, we're part of the following organisations to help you feel at ease:

The National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB)

The National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) are a group of professionals committed to providing the highest possible standards in the property buying sector.


The Property Ombudsman (TPO)

As members of TPO, we proudly follow The Property Ombudsman Code of Practice, which ensures that we give our customers a fair and transparent service. Through abiding by the TPO’s Codes of Practice, we hold ourselves to higher professional standards than are currently required within the industry, setting your mind at ease.

TPO carry out regular audits of members to establish compliance with the Codes of Practice and also resolve any disputes that may arise while selling your home.


The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

ICO are the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, which means that all your information is private and confidential and will never be passed on to a third party.


The Federation of Small Businesses

As a family business, we are registered with the FSB to help support our small company and check that all our legal, financial and safety regulations are scrupulously met to offer the best service to our clients.

new house front after relocation

Relocating in uncertain times

Recent global events can give feelings of anxiety and stress, especially when you are looking to relocate; a time in your life for big changes. With the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit taking place, there’s been big impacts in the stock, property and job markets. It’s especially uncomfortable when you have dreams of career progression and change. You might even be looking to move soon, in just a few months.

You could be moving due to a new job opportunity, or sticking with your current company and occupation, but you require a change of environment due to other reasons, such as the seeking of personal growth, re-energising your life or to be closer to loved ones.

Rest assured, Vivo Property Buyers can help you. We’ll inform you of the factors to be aware of when it comes to relocating, and the best way for you to sell your home to make this a smooth and efficient process.

The 4 key factors in a relocation house sale

There’s a lot to keep track of when you’re looking to move home. For example, if you’re thinking about relocating abroad, the website provides information regarding new Brexit rules (concerning European business and travel), and lists of actions for you and your family if applicable.

However, when it comes to selling your house for relocation, there are four key factors that you need to keep in mind:

1. Tight schedules – Relocating involves a lot of deadlines and good time management. So make sure to factor in new job start dates/visas/travel rules to understand how much time you have to sell your house.

2. Flexibility – Unfortunately, selling a house isn’t always a straightforward process, which means you may need to rely on a buyer or third parties to complete your sale. Staying flexible and being open to alternative options can be key to having an efficient house sale.

3. Wasted spend – Coordinating house moves is always complicated and nobody wants to pay a mortgage for a house they are not living in. Waiting for the ‘highest bidder’ for your home may not save you money in the long-run if it takes several months to attract interest.

4. Uncertainty – After hours of planning, the last thing you need is for your house sale to fall through! Think about the people you are relying on and remove all doubt when so much could be on the line financially. Keep on reading to see how Vivo can help you with each one of these factors whether you’re looking to move within the UK or abroad.

new living room after relocation

Your relocation options

Now that we've covered items to consider concerning selling a house due to relocation, let's look at the next steps:

Option 1: Selling your house on the open market

Homeowners seeking relocation typically favour selling their homes outright rather than renting out their property. The traditional path of selling on the open market via an estate agent may be preferred, however, if you’re seeking a fast turnaround, this method can be slow and drawn-out.

It may be worth looking at other options if speed is important for you. For example, are selling your house for job relocation and therefore have a set date which you need to move by? The time-consuming nature of the open market route can also end up being costly as you await potential buyers to express interest whilst continuing to fork out on bills and expenses for both your new home and your old home that you no longer reside in.

Factoring in the potential need to travel to and from your old home to negotiate deals and house viewings, the open market path can end up taking a toll in terms of personal and financial stress. It should also be noted that the open market is notoriously unreliable as offers often fall through and break down at many stages in the property chain. This situation can end up being incredibly taxing especially when trying to move forward in your life.


Option 2: Choosing to rent out your property

When time is not on your side, another option is to rent out your house temporarily. In recent years there have been a growing number of accidental landlords taking this approach due to the slow-moving nature of the UK’s housing market.

Our advice to you here at Vivo, if this is your preferred option, would be to make certain that you comprehensively meet the legal prerequisites for your mortgage and insurance. Once this is taken care of, there are many property apps available which will assist you in quickly finding tenants, however the supervision of the property and tenant concerns can prove to be stressful when you are relocating.

If you’d rather not find the tenants and manage the renting of your property in this way your other option is to use a property management company to oversee the daily operations, although this can be expensive and can eat into profits.


Option 3: Vivo can buy your home

We’ve discussed the options available to you including some of their perks, but also their drawbacks. However the final option we suggest would be to use a fast property buyer like Vivo. Offering a fast and secure option, it can allow you to easily and efficiently release funds that will allow you to move on, literally and figuratively.

Vivo can buy your house in as little as 7 days and remove the uncertainty and unpredictability of an open-market house sale. With less time spent selling, it allows for a smoother relocation. This faster approach could also mean you won’t miss out on your ideal new home due to external circumstances.

If you’re in the middle of relocation and want a fast, secure sale, contact us now and get a free, no-obligation offer within 24 hours.

How the Vivo process works

Why you can trust Vivo

It’s important to note that we are a member of the National Association of Property Buyers, to provide you with extra assurance. We encourage you also to do your own valuation (three different estate agents is generally recommended) so that you can decide on if the difference in asking prices for your property is worth it to you for the expedited purchase of your home.

Also feel free to shop around and see what other quick house sale companies will offer you for your property, don’t commit too early in your process until you have all the information you need at hand to make a confident decision. Your property is what you’ve worked hard all your life for, we understand this at Vivo and don’t take this for granted. We want you to feel safe and comfortable in whatever it is you choose to do with your property as it relates to your relocation.

Ask us anything!

What is a probate house sale?

When someone dies without a will, the sale of their property can then be sold in probate. Probate is a legal process where the court gives someone the legal right to manage the estate of the deceased.

An empty family lounge - Bereavement house sale

When is probate required?

Probate is usually required before a house can be sold if the deceased was the sole owner of the property. A sale cannot be completed without a Grant of Probate being issued by the Probate Registry and being provided to a solicitor. However, you are still able to put the property on the market and accept offers before probate is granted.

Depending on how complicated the estate is, this can impact the time frame of which you should expect to receive a grant of probate, which can be anything between 3-6 months. It’s vital to begin the process of obtaining probate in the early stages of planning to sell the property to minimise the overall timescale.

How long does it take to sell a house through probate?

Once the seller has received their Grant of Probate, the process of selling a house through probate can takes months, or even years for complex probate house sales if you’re selling on the open market. However, by instructing a trusted fast property buying company such as Vivo, we could buy your home in as little as 7 days.

As we use our own funds, we are readily available to buy properties much faster than if you were to sell on the open market, allowing you and your family to focus on grieving while we deal with the sales process, as well as support with covering all legal fees. Selling a house is stressful enough, so adding the death of a loved one makes it an even more difficult process. We are committed to adapting to your situation and can be flexible with timeframes. All our sales are secure and private so you can rest assured knowing that you are in control of your sale.

An empty family lounge - Bereavement house sale

Selling a house while in probate

Losing a loved one is hard, whether it’s a partner, friend or relative – and that’s before the complex bureaucratic and financial issues. Following a bereavement and amidst organising a funeral and sorting the will, a quick bereavement house sale might make this difficult time more bearable.

Selling a house after the death of a parent, or inheriting a property from a loved one requires an experienced and professional team who understand the sensitivities of the probate sale process.

Tips for dealing with a loved one’s possessions following bereavement


The pain of loss can be immense, that, combined with having to also sell the home you grew up in can lead to a feeling of overwhelmingness. The thought of having to go through your loved ones belongings can be enough to not want to deal with it at all. However, there are some ways you can make the process a little faster and easier to deal with:

1. Break down sorting through possessions into rooms and sessions, and set yourself milestones. Putting in place a schedule can help keep things moving along when you feel overwhelmed.

2. Speak to your friends and family to help you decide what you want to do with your loved one’s possessions, there are some amazingly creative options that can provide you with a priceless connection for a lifetime. For example, your grandad’s favourite shirt can be transformed into a cushion, helping you to keep their memory alive.

3. Decluttering a relative’s house can involve learning to deal with your own grieving process. By taking photos of the home before you begin de-cluttering, you can more easily distinguish between items that hold memories that you’d like to keep and items that have little to no value if you were to sell it but find hard letting go of.

General tips for dealing with bereavement and selling a house

Here at Vivo we understand that selling a house after the death of a parent or loved one is tough and we would like to share a few tips that will help ease the process for you…

Secure the property

If the house is now unoccupied it is important that you secure the property accordingly to protect any of the previous owner’s possessions. It may be worth popping in every now and again just to check that all is intact. And, for an extra sense of security, you could set a timer on the lights to give the house a lived-in look to passers-by.


Care for the pets

Pets are often left to others in a will, however, they’ll still need looking after during the time in-between. Ensure that they are fed and seen to appropriately or if you’re unable to take them into your own home, ask another relative or temporarily place them in care.


Cancel subscriptions

In times of grief, sometimes the smallest of things such as recurring orders and subscriptions are overlooked. Make sure you cancel orders and services such as gardeners, cleaners and the milk to avoid any unexpected charges.


Sell the house quickly

The property market is continually changing so it can be near impossible to know how quickly your house will sell. Furthermore, the longer the sales process is drawn out, the longer it’ll take to begin fully moving on with your life. We understand that a bereavement house sale is a tough and emotional process, that’s why we offer private house sales that are quick and flexible. After the sale is completed and the funds are received, we’re happy to let you stay in your property for a couple of weeks rent-free until you’ve found your feet. There is no rush once the exchanged has happened which may be useful in your situation.

Probate house sale process

We recognise that while grieving, the last thing you want to deal with is selling a property. Selling a house in probate can be long and complicated process that can also feel emotionally straining, stressful and time consuming.

At Vivo, we make selling your sold as seen private house sale fast and simple, so simple in fact you can do it in just a few steps.


Our stress-free and fast process to selling your house in probate

1. Apply for a Grant of Probate
Fill in the form to apply for a Grant of Probate and pay an application fee.

2. Pay Inheritance Tax
Before probate can be granted, the inheritance tax due on the late person’s estate must be paid.

3. Get in touch with Vivo to request a valuation
You will receive a full Offer Package within 24 hours. This includes prices, a timeline which suits you, and all that is included in our quick sale service.

4. Survey Time
We will then arrange for an independent RICS Surveyor to carry out a free valuation at your property complying social distancing measures

5. Get your formal offer
Once you have accepted the Formal Offer, the sale, the agreed price and timescales are locked in and secured and the appointed solicitors get to work.

6. Sale is now secured
You will now receive the full funds within the agreed timescales

Vivo is a fast option for probate house sales

We appreciate that the impact of losing a loved one may have changed the way you feel about selling your home. It’s not just about a quick sale, you need a buyer you can trust, who will listen to your circumstances, and can buy your right away with minimal disruption. Below, we’ve highlighted the differences of selling your home to Vivo versus the open market.

Open Market
✓ Sale within your desired timescales (as fast as 1-3 weeks) ✘ Average sale - 3-6 months
✓ No viewings ✘ Average of 10 viewings
✓ Vivo covers all legal fees with no commissions ✘ Estate agent fees, solicitor fees, cosmetic repairs
✓ No-obligation offer in 24 hours ✘ Average of 2 months to accept an offer
✓ Private and discrete sale ✘ No privacy or discretion, FOR SALE board, block viewings.
✓ Accept our formal offer and your sale is secure ✘ One in four house sales in the UK fall through

Why choose Vivo?

Vivo can help

At Vivo, we understand that you might still be coping with bereavement and truly hope that the above advice answers some doubts you may have around what to do next with the house. We appreciate the complexities that come with selling a house in probate and that it is an emotionally straining and stressful time. With this in mind, you should opt for a company who buys houses outright and fast – eliminating the stress of waiting for the house to sell or the sale to go through.

We’re here to offer an alternative to an open market sale by offering a fast and guaranteed cash sold as seen private sale, while avoiding estate agents’ commissions and solicitors legal fees. By buying your property quickly and securely, we can help you move on to the next chapter of your life.

If you’re still unsure and have further questions on how our service works, check out our FAQs page where we answer many of our most frequently asked questions.

If you would like to know more, please call us on 0800 773 4922 or fill in our quick contact form.

Our customers come first

A very efficient property sale despite legal complexities arising out of probate. All achieved within the desired 4 week timescale enabling me to relocate on time. I would recommend Vivo to anyone that requires a quick transaction.

Andrew Russel September 2020

Happy Vivo customer

Ask us anything!

There is nothing more frustrating than a house sale falling through at the last minute, especially if an unexpected issue arises in your property chain that causes it to break and collapse. With one out of five house sales failing due to property chain problems, it’s an issue many people face. You may be new to a property chain or stuck in a sluggish one, but as specialist fast house buyers, Vivo has helped many people sell their house quickly in this situation. Here, we explain property chain terminology and share how we offer a chain free house sale alternative to help you if you’re involved in a broken property chain.

What is a property chain?

The term ‘property chain’ is used to describe the link between a series of property buyers and sellers, all of which are connected by one another’s property.

The chain starts with someone who is only buying (for example a first-time buyer) and ends with someone who is only selling (and not looking to buy). When selling your home, the preferred scenario is to be in a chain-free property sale, meaning:

  • A house is being sold by an owner who is not needing to buy a new property to move into – often referred to as a no onward chain
  • A buyer who is not needing to sell in order to buy the house – this means the property chain has a defined endpoint

A chain free property sale carries a lot less risk or uncertainty and has a much higher chance of going ahead within a reasonable timescale. Unfortunately, only 10% of all property transactions in the UK are chain free, so selling on the open market can often be a frustrating experience.

Why may a property chain break?

When buying a house in a chain, as all transactions are linked together, everything needs to go smoothly for the property chain not to break. One of the reasons that selling a house is one of the most stressful life events is that issues in the notably volatile chain often slows things down or causes a house sale to fall through. It can be as simple as a party having a change of heart about their purchase or sale, or other factors such as family issues, illness, or redundancy. Other reasons that may cause the property chain to break are:

  •  A survey unveils issues with the property such as structural problems or asbestos leading to the buyer or lender not wanting to proceed
  • A party failing to obtain a mortgage
  • A down-valuation by a lender resulting in a buyer not being able to be lent the full amount needed
  • A house seller is unable to find a property to buy and is therefore unable to continue the sale of their current house
  • Someone within the chain may simply not want to move
  • State of the marketing i.e Covid-19 may cause people to back out due to uncertainty
  • Legal paperwork has taken too long to be filled out by a legal firm and buyer loses interest
  • Change in personal circumstances i.e redundancy, illness, or divorce
  • A party being Gazumped: meaning a seller accepting a higher offer from a new buyer. In the UK, it is only after you have exchanged that an offer is legally binding, not at the negotiation stage. This detail makes Gazumping a regular occurrence
  • A party being Gazundered: meaning a buyer reduces their offer at the last minute, which may result in the seller being unable to accept and the chain breaking

What problems do broken property chains cause?

On average, it takes 3 to 4 months from a seller finding a buyer for their property to exchanging and finally completing the sale. Often a property chain breaks halfway down the line or very close to the planned exchange date. Consequently, the property must now be put back on the market, a new buyer needs to be found and the legal process needs to start from scratch with the hope that this time around all will proceed smoothly. As you can imagine, it can easily take a year or more to sell a property. However, for people either relocating for work, wanting to move to be within a catchment area of a school, or for a couple moving in together or divorcing, they need a greater degree of certainty and a clearer idea of when their sale will go through so they can plan their next move.

A break in the property chain can be costly

Furthermore, selling and buying a house can be costly over time. There are agent fees, solicitors’ costs and survey fees involved, together with the usual monthly running cost of the property (council tax, utility bills). Thus, a broken-down chain can, unfortunately, be pretty expensive and the longer your property is on the market the more it can harm your chances of finding a suitable buyer. This is because online property portals such as Rightmove share a ‘property’s history’ with their users. As a result, a property which has been advertised online for a lengthy period of time tends to be less desirable to buyers as they take the assumption that something must be wrong with the property.

Naturally a good amount of property sales, even with chains involved, do reach the finish successfully. But for those where issue arise, it can be a very stressful time.

Tips on avoiding a property chain collapse

  • If possible, try to avoid getting in a property chain in the first place, if you are a seller, consider a chain free property e.g. first time buyer or use a house buying company, this could be the fastest way to sell your home and provides a guaranteed sale once an offer is accepted.
  • Consider buying a new build. There is no upward chain with this type of property as the house is available to be bought or sold right away. You won’t need to rely on a homeowner buying a new house before closing the deal.
  • Be sure to employ experienced estate agents and conveyancing solicitors rather than using cheaper alternatives. It’s the job or the professionals to keep the chain moving, by using a well established company they will be familiar with the process and should be able to mitigate any issues that arise much quicker. Use online reviews platforms like Trustpilot to check out their digital reputation.
  • Stay on top of your finances ensuring everything is in place on your end, for example making sure your cash deposit is ready for when the time comes to exchange to assist in the process running smoothly.


People moving out of their house

How to fix property chain problems


Constant Communication 

By staying in regular contact with other people in the chain, you can manage these relationships effectively with progress checks on a regular basis and increase the chances of maintaining the property chain.


Rented Accommodation

If your seller has pulled out, consider moving into short-term rented accommodation so you can still sell your house while renting until you find another property to buy.


Bridging Loans 

Bridging loans allow you to borrow money against your current property through short-term, high-interest loans and help to bridge the gap between the sale date and completion date in a chain.


Sell your home to a Fast House Buying Company 

If your buyer has pulled out, you have the option to sell to a fast house buying company at a discounted price, within a short time frame.

How can selling to Vivo help you?

If your sale has fallen through due to a broken property chain, or your sale is not showing any signs of progress due to other parties within the chain, get in touch with Vivo for a friendly chat and see if selling to chain free house buyers could work for you.

Selling to Vivo means you are selling chain-free. We break the chain by buying your property unconditionally with our own cash. Once you accept our offer, no third party such as lenders or investors can stand in the way of the transaction going through!

Here are other benefits of selling your property to Vivo:

  • Accept our offer and your sale is guaranteed
  • We’re flexible: you choose the timescales by which you wish to receive your money and move. It’s in your hands, you’re welcome to stay in your property rent-free for a few weeks after receiving the funds to help you find your feet
  • We’re fast: we can buy your home in as little as 5 days
  • We buy with our own cash: this means there are no delays due to lenders or investors being involved.
  • We’re available 24/7, and as we’re a small company you will always be able to speak to the same person, directly.
  • We pay all fees connected to the sale, such as legal fees and surveys
  • The price we offer is the full amount you will receive, no nasty, last-minute surprises
  • We offer 85% of the estimated current market value of the property in return for a very quick, easy and guaranteed sale.

We may be the right buyer for you but if we are not, we would tell you and advise you on your next steps and we are more than happy to give you impartial advice on your situation. By buying your property, we can help you move on to the next chapter of your life. We’re here to offer an alternative to an open market sale by offering a quick and guaranteed cash sale.

Feel free to fill in the short form below to receive a no-obligation offer within a day. Or contact us toll-free on 0800 773 4922 for a chat.


Ask us anything!

houses on a street from a house sale that fell through

How many house sales fall through?

Moving house is stressful enough, even without a last-minute setback. So, when your house sale falls through unexpectedly or the property chain breaks, this can leave you unsure of your rights or what your next steps are. There can be many reasons for a breakdown in the property chain, from mortgage problems to conveyancing delays, so, why do house sales fall through so frequently and what options do you have if you find yourself in this situation? Read our guide to help you make an informed decision.

One in four house sales fell through in 2019, leaving thousands of potential sellers frustrated and unsure how to proceed. This situation can be an unpleasant experience too, you may have finally found your dream house to buy or maybe you need to relocate for a new job, so a sale slipping through your grasp can be particularly stressful. After such a setback it can be difficult to find the motivation to get back in the buying and selling process, which is unsurprising considering that selling a property is one of life’s most stressful experiences.

What are my legal rights if my house sale has fallen through?

Unlike in other countries, offers are not legally binding in the UK. A sale is only guaranteed once you have exchanged contracts, which generally tends to be 3 months after you have accepted the offer. A lot can happen during this time for a sale to fall through.

To begin, it’s important to understand that house sales on the open market are often part of a property chain. When an individual is looking to buy a property it’s likely that they’re selling their current home at the same time too. More often than not, the buyer’s ability to purchase your house will depend on whether they can find a buyer for their own house, and this pattern can repeat itself along an extensive property chain.

There are exceptions to the chain, such as first-time buyers (who do not need to sell a property first) or sellers that are not looking to buy again (no-onward chain) but unfortunately, there’s still a lot that can go wrong.

Why do house sales fall through?

One of the biggest reasons for a house sale falling through is issues with properties within your chain, for example, someone no longer wanting or being able to carry out a purchase, which then causes knock-on effects that can directly damage the progress of your sale. This is frustrating as situations out of your control can impact your sale and can leave you feeling helpless. Other common situations that can result in a collapse of a house sale include:

  • Property survey issues: An issue raised in the property survey has resulted in the buyer of one of the properties in the chain to retract their offer
  • Mortgage: Your buyer may not be able to meet the lending criteria for a mortgage in order to purchase your house
  • Change in circumstance: A buyer pulling out of house sale, due to personal reasons such as illness, loss of job or a divorce
  • Gazundering: There’s also the danger of gazundering (a buyer offering less money for your property than previously expected at the last minute)
  • Conveyancing delays: Buyers may become frustrated with delays with documents or slow responses from conveyancers.
  • Change of mind: A buyer may simply decide to change their mind for any reason
  • Market conditions: National issues such as Covid-19 can cause the housing market to slow down and some buyers may consider postponing until the market picks up again.

Coronavirus is expected to halt more than half a million house sales in the UK in 2020, due to the temporary freeze on the housing market back in March and the ripple effect across the property industry. Since lockdown restrictions began to ease, the number of houses back on the market started to pick up again. Also, thanks to a change in the United Kingdom’s Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rules, the last 8 weeks has seen positive growth for the UK Housing Market with house prices as well as buyer enquiries increasing.

However, with the ‘6 people rule’ being introduced and the threat of a second wave at the forefront of people’s minds, this could mean a halt to in-person house viewings and the return of video house viewings. There is also debate about whether the housing market will be able to continue to positively bounce back once the government’s COVID-19 support schemes are slowed down and the stamp duty cut finishes.

Do solicitors charge if a house sale falls through?

Some solicitors work on a no sale no fee basis and do not charge a fee for when a house sale falls through, however they may still charge for disbursements (costs made to third parties) for example search fees, identity checks and hours logged.

This all depends on the terms agreed by yourself and your conveyancer. Informing yourself on how these costs work will help you to understand what is fair and what to expect when being charged fees by your solicitor.

What can you do if your house sale falls through?

Option 1

Use an estate agent

The traditional method

The traditional way of selling a property involves using an estate agent to market your property, they can handle the process and save you a lot of trouble, as well as time.

However, using their services comes with its associated costs and fees, with an average fee being 1.3% of the selling price.

Think to yourself; does paying for this service suit your needs, or does this process need to be quick due to the plans you’ve set in motion? If you have time to spare and don’t mind paying for an estate agent’s services, maybe this option is for you.


Option 2

Selling your home privately

Take matters into your control

This method can seem daunting at first but this route is becoming more popular with homeowners over time. But where do you start?

Those keen on selling their house privately should be motivated and ready to take responsibility for numerous processes, essentially becoming their very own estate agent. To begin, the property will need to be valued, advertised and prepared for viewings. Once these steps have been taken and you have found a buyer for your property you should instruct your solicitor to handle the legal side of things, after which an offer can be accepted.

Sounds like a lot? This option does require considerable attention, however, if you have the time and motivation, selling your house privately can save you thousands in fees.

Option 3

Using a fast property buying company

Sell to proceedable buyers

A fast property buying company can be useful in a variety of situations, from inheriting a property to relocation for example, but they’re particularly handy when a house sale falls through. Finding a new buyer on the open market can be time consuming and comes with many insecurities resulting in potentially losing out on the opportunity to buy your new dream house.

This is where a fast property buying company can offer an alternative approach. Using this option it’s possible to sell your home within 7 days, without the hassle of dealing with estate agents or solicitors.

For more information regarding selling your property or Vivo’s services please see our How it works pages or check out our blog.

Vivo can help

Receiving the unfortunate news that your house sale has fallen through can be a stressful and financially straining time, especially if the situation is completely out of your hands. At Vivo, we understand how difficult these situations can be. Vivo was designed with the vendor in mind to offer an alternative to open market sales so you can enjoy a secure, fast and stress-free sale. Once our formal offer has been accepted, your sale is final with no last-minute surprises.

Vivo are experienced fast property buyers that know how time consuming the open market can be. It’s possible for us to buy your home in just 7 days all while avoiding estate agents’ commissions and solicitors legal fees. Let Vivo take the pressure off selling your home.

If you would like to know more, please call us on 0800 773 4922 or fill in our quick contact form.

What are the benefits of using a house buying company?

Ask us anything!

What is a house buying company?

With the rapid expansion of the internet and online technology, the way we learn, communicate and shop has been revolutionised. This paradigm shift has allowed companies to adopt new, dynamic business models that allow them to function purely online, without the need for a physical location. This change has had a major effect on the property industry, where we can now search for potential homes via a website or property app, all from the comfort of our own living room. As well as giving homeowners more choice and freedom in terms of choosing their next move, it also means that house sales no longer have to start at an estate agents’ office!

This has led to a new way of selling your house fast, via a house buying company. They are able to purchase your property directly without the need for you to use an estate agent to find you a buyer on the open market. One benefit to this is that it saves you time, and you don’t get caught up into a complex property chain that slows down your sale.

How do house buying companies work?

Firstly, it is advancements in technology that has supported the rise in companies that can buy your house. They are able to exist purely online and using a combination of historical and recent property data, they can efficiently and effectively provide a seller with a quick offer for their home, normally within 24 hours and can even complete a purchase within 7 days. This has resulted in a more streamlined house selling process and for many, a less stressful experience.

This new method of selling is possible because most house buying companies are proceedable buyers, meaning they are not stuck in a property chain and as independent organisations, they already have the necessary funds in place for an immediate sale. As professional property buyers, companies like Vivo do not need to sell to buy (to raise funds), so there is never an onward chain.

Therefore, this addition to the property-selling market gives homeowners more choice in how they can go about selling their home. As well as going down the traditional route (which still may be the best option for them) and wait for a buyer, they can also go out and seek their own buyer by contacting a house buying company online. This is particularly useful for those in urgent need of a quick house sale. Whether they’re under the threat of repossession, their property chain is broken or their house sale has fallen through, companies like Vivo can help. There is no perfect, one-size fits all way to sell your home, but the increase in options is definitely a good thing




How much do house buying companies pay?

You may be faced with different ways to sell your home, all of which have their benefits and potential drawbacks. Our table below highlights several key differences between traditional estate agents, their online counterparts and house buying companies like Vivo Property Buyers:

Traditional Estate Agents

Online Estate Agents

House Buyers
Fees Estate agents charge around a 2% commission fee (+VAT) and you will need to pay for legal fees too. Fees are fixed and you usually pay upfront, ranging from £500 to £1,000 Homeowners don’t have to pay any fees, which are handled by the property buying company.
Viewings They will arrange and conduct several house viewings, showing prospective house buyers around your home. Most viewings are conducted by the homeowner (you). Some online agents offer this service for an additional fee. Most will buy your house sold-as-seen, streamlining the house viewing process.
Contact Estate agents from both sides will handle correspondence, and it is unlikely you’ll communicate directly with your buyer. Owners will have direct communication with buyers (especially with viewings) while agents deal the negotiation stage. As they are buying your house, you can have direct dialogue with your buyer!
Timelines There is no set timeframe, it depends on location, competition and buyers in your chain, but an estimate is between 5-6 months (including legal matters). Your home may gain more visibility by being online, but the timelines are similar to the traditional method. House buying companies tend to provide an offer in 24 hours and can complete the sale in 7 days.
Guarantee House sales can fall through at any moment on the open market. Issues with the property chain can mean that buyers are no longer able to buy – there really are no guarantees. Using an online estate agent, the risks associated with traditional estate agents still apply. Using an online estate agent, the risks associated with traditional estate agents still apply.

What are the benefits of using a house buying company?

What should I do next?

Before deciding to go via the house buying company route, we recommend that you do some homework on who you plan to sell to. Not every company is the same, so it's beneficial to consider these things to ensure you're dealing with a reputable company and be confident you're in safe hands.

Check their accreditation

One of the most disappointing and frustrating aspects of the rise of house buying companies was the malpractice of some firms at the start of this new industry who were not truthful and transparent about their services.

As a result, organisations such as The Property Ombudsman (TPO) were established, setting up rules and regulations for property buying companies to ensure fair practice and quality service is provided. Also, companies such as the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) were established to ensure you’re in safe hands with your house sale by using their members. Always review the companies you plan to contact first. See if they’re part of the NAPB or TPO and browse online reviews of the company for previous customers’ experience. We always recommend trusting third party review platforms like Trustpilot as they are more likely to be authentic.

When we founded Vivo, we wanted to create a company that is helpful, honest and transparent with its customers, a company that we’d want to work with ourselves. It’s important that we’re fair to our customers and that we’re trustworthy (just check out our Trustpilot score) and our ethics are something that we hold dear. As well as being part of the aforementioned NAPB and TPO, we’re also members of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and as a family-run business, we’re registered with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).


Are they buying your house or helping to sell it?

House buying companies that are worth their salt, buy your house outright. However, some companies claim to be able to buy your home but it’s not as straight forward as that. There are three ways they can be involved:

  • Genuine house buying companies – these will personally buy your home, using funds they already have available. This is the option we most recommend.
  • Act as a house selling broker – they will help find you a buyer for your home, rather than purchase the house themselves. They then earn a commission from the deal.
  • Lead generation firm – they will pass on details to other property buyers rather than buy outright.

As you can see not all property buying companies are the same. There are those such as Vivo who are pure house buyers, using our cash while some may advertise as cash buyers but once a price is agreed they then allocate the property to one of their investors to complete the purchase – this may slow down the process if you require an urgent quick sale. Overall, understanding their intentions will help you make the best decision for yourself. Additionally, some house buying companies don’t visit the properties they buy, rather they just send round an external surveyor and a local agent to inspect the property. With all of our clients, Vivo visits the property once so we can meet the owner and ensure the vendor knows who they are dealing with.


Is your house sale secure?

In the UK an offer being accepted is not legally binding. Your sale isn’t guaranteed until you’ve exchanged (or if the buyer fails to complete, then you get to keep the 10% deposit paid upon exchange). House sales can fall through at any moment during the sale process on the open market. Once a buyer has been found, the legal work takes around 3 months and only then, the exchange takes place.

While sales via a house buying company can be quicker, you should make sure you’re dealing with one you trust. A tactic used by unregulated companies is to offer up to 100% market value to entice you to choose their services. However, this is an empty phrase and rarely will you receive that figure. Typically the industry buys at 80-85% market value in exchange for a quick sale. Therefore, be wary of initial offers that appear ‘too good to be true’. Sometimes an organisation can lock you in with an initial offer, then gradually reduce the price as things ‘pop up’ in the survey, or wait until moving day where they reduce it even more and prey on your desire to move.

Additionally, if you are asked to pay anything upfront or to sign in a ‘lock-in’ contract where you can only sell to that company, politely decline and avoid them. Always make sure you get your formal offer in writing and don’t feel pressured to accept. The great initial offer is very enticing but the final offer is the most important one.

In terms of fees, as part of the services companies like Vivo pay all the fees associated to the sale. Therefore, ensure before you start the process that this is the case and there are no hidden fees related to the survey or even a ‘cancellation fee’ if you change your mind. As part of our ethics, once you have accepted our formal offer, your house sale and price is secure with no final changes.

Knowing these key details can help you make the right decision for you.

Is selling your house online the future?

We certainly believe so; as well as house buying companies that are purely digital, estate agents are increasingly moving their operations online as homeowners are changing their search habits. Maybe looking through the window of an estate agents’ office will be an alien concept to our children’s generation!

If you’re looking for your own house buying company, why not get in touch with Vivo to see if we can help you in your situation, or check out our latest reviews!

What to do if you can’t sell your house: causes and solutions

As our UK-wide survey revealed, selling your house is one of life’s most stressful events and was ranked even higher than having a baby or getting married! Often, you feel emotionally connected to your home and if you’re not finding offers flooding in for it, it can be easy to take it quite personally. If you feel that you just can’t sell your house, take heart as you’re not alone. It’s a common occurrence and happens for a multitude of reasons. You may want to sell your house quickly due to relocation or perhaps you’re struggling to sell an inherited property, finding yourself stuck on the open market. In some cases, people become accidental landlords – renting out their property as they’ve been unable to sell. Here we look at the most common reasons why you can’t sell your home, from not appealing to your target buyers to issues with the open market itself, and what you can do to make the exchange day a reality!

1. Seasonality is important

The time of year that you put your house on the market can have a big impact on whether you’re able to sell it quickly. To give yourself the best chance of a swift turnaround, it’s important that you put your house up for sale at a time where there are lots of people looking to buy. School summer holidays are a difficult time to sell as buyers are unable to commit to the process due to family and holiday arrangements.

What to do if you can’t sell your house due to seasonality

The obvious answer is to wait till the appropriate season arrives. Springtime is considered to be the best time to sell a house fast as it is normally linked to an increase in demand. However, if waiting is not an option, think of the things you love about your house in each season and make sure this is reflected in online property portals and during house views. For more information on the best time of year to sell, read our guide here.

2. Is your asking price putting people off?

Another key reason why you may not have sold your house yet is due to your asking price. While everyone wants to secure the best price possible for their property, your price may be dissuading buyers from furthering their interest in your home.

What to do if your asking price is stopping you from selling

First of all, make sure that your asking price is reasonable. We recommend that you look at data for similar houses sold in your area to price your house fairly and correctly. Ultimately a true judge for how much your house is worth lies in what a buyer is willing to pay for it.
With the correct asking price, your negotiating approach could be sabotaging a successful house sale. Don’t abruptly reject offers for your home that are below your desired price. Often buyers may start low, but ensure you politely decline the offer and make a counteroffer. Consider the buyers’ position and then decide what your minimum price is. For a cash buyer, for example, you may be happy to accept a slightly lower price as it should be a speedier sale. Your counter offer should be slightly higher than what you are willing to accept. If the buyers have a serious interest in your property they may come back with an offer close to or the same as your counteroffer. However, holding out for the highest price can often cost you money in the long term with council tax and utility bills.


3. I can’t sell my house (online)

With the rise of selling online, people will often first see your home on a property website or app. There are benefits to this approach, for example, the breadth of properties that are available to view can really help yours stand out from the crowd if marketed well. However, this could also work against you as users can see the length of time a property has been listed, which may have a damaging effect if it’s longer than average. In addition, a primary issue that stops awareness of your listing turning into interest is the photos of your property. Ensure that they are professionally taken (not blurry) and the rooms are well presented – no clutter or outdated Christmas decorations. Poor photography can often terminate a house sale before it has even begun.
Unattractive pink bathroom puts buyers off buying your home

How to have a house-selling online profile

The key to having a profile in a property portal that sells is to always keep the buyer in mind. From the text to the images, you should consider what you are communicating to the potential buyer. Profiles that look clean and provide all the relevant and useful information in a concise way will be easily digested by the readers, and if they are paired with professional and attractive pictures you’ll have a winning combination. There are plenty of tips on the internet and specialised photographers that can help you make your profile standout. Even if you are not the person in charge of your profile, you can always look up your property on the internet and give your agent some feedback!

4. Providing a poor staging experience

Do you get house views that don’t result in any further interest? A poor viewing experience (from the buyer’s perspective) can ruin chances of selling your home. Factors such as over-excitable pets, messy children’s bedrooms and cluttered gardens can instantly turn off a viewer, so make sure your house is presented for the person buying.

How to improve your staging experience

Try to help people imagine themselves living there and emphasise the potential of the property. Remember, prospective buyers aren’t judges of how you’ve made this house a ‘home’, they want to see what they could do with the space! Over personalisation of the property is a big turn off – prior to reaching the viewing stage look to decorate your room in a neutral way. Quirky chairs may not be for everyone:

Deck chairs in living room not appealing to homebuyers

5. Is your property out of fashion?

Outdated decor means you can't sell your house

Another potential reason that your property may not be receiving offers is that it is simply out of fashion. Property trends fluctuate and features that were once popular when your house was built or refurbished may be now undesirable. Some of the most common outdated features are wood panelling (very 80s), dark, brooding kitchens (light and airy kitchens are currently on-trend), pebble dash exterior walls or adjoining bedrooms for families. In addition, situational aspects such as the location’s attractiveness change with times. The increase in technology now plays a part in your house’s ‘worth’ – consider whether your area has poor 4G coverage, or ability to receive high-speed internet. Perhaps the Ofsted rating of your nearby school has fallen foul and is no longer an attractive place for those relocating to raise a family. Remember people are looking for the ideal ‘whole package’.  With this in mind, you will need to consider the above when setting an asking price for the property as it will have­ an impact of its value.

What to do if you have can’t sell an old fashioned house

Depending on the extent to which the unfashionable elements are embedded into the house, refurbishing could help you to not only make your property more attractive but also raise its value. But it’s not always necessary to go to that extreme, old-fashioned properties can be turned around into quirky or houses full of charm with some minor changes. You can get some inspiration from design magazines and give your house a new feel.

Old fashioned living room not appealing to modern house buyers

6. The property chain is against you

Turning the focus away from just your house, the open market is a common reason why you can’t sell your home – and often it has nothing to do with you! As we have discussed before, having a broken property chain can stall the progress of your sale. A potential house purchase on the chain may have hit a snag or completely fallen through, which can delay or totally derail your sale. Perhaps your buyer’s buyer pulled out due to a structural issue raised in the survey or an agreed sale down the line was gazumped (a seller accepting a higher offer elsewhere). Situational instances such as divorce or illness can impact everyone involved in the property chain, so there really are no guarantees until you’ve exchanged.

What to do if your house falls through

If you are tired of having your house fall through and you want to sell your house fast, you can try a fast property buyer. Vivo buy houses in 14 days but, more importantly, once you accept our formal offer, the house sale is secure. This means that you can feel safe that you have finally sold your house and there will be no more surprises. Learn more about what to do if your house falls through here 

7. Buyers are unable to secure the necessary finances

Your buyer’s ability to secure the necessary finance to purchase a property is another reason why you may be struggling to sell your home. Depending on your property type and situation, you may be selling to a first-time buyer and with the downturn in the economy, securing a mortgage is more challenging than 10-15 years ago.

The easiest way to ensure this doesn’t happen

To avoid the pain of a house sale falling through, accepting offers from ‘pre-approved’ buyers is the best chance to see a successful sale.

8. People change their minds – frequently!

One of the biggest (final) hurdles is the concept of buyer’s remorse which is said to affect over 50% of all house sales! Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases in a person’s life and often homeowners will get cold feet which can result in them withdrawing from the sale. Maybe they feel that they need a bigger house or are unsure about the area they’re moving to. Sometimes this hesitancy leads to gazundering and they offer a lower amount than previously agreed.

Be firm to stop this from happening

Make sure your buyer is aware that you are not open for a price reduction and that if they are unable to proceed at the agreed price, the property will go back on the open market.

I still can’t sell my house – what are my options?

Option 1

Sell to fast property buyers

Fast property buyers offer a price below the market in return of a speedy house sale. This option is particularly attractive because most of the reasons why you aren’t being able to sell your house will not affect fast property buyers. See how Vivo can help you sell your house in 14 days securely.

Option 2

Consider putting your house for rent

The market doesn’t seem to want you to sell your house, maybe you should rethink your strategy and find tenants that will provide you a reliable source of income. Although you’ll need to rearrange some plans, this option could stop your house from being a financial burden and you will always have the chance of putting it for sale in a better moment. Take a look at our guide on becoming an accidental landlord

Option 3

Lease your property

Consider it a soft house sale. Some buyers have problems making up their minds and this can be a way of getting their foot on your door! Generally, it will also mean the tenants will pay a higher than average rent to have the option of buying the house at the end.

Vivo can help

Struggling to sell your house can be a particularly unpleasant experience, especially if your plans are on hold until you have sold. At Vivo, we understand what a difficult situation this can be. Vivo was established to offer an alternative to an open market sale; a guaranteed fast sale, removing any insecurities which go hand in hand with an open market sale.

As specialist fast property buyers, many of the aforementioned circumstances do not apply and we’d be happy to see if we can help you in your situation. Firstly, Vivo Property Buyers buy property in any condition and because we’re chain-free, this means that we’re proceedable! Once you have accepted our final offer, your house sale is guaranteed with no last-minute changes. Our flexible approach to home buying means that you can stay in your property for an agreed time after the sale so that you can organise your next move in your own time, stress-free.

If you’d like to find out more about our service, please call us on our free-phone number or fill out our quick form below.

Ask us anything!

London houses with sunset skyline

Why sell your London house to Vivo Property Buyers?

Selling your home in London can be a daunting and challenging prospect. The process is lengthy and complicated, with a variety of associated fees and an everpresent risk of having your house sale fall through due to endless property chains. However, it doesn’t always have to be like this. You could simply get an offer from Vivo, the best rated fast property buyer in Trustpilot, and sell your house in as little as 7 days, avoiding many of the pitfalls that are inherently connected to selling on the open market in London. But why are quick sales so hard to come by in the Capital?

Selling your home in London can be a daunting and challenging prospect. The capital’s property market is somewhat different to the rest of the UK, so it’s advisable that as a homeowner you know the factors which influence it before attempting to sell. This is particularly true for first-time sellers as the process can be a bit overwhelming as it involves multiple steps, each with varying degrees of complexity and associated costs. Here at Vivo Property Buyers, we look at what makes the London property scene unique, why it may be difficult to sell on the open market here and look at your options should you decide to pursue an alternative house selling method.

Houses looking over London skyline in Tooting

The open market in London is slower than the rest of the UK

It’s vital to treat the London housing ‘bubble’ separately from the rest of the UK. According to Post Office Money, it takes an average of 102 days to sell a house in the UK and it becomes 24% longer when it’s in the capital.

But what can you do when you need to sell your house faster? Maybe you need to get rid of an inherited property, or are in risk of repossession, or need to sell your property after a divorce? For circumstances likes these, Vivo can help you break the slow cycle. You can get a no-obligation offer in 24 hours and full payment in less than 3 weeks. This is not only faster than the average, but faster than real estate agents and auctions. Here are the main reasons why Vivo can work for you:

Get a secure London house sale

One of the main risks of the open market is that no house sale is guaranteed until you’ve exchanged. With Vivo, once you have accepted our final offer, the house sale is locked-in and secure. No last-minute snags, just a quick and stress-free way of selling your London house fast, from Croydon to Barnet, from Romford to Hounslow.

We pay all legal fees and costs

The excitement of selling your house can sometimes make you forget that estate agents charge a percentage of the final selling price, meaning that a proportion of the payment you receive is taken. Adding to this are all the other costs that accumulate like solicitors and legal fees. Here at Vivo Property Buyers, we pay for all the cost associated with the house selling process, including the removal of unwanted furniture and a professional house clean, so there are no nasty surprises or hidden fees when selling to us. Not only that, we even pay for you additional legal advice if you feel you should need it.

You may save money in the long run

In order to conduct a quick sale Vivo offer 85% of your property’s market value. But with the slow nature of the property market, especially in London, you can actually get more for your money in the long run.

The process of selling a house can be very stressful, even more when we are talking about a house in London. Even if you are at a state where you are not sure a fast property buying company is the service you need, get in touch with us to hear some honest and impartial advice – if we don’t feel like we are the best option for you, we will let you know!





See how much a fast sale to Vivo can save you in the long run

Sales process 6 months
Open market
7-14 days
Vivo Property Buyers
Market value (advertised price) £400,000 £400,000
Agreed price (average 5% discount) £380,000 £340,000
Final price after post-survey negotiation (average 3% discount) £368,600 £340,000
Estate agent fees (2% + VAT) £357,542 £340,000
Solicitor fees (average £2,000) £355,542 £340,000
Cosmetic repairs to property £354,542 £340,000
Council tax & utility bills (£400 per month) £352,142 £340,000
Monthly mortgage repayments (£2,100 per month) £339,542 £340,000
Gas safety certificated £339,442 £340,000
Risk of sale breaking down High risk Secured sale

Final Price
Final Price

Our process allows you to sell fast in London

So you want to sell a house in London fast…

Now that we’ve seen how selling to Vivo can make the complex and stressful process of selling your house quicker and simpler, let’s take a look at London’s unique property market. London is one of the capitals of the world and therefore plays by its own rulebook. Keep on reading to understand the context in which you will be selling your house and why acting now can help you avoid a lot of headaches.


What makes London so different?

London is a fascinating city, one that attracts around one-quarter of UK’s university graduates every year, drawn in by good career prospects and progression. As a result of the large influx of young professionals looking for accommodation in the capital, rent prices have risen significantly which has subsequently caused a knock-on effect for London house prices which, according to the UK House Price Index, is 125% higher the national average. While this may be good news for those looking to rent out their investment property it has become a huge obstacle for many London property buyers (particularly young families) looking to get their foot on the housing ladder.

House prices vs income

In addition, London for some can be a chaotic place to reside. It has seen many people begin to sell their homes for pastures new and a slower pace of life, relocating to areas surrounding the capital’s commuter belt, such as in Kent and Surrey. Properties here tend to offer greater space and value for money. Moreover, a recent study by the ONS indicated that more than 340,000 families moved out of London in 2018/2019, a record number since the organisation started collecting this data from 2012, and with the average price of a semi-detached in the capital being £740,908, it can be viewed that this figure is far above the budget of many first-time buyers. To further illustrate the disparity between income and house prices, data from the ONS shows that in areas such as Camden and Fulham median house prices were 21 times earnings, making home-ownership an unrealistic goal for many local residents. If you add in the detail that lending criteria has been getting tougher recently, there has been a reduction in ‘ready buyers’ which is bad news if you’re looking to get a quick buyer for your property.

Are you one of the lucky ones?

However, if you own a home in one of the more affordable areas of London such as in Tower Hamlets, Croydon or Newham you are more likely to succeed in getting a relatively quick London house sale with prices still being affordable to most of the general population. You have to be fast, however, as up-and-coming areas of London often don’t stay cheap for long. This can sometimes result in the London house buyers being far pickier than in other areas of the UK, with potential buyers seeking value for money. Unfortunately, this can hold up the process (a buyer may be selling to someone, who is selling to someone…) and house chains can get quite long meaning that there is a high risk of the house sale falling through.

Now, if you’re one of the lucky ones who has managed to buy in London and are now looking to sell to move to a larger house in the city or to another location all together, you will need to consider the best method to do so which will work to your needs. We previously found that the house selling period can be one of the most stressful periods of your life. So, it’s important to understand all the common problems and how you can deal with them to have a better chance of selling your home.

What could stop you from selling your London home fast?

The process of selling a house on the open market can be incredibly complicated and requires a high level of organisation and coordination from every party involved, and although the London property market moves quickly, this method can make for a lengthy process. One of the first hurdles which can affect timings is finding the right buyer- one who is willing to pay close to your asking price and is committed to push the sale through quickly. Even after you have found a suitable buyer, there still remains a number of legal hoops that you have to jump through, which can often be complex and time consuming, making it hard to sell your house fast in London.

Even after all the back and forth the sale still isn’t set in stone and no one is legally tied in until they have exchanged. It’s not unheard of that even after months of legal work the sale falls through at the final stage, leaving you back at square one. Due to the issues that can arise from an open market sale, it is worth exploring all the options available to you for selling your house in London before you rush into anything.

London house sales, what are your options?

There are various ways you could choose to sell your house in London, each one has its pros and cons but it depends on the level of personal commitment and time you are willing to put into the house sale process.

Estate Agents

This remains the most popular method of selling a house in London but it can be difficult, costly and drawn-out. If you have decided that this is the route you’d like to take, the first step before choosing an estate agent is to look at their cost structure – find out if they charge a fixed rate or a percentage based commission. If you do opt to go with an estate agent that charges a percentage rate, try to negotiate it down as most commission rates aren’t set in stone.

Furthermore, estate agent contracts can be wordy and a bit confusing. Read through everything carefully and if you are not happy with certain aspects, ask the agent if they can negotiate on this. Also, ensure not to sign a ‘sole selling rights’ agreement and only opt for ‘sole agency contracts’ or ‘multiple agency contracts’. By signing a ‘sole selling rights’ agreement, you are only allowed to sell your property via the agent. This means that even if you find your own buyer, let’s say a friend wants to buy your property, you will still have to pay the agent their commission. Similarly, a ‘sole agency agreement’ means that you are only allowed to sell your property via the appointment, however, if you do find your own buyer, there is no commission due to the agent. Finally, a ‘multiple agency contract’ means that several agents can have a go at selling your property, giving you more flexibility.


Private sale

The bulk of the cost associated with a house sale comes from estate agent fees, therefore you could save money if you decide to opt for a private sale. A private sale is when the seller deals directly with the buyer, bypassing the conventional method of using an estate agent. The obvious caveat that comes with removing an estate agent from the house sale process is that most of the leg work around legalities and contracts now falls on you. It’s these details that add to the complexity of selling your house privately.

In addition to learning the legalities surrounding a house sale you also need to learn about your local property market so you can price your property correctly. Once you have a better feel for the dynamics of the local housing market it’s time to find a willing buyer. This is the longest part of the process beginning with choosing the right platform to advertise your house and scheduling time out from your daily routine to arrange viewings. This stage is made more difficult as you are not able to advertise on property portals where most house buyers search such as Rightmove, Zoopla or Primelocation as this is only for agencies to advertise one.



Auctions have become increasingly popular amongst owners looking to sell their house fast. This process can be particularly attractive if the property in question is not selling in the open market due to structural issues or undesired features, as many auction buyers are looking for houses they can reform and sell for a higher value. It also has the advantage that a bidding war by two or more interested buyers can raise the price of the property way above the initial price.

However, attempting to benefit from these advantages can be risky and come at a cost. To start with, despite being faster than real estate agents, the average house sale can take up to three months, and that’s as long as you manage to get your house sold. There is always a risk of getting no bids and thus having your property go through the whole auction process, and paying for all the fees, without ever getting a potential buyer. In this case, you will end up with an unsold property and a hole in your wallet of the size of an auction entry fee, typically around £500-£1000. If you are looking for speed and minimum risk, take a look at how Vivo’s service compares to auctions in this detailed table.


With this overview of London’s property market and its main characters, you should now be equipped with enough knowledge to give your next steps. If you have decided that it is time to accelerate the process and get a quick secure sale of your property in London, submit your details and get a no obligation offer in 24h.

Ask us anything!

The number of ways in which you can sell your property has grown in recent years. More and more often, homeowners are bypassing the traditional route of using high-street estate agents in favour of online house sales as well as a more independent option, by taking matters into their own hands and selling their home privately.

Private house sales differ from using an agent as you deal directly with the buyer yourself, however, this means taking on a lot of extra responsibilities to secure the sale. If you choose to sell your house privately, you will be involved at every stage, from advertising the property to conducting viewings as well as drawing up relevant documents, it requires a degree of proactivity and self-motivation.

However, if you have enough time to deal with all the admin side of things, private sales are a fantastic option, particularly if the property market is thriving.

As private property buyers, we buy independently on a regular basis, so let us inform you of the benefits and processes involved.

What are the benefits of private house sales?

Benefit #1

Save money on fees

Estate agents charge a commission, which can be around 2% +VAT of your total sale

Benefit #2

You're in direct control

Selling your house can be stressful, but by avoiding middlemen, you’re in total control with full communication

Benefit #3

Reach new audiences

More people now search for their next property online, no longer restricted to estate agents’ offices

modern kitchen interior after a private house sale

How can you sell your house privately?

Follow these next steps if you have decided to conduct a private house sale

Give your home a fair and accurate valuation

The first step in selling your home privately is deciding how much it is worth. Try to keep emotions out of it and base your valuation on fact – look at similar properties available on the market in your area and determine if yours offers more or is more modern. However, don’t get hung up on what the properties are being advertised for; make sure you research sold prices too to see what people are actually willing to pay for similar properties in your area. A realistic asking price is better than an over-ambitious price if you want to sell your house fast. To make this process easier, on, (one of the most trusted property portals) you can find all properties in your area which are for sale and see recent sold prices. You can pull reports about house prices in your area and carry out a huge amount of due diligence in just one place.

Inviting over 2 or 3 local agents to value your house may give you a good indication of value as well, however, be aware that often these valuations tend to be on the high side as, understandably, they are trying to get your business.


Prepare your home to be viewed, both online and in-person

Once you’re set on a price, it’s time to get your property ready for viewings. Make your house presentable by freshening up the paintwork, dealing with any broken fixtures and ensure everything is in working order. Avoid too many ‘personal touches’ around the property as buyers prefer a neutral environment, this includes not having any pets to welcome them on their visit! Furthermore, as most people view your home online before deciding to book a viewing, you need to take quality pictures, put together a floor plan and compile a detailed guide of every room, including dimensions and unique features (think original fireplace, hardwood floors – the kind of features you would read on a Rightmove listing) to attract potential buyers. Finally, EPC certificates are required to sell your home, so make sure you get it sorted before advertising. You can find reputable assessors in your area here.


Begin to advertise to potential buyers

Next, you must decide how you are going to get your property in front of potential buyers. Think about what your budget will allow and look for costs of advertising in local papers, as well as online portals which allow private sellers; unfortunately, Rightmove and Zoopla do not allow people to add private sale listing to their sites. You should also research the legalities around putting your own For Sale sign up as there are regulations on the size and content of your board.


Conduct your own property viewings

Now, this is an important stage; get it wrong and it could cost you the sale. Before any viewing, make sure that your house is tidy! Remove clutter and clean your home to give potential buyers the best possible impression. This also extends to your garden; simply mowing the lawn can smarten up any garden – check out our quick gardening tips to help your house sell fast.

With viewings, you should always greet any potential buyers at the front door to give a good first impression and whilst showing them around, allow them to enter all rooms first so they can see themselves in it. You should also remain positive throughout – don’t go around pointing out the flaws or moaning about your neighbours! Instead ask questions to work out if you can give them any useful information, for example, the local schools, the best restaurants or any other morsels that they may find comforting and useful.

Finally, if you are going to conduct the viewings yourself it is always worth having a friend or partner with you, after all, you are inviting a stranger into your home!


Agree and close the sale

Before starting the process of selling your house, determine an offer value which you would be happy to accept. Even if you do have to reject an offer, be friendly about it and try going back with a counter offer – they may increase!

Once you have accepted a formal offer both verbally and in writing, you must instruct your solicitor to carry out the legal side of things. Ensure that you have one in place before you start marketing your property as this will require some research and paperwork and you do not want this to delay your sale. Make sure you pick a well-reviewed one; look at their online ratings as well as talking to friends and family to see if they have had a particularly good experience with a firm.

Just be aware that at this stage your buyer may come to you with a reduced offer if the mortgage valuation down-values the property or a property survey sheds light on any issues. In these cases, get a copy of the survey to see if their claim is valid – if so, it is common to split the cost of the issue.

Finally, your private house sale will have completed once you have signed contracts, funds are in the relevant accounts, exchange has taken place and keys have been handed over – congratulations!

What other factors impact private house sales?

If selling your house privately sounds like too much hassle and effort, fear not; there is still a way to keep it private! As fast property buyers, selling to us also bypasses any estate agent fees as well as survey costs; in fact, there are no fees at all!

Not only that, we can buy your home in as little as 7 days, meaning an even more stress-free way to sell your home. If you are interested in Vivo buying your house, please feel free to complete our simple form or get in touch. As private house buyers, we’d be happy to discuss your situation to see if Vivo is a suitable route for you and your house. Also, why not check out our reviews to see just how happy our previous clients have been!

For the latest in our series on property advice, we look at the concept of negative equity. For any homeowner with a mortgage, having negative equity can be problematic. Here, we’ll look at what the term means, what issues may arise from having negative equity and how to work out if you have it. Finally, we’ll let you know what you can do if you find yourself in this situation. But first…

What is equity?

Before delving into negative equity, it is best to first understand what is meant by ‘equity’ in relation to property. In short, your equity is how much of your property you actually ‘own’. This figure is a combination of:

  1. the deposit that you paid initially and
  2. the amount of the mortgage you have paid off so far

So, if you bought a house for £100,000 with a £10,000 deposit, you would immediately have a 10% equity in the property. If you paid off a further £40,000 through mortgage repayments, your total stake would be £50,000, bringing equity to 50%.

While your home is where your heart is, it’s often overlooked that buying a property is an investment and, unlike owning shares in a company for example, many people forget that their investment (house) may be subject to fluctuations in value. A fall in value can result in your equity becoming ‘negative’.

What is negative equity?

Negative equity occurs when the current value of your property is less than what you have left to pay on the mortgage for it. This is a problem if you want to sell, because you may not recoup the remaing cost of your mortgage through the sale. For example, if you bought a house for £200,000, with a £175,000 mortgage and the house is now worth £150,000 – you would be in negative equity as your mortgage value is £25,000 more than the property value.

However, not all price drops automatically result in negative equity. Returning to our former example, if the property you bought for £200,000 on a £175,000 mortgage was now valued at £180,000, you would still be in positive equity (£5,000) as the existing value is greater than the mortgage.

Negative equity can seem quite a scary prospect, but why does this happen?

Like any investment, a property’s value fluctuates over time, so the primary reason for negative equity is falling house prices. Secondly, since acquiring a property is the biggest investment for most of the UK’s population, the state of the economy and house prices are intrinsically linked. As the Bank of England controls interest rates, it is easier to secure mortgage financing when the economic forecast is good. When more people are able to buy, house prices go up. Conversely, when the economic outlook is more pessimistic, borrowing becomes tougher and mortgage approval levels fall – meaning fewer buyers on the market. Thus, the drop in available buyers causes property prices to consequently fall.

Problems can also arise when confidence in the economy is strong and there are lots of buyers on the market, causing a ‘property bubble’ to form as prices surge. Unfortunately, nothing is guaranteed in this sector so the bubble will eventually burst or ‘crash’. A result of this is that many homeowners could have overpaid for what their property is truly worth during the ‘bubble’ and end up with a hefty mortgage and property prices that are set to fall.

Negative equity became a massive issue in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, which saw house prices plummet, leaving thousands of homeowners in negative equity as their mortgages were much higher than the value of their home.

Interestingly, this recession was directly influenced by activity in the property industry; you may remember it often being referred to as the ‘credit crunch’. This is because banks became over-confident with the continued rise of property prices and did not expect it to stop. As a result, getting a mortgage became easier for homeowners, with banks accepting more and more high-risk mortgages. People who wouldn’t normally be able to secure the necessary finances, joined the property ladder with up to 100% mortgages, meaning they started off with minimal initial equity and large repayments.

Since the crash, banks have been a lot stricter about who they are willing to lend to which has resulted in fewer buyers on the market. In addition to this, the gap between the prices of property compared to average income has massively increased over the past couple of decades which has also made it harder for people to secure finance, resulting in a lack of first-time buyers. Fewer buyers on the market indicates a drop in ‘demand’ resulting in property prices still not recovering fully from the 2008 drop.

Finally, another cause of negative equity regards a type of mortgage available to some homeowners. As well as conventional mortgages, you can also take out an interest-only mortgage. This means you do not have repayment instalments to gain equity but only interest – paying the full amount at a later agreed date. This puts you at risk of negative equity as you don’t continually make payments to reduce the debt.

How do I know if I've got negative equity?

If you’re concerned that you may have negative equity, we recommend taking the following steps to work out your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio:

Step 1:

Contact your lender to find out how much you owe on your mortgage and how much equity you’ve acquired on your property.


Step 2:

Get an understanding of the current value of your property. You can do this by getting local estate agents or surveyors to value your home (this may incur a cost).


Step 3

If the current value of your property is lower than what you owe (mortgage) you are in negative equity.



A fictional example is below:

  • Property purchase price: £115,000
  • Owned so far through mortgage and deposit: £15,000
  • Outstanding mortgage amount: £100,000
  • Current property value: £85,000
  • Equity: -£15,000 (Current value – Outstanding mortgage amount)
  • Loan to value: 117% (Outstanding mortgage amount / Current property value)

If your LTV ratio is positive it means you’re in negative equity.

Homeowners with negative equity can face a tricky situation if they now want to sell their property. This is because the existing value of it is less than what they paid for and it is unlikely they’ll be able to recoup the amount that they have remaining on their mortgage. In this situation, it is unlikely that their mortgage provider will sanction a sale for less than the previous purchase amount.

Therefore, if you proceed to sell your house for less than the mortgage you have secured on it, you are responsible for making up the difference to your lender. You may need to dip into your savings to make up the difference. You can take out a negative equity mortgage where you handover the remaining negative equity onto your new deal, but they are very rarely approved.

Another difficulty is that it is hard to remortgage your property. Lenders are unlikely to agree to a fixed rate or cheaper deal for people in negative equity.

Wait for prices to rise
If you’ve just recently bought your home (under three years) you may be in negative equity due to the small amount of mortgage you’ve paid up to this point – it is usually a 25-year repayment plan. This means that your equity is primarily made up of your deposit which is 10-20% of the house value. If you’re in a position to be patient, try to sell your property when house values have risen as the selling price will most likely to be higher, helping to come out of negative equity, plus you will have added equity with the repayments made during this time.

Can Vivo help you right away?

If you have negative equity and need a quick sale, using a fast property buying company like Vivo may not be the right step for you. Generally, we can’t help homeowners that have owned their property for less than three years and was bought with a mortgage – even if house values have remained the same or increased slightly. The reason being is that we tend of offer 85% of the estimated market value, and with people generally paying a 10-20% deposit, you’d be unlikely to recoup your losses. If you’d like to know more about your options in this situation, please take our house selling quiz or call us for some free, impartial property advice – we’d be happy to help.

Take action to increase value

If you’re not able to wait, you can look to increase the value of your property to secure a price that does not leave you in the red. This can mean renovating key areas of your property that add value such as the bathroom or kitchen, or potentially expanding your property with an extension. While this means you have to spend more up front, it may enable you to command a higher price and remove the negative equity. You can also do something unique, like adding a home office!

Increase equity
If your finances permit, look to increase the equity you have in your property by overpaying your mortgage with early repayments. This will reduce the amount you owe and can help remove the negative equity. You will need to agree with your provider, so check your agreement.

Rent out your property

Another option, if you can agree with your lender, is to rent out your existing property and then live in a rented property in a cheaper area. While not ideal, this will allow you to gain additional income to reduce your negative equity.


Worried about negative equity in the future?

Step 1

Use a budget calculator

Know how much you can afford to borrow and the types of repayment structures you could do.

Step 2

Be careful with your purchase price

If the property market is booming, you can pay an inflated price for the house, so consider buying at a quieter time where prices tend to be lower.

Step 3

Pay a large deposit

The more initial equity you own and it reduces your chance of falling into negative equity early on.

Why is it hard to sell a house fast?

Selling a house at a price that both the buyer and seller are happy with is often a challenging task. And if on top of this you add the requirement for the sale to happen fast, the complexity grows significantly and the likelihood of all boxes being ticked gets pretty low.

In the last five to ten years, property affordability has become an issue and for many people looking to buy a house, committing to such a purchase has become all but impossible. And it’s not at all surprising that Brexit and Coronavirus and the uncertainty they’ve caused in our lives have caused people to feel even more reluctant about spending large sums on significant purchases like a house. The impact of this is a palpable drop in demand with fewer buyers on the market who are also being extra cautious with their decision.

As well as this, as trivial as it sounds, we should never discount a buyer’s common sense and human nature. Along with the economic uncertainty, selling a house fast is challenging because it is high-involvement decision making, much like buying a car. These purchases are normally expensive and very important for a buyer in the longer term; hence they take their time to properly weigh up their options. With this in mind, it’s unsurprising that buying a house can cause anxiety, stress, or post-purchase regret. That’s why it is so important to choose a trusted, knowledgeable and truly caring estate agent, to assist in this important journey, bringing peace of mind to both seller and buyer.

With all these factors slowing down the market what can you actually do to sell your house fast?

I want to sell my house fast – what are my options?

happy couple closing a deal with estate agent

There’s over 5,400 people searching in Google every month how to sell their house fast. This means there’s a lot of house owners who know what they want but are still unsure about their options when it comes to a fast house sale. The main complexity with selling a house quickly is that you will have to balance three sometimes conflicting factors: speed, price and security.

Let’s take a look at the most common reasons for searching for a quick house sale:

House sale fell through – Many of our customers get in touch with us out of frustration with the open market. One of its main pitfalls is that no sale is secure until the contracts are exchanged, which gives plenty of time for buyers to have cold feet and unexpected issues to occur.

Broken property chain – Another inherent problem of the open market, an estimated 300,000 house sales break down every year in the UK due to complications involving property chains. With this in mind, there’s no wonder sellers decide to look for a more secure and speedy method outside of the traditional open market.

Inheritance – Selling a property in any situation is a stressful thing but doing it after losing someone is understandably unwelcome. It can become particularly difficult when you’re selling a home you’ve inherited rather than solely own. Often this is a financial decision made between several family members. Here, a quick house sale can be a good way to avoid any undesired family frictions.

Repossession – This is a horrible and stressful situation but can sadly happen to anyone. Therefore, if you feel that you will not be able to complete a mortgage repayment on time and find yourself threatened with eviction, it is vital that you act quickly and find out all available options you can take to stop the house repossession from happening.

Relocation – Moving to an uncharted territory due to a professional opportunity or wanting to retire to a quieter place can be an exciting adventure. However, it also entails a lot of quick decision-making, including what to do with your property. Knowing that you can sell your house quickly and hassle-free can give you the peace of mind you need to enjoy this important next step in your life.

How can you sell your house fast?


Option 1: Use a fast property buying company

  • Speed: Sell your house in 7 days and get your cash in 14
  • Security: Secured house sale after formal offer, no risk of falling through.
  • Price: Selling for 80%-85% of market value in exchange for a quick turnaround.

Fast property buying companies are widely regarded as the best option if you are looking for a speedy house sale. This is not just our opinion, The Advisory, a reputed blog featured in the Sunday times that provides expert advice for house owners, also regards this service as the best solution. These companies have a specialised process and the necessary funds to purchase your property and hand you the cash in less than 14 days. In other words, they can help you sell fast because they are your buyers (no middlemen involved). This is also a great option if you, like many others, are frustrated with the uncertainty of the open market and want a 100% secured sale, which is especially valuable during coronavirus times. However, in exchange for purchasing your house quickly and securely, fast property buyers will offer you an average of 80%  of your house’s market value.

If you are considering fast property buyers, the most important thing is to choose the company smartly. We’d recommend you to always check the company’s reviews on sites such as Trustpilot and to verify that they are part of the TPO and NAPB, the fast buying company regulators.

Tip: make sure the reviews you find in Trustpilot are legitimate by seeing the country of origin. Dodgy companies might buy reviews.

With 4.9 starts in Trustpilot, Vivo is the best rated fast property buyer in the UK. We buy properties for 85% of market value in exchange for a quick and secure house sale. We are a family run business that focus on the human side of selling a house. Yes, we can buy your house fast, but we’ll also adapt to your situation so you can move out whenever you are ready, making the process as stress free as possible. And once you accept our formal offer the deal is set in stone so you can focus on other things with a peace of mind.

You can get a free no-obligation offer for your house here, try to include as much information as possible so we can be as accurate as possible.


Option 2: Auctions

  • Speed: Average sale takes 2-3 months
  • Security: Risk of having no bidders and not being able to sell your house
  • Price: Your property could sell above price or not sell at all. In any case, you will need to pay for auctioneers fees, entry fees & solicitor costs

Property auction can also provide you a quick house sale, and it can be particularly effective for properties that need a significant renovation. This can be a good option for owners who want a relatively fast process and are happy to take some risks in order to get a higher price for their properties.

The auction process is slightly lengthier than that of a property buyer. To start with, you’ll need to sign up around 4 weeks prior to the auction day, to ensure there is enough time to enter the property into the catalogue for advertising. If the auction is successful, exchange will take place when the hammer drops but it tends to take another 28 days for completion unless a later date is agreed.

Despite the costs of putting a house for auction, some properties specifically attractive to investors could trigger a bidding war, raising their value and thus increasing the profit for the owner. However, there is also a risk that no one will bid for your house and you won’t be able to sell at all. This means you’ll need to pay for the auction fees despite not getting anything from it! If this service sounds appealing to you, we’d advise you to do an extensive research on what it entails to put a house up for auction, its costs and what third parties you need. This guide from Home Owners alliance is a good place to start from.


Option 3: Estate agents

  • Speed: Average sale takes 3-6 months
  • Security: House sale is not secured (property chains, sales can fall through…)
  • Price: 100% of market value

Estate agents are the traditional house selling method. However, when it comes to getting a house sold fast, they are a slightly out of their depth. It’s not their fault, the open market is uncertain and finding a suitable buyer can take a lot of time. Plus, even with an offer, in the open market you are vulnerable to being part of property chains , gazumping or a buyer’s cold feet which can make your sale fall through. On the other hand, being patient can lead to an attractive offer close or above your asking price; however tempting this might be, you should always remember being patient has a cost. Is it worth waiting 6 months for an offer while you pay for your mortgage? See here how the open market compares to selling to Vivo Fast property buyers.

Tip: If you are already relying on an estate agent, consider bringing a second agency on board, whoever gets the deal can have the fee. This increase in competition might give your sale the push it needs.

Best Companies to sell your house fast ranked

We thought you might find useful a list of the best-rated companies for each one of the options according to Trustpilot. Use this list as a reference and contrast their services with the ones in your area:

Best Property Buying Companies 

1. Vivo Property Buyers 4.8

2. We Buy Any House 4.7

3. The Property Buying Company 4.7

Best Auction Houses

1. Pattinson Auction 4.6

2. IAM Sold 4.5

3. SDL Auctions 4.4

Best nationwide estate agents

1. EweMove Sales and Lettings 5 stars

2. Knight Frank 4.9 stars

3. Your Move 4.9 stars


You can trust Vivo for a fast property sale

Aside from being able to buy quickly, avoiding fees and not needing viewings, our clients always commend us on our personal and attentive approach to communication as well as our trustworthiness and professionalism. We often deal with clients who have previously been stuck in a chain which has delayed their sale, only for it to fall through; we have been able to offer them an alternative solution which has allowed them to sell quickly and without stress. Read what our clients’ say about us on Trustpilot

You are 5 steps away from selling your house fast

FAQs when selling a house to Vivo

1. How will you value my house?

To guarantee a fair and accurate offer, the following 3 steps are followed for each and every property that comes our way :

Step 1. Desktop valuation
Our team will start by valuing your property with readily available information such as; your property type, size and condition, what similar houses in the area are selling for, how the local market is performing and property history.

Step 2. RICS valuation
The RICS Valuation is carried out by an independent qualified surveyor part of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. They will visit your home at a convenient time for you and will carry out a professional Valuation on site

Step 3
Due diligence
Once the Online Valuation and RICS Valuation have been completed, we review all the information together with any further information obtained from the seller and carry out our final due diligence.

2. How much will it cost to sell my house fast?

Nothing. There are no fees for you to pay at any stage when selling your house to Vivo.

Vivo pay for the RICS Valuation, Legal fees, clearance, cleaning, any decorating or refurbishment works which might be needed.

3. How much will Vivo pay for my property?

In return for a secure 7-14 day sale Vivo offer 85% of the estimated current market value of your property. This includes all legal fees, clearance, cleaning and refurbishment costs.

4. How can Vivo buy properties so fast?

By keeping it simple. We buy with our own cash and do not depend on banks or third party investors.

The team is available 24/7 and the legal team who are on board specialise in fast house sales. It’s what we do on a daily basis and each property receives our full attention.

A 7 day sale for freehold properties is feasible, leasehold properties tend to take a little longer depending on the freeholder and managing agents.

5. Is my sale secure?

We are proceedable buyers, which means we buy properties with our own funds, so there is no risk of a house sale falling through.

6. When am I tied into the sale?

With Vivo, you are only ever tied in after you have exchanged on the sale. We do not ask you to sign any formal documents, all legal work goes via the allocated solicitors.

Once you have accepted our Formal Offer and solicitors are instructed, we are 100% committed to the purchase of your home and we hope you are equally committed to the sale to Vivo. The trust comes from both sides.

7. When do I have to move out?

You decide when you move. Vivo will work towards your ideal timescales.

To make your move easier, we are happy for you to stay in your house for 2 – 3 weeks after receiving full funds (rent free) so you can use the funds for your move and plan ahead.

Ask us anything!

Are you currently stuck in a sluggish property chain which is preventing you from moving forward in your life? You’re not alone. With an estimated 300,000 house sales each year breaking down due to complications involving property chains, we can imagine that you’ve had enough of waiting and want to break free.

It’s a demanding, frustrating and expensive experience and being stuck in a chain can cost on average up to £3,000 with legal costs and fees.

Right now, you may be seeking a swifter and simpler resolution to selling on the open market, avoiding the pitfalls that come with it. On average it takes five months to sell via this route, and it’s been revealed that the outlook for the UK’s property market in the first three months of 2019 is the worst since 1998 – making things even tougher. With confidence in the market low, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has estimated that 28% of house sales will fail.

Why are more house sales falling through?

One of the most common reasons for house sales falling through is the unreliability of property chains. As the success of each property transaction on the chain is influenced by activity further along the chain, if something goes awry, it can affect your sale – from grinding progress to a halt, to causing a complete collapse.

Right now, the property market is very diffident with banks tightening their lending criteria due to property prices falling and buyers biding their time before committing to a purchase – particularly with Brexit looming. This has directly impacted the efficiency of the property chain. Furthermore, according to This Is Money’s research, 8% of all failed deals were a direct result of property chain problems while almost half of concerned buyers either changing their mind or sellers feeling their deal isn’t progressing quickly enough:

Cause of sale falling through
% of cases
Buyer changed mind/seller felt sale is not progressing quickly enough 46%
Buyer or seller wanted to renegotiate after initial deal had been agreed 23%
Buyer unable to secure sufficient funding from mortgage provider 12%
Property survey highlighted issues that caused buyer to pull out 11%
Collapse in property chain 8%

Whether you’ve found your dream house and can’t complete the transaction until you’ve sold or are keen to sell to free up some funds, it can be tough to sell in these current conditions. However, it can be equally frustrating just waiting for the increasingly unlikely to happen. Fortunately, the inefficiencies of the property chain have led to several alternatives for home-sellers.

As specialist fast property buyers, we can buy your home in as little as 7 days. No more waiting on the chain, just clarity and peace of mind that comes with a guaranteed sale from chain-free buyers. But how are we able to do this?

  1. We buy with our own money – this means there will be no delays from investors or lenders
  2. We buy sold as seen – you do not need to spend time and money organising lots of viewings and redecorating the house
  3. We’re a small and flexible organisation – you’ll be in direct contact with your buyer (Vivo) and we’re available 24/7
  4. We’re not part of any property chain and are in a proceedable position to buy

We’re happy to offer sellers an escape route from their chain, allowing them the chance to move on with the next stage of their life. If you’d like a chain-free resolution to your house sale, get a free, no-obligation offer from Vivo in just 24 hours. Perhaps, you’d just like some friendly advice from us on your situation, and we’d be happy to help too, just call our freephone number 0800 773 4922. We look forward to hearing from you.

As the number one rated fast property buying company on Trustpilot, check out our reviews below and discover how we’ve helped people in a similar position, such as Roberta below:

I needed to sell my property quickly as 2 chains had fallen apart and I had already moved in to another house so was paying double costs. After doing a lot of research on line as I was obviously cautious about using a property company, I contacted Vivo which turned out to be the best thing I could have done and wish I had chosen this option sooner. They are completely professional and most importantly, honest. A surveyor came and gave an accurate valuation, a realistic offer was put forward and at no time did they ever look at reducing this price or try to renegotiate. The whole process took under 3 weeks and I was kept informed the whole way through. I would (and have) happily recommend Vivo. Thank you.

Roberta Pozzoli

Happy Vivo customer

accountant calculating house selling fees

Selling your home is a major life event, full of new horizons for you and your family. It involves changing the property that you live in, often in a completely fresh location – it’s a new start!

Amidst all the excitement surrounding your move, selling a property on the open market can be expensive. From estate agent fees to removal costs, they can all dent the profit made from your sale. Moreover, some of these expenses come right at the last minute or are sprung upon you whilst you’re busy making plans – leaving a bitter taste after you’ve finally exchanged.

To help you understand these outlays clearer, we’ve outlined the most common house selling fees, explaining when and why they occur on the open market.

Estate agent fees

Traditionally, when you’ve decided to sell your house the next step is to visit and work with an estate agent. They help to set the value of your home, marketing your property, conducting house viewings and managing the negotiations between buyer and seller.

While these activities are important in finding you a buyer, this service comes at a cost. Estate agents tend to work via commission, and this can be anywhere from 1-3% of the property sale price +20% VAT.

According to the January 2018 UK House Price Index report, the average price of a house in the South East of England is around £323,000. As a result, you may be charged between £3,000 – £8,000 in estate agent fees over the course of your sale.

For the price you are paying, you want to make sure you know exactly what’s involved – especially as a fee of £8,000 may feel quite expensive! It is a legal requirement that your estate agent discloses what their service fee includes, so ensure you know what you’re paying for and why.

Solicitor fees

When selling a property, you will need to have a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer to carry out the legal work. Their job is to review the title, the contract, the mortgage, and the transfer documents.

They are there to advise you throughout the whole process and keep your best interests at heart. They represent only you, while your buyer has their own representation at their own cost. There are two ways of negotiating a fee here, you can either pay a flat rate (typically £850 – £1,500) or a percentage of the value of your property – which can be around 2.5%.

Ongoing running costs

Another expenditure worth considering with an elongated house sale is the ongoing running costs of your property during this period. Besides mortgage payments, utility bills such as energy, water and broadband will begin to add up as well as council tax during the months when your house is up for sale.

 Other Fees

With the primary fees covered, there are also a few other costs that occur when selling a property that is worth bearing in mind – they all add up of course!

Firstly, if you’re putting your property on the market, it must have an assessment to get on the Energy Performance certificate register. This is used to measure the energy efficiency of your house, whether it meets the area’s criteria, and if it can be improved. On average this will cost you around £60 to £120, depending on your local assessor’s prices.

Staying with energy costs, you would also need to get a Gas Safety (up to £35 to £150) and Electrical Safety certificate (£100 to £250). These are credentials buyers will be made aware of, so this would be a welcome addition when selling your property.

To get the best valuation of your property, you will perhaps spend money on repairing your house. Minor repairs can cost around £700 (replacing uneven floorboards, fixing cracked walls), while major renovations can go up in tens of thousands of pounds.

Either to initially attract buyers or before they move into your house, you need to ensure that it is aesthetically pleasing and unblemished. This would usually require a full-professional cleaning service, which on average can cost you £285.

When it is time to move, you’re most likely going to need a removal company to transport your possessions. The cost here is variable, the factors that will affect this fee are:

  • How much furniture you have
  • The distance between your old and new home (estimated at £1 per mile)
  • Time and moving season with (May – September being peak season)
  • Protection for fragile items e.g. plates, glass, picture frames, flat-screen televisions etc
  • The boxes and packaging material to transport your possessions

For example, the cost of moving from London to Manchester can be in excess of £800, considering the distance and volume of furniture.

Lastly, one of the most overlooked costs of selling your house is mail redirection. As the name suggests this is essentially telling the mail services that you are moving to a new property -which can cost anywhere between £32 and £63.

As you can tell, there are many house selling fees associated on the open market, some are to be expected, for example, solicitors fees, while others may not be initially accounted for (such as transportation of goods). Looking at the aforementioned, for a house sale of £323,000 you could be paying up to £12,000.

Cost of selling a house

Fee typeCost
Estate Agent Fees£8,000
Solicitor Fees£1,500
Energy Performance Certificate£120
Gas Safety Certificate£150
Electrical Safety Certificate£250
Minor Repairs£700
Cleaning Services£285
Moving Costs £800
Mail Redirection£63
Total: £11,868

 Is there a way to sell a house without paying all these fees?

As you can imagine, the cost of selling on the open market can quickly add up – eating into the profit margins from your sale. However, Vivo Property Buyers are there as an alternative by offering a guaranteed sale away from the insecurities of an open market sale. We strive to make selling a home a stress-free experience.

Firstly, all costs and fees which usually go hand in hand with a property sale are covered by Vivo. From legal fees to professional clearance and cleaning. Naturally, there won’t be any estate agency fees either, so expect no surprises down the line.

In addition, unlike many cases in the open market, once you’ve accepted our formal offer, your house sale (and price) is guaranteed – with no last-minute surprises. As specialist fast property buyers, you can have the funds in your account in as little as 7 days – far quicker than the traditional house selling method which can take on average 3-4 months.

We also buy sold as seen – this means you don’t have to spend time or money on property renovations which may delay your sale. Lastly, we understand that this process may be quite speedy, so we work in a timeframe to suit you. This includes a period where you can stay in your property rent-free after you have received your full funds, to help you manage your move better and make it a less stressful experience.

Sound good? Get in touch!

 If you are looking to sell your property but you’d like to avoid stress, the unknowns and the fees associated with an open market sale, contact us today and receive a no-obligation offer for your property in just 24 hours. If you’re still unsure about using a house buying company, take this short quiz to see if Vivo is the right fit for you!

Couple who have sold their first house

Person Selling Their House Online

Over the past few years, online estate agents such as Tepilo and Purple Bricks have become increasingly popular, rivalling traditional agents. Why? Well in short, online estate agents tend to be more affordable and transparent with their pricing than high street agents. However, before diving in head first, you should be aware of what you could be missing out on by shunning the traditional route.

Firstly, opting for an online sale means you will miss out on the local area knowledge you would get from a high street estate agency, which is often key to pricing your property correctly and selling it quickly. Not only that, traditional agents will often show your property to buyers who are looking at similar properties, meaning much more targeted exposure to highly interested people. If you chose the online route, you should also be aware that you will be responsible for a lot more than usual, for example, you will have to conduct viewings yourself unless you pay more (getting you closer to the fees of a traditional agent). And the caveats don’t stop there; high street agents are also turning to the internet to market their client’s properties so the only real benefit to selling online is the price.

So, how much cheaper are online estate agents?

Most reputable online agents will offer a fixed price for marketing your property, regardless of the asking price and this cost can vary from £300-£1,500. Not only that, some companies only ask for payment if they sell your property, making it risk-free. However, there are a lot of things this won’t include, such as getting the agent to do the viewings, so don’t get romanced by the low basic price as this is likely to add up.

In contrast, if you were to go via a traditional estate agent, the fees could range from 0.75% – 3% +VAT of the agreed selling price of your home (1.5% is the average), making the fee amount less certain, but that includes everything you’d expect, including the all-important local expertise.

Whilst we wouldn’t recommend selling your house online, it still might suit some people and their specific situation. If you’re still interested in finding out more about the process and what is involved, we have outlined the steps involved below.

1.Pick the right agent

When it comes to choosing your online agent, don’t just take affordability into account, make sure that they are someone you’d trust to look after your house sale – it’s a pretty big decision after all! Therefore, ensure that you also read third-party reviews and other people’s experiences to ensure the company is reliable and you won’t get any nasty surprises. You should also check what is included in the package you go for. Things to consider are a for sale sign, floorplans, photography and advertising on top property portals like Rightmove.

Be sure to understand the cost of any additional services you think you might want to boost your chances of a quick sale and ensure you can afford them. Extras tend to include Energy Performance Certificate (a legal requirement, but you may already have one), accompanied viewings and premium listings on Rightmove or Zoopla that give your property extra visibility.

Finally, you should ask them if the marketing is unlimited or if it is for a fixed term; if they struggle to sell your home, you don’t want to bit hit with an unexpected charge to continue marketing.

2.Price your property

Your online agency will price your property for you, with the majority coming to your home to get the best idea of what it is worth. However, keep in mind that they are unlikely to have local knowledge like your high street agent in your village or town would, so it is worth getting opinions from a few local ones too for a balanced view. This will ensure you market your house at a price that will get you an offer you are happy with on a reasonable timescale.

3.Create your property listing

Upon choosing the online estate agency you’re comfortable with, they will send someone over to take photos of your home, put floor plans together and prepare your EPC to make your listing shine. They will also put together the description of your property but in most cases (if not all) will give you the opportunity to put your own spin on it, for example, including information about local amenities, useful transport links or the beautiful fauna you have in your garden to attract buyers with green fingers. All in all, most companies get this turned around in about a week so they can get your house on the digital market as soon as possible.

4.Market your property

Your agency will distribute your listing across all of the major property portals ready to find you a buyer. They should allow you to change anything during this period if you’re unhappy and, if you aren’t getting much uptake, you can always pay a little extra to get a premium listing. Premium listings put your property at the top of searches, or make them stand out more and the cost of this is usually much cheaper through your online agent than if you were to go it alone. While this is an extra cost, the increased visibility of your property may be worth it in the long run, particularly if it helps to attract a suitable buyer in a shorter time period. Not only that, online buyers can see how long your property has been listed for, which may suggest an issue with the property (even if there isn’t one) or invite cheeky offers well below the asking price.

5.Conduct viewings

This is probably where selling your house online differs the most from traditional agents – you are going to be responsible for conducting the viewings yourself. There are a couple of exceptions to this – you can pay extra for the company to do it or opt for a hybrid agent which offers an online service with local experts to conduct the viewings. If you are going to pay extra for this service, check whether there is a limit on the number of viewings the charge covers so you know exactly where you stand. However, you should be privy to the fact that selling a house online tends to require a more ‘hands-on’ approach from the seller.

Usually, they will first check when you’re available and then book viewings in using an online management portal which you will have access to.

Once viewings have taken place, you should check in with your rep to make sure they pass any feedback on to you; you never know, buyers could be put off by something which you can easily fix or change. Be aware that conducting house viewings is a skill and you should read up on it to help showcase your home in the best way. Why not check out our house viewing checklist for some help on what potential buyers may be looking out for!

6.Negotiating the offer

After showing potential buyers around your home, you will have hopefully found someone willing to put an offer for your home. Negotiating any offer you receive will usually be the responsibility of the agent who will assess the potential buyer to make sure they have the funds and are a proceedable buyer. They will advise you on the negotiation (much like a traditional agent) and manage the communication, however, most are open to you having direct contact with the prospective buyer to run this yourself.

7.Progress the sale

Naturally, your agent will help with the sale to give you the best chance of completing and they will be involved as much or as little as you want, however, you will have to deal with the paperwork yourself with the help of your solicitor who will provide you with legal advice.

8.Exchange and completion

This process will mainly be in the hands of your solicitor, however, your agent will help you agree on a date of completion with the buyer and, as most online companies ask for payment at the start of the process, there will be no surprise costs to deal with.

Selling your house with an online estate agency can offer you a great deal of flexibility as well as transparent pricing, which has contributed to its growing popularity. However, as explained, you will miss out on important things such as local knowledge and it is much more work, so make sure you understand all of the risks before choosing to sell online.

If you want the best of both worlds where there is very little effort required on your part, no strangers snooping around your house and absolutely no fees, then it is worth considering using a fast property buyer, like Vivo. Check out all of the benefits of selling your house to a property buyer and if you’re interested, get in touch now to get a no-obligation offer for your home. You could be sold in as little as 7 days, although we will work to any timescale which suits you!

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Vivo Property Buyers is the trading name for Potrell London Ltd, The Ashridge Business Centre 121 High Street, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 2DJ.

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