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How Fast Can A Cash Buyer Buy Your Home? (2024)

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One of the biggest advantages of using a cash home buyer is the speed at which they can buy your home and put money into your bank account. In this competitive market, you’ll see lots of impressive claims from cash buyers, ranging from a few weeks to as little as a few days. Some will even tell you they can buy your home in just 48 hours or less.

But in reality, how fast can a cash buyer buy your home, and what are the chances that the company will actually complete the sale in the short time frame that they claim? 

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Want to hear why we recommend My Homebuyers as a cash house buyer above everyone else?

We have independently investigated all the best cash home buyers in the UK.

We ranked them based on their cash offers, reliability, customer service and 15 more metrics.

And we discovered that ‘My Homebuyers’ are superior in every regard to all other companies.

My Homebuyers will give you the best genuine cash offer, without contracts and without any fees.

While other companies will try to lock you into a contract which is rarely in your benefit. Even if they claim they don’t have contracts, the truth is, they do. And they’ll force you to sign it.

Click the button below to see exactly why we recommend My Homebuyers as your best option.

And how you can use the free Safe Connect™ programme to get VIP treatment from them.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how long it takes to sell your home using a traditional estate agent, and we’ll show you how using a cash home buyer can speed up that process at almost every step. Plus, we’ll also show you why a sale in less than seven days is highly unlikely, and why such sales could cost you as much as half of your property’s market value.

1. Why you might need a fast home sale

With a traditional home sale, via an estate agent, taking as long as six to nine months, it’s easy to see why people would want be attracted to a quick home sale. Even if there are no pressing circumstances, you might simply want to get on with your plans instead of waiting around. 

You may have found your forever home and want to secure it fast before someone beats you to it. You might want to move closer to new grandchildren and not miss out on those precious first months when they’re at their cutest. Or you simply might not feel like facing the long, drawn out drag of selling your home on the open market, with all the stress and uncertainty that goes with it.

On the other handy, you may not have a choice when it comes to selling your home fast. You may be under pressure from your finances and need the money from selling your home as soon as possible. You may even be facing repossession and losing your home altogether. A fast home sale may get less for your property, but it is still likely to give you more than you would get if the bank or building society takes possession and sells your home.

Sometimes it’s personal pressures that make a fast home sale attractive. If you’re going through a divorce or relationship breakdown, then you may want to get things sorted as quickly as possible so you can make a clean break and a fresh start. Getting a little less for your home, in order to get the whole messy business over with sooner rather than later, can feel like a reasonable trade off.

Whatever the reason you need a fast home sale, a cash buyer is a good option to make that happen. But just how fast can a cash buyer buy your home? How are they able to act so fast? And are the headline speeds that some buyers offer really what they seem to be?

Get it right and you could have the sale completed, and the money in your bank, in just a few weeks. Get it wrong and you could find yourself significantly out of pocket, with a move that can still take months.

2. How long does a traditional sale take?

A traditional home sale on the open market takes at least four to six months. If you are very lucky, it can happen a little faster than this, but it can often take significantly longer. You also need to bear in mind that if your sale falls through, or your chain breaks, you will have to start that clock all over again. With as many as one in three home sales failing, this is much more likely to happen than you might think.

Not only will a failed sale cost you time, each reset will cost you money too. You stand to lose thousands of pounds in legal fees, searches and other costs every time your sale fails. You also risk losing your next property that you’ve set your heart on buying, and having to postpone that life change that’s you’ve been looking forward to.

3. What are the steps in a traditional sale?

The home selling process involves multiple steps, and each one takes time. Let’s take a walk through each stage of the process:

Preparing your home – before you can even think about putting your home up for sale, you will probably need to put some time in to fix the place up. This can involve anything from a lick of paint to freshen things up, to fitting a whole new bathroom or kitchen. If you don’t have the budget to pay tradesmen, and you’re working full time, you will only have evenings and weekends in which to do this work. Even if you apply yourself with energy and enthusiasm, it can still take several weeks.

Choosing an estate agent – once your property is ‘market ready’ you can begin the process of appointing an estate agent. Chances are you will want to see a few different agents, both to compare their prices and service, and to get a ‘feel’ for who you want to work with to sell your home. This alone can take time as you have to schedule appointments around their availability as well as your own.

Working with your estate agent – appointing an estate agent is just the start of their process. Tight regulation of the sector means that you’ll have to complete a lot of paperwork and formally prove your identity before they can even begin to work on selling your home.
Once this is completed, they’ll need to arrange for photographs and floor plans, write the details and get them approved by you before your property finally goes on sale. This is not a step to rush, because if you don’t fine tune your property description to show it at its best, your haste could end up slowing down the sale because you don’t attract the right buyers.

Finding a buyer – finally, once you have dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s, you are ready to launch your home onto the market.

You’ll probably be full of expectation at this point, but that doesn’t mean anything will happen any time soon. You may get a flurry of interest in your ‘new listing’ but that doesn’t mean you’ll find a buyer fast.
This is often the longest and least predictable stage and you could be facing months of viewers, or worse still, months without viewers. Even when you do get a viewing booked in, you have to accept that many of these will just be ‘having a look’ rather than seriously considering an offer.

A good estate agent will only arrange viewings with people who are in a position to buy your home, but not all of them are this discerning. There’s nothing more frustrating than having someone say that they love your home, and they’d be happy to put in an offer, but they need to sell their existing home first.

Building a chain – as if selling a property wasn’t slow enough, chances are you will end up in a chain with lots of other buyers and sellers. Only 10% of UK home sales are chain free, so even if you move as fast as possible on your own sale, you’ll inevitably be at the mercy of the rest of the chain. These chains will only ever move as fast as the slowest link, and there’s usually nothing you can do to speed things up.

Conveyancing – once you’ve finally found a buyer, and everyone else in the chain is happy, you can start the long slog that is conveyancing. This is the legal process behind buying a house, and you can’t avoid this delay.

Conveyancing involves searches and surveys, which all take time. It also involves communication between you and your solicitor, as well as between your solicitor and your buyers’ solicitor, each step of which slows things down that little bit more.

On average, conveyancing takes between eight and twelve weeks for a straightforward home sale. However, if you hit any snags along the way, or even if someone in the chain takes a holiday, it can take much longer.

Complications – even in perfect circumstances, with ideal preparations, finding an agent fast, listing your home promptly, finding a buyer in the first few weeks and hustling through your conveyancing, a traditional home sale will still take several months. Of course, perfect circumstances almost never happen, so you need to add in extra time to allow for problems and complications.

You might find damp when you swap out the bathroom. Your buyer may have problems getting a mortgage. Or Liz Truss might become Prime Minister for 49days and completely change the face of the economy and the housing market. You simply don’t know what will happen, and no home sale is guaranteed until you have exchanged contracts.

4. How you save time with a cash buyer

With such a complicated process, how is it possible for a cash home buyer to complete a sale in just a few weeks or less? How fast can a cash buyer buy your home when there are so many time-consuming steps to go through? 

It is important to remember that cash buyers are experts in these kinds of property transactions. While you may only sell a property every few years, they buy several properties per month. This experience means that they know how the system works and how they can speed things up at almost every stage. 

Let’s take a look at that list again and see how fast can a cash buyer buy your home:

Preparing your home – a cash buyer will buy your home ‘as is’, so there are no delays while you work to make it market ready.

Choosing an estate agent – you don’t need an estate agent when you use a cash home buyer. By dealing directly with your buyer, you cut out the middleman and save yourself time and money.    

Working with your estate agent – with a cash buyer, there’s no need for expensive photographs or fancy floorplans, and you won’t waste time printing brochures or uploading online listings. You skip this stage completely and move straight to your sale.

Finding a buyer – choosing a cash sale means you’ve already found your buyer. There’s no need to keep your home constantly ‘viewer ready’ for months on end and there’s no humiliating viewings where visitors find endless faults with the home you love.

Building a chain – there is no chain with a fast cash buyer. It is a simple, straightforward transaction between you and them, with no one else involved to slow things down. 

However, to be sure of this, it is essential that you ask your buyer for proof of funds. Some shady companies say they will buy your home, but in fact they will actually just broker a deal behind the scenes with another buyer. If your cash home buyer is not actually buying your home themselves, then the sale could move just as slowly as a traditional sale, but you’ll still end up with a far lower price.

Conveyancing – reputable cash home buyers will use solicitors who understand the fast cash buying process, and who will move far quicker than any standard conveyancer will. Chances are, they will recommend this company to you for your sale as well as their purchase, to speed things along.

However, you should always be free to use your own solicitors if you prefer. If a cash buyer insists that you use their solicitors, this is a big red flag. You have to ask yourself what it is that they are hiding and don’t want your solicitor to find.

Bear in mind that your own solicitor may not be as experienced with cash sales, and they may move slower than the firm recommended by your cash buyer. Your sale will only move as fast as the slowest party.

Complications – if you choose a reputable cash home buyer, with funds in place to buy your home, then there should be no complications along the way. They will not need to arrange a mortgage and the speed of the sale means that there will be little risk of significant changes in the market between agreeing the price and completing the sale. 

A reputable cash house buyer will confirm their initial offer in 24-48 hours and should stick to that price unless they discover serious problems with your property.

Want to hear why we recommend My Homebuyers above everyone else?

We have independently investigated all the best cash home buyers in the UK. We ranked them based on their cash offers, reliability, customer service and 15 more metrics. And we discovered that ‘My Homebuyers’ are superior in every regard to all other companies.

My Homebuyers will give you the best genuine cash offer, without contracts and without any fees. While other companies will try to lock you into a contract which is rarely in your benefit. Even if they claim they don’t have contracts, the truth is, they do. And they’ll force you to sign it.

Click the button below to see exactly why we recommend My Homebuyers as your best option and how you can use the free Safe Connect™ programme to get VIP treatment from them.

5. Why a fast sale still takes several weeks

It is important to remember that a quick cash sale will still take three to four weeks to complete. Even with all the time savings discussed above, there are still a number of mandatory legal hoops to jump through and a lot of paperwork to be sent out and signed. 

A cash buyer will still want to arrange for a survey to make sure that there are no major issues with your home, and they will still want to arrange the usual searches to check out the area for flood risks and the like. 

Unlike a traditional sale, these searches and surveys are unlikely to affect the price, unless they reveal something very serious. However, your buyer will still want to know what they are getting themselves into. After all, with the average UK house price currently around £282,000, they are investing a substantial amount of money.

6. Why a sale in seven days will be expensive

If you really want to move as quickly as humanly possible, how fast can a cash buyer buy your home? Most companies will say that they can complete the sale in as little as seven days, but with everything we’ve discussed above, is this really possible?

The answer is yes, but a qualified yes. A sale this fast is possible, but it will cost you a lot more than the standard 20% price reduction for a fast house sale. You should expect a much more significant price cut, and you could get as little as 50% of the market value, depending in how fast you want to sell.

To complete a sale in just seven days, a cash home buyer would have to skip a number of important steps, such as getting a survey or arranging searches, so they would effectively be taking a leap of faith and buying your property ‘blind’ based on your own photos and description alone.

Such a sale is clearly a much bigger risk for the company involved, and so they will expect to pay a much smaller price to compensate for this. Cash buyers can take out insurance or indemnity policies to cover these risks, but of course they won’t be the ones that pay for this peace of mind. The cost of these policies will be taken off your offer price.

You may also find that the initial offer price is much less reliable than it is with a longer timescale. If the company doesn’t have the time to do the necessary checks before they confirm their formal offer, then that offer is much more likely to change when they do, even if the conveyancing process has already started.

7. Why a sale in under seven days is highly unlikely

Occasionally, you will see a cash home buyer offering to buy properties in as little as 48 hours. This is not an offer that a responsible or reputable company would ever make, and you should be extremely wary of this kind of claim. 

As the saying goes, if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. A home sale as quick as this is almost impossible to achieve. There is little chance that they will actually make it happen, even if you are desperate enough to accept the giveaway price they are offering you.

Unfortunately, buy the time you realise that your two-day sale miracle is not going to happen, you’ll probably be tied into a contract at that ridiculous price and be forced to sell at a loss without gaining any extra speed on your sale. (Check out our advice on why you should never sign a contract with a cash home buyer). 

Here at the Property Sale Watchdog, we don’t recommend these deals and strongly advise you to avoid them. If you really do have to sell as fast as possible, a seven-day deal is much more likely to be genuine, and it will have a much greater chance of meeting its deadline. 

8. Do you really need to sell that fast?

Before you rush into a super-fast home sale deal, it’s worth considering if you are asking the right question in the first place. Instead of asking ‘how fast can a cash buyer buy your home?’ you should perhaps be asking ‘how fast do I actually need to sell?’.

Even if you’re under extreme pressure from your mortgage lender, or you’re desperate to get away from a failed marriage, it’s highly unlikely that you can’t wait three or four weeks to get your hands on the money from your home sale.

If you explain the situation to your bank or building society, they will usually be prepared to wait, and put off repossession, until your fast cash sale goes through. Even a delay of three or four week is still quicker for them than the long legal process of repossession. They will get their money so much sooner, without the hassle of having to sell your home themselves.

The same is true when it comes to former partners, or siblings who want to get their hands on their inheritance as soon as possible. A guaranteed sale within the month should be enough to satisfy all parties, especially when you explain how much more they stand to get if they can exercise a little patience.

Given the cost of pushing your sale through faster, you need to ask yourself if it is really the right choice for you. Is shaving just a couple of weeks of your sale time worth shaving a huge extra chunk off your offer price?

You don't have to do this alone

To understand why going through us is both better and safer, instead of going directly to your home buying company of choice, click the button below.

Depending on your preference and circumstances, we’ll connect you for free with one of our strictly vetted, ethical partners. They will help you sell your property for the best offer you can realistically achieve.

They will take care of all of the legal processes and fees and you’ll get the cash straight into your bank account. With our partners you can achieve a very fast sale or a slower one if you’re not pressed on time.

Faster sales usually yield a lesser price but they save you time.

It all depends on your circumstances and preference.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to the question ‘how fast can a cash buyer buy your home’, the answer is probably faster than you’d think, but not as fast as they may claim.

A fast cash sale in three or four weeks is reasonable in return for the lower price you will be offered. If you work with a reputable cash home buyer, such as the ones recommended by the Property Sale Watchdog, you should get a guaranteed sale, at a guaranteed price, within a timescale that suits you, your mortgage company and any other parties involved. 

Compared to the four to six months, and often longer, that a traditional home sale takes on the open market, this is a very swift service and is often well worth the cost.

However, it’s important not to get greedy with the speed of your sale. A cash home sale can be completed in as little as seven days, but those two or three weeks will usually cost you a great deal more than they could possibly be worth. In most cases, mortgage lenders, former partners or the seller of your dream home will be happy to wait just a couple of extra weeks for you to get the best possible price.

Any company that claims to be able to complete your home sale in less than seven days is best avoided altogether. This speed of sale is almost impossible to achieve professionally,  and chances are they will miss their deadline by a large margin, while still charging you over the odds for the privilege.  

To find out how fast can a cash home buyer can buy your, check out the Watchdog’s recommended companies. They will explain how the process works, what you stand to gain and what those gains will cost you. Then you can make your own, informed decision about how fast you want to sell.

We hope this guide has given you ample guidance on how fast can a cash buyer buy your home. 

We’ve aimed to arm you with as much knowledge as possible. We hope you feel better prepared for any eventuality. 

Remember – your financial health is important, but mental health must always come first. 

Wherever you are in the process, make sure you talk to people regularly, whether it’s friends, family, trusted coworkers, or helpful agencies. 

Taking time away from dealing with phone calls and paperwork is crucial for clearing your mind, and keeping your sanity in tough times.


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