What is the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB)?
If you’re considering selling your house then selling it direct to a quick house sale company is one option you might want to consider. If you’re looking to sell your house this way then it’s useful to know how the NAPB helps you.
The NAPB is the National Association of Property Buyers. Here we’ll look at exactly what the NAPB is and what it does.
What is the National Association of Property Buyers?
When you sell your house using an estate agent the estate agent advertises your house and finds you a buyer in return for their fee. Selling your house using a quick house sale service is different. When you sell your house to a house buying service, they buy your house directly.... and this is a very important difference.
When you sell your house using an estate agent the estate agent is subject to a number of legal requirements to ensure the sale is handled properly. Estate agents must abide by the Estate Agents Act (1979) and other laws. Estate agents must also be part of a Government-approved redress scheme designed to help and compensate customers if things go wrong.
However, these laws were not designed to apply to quick house sale companies. This means that those who sell their property to what is often called a fast-selling service are not protected by them.
The National Association of Property Buyers exists to fill this gap and ensure that those who sell their house to a quick house sale company are treated properly, are protected and can get compensation if things go wrong.
The Aims of the Association
The NAPB was founded in 2013 as quick house sale services started to become more popular.
Following an official report by the Office of Fair Trading, The Property Ombudsman or TPO – an independent Government-approved redress scheme – was asked to set up a Code of Practice for Residential Property Buying Companies. The purpose of this is to ensure sellers receive a fair and transparent service when selling their home to a property buying company. To do this The Property Ombudsman consulted with reputable companies in the quick house sale industry in order to establish a fair and reasonable code of practice.
The NAPB was then formed by a small group of companies within the quick house sale industry who share the aims of improving standards in the industry, ensuring house sellers are protected, and reducing the risk that sellers could be exploited by unscrupulous house buying companies.
The NAPB is a not for profit organisation. Membership is only open to companies who buy directly themselves so property owners can be sure about exactly who they are selling to.
How does the NAPB Help Protect House Sellers?
The NAPB helps to protect house sellers in a number of ways:
- The NAPB requires that members must treat homeowners fairly, so they are able to make an informed choice about how to sell their home.
- The NAPB requires that its members must register with The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme.
- The NAPB requires that members must follow the professional standards outlined in TPO’s Code Of Practice for Residential Property Buying Companies.
- The NAPB requires that members must be part of TPO’s independent redress scheme.
All this means that members must provide a fully transparent, fair and honest service to consumers looking to sell their home to a property buying company. It also means that sellers have a way of getting things put-right, and can even get financial compensation, in the unlikely event that things go wrong.
Quick sale companies who want to join the NAPB must demonstrate that they run a professional business and have a genuine commitment to upholding high standards in their business dealings, so consumers are always treated fairly throughout the process of their house sale. They must also have the appropriate insurance cover in place to protect customers.
The Code of Practice
The National Association of Property Buyers considers that self-regulation and working within The Property Ombudsman’s (TPO) Code of Practice and dispute resolution process is the best way of encouraging member firms to deliver a good quality service to house sellers.
As a result, all National Association of Property Buyers members must follow the Code of Practice which has been put together by TPO. The latest Code of Practice can be found, here.
The TPO has an established track record in driving improvements within the property sector. It operates Codes of Practice and redress schemes in several areas of the property industry.
Getting Help and Advice from the NAPB
The NAPB advises house sellers to consider everything carefully and to take independent legal advice before committing to a sale, paying a fee or signing anything.
The NAPB gives general advice to sellers who are considering using quick house sale companies in their 12 Top Tips For Homesellers guide.
The NAPB also publishes this useful guide: The Definitive Property Selling Guide.
The NAPB does not give individual advice to house sellers, however. It is not a regulator or a redress scheme itself. Instead, it says that house sellers who experience problems with a house buying service can raise the matter with The Property Ombudsman. It says house sellers should make use of TPO’s free and independent dispute resolution service in the event they have a complaint.
Should I Sell my House to a House Buying Service?
Selling your house to a company who offers an instant cash purchase is one of the options HM Government endorses in its official ‘How To Sell’ guide. It recommends that if you wish to do this you should understand the trade-off involved. It advises that you should use a firm that is a member of the National Association of Property Buyers, and that is signed up to The Property Ombudsman’s Code of Practice.
If you are thinking about selling your house to a house buying service it is important to consider everything carefully, take independent advice if you need it, and decide what is the best option for you before going ahead.
The advantages of selling your house this way are that it should be quick and simple. You do not have to wait for someone to make an offer, then wait again for the sale to be completed and wait to receive the cash. There is also less risk of the sale falling through.
The disadvantages of selling your house this way are that you may not get as much for your house as when offering it for sale through an estate agent. The quick house sale company may offer under market value in return for completing the sale fast.
Do I Have to Sell my House to an NAPB Member?
No, you can sell your house to whomever and by whatever method you choose!
House sellers who are considering selling their property to a quick house sale company should be aware that not all house-buying services are members of the NAPB. Companies who are not a member of the NAPB may not abide by the standards in The Property Ombudsman’s Code of Practice. If something goes wrong sellers may not be able to complain to or get financial compensation through the TPO’s complaints and redress scheme.
How to Find a National Association of Property Buyers Member
Membership of the NAPB is voluntary. House buying companies do not have to be members of the NAPB. So it is a good idea to check before using a house buying company whether or not they are a member.
Only members of the NAPB are allowed to display the NAPB logo on their website.
You can find an NAPB member and you can check whether a company is an NAPB member on the NAPB website.
You can also check whether a company is a member of The Property Ombudsman scheme, here.