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BetterMove wants £1,000 from my son to buy a house!

Hi,

My son has found a first time house he really likes. Its being sold through BetterMove and they have informed him he needs to pay a "refundable" £1,000 fee to secure the property - which will be refunded once he completes. Anyone else used/been through this? Have you got your money back? Seem a bit of a scam to me. They can't tell him if the money is protected and what consitutes a non sale ie what if the survey pulls up red flags?
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Comments

  • housebuyer143
    housebuyer143 Posts: 3,169
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    Sounds like modern auction. Tell him to walk away.
  • SiliconChip
    SiliconChip Posts: 1,284
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    Sounds like modern auction. Tell him to walk away.

    I don't think it is, as the payment in MMoA is not refundable. However, BetterMove definitely don't seem to act like a traditional estate agent given that they don't charge the seller a fee. I'd be doing more research before handing over any money.
  • Martico
    Martico Posts: 911
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    As far as I can work out, they offer the vendor a swift sale, with legal fees included, but insist on them accepting below market value. And they make the buyer pay a deposit, as you're finding. Look up their reviews - the few that I've seen are pitched as attractive to the vendor; I've not found any that look at the deal from the perspective of the buyer, so do some deep research
  • housebuyer143
    housebuyer143 Posts: 3,169
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    edited 30 January at 5:32PM
    In that case, put a note through the door saying you want to buy it but will not be paying the £1000 fee and if the seller wishes to sell it to you directly to get in touch. 
    I wouldn't part with £1000 without being able to see what's wrong with the house. My mate couldn't get a mortgage on one due to the property not having enough support for the second storey - in this case £1000 would be lost.
  • theartfullodger
    theartfullodger Posts: 14,380
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    edited 30 January at 5:42PM
    As I read companies house, £100 share capital, less than £10k net assets.. he'd be doing them a favour "loaning" them £1k.  Suggest he looks at the 1-star reviews on trustpilot. 

    No idea of course if the reviews are 100% gold-plated guaranteed.....
  • LHW99
    LHW99 Posts: 4,070
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    According to their website, BetterMove "...is a trading style of Blootek Ventures Limited"
    Blootek can be looked up on Companies House website https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/11833187.
    This says that Blootek was incorporated in 2019, and has one Director / Person with significant control. There are various documents you can download from Companies House if you are interested.
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,363
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    edited 30 January at 6:04PM
    He can tell them he'll happily give them a deposit in exchange for a £1000 deposit from the vendor refundable when they complete...

    Seriously though, he should just avoid any discussion about a pre-contract contract or deposit.
  • NameUnavailable
    NameUnavailable Posts: 2,786
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    They say "You can secure the purchase today by paying an exclusivity fee of £1,000 which gives you the rights to purchase within a given timeframe".

    So if you don't complete within the given timeframe you wave goodbye to the £1K.

    I can't work out how they make their money apart from that - no charge to the seller and a refundable deposit to the buyer, unless it's one of the outfits that agrees a purchase price with the seller and keeps whatever they make on top of that?

    Probably only worth considering if you're a cash buyer or happy to lose the £1K assuming you won't complete in time.
  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,143
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    edited 31 January at 11:53PM

    I can't work out how they make their money apart from that - no charge to the seller and a refundable deposit to the buyer, unless it's one of the outfits that agrees a purchase price with the seller and keeps whatever they make on top of that?



    It's more difficult to comment when a specific company is mentioned - I've had threats of legal action against me in the past when I've commented on how companies do their business.


    But having read a few pages on their website, I get the impression that they work like this...
    • They do "back to back" transactions.
    • i.e. They offer £x to a seller, and resell for £y to a buyer - with both transactions on the same day (so they don't actually need any money to do that)
    • The difference between £x and £y is the company's profit.
    • (That's how they can say that they don't charge fees to sellers, and they pay the seller's legal fees, etc.)

    That's how lots of "quick sale" and "we buy any house" type companies work, and their website suggests to me that they do the same.


  • mark_cycling00
    mark_cycling00 Posts: 500
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    My sense here is that I'd be very suspicious of a house being sold this way. It may look good value but may have huge issues that would prevent it being sold the traditional way.

    Like the "unverified mileage" cars at car giant. 

    (Car giant is fine if you know what you're doing.)

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