Uppie, a new service aiming to solve the deposit problems of first-time buyers, has been launched. Essentially, first-time buyers without enough deposit money would move into empty properties and pay an amount of money equal to rent over six months. The amount would, however, not be seen as rent but as down-payments towards the mortgage deposit.
Uppie is the brainchild of George Rawlings, who works for companies headed up by industry trainer and consultant (also his father) Richard Rawlings. The latest launch aims to match 95% mortgage pre-approved buyers with sellers of unoccupied homes.
The proposition is that in return for an asking price offer, the seller allows the buyer to move into the property between exchange of contracts and completion six months later. During this time, instead of paying rent, the buyer pays their deposit in monthly instalments.
When asked if the latest offering is regulated, how it is monetising the offering and how someone defaulting on payments can be evicted, George Rollings told EYE, that the company is not required to be FCA approved. “We are not estate agents, nor do we hold any monies. We represent neither buyer nor seller.
“We do not provide valuation or marketing advice and we do not provide any negotiating services.
“Uppie is a two-sided platform whereby sellers can upload a brief description of their property, price and contact details which we then offer directly to Uppie registered member buyers.
“Buyer and seller liaise together in conjunction with our suite of documents, calculators and recommended mortgage brokers and conveyancers who have not only approved and fully understand the system – they helped us create it!
“In terms of monetisation, our mission is not focused on profits at this stage, but on solving the problem for landlords and first-time buyers, and our business model currently invites sellers to pay whatever they feel is appropriate for the use of the platform following a completed transaction, payable on completion.
“We also make referral commissions from any mortgage, conveyancing, insurance and utility referrals we might make.
“We are also about to launch our partner programme to estate and letting agents whereby, in return for a referral fee representing 15% of the commission they charge, we enable agents to offer the service to their own selected clients without charge.
“This can help them gain instructions too as it offers a parallel approach to sellers of unoccupied properties and landlords.
“Agents who have possibly struggled to sell such a property might also find it useful as an alternative approach rather than losing the instruction.
“Remember, our member buyers are not currently in the regular market.”
Rawlings knocked back suggestions put by EYE about someone moving into a seller’s empty house, who defaults on their payment and how they could then be evicted.
He said: “This service is only offered to buyers of the highest creditworthiness, so they are unlikely to default in the first instance.
“However, if they did, the consequences of failure to complete would be as dire for the buyer as any other failure to complete.”
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