OFT warn over quick home sales

The Office of Fair Trading is urging firms in the "quick house sale" sector to make sure their business practices are up to scratch after an investigation found some hard-pressed customers were given less than half the market value for their homes.

'Concern' over quick house sale practices

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has voiced concern that firms in the "quick house sale" sector are not implementing best business practices after an investigation found some hard-pressed customers were given less than half the market value for their homes.

Peter Bolton King, global residential director of the independant representative body, said Rics has long been concerned about some quick house sale companies.

Clearly, there will always be a premium to pay for those who need to move rapidly but there is no justification whatsoever for unethical or underhand practices.

– Peter Bolton King, global residential director of Rics

Read: The Office of Fair Trading advice to customers using quick home sale firms

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OFT: Shoddy practice must end in quick sale sector

The Office of Fair Trading says responsible quick house sale firms offer a valuable service but aims to end "shoddy practices" in the sector.

Responsible quick house sale firms offer a valuable service to consumers who want a fast sale. However, we have also seen potentially illegal behaviour and as a result the OFT has opened investigations into three companies.

When sellers get a bad deal, they could lose a lot of money. We want to ensure that consumers can have confidence in this sector and put an end to these shoddy practices.

– OFT Director Gaucho Rasmussen

Concerns raised about quick home sale practices

People who sell their homes to a quick house sale firm usually receiving around 10 to 25 percent less than the market value of their property in return for getting fast access to cash.

Concerns have been raised about quick home sale practices used by some firms. Credit: Press Assocation

But concerns have been raised about firms reducing the price offered at the last minute when the seller has already committed to the transaction, making misleading claims about the value of the property, and trying to lock consumers into contracts with heavy penalties if they sell to someone else.

The Office of Fair Trading said it has seen firms dropping the prices they will pay by up to 53 percent on initial offers which were already below market price, leaving people tens of thousands of pounds out of pocket compared with the market value.

Watchdog warns firms over quick home sale practices

The Office of Fair Trading is urging firms in the "quick house sale" sector to make sure their business practices are up to scratch after an investigation found some hard-pressed customers were given less than half the market value for their homes.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has been investigating firms in the 'quick home sale' sector. Credit: Press Assocation

The trading watchdog said it has also opened formal investigations into three un-named businesses for alleged unfair practices that may have led to some customers losing tens of thousands of pounds.