- 5 updates
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.
The Office of Fair Trading has offered advice to those wishing to use a quick home sale firm.They say:
- People should make sure they know how they are going to be paid.
- They should not accept verbal promises.
- And make sure they get confirmation from the firm in writing.
The Office of Fair Trading says responsible quick house sale firms offer a valuable service but aims to end "shoddy practices" in the sector.
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.
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.
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 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.