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Concerns about ‘quick house sale’ businesses

Concerns about ‘quick house sale’ businesses

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 18/04/2013
First Published: 18/04/2013

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has begun a study into companies offering quick sales on properties, amid concerns that some vendors may receive less for their home than it is actually worth.

Quick sale companies offer to either buy homes or find third party buyers over a short period of time, often less than the actual market price.

The OFT has approached over 50 firms in the 'quick sale' market to gain insight into their practices and business models, and has asked members of the public who have used the companies to contact them regarding their experiences.

The consumer watchdog said it is worried that some companies may be using practices such as failing to provide clear fee and pricing structures, reducing the price of a home once a buyer has committed financially to a sale or persuading sellers to enter contracts which restrict them from selling to other buyers.

Cavendish Elithorn, senior director for goods and consumer at the OFT, said: "Businesses offering quick house sales may provide a useful service for homeowners who need to unlock cash in a hurry.

"However, they are often used by consumers in vulnerable situations and therefore we are concerned about the risk of consumers being misled and losing out on large sums of money."

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