‘Quick house sale’ firms face action by OFT
The Office of Fair Trading has announced that it will be investigating three ‘quick house sale’ companies that are allegedly using unfair practices that are leaving consumers thousands of pounds out of pocket. National Homebuyers can confirm that they are not one of the companies being investigated and enthusiastically welcome closer scrutiny for the industry.
There are a number of companies that give fast purchase property companies a bad name and here at National Homebuyers we have heard many horror stories, from clients, of the bad practices of other less reputable companies who do not have the funds available to purchase the property directly. These practices include making an offer to purchase, when they will really just market it at a rock bottom price; reducing the offer when the seller is already financially committed; making misleading claims about the property value and making false claims about the speed of the sale, with some companies stating that a sale could be completed within 7 days when in reality it can take up to 4 weeks.
National Homebuyers provide a fair and transparent service, in which sellers know what will happen, what timescales the company will aim to work to and are kept updated as to the progress of the sale. When making an offer they will always carry out a valuation first, so that sellers can see what the current market value is and what the offer has been based upon. National Homebuyers will require anyone wishing to sell their property to have an independent solicitor, to act on their behalf and to protect their interests throughout the sale.
National Homebuyers have been in the property buying industry for the best part of 10 years and, in that time, have built up a reputation of fairness and honesty. National Homebuyers has previously assisted with a similar investigation into the sale and rent back industry in 2009 and welcomed the improved regulation of the industry by the FSA. National Homebuyers were authorised by the FSA for the acquiring and administration of sale and rent back properties and were already operating in a way that was fully compliant with the regulations that were imposed. National Homebuyers are confident that this OFT investigation will be a good thing for the ‘quick house sale’ industry and will hopefully mean that everyone wanting a quick and hassle-free sale will feel safe in the knowledge that they will receive a fair and transparent service.
The bad practices of a few companies has led to a wider distrust of the ‘quick house sale’ industry as a whole, but it is important to remember that reputable companies like National Homebuyers are providing a valuable service to home sellers who need to sell quickly in a time when selling a property can be very difficult and stressful. National Homebuyers would advise that consumers take the time to fully understand the processes of any company before they make any agreement with them; the OFT has released their top tips for home sellers, which is a useful resource for anyone considering the quick sale route.