OFT Opens Investigation on Quick House Sale Firms

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The OFT has opened formal investigations into the alleged unfair practices of three quick house sale companies, which may have resulted in customers losing thousands of pounds.

London, May, 2014 – The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has opened its formal investigation into the alleged unfair practices committed by three quick house sale firms, which have yet to be named by the government agency. Many customers have allegedly lost tens of thousands of pounds on the transactions made with these firms.

The announcement comes in the heels of a OFT-published report on the quick house sale sector, said report of which discovered that there are pros and cons to the process. One of the notable findings in the report was that quick house firms provided customers with the benefit of an easy, fast and convenient sale of their properties.

While there are drawbacks to fast house sales London firms provide their clients, such as the seller agreeing to a below-market value price for the property, the benefit of a faster sale cannot be dismissed. Sellers typically agree to property prices 10 to 20 percent below the open market value.

It is not just the faster sale of the property that attracts individuals who ask about methods to “sell my home quick London area“. Quick house sales are also less expensive than the auction route and more secure than the private sales method.

The OFT also has favourable words for the sector. The agency reported that the sector is dynamic, innovative and transparent in that several firms actually deal with their clients in an open and fair manner.

But there are bad apples in an otherwise good basket. The OFT also reported that some firms are practicing unfair trading practices, which can result in their customers’ exploitation of their financial circumstances and misinformed choices when selling their homes. These unconscionable trading practices may also mean sellers receiving substantially less than their original expectations of the selling price.

The OFT has identified several of these practices that should be cause for concern among customers and regulators alike including:

  • Decreasing the property price at the last minute
  • Making misleading claims regarding the property value or the inclusive discount
  • Touting faster timescales such as 7 days instead of the industry standard of 3 to 4 weeks

Perhaps the most troubling red flag in fast house sales London firms engage in is persuading, if not inducing, potential sellers into signing long-term exclusivity contracts. Basically, any seller who signs the contract cannot sell to other buyers without risking severe penalties for the violation of its terms and conditions.
In this regard, the OFT has written to hundreds of quick house sale firms with the advice of checking their business practices, contractual terms, and other aspects of their operations. These firms are advised to comply with their legal rights and responsibilities under the law.

The industry is also undertaking measures towards its self-regulation. The sellers are advised to carefully choose the fast house sales London firms before signing any contract.

Sell or Yell is a reliable and reputable quick house sale firm with several years of legitimate experience. Call their free phone at 0800 434 6605 or 0800 141 2278 to schedule your free consultation with their agents. Send in an inquiry via help@selloryell.com as well.

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