The Office of Fair Trading is investigating the “quick house sale” market amid concerns homeowners are selling their houses for much less than their market value.
Quick house sale firms offer to buy houses or find third party buyers quickly at a discount to market value.
The Telegraph reports the OFT has raised fears some homeowners may suffer “very high” losses as a result of these sales.
OFT senior director for goods and consumer Cavendish Elithorn told the paper: “Businesses offering quick house sales may provide a useful service for home owners 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.”
The OFT has asked over 50 quick house sale firms to provide information about their business models and practices.
The regulator has concerns around unclear fee structures, reducing prices at the last minute before a sale, firms making misleading claims about property value and inducing customers into agreements that prevent them from selling to other buyers.