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OFT to investigate broker estate agent relationship

The Office of Fair Trading has revealed it will be investigating the current relationship between mortgage brokers and estate agents.

The OFT has today formally launched its market study into home buying and selling today, following two months of discussions.

The study will take a look at the market for home buying and selling services. It will consider the competition on price and quality within the house buying industry, the prospects for entry by new business models, including Internet-based models and whether the existing regulatory framework provides the right balance between protecting consumers and ensuring that the market remains open to competition and innovation.

It will also be scrutinising the relationships between estate agents and other service providers such as mortgage brokers, surveyors, solicitors and other professional advisors.

OFT senior director of Infrastructure Heather Clayton says: With the economic downturn, we need to ensure that consumers receive a good service when buying or selling a home, from a market that is competitive, innovative and well-functioning.

We have had constructive discussions on the scope of this study with interested parties from across central and devolved government, consumer groups and the industry. This means we are starting the study with a clear understanding of the key issues.

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