There has recently been some publicity relating to some of the devious tactics that are used within the Quick Sales industry. The good news is that there are standards of service within the industry that the OFT have set in order to protect consumers, and which were laid out in August 2013.

You should expect anyone who is offering this type of sale to adhere to these standards, but I would wager that most of them aren’t even aware that the OFT has set standards.

So as “Quick Sales” are something that we offer, I thought it would be sensible to highlight the standards that have been communicated by the OFT, so that you are not only informed but you can hold us accountable for.

With an ethical business that cares about its customers, complying isnt difficult. From our perspective it just requires a bit more administration so there is a paper trail of evidence that we have complied.

Anyway, the following is a copy of the relevant section within a letter that was sent by the OFT.

Examples of what the law requires from quick house sale businesses
You must not mislead about
• the sort of service you provide. For example, saying or giving the impression that you are a buyer if you are not
• the likely timescales for the sales process. For example, giving a false or unrealistic timescale for completion of the sale
• how the purchase will be paid for. For example, claiming to be a cash buyer, or to have cash buyers lined up, when this is not true
• the price that you, or a third party buyer, may be prepared to pay
• how you (or someone instructed by you) will value the property
• the status of the offer price. If it is conditional, you should explain how – for example, is it ‘subject to survey and contract’, ‘subject to finding a buyer’, ‘subject to mortgage approval’?
• the reasons for any drop in the offer price
• any fees and charges that the home seller may be required to pay.
You must not
• reduce offer prices late in the process without a valid reason, where this puts undue pressure on the home seller and restricts their ability to make free or informed choices
• require the seller to use a solicitor of your choice, not theirs
• train your staff to use scripts and/or techniques that are intended, or likely, to mislead or pressurise home sellers.
You must
• conduct valuations in a proper manner, fairly and in good faith
• deal with consumer complaints promptly, effectively and in a professional manner
• bring to the seller’s attention: how long any contractual agreement will last, what costs/charges would apply if the seller pulls out, any notices you will place at HM Land Registry, Registers of Scotland or Northern Ireland’s Land and Property Services whilst the agreement is in place, and the effect of those notices on the seller’s ability to sell the property to a different buyer at a later date
• ensure that your staff, and anyone else who represents your business, is complying with the law.

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