An investigation has been launched today into firms which offer rapid sales deals to homeowners, in response to concerns they may be exploiting vulnerable divorcees and other people under financial pressure.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has approached more than 50 firms offering quick property purchases, often for less than the full market value, seeking details of the businesses. The OFT has also asked members of the public to submit their experiences of companies operating in the sector.
Some firms offer to buy the homes in as a little as seven days. The regulator said homeowners under financial pressure after a sudden change in circumstances such as divorce could be misled as to the real value of their homes.
OFT Senior Director for Goods and Consumers Cavendish Elithorn said. “Businesses offering quick house sales may provide a useful service for homeowners 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…losing out on large sums of money.”