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“Quick sale” market put under the spotlight

The Office of Fair Trading is investigating whether the vulnerable are being ripped off

The quick sale market is being looked into by the OFT amid fears that desperate homeowners are being pressured into selling for huge discounts to unscrupulous companies. Quick house sale firms offer to buy a house or find a third party buyer very quickly, some in as little as seven days, and usually at a discount to the full market value.

Homeowners who turn to this option are usually vulnerable, in need of cash fast with no time to wait for a buyer willing to pay the market value of their home. The OFT has refused to comment on the size of the market but has highlighted that 157,000 households had fallen behind on their mortgage payments by the end of 2012.

Cavendish Elithorn, a senior director at the OFT, said: “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.”

Have you used a quick sale provider? Are you considering it? We want to hear from you so please get in touch at hello@hoa.org.uk

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