The BBC have run a story recently about the perils of using quick sale estate agents to find a buyer(https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-your-money-51234455). The bad behaviour of these agents has been on the radar of NL&L for years. Effectively the “agent” advertises, promising to sell a property within an incredibly short period of time, the BBC article referring to timescales of sales in under seven days.
People who need to sell quickly are often vulnerable and in our experience these companies are, for the most part, profit predators. The trick is, of course, to offer a price for the property and then drop it “because of the valuation” at the last minute when the sellers are well on the conveyancing journey. These companies seem unconcerned that some of their activities are illegal, a breach of Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading regulations.
If you need a quick sale then you are as well finding a reputable agent, local or national, who will price your house accordingly. You need to look for one who is regulated and insured (see below for the link to Property Mark who are campaigning for Government regulation to ensure that everyone in the estate agency industry is licensed, adheres to a strict code of practice and holds at lease A level equivalent Estate Agency qualifications.)
Trading Standards have received innumerable complaints about these companies and suggest that there are many more that haven’t hit their radar yet. If you do encounter one of these companies on your travels, then it is worth contacting Trading Standards so that they can build up a picture of the activity in that market.
Selling your home is one of the most stressful things that you can do in life, even when it’s through a reputable agent and using a good solicitor. As the BBC rightly say in their article, your home is your biggest asset. A decent solicitor will help you to identify whether the activity of the agent and the buyer is normal and shouldhelp you to decide whether or not to continue with the transaction.
If you have any doubts at all about the transaction that you are getting into then please email on email@example.com call on 01937 326006
You can contact Trading Standards through this link : https://www.nationaltradingstandards.uk/contact/
The Property Ombudson here : https://www.tpos.co.uk/contact
Estate Agency Regulation : https://www.propertymark.co.uk/working-in-the-industry/regulation-of-property-agents.aspx