Trading standards has told the BBC that it is extremely concerned by the ‘quick sale’ sector of the estate agency industry and that it has evidence that some vendors could be losing up to £30,000 when they use such services.
These extraordinary allegations were aired during Saturday’s BBC Radio 4 Moneybox programme (see above), during which it was claimed that some quick sale agents are continuing to exploit desperate vendors.
Senior Trading Standards investigator Alison Farrar (left) told the BBC that, although most of the agents involved in the sector offer a fair and legitimate service, some do not.
“We have a few of these company’s on our radar at the moment and we’re keeping a watching brief over the rest,” she said.
Ferrar said that if agents in this sector were found to be exploiting some vendors, action would be taken to close them down.
One of the key complaints against quick sale agents is that they reduce asking prices without informing the vendors which, apart from the lost equity, makes it more difficult to sell the house at a later date with a traditional agent at a higher price.
The programme’s reporter claimed that doing this would be considered a breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading regulations.
Mark Hayward (left), Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark said the situation was ‘appalling’ because the practice puts a ‘price blight’ on a property.
Hayward said vendors should report agents to their redress scheme to seek compensation, as well as reporting them to either national or local trading standards.
Listen to the programme.