What are the ‘Fast Cash Buyer’ scams and why Property Forward are different?

The Office Of Fair Trading (OFT) recently launched a study into the quick house sale market. We welcome this review as we believe there are unethical firms in the marketplace taking advantage of consumers especially vulnerable sellers. The OFT identified 6 practices that they were concerned about.

Listed below are each of the 6 practices identified by the OFT in italics and Property Forward’s comments and policy on each one of them. You and/or your Lawyer should seek written or published clarification from the quick house sale company you have approached to confirm their policy on each of these 6 practices:

Reducing the price offered at the last minute after someone is financially committed to the transaction.

It has been reported that some house buying firms will offer higher than they intend to pay to enable them to get the business and will drop the price on or before completion. Some firms have been reported to reduce the price simply to make more money and they've done this on the day of exchange. Property Forward’s 'Formal Offer' is subject to contract and RICS Survey. Property Forward will NEVER reduce a 'Formal Offer' unless there is an adverse Survey or an adverse Report on Title (legal report).

Unclear fee structures, for example imposing an unexpected fee following an encouraging initial valuation, as a condition for progressing the service.

It has been reported that other house buying firms will charge hidden fees and costs. We can confirm that Property Forward will NEVER ask you to pay any fees to us or a third party.

Making misleading claims about the value of the property or the level of discount to be applied to the sale.

It has been reported that some companies are offering a high percentage based on false "in-house" valuations which is actually making the true discount much larger. Property Forward ALWAYS instructs a RICS Chartered Surveyor to value your property and these reports are available to you upon request.

Falsely claiming to be a cash buyers.

Some companies claim to be cash buyers but in truth they are just brokers who will look to sell your property onto an investor for a profit. Some websites are lead generation companies that will sell your details to lots of 3rd parties. Property Forward are a genuine cash buyer and we can provide proof upon request.

Inducing consumers to enter into agreements that prevent them from selling to other buyers, with severe penalties for breach of contract.

Lots of house buying firms will ask you to sign a legally binding contract which gives them time to find a buyer or raise funds. Some of these contracts are difficult to get out of and in some cases vendors have had to pay a large penalty. If you proceed with our cash offer we will NEVER ask you to sign a legally binding contract.

Saying the property can be sold quickly then taking a long time to conclude the sale.

Due to the fact some companies are in fact only brokers they cannot control the time scales in which their buyer completes the purchase and this can take months. We can purchase within 7 days and it rarely takes any longer.