Homebuyers forced to change adASA raps National Homebuyers over TV ads

15 February 2006

A property-buying company exposed by Which? for charging over the odds for surveys has been rapped by advertising watchdogs.

National Homebuyers offers to buy property from those who want to avoid the normal sales chain. Last November we told how clients using the service had to pay upfront for a GBP 695 external survey which would normally cost just GBP 150. In return, the company promises a quick sell, but its offers are well below the market value for a property.

A TV advert for National Homebuyers claimed that the company 'make you a cash offer…at a price you'll like and to a timescale that suits you'.

Two viewers complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) because the advert didn't make clear that the company charges a valuation fee. It also failed to mention that the cash offer would be based only on an external valuation.

The ASA ruled that the payment of a valuer's fee is a significant condition of the service. It also said that the advertising should have made clear that the surveys were external only.

The company said it would change its adverts and make clear to viewers that valuations would be below market value.