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OFT to investigate estate agents

Trade watchdog study follows Which? call for probe

A white house on a hill

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Today the trade watchdog launches an investigation into home buying and selling, following Which?’s calls for change.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) will look in detail at the market. Its probe will cover various aspects.

  • The price and quality of estate agents 
  • Current rules and whether they provide sufficient protection for consumers
  • The relationships between estate agents, mortgage brokers and solicitors
  • New business models, such as internet based estate agents.

Which? campaign

Which? called for the OFT study to be as wide ranging as possible and therefore we welcome today’s announcement.

Which? campaigner Mark McLaren said: ‘The OFT’s study could bring welcome relief to consumers who have long struggled with the process of buying and selling their home. However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and that’s why we hope the recommendations lead to changes that will benefit consumers by making home buying easier, cheaper and more certain.’

The study will cover the whole of the UK, and the OFT intends to complete it before the end of 2009. 

For further advice see the Which? guides to buying a house and selling a house. We also have a guide to dealing with problem estate agents.

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