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Office of Fair Trading to look at Home Buying and Selling

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) have recently announced they will be conducting a comprehensive study of the home buying and selling process.   This is to concentrate on:

  • Competition on price and quality between service providers.
  • The prospects of new entry by, in particular, internet property retailers.
  • The extent to which consumer interests are protected by the existing regulatory framework.

Fridaysmove   also understands that this study will also cover the relationship between estate agents and mortgage brokers, surveyors, property lawyer s, conveyancers  and other professional advisers.

One area of focus is likely to be the commission passed between Home Information Pack providers, property lawyer s, mortgage brokers and estate agents.   At Fridaysmove, we are often asked by clients why we are able offer Home Information Packs  at such a competitive price as compared to their estate agents who were suggesting that the cost of the Home Information Pack, if purchased through that agent, would be in the region of £300.   Some client have been quoted as much as £450 for a Home Information Pack.   The answer is that many estate agents uplift the costs of the Home Information Pack.   Likewise, estate agents, for some years now have seen the opportunities to attract commissions from property lawyer s by getting referral fees for a seller or purchaser to use the conveyancing services of that particular property lawyer .   Commissions from property lawyer s to estate agents can be as high as £350 for conveyancing and as high as £150 for Home Information Packs.  

We would advise you to check with the company or person recommending the property lawyer or a Home Information Pack provider whether they are receiving any commission.   It would also be a good idea to check with the conveyancer and the Home Information Pack provider themselves.   Do bear in mind that the recommendation may be less to do with the service you will receive, but more to do with the level of commission received.


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