Is the professional home buying industry regulated?
Unfortunately, despite Quick Move Now’s best efforts, the professional home buying industry remains unregulated. This means that, in reality, there is very little protection for a homeowner who falls prey to a bogus trader claiming to be a genuine cash home buyer.
In the absence of any official regulation, Quick Move Now has always been keen to support any professional bodies that aim to raise industry standards. We are registered with The Property Ombudsman and are members of the British Property Federation. We are also one of the founding members of the National Association of Property Buyers – the only professional association focused solely on the professional home buying industry.
Why is the house buying industry unregulated?
In 2013, in response to a complaint from someone who had a bad experience with a company claiming to be a cash home buyer, the Office of Fair Trading (now the Competition and Markets Authority) launched an investigation into the professional home buying industry. They invited 15 directors from home buying companies, including Quick Move Now, to participate in the investigation.
At the end of the investigation, despite strong recommendations from the directors at Quick Move Now that the industry required formal regulation, the Office of Fair Trading concluded that the industry should remain self-governing.
Disappointed by the investigation’s conclusion, and determined to raise standards within the professional home buying industry, Quick Move Now joined forces with a select group of other home buying companies to create the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB).
The National Association of Property Buyers sets out a clear code of conduct that it asks member organisations to adhere to, but unfortunately does not have the capacity or authority to monitor the industry.
So how do you know if you are dealing with a genuine home buyer when they all say the same thing?
While it is a positive sign if the company that you are considering using is signed up to organisations such as the National Association of Property Buyers, the British Property Federation and The Property Ombudsman, it is important to remember that these are voluntary organisations, and are not a substitute for property industry regulation.
For this reason, it is vital that you carry out your own independent research to ensure that the company you are dealing with is a genuine cash home buyer that can deliver on their promises.
Warning flags include:
- A genuine home buyer would never charge fees or ask you to sign a contract until exchange.
- Looking at a company’s accounts is the quickest way to establish if you are dealing with a genuine home buyer.
- Any company that claims to be a regulated home buyer is misleading you.
- A genuine house buyer should be willing to share their company accounts.
- Any company that cannot produce company accounts is not going to be a cash home buyer. A home buyers turnover will be in the high millions.