Private House Sales Company Welcome Government Report

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The private sales website The Little House Company welcomes findings from The Office of Fair Trading in which it found that over a third of people selling their homes in the UK would seek an alternative method when selling a property. The Little House Company contributed to the study along with other major stakeholders in the housing industry, the company highlighted restrictive practices and feared it was reducing consumer choice.

The UK’s leading private sales website The Little House Company welcomed the findings from the Office of Fair Trading in which it found that more than a third of people selling a home would consider selling privately.

The OFT published four research reports in November 2009 as part of its market study into home buying and selling. These comprise a survey of estate agents, a survey of trading standard services and both qualitative and quantitative consumer research.

Evidence from the research suggests that consumers are increasingly open to alternative methods of buying or selling a home. While the large majority of sellers used a traditional estate agent, more than a third initially considered selling privately, using an online estate agent, or selling at auction. There is a marked increase in interest in online estate agents relative to our previous survey in 2004.

Heather Clayton, OFT Senior Director of Infrastructure, said:
'This is important research which updates the available evidence about the process of buying and selling a home and current and future developments in the sector. For example, it shows the enormous potential for new internet-based business models in home buying and selling.

The OFT study is taking a comprehensive look at the market for home buying and selling services. It is considering: competition on price and quality between service providers, principally estate agents; the prospects for entry by new business models, including Internet-based models; whether the existing regulatory framework provides the right balance between protecting consumers who are buying or selling a home and ensuring that the market remains open to competition and innovation.

The Little House Company was asked to contribute to the research as one of the largest private sales companies in the UK. In its report to the OFT it highlighted how private sales businesses were being treated by all the major portals in the UK.

The Little House Company was the pioneers of partner network property advertising in the UK. They were the first private sales company to develop and operate partnerships with Rightmove & Propertyfinder (2001-2006) and FISH4. Since then all the major UK portals have banned the Little House Company from listings its private sellers homes insisting that there businesses are strictly for estate agents only. Most recently property search website Globrix also banned the company from promoting its properties to buyers

Nicholas Marr Company Director The Little House Company “The Office of Fair Trading research indicates that consumers seek more choice when it comes to selling a property in the UK. The Little House Company offer a real alternative to traditional estate agents and have been helping sell peoples homes since 2000 ”

The Little House Company recommend that people buying property should search both estate agent only web sites and private sales web sites to ensure they have not missed out on a bargain. The web site states that many of its private sellers are able to price their homes lower as they do not factor in an agent’s fees into the asking price.


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