OFT Spark Debate Over Selling Property Online

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One of the UK's most established private sales websites The Little House Company comments on the recent findings of the Office of Fair Trading Report on Home Buying and Selling. The company says estate agents need to accept that people want to save money and are increasingly going online to do so when selling a home. The OFT highlighted the fact that online estate agency and private sales were needed to make a better environment for those wishing to sell or buy property

Private House Sales is once on the agenda as the OFT publish a report encouraging online models to help people sell their homes.

John Fingleton, chief executive of the OFT, said: "Encouraging new business models, online estate agents and private seller platforms could put useful competitive pressure on traditional models and lead to better value for buyers and sellers. The government can help this process by updating legislation and making sure regulation only applies where it is essential to protect consumers." The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) was disappointed by the OFT's decision.

Nick Marr director at The Little House Company "Estate agents that have been living off huge commissions need to realise that consumers have become internet savvy and that they see online buying and selling as a natural progression in the UK property market. We are not anti estate agent the majority do a great job and the report acknowledges this, however their service comes at a price people are no longer wishing to pay. Consumers are moving away from the High Street to doing most things online including buying and selling property

The vast majority of The Little House Company vendors are second time house owners with average property prices of £442,000.

Nick Marr "Our average vendor is over 40 years of age most have all bought and sold with an estate agent before and all want to save money by undertaking the marketing aspects of a sale themselves. We recommend that once a buyer is found that the legal process is handed over to a conveyancer or solicitor.

"It is those at the higher end of the housing market with most to gain from a private sale, estate agents commission is based on house prices and does not bear resemblance to the work that they put in".

"Many estate agents feel that property valuation is their trump card, however it has become very easy to value your own home. Websites such as Zoopla or mousprice.com can provide home owners with sold house price data while other online property sites are great to compare like for like. Many people don't appreciate that estate agents only express an opinion when they value a property".

The Little House Company charge vendors a one off fee to advertise their homes with no commission on sale and supply For Sale Boards, Home Information Packs and useful advice for those buying and selling property.

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