The police are investigating a quick sale company after a claim by an individual that he received less than half of the sum his property was eventually sold for.
The quick sale company under investigation is Midlands-based Speedyproperty.co.uk - not connected with legitimate property firms with similar names - and was instructed by Philip Edwards to sell his three bedroom semi-detached home at Hawarden in Flintshire, Wales.
In a report on BBC Wales. the seller explains how he contacted the company after seeing a newspaper advertisement. He says that despite being sold for £165,000, he received only £68,000.
He claims the remaining £96,000 was paid to two other companies which - BBC Wales alleges - had connections with speedyproperty.co.uk.
Edwards himself says he was not told that any money from the proceeds of the sale would be made to any other companies and that it was only on completion of the deal that he became aware of the payments.
He says he had to use £64,000 from the £68,000 he received to pay off a debt, leaving him now living in sheltered accommodation with relatives.
The BBC says the West Midlands Economic Crime Unit is investigating similar incidents with different named companies with the same directors and shareholders.
Estate Agent Today has attempted to reach speedyproperty.co.uk without success.
The Property Ombudsman has told EAT that speedyproperty.co.uk is not a member, but says that in 2016 TPO received 15 enquiries concerning property buying companies.
“One case proceeded to formal review which was supported in part because the Ombudsman identified shortcomings in the agent’s administration processes relating to payment of the monies. The complaint did not concern the sale price paid” says Jane Erskine, Deputy Ombudsman.
“In cases such as these, we consider whether the company provided full and transparent information to the seller, ensuring the seller understands the basis of the valuation, which will generally be less than the market value. As with our approach to all complaints, we expect agents to be fair and transparent in their dealings with consumers so they are fully equipped with all relevant and material information.”
A representative of the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team told the BBC that individuals who want to sell their home rapidly through quick sale companies should “take a step back, read through all the paperwork and get expert advice you should trust”, adding that sellers should particularly use their own solicitors and not those recommended by the quick sale company itself.
You can see one of BBC Wales’ stories about the incident here.