House Buyer Bureau, a leading provider in the quick house sale market, has launched a Code of Ethics in a bid to encourage a clean-up of the industry.
The company, which prides itself on the quality and integrity of its services, has drawn up its own Charter rather than wait for an Office of Fair Trading report into the sector.
Chris Hodgkinson, House Buyer Bureau Sales Director, said: “We welcome and will be supporting and working with the OFT on its study into the industry as it will help weed out unscrupulous companies that employ methods that give the sector a bad name. “However, while waiting for the OFT to complete its report, we wanted to publicly demonstrate our overriding commitment to treating clients with honesty and integrity. “We always have embraced the highest standards and are confident that our business processes and terms and conditions will be recommended as best practice for the industry in the wake of the OFT’s assessment. “The House Buyer Bureau’s Code of Ethics sums up the company’s principles and what customers can expect from our services.”
The company’s directors, managers and staff will put their names to the Ethics pledge – a public declaration that all its customers are treated with honesty and openness. The House Buyer Bureau Code of Ethics embraces the ethos of the company with the Charter comprising: ETHICS – Ethical, Transparent, Honest, Integrity, Considered, Sincere. The ethical approach adopted by the House Buyer Bureau includes: Not making false claims about the value of a property, but always instructing a minimum of two Estate Agents and a RICS Chartered Surveyor, all of whom are local to the property, to ensure that a considered valuation is provided regarding the price, Making a firm formal offer and staying committed to it unless there is an adverse survey or legal issues.
This is in contrast to other firms that reduce the price at the last minute for no valid reason. Being a genuine cash buyer unlike some firms that turn out to be a broker or a lead generating company that merely sells customers’ details on to a third party. No fees of any kind even if a customer decides to pull out of the sale before the exchange of contracts. Valuations also are free of charge. No customer being asked to enter into an agreement, with severe penalties for breach of contract, which prevents them from selling to other buyers. Clients can pull out of selling to the House Buyer Bureau without obligation or costs, at any time in the run-up to contracts being exchanged.
The OFT has asked more than 50 quick house sale firms to provide information on their business models and practices. It also has asked for evidence from people with experience of the fast house sale market including valuation experts, estate agents, debt advisors and home owners after which it will decide whether it needs to take action to stamp out rogue traders.