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ASA censures estate agency for misrepresentation

by: Paul Robertson
  • 19/11/2014
  • 0
ASA censures estate agency for misrepresentation
Website ‘We Buy Any House’ has been censured by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) for misrepresenting itself as an alternative to an estate agent while acting in a similar way.

Claims on the website, www.webuyanyhouse.co.uk, owned by Eclectic Financial Solutions read: “Economic or time constraints can often lead homeowners to seek out companies that buy houses for cash. We Buy Any House should not be compared with an estate agent because we buy properties direct from the seller, so avoiding expensive estate agency fees. 

“We offer a free service and legal representation. The offer we present is the amount you will receive on completion without deductions. We will typically pay up to 90% of the market value for a house, depending on the property type, its condition and location.”

The complaint, which said the website’s statement was untrue and that the service operated similarly to an estate agency, challenged whether the ad misleadingly represented its nature.

We Buy Any House said it was clear in its advertising material that investors might wish to view a house before purchasing it and consumers were also made aware of that when signing up. They said the vast majority of their customers were able to sell their property within the relevant timeframe and therefore save on the costs associated with selling through a traditional estate agency.

The ASA noted the website included various claims such as “We buy any house in any condition throughout the UK … We buy houses no matter what the reason for a sale and speed up the process to allow our customers to take control and move on with their own lives.”

The ASA said: “We understood that We Buy Any House did not generally purchase properties directly from consumers and therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.”

The ad must not appear again in its current form and We Buy Any House must not misleadingly represent the nature of the service.

 

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