Now OFT attack dogs go after estate agents
Giddy from their latest victory against the major banks, the guys and gals at the Office of Fair Trading are gearing up to have a good rake around in the murky world of house purchasing – a good idea at the moment, as nobody seems to actually buying or selling all that many houses.
There can be fewer things more frustrating than buying a house – the only one we can think of is trying to launch a dustbin into outer space using only bicarbonate of soda and vinegar as rocket fuel.
The OFT are promising to explore every facet of the whole tooth-gnash-causing business, including the cost of estate agency fees and what you actually get for your money, the relationships between estate agents and mortgage brokers (who are increasingly one and the same) and the proliferation of estate agents.
A full report is promised by the end of the year, yes this one, 2009AD. Which in itself is astonishing as these things usually drag on and on until everyone involved has had enough and just agrees to give up.
Expect changes in the law and an easing in the house-buying process by about 2020 though – once everyone involved who is portrayed in a negative light has had their say in court and the dragged the arse out of the whole thing.