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How to advertise Help to Buy properties

Friday 14 December 2018

In a recent article, Property Ombudsman Katrine Sporle, explained how the cost of Help to Buy properties should be advertised to consumers, following two separate incidents where Rightmove asked agents to amend their listings.

The first scenario saw a property advertised on Rightmove for the price of £228,000 when its true price was £285,000. In the second instance, a two-bedroom home was advertise for £220,000 and despite the description specifying that the full asking price was £275,000, advertising the lower price could be considered misleading.

So, if a property is eligible for ‘Help to Buy’, what price should it be advertised at?

Katrine advised: “Where a property is available to be purchased outright, then the price advertised should be the actual selling price. However, if ‘Help to Buy shared ownership’ or a similar shared ownership scheme applies to the property, then the reduced price can be displayed alongside a clear explanation of the shared scheme.

“If a property can only be purchased as part of a shared ownership scheme, then the reduced price can appear as the headline price, providing that it is clearly marked as a shared ownership property. An explanation of the scheme should appear in the particulars.

“Where prospective buyers may be eligible for an approved loan scheme, for example a Help to Buy equity loan, the headline price should still be the full selling price. This is because the property can still be purchased outright, without assistance, so potential buyers must be shown an accurate price.”

Our advice to you

Our Consumer Protection Regulations page contains the latest National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team's guidance on property sales to help you comply with your legal obligations.

We've also teamed up with Warwickshire Trading Standards to provide Primary Authority Advice for all eligible Propertymark members. You'll benefit from tailored advice on a range of legislation enforced by Trading Standards, which comes with an assurance that it will be respected by all local regulators helping prevent inconsistent reading of regulations.

And don't forget our UK-wide legal helpline - it's an invaluable tool when it comes to getting answers to tricky questions. As well as offering advice on residential and commercial sales, trained advisers can also assist with specialist Trading Standards advice.