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Buyers warned property raffle ‘gimmicks’ are not worth it

Written by: Marc Shoffman
Home buyers are being warned that property raffles are not worth the punt after another competition ended in acrimony.

Several property raffle websites have popped up in recent months, offering buyers the chance to get their hands on their own home simply by entering a prize draw after purchasing a ticket and answering a competition question.

However, many raffles have failed to raise the minimum amount so have either not given away the property or provide a cash prize instead.

Some have also been criticised by the Gambling Commission for flouting rules on competitions or have breached Advertising Standard Agency guidelines.

“Was there ever a more obvious gimmick than the property raffle?” Jonathan Harris, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, said.

“Which sane seller would raffle their home, rather than use the more traditional estate agency route to achieve the best price.

“From the buyer’s point of view, if gambling is your thing and you don’t mind losing the cost of the price of the ticket, then why not have a go?

“You might think it is worth a punt. But I would be extremely surprised if anyone actually ended up winning a property by these means. It seems that these property raffles simply don’t work, don’t raise enough money to satisfy the ‘seller’ and ultimately don’t end up paying out.”

The latest failed raffle, run on Cadivus, offered the chance to win a £2m flat in South Kensington, west London, close to the Victoria and Albert Museum for the cost of a £10 ticket.

However, it only raised £227,000 after seven months, 11 per cent below its target and instead has awarded a £53,500 cash prize, The Times reported.

Out of the remaining amount, £120,000 will be used by the seller to cover the costs for VAT, marketing and legal bills and they will keep the rest.

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