An online platform that allows the public to compare the services and fees of traditional estate agents in their areas has a new feature - a ‘Purplebricks Price Beater’.
Agentlocator.co.uk was set up at the start of this year to provide a platform where high street agents could promote their services and fees; in turn, it allows sellers or landlords to search for traditional agents by feeding in their postcode.
The details that come up as a result are from those agents that have registered with the service - over 350 since its launch - and include information right down to the agencies’ portal and trade body memberships.
Now a special section of the website is dedicated to offering sellers and landlords the details of high street agents who offer a full service but beat the Purplebricks’ fees for the local area - £845 including VAT across the UK outside of London; inside the capital, that fee is £1,195 including VAT.
The site pledges that unlike Purplebricks, its listed high street agents who ‘beat the price’ will charge no upfront fee, have a traditional no sale-no fee pricing structure, and will never ask clients to enter into a consumer credit agreement. It will handle viewings and feedback and allow clients unlimited access to sales staff within the branch.
In its most aggressive section, AgentLocator says:
“Did you know the following about Purplebricks?
You will not receive a full high street service;
They may charge you an upfront fee;
If you choose to defer your payment you must enter into a consumer credit agreement with a finance company, Close Brothers. This is essentially a loan agreement;
Debit card / credit card details are taken upfront;
If you have chosen to defer your payment you must use Purplebricks conveyancing services;
If you have chosen to defer your payment and decline to use Purplebricks conveyancing services you will be charged an additional fee of £360 (on top of £849/£1,199);
A limited marketing period in which to sell your house;
If your property fails to sell, you still have to pay Purplebricks;
If you choose to remove your property from sale, you still have to pay Purplebricks;
If your For Sale/To Let board is damaged, you will be charged by Purplebricks for a replacement board;
If Purplebricks are unable to re-use your For Sale/To Let board you will be charged a fee.”
Estate Agent Today has given the service a brief trial - within five miles of an Exeter postcode there was one estate agency that beat the Purplebricks price, and within 10 miles of a central London postcode there were 96 that claimed to beat the price.
“Having spoken with many local agents across the country, they are more than happy to receive leads via the Price Beater rather than allowing the lead to go Purplebricks. After all it is better to have your sales board or to let board up in your area, rather than an national online agent. Our members can still promote their usual charging structure in the local area whilst accepting Price Beater leads via Agent Locator” Estate Agent Today was told be Kevin Ward, who founded Agent Locator early this year.
Agents need to be a member on his site to receive Price Beater leads: it is free to create a sales or letting profile but thereafter there is a monthly fee of £19.95 plus VAT.
“Our agents will still also be able to receive free valuation leads directly from Agent Locator via their own detailed profiles on the site, with the addition of receiving leads through their website, phone or email” he adds.
“We have further changes ahead for the website that will continue to promote the great work that high street agents do. Our aim is eventually to run a series of tv campaigns and radio adverts in order to get the messages out that high street agents are the true local property experts. We need high street agents to come together and support one another.”
You can see the Agent Locator website here.