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Graham Awards


Purplebricks tells government to order agents to publish fees

Purplebricks has issued a provocative response to the government’s new measures to promote a more professional and transparent house buying process. 

The government - in a statement on Sunday - said agents would in future have to secure qualifications before practising, and stated that faster reservation fees and shorter search deadlines could be introduced to reduce the stress for consumers moving home.

Now Purplebricks has thrown its weight behind the government proposals but also wants additional measures.


It says government should “reconsider requiring all agents to be transparent and publish their commission rates or fee levels. Purplebricks’ flat fees £849 and £1,199 for London and surrounding areas are clearly set out on the home page of its website for everyone to see yet in a recent survey we found that 93 per cent of traditional estate agents do not publish their commission rates or charges on their own website.”

It also says: “Greater transparency on fees would allow customers to make more informed choices when selecting an agent and remove the unfairness which currently exists, whereby two customers on the same street, using the same agent may be paying different rates of commission for the same service.”

Purplebricks is of course also active in the much more heavily regulated US and Australian markets, and has drawn on this experience to suggest other changes to the buying and selling regime in the UK.

“A major further step in the right direction would be the full digitalisation of data at the Land Registry and across the industry, so we can soon get to the point where every point in the sale or purchase of a property, whether a detached house or a one bedroom flat, is linked by its own Unique Property Reference Number” it suggests.

It says this would be be “major advance which will speed up transactions and make for a much more stream-lined and less stressful process for the public.”

It adds: “We already operate under similar regimes in Australia and the United States, and believe it would be a very positive step for the property industry in the UK”.

“Our team have extensive backgrounds in traditional agency, averaging over five years and yet all have to go through a rigorous selection and 10 day induction programme before becoming a Local Property Expert. After successfully completing their training, LPEs go into the field for 10 days, before returning for another two days of residential training. The two courses together cover over 100 hours of training” it says.

  • Chris Arnold

    Further evidence, were it needed, that PurpleBricks is simply a commodity.
    Their constant emphasis on the importance of fee is designed to distract from their shortcomings in other areas.
    The churn of these so-called 'experts' says much about the training they receive. We're it, or particularly the culture of the business, fit for purpose, they would have more credibility.
    As it is, they follow the eMoov marketing principle of making themselves seem credible by association.

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    Maybe force purple bricks to publish additional costs, not hide them in the small print.....

  • Sally Jones

    Typical PurpleBricks jumping on the bandwagon and attention seeking. They need to review how transparent they are about what their fees include and how often sellers have to pay this fee which I believe is after 10 months if the property doesn't sell!!! Always quick to point the finger but when asked about their sales figures they suddenly become very quiet. They are not 'a property estate agent' no matter how long they bleat on about it!!

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    Maybe PB should publish their successful completion stats. Which to date they have refused to do. Portal info indicates that half their clients are wasting their money. Ten days to be a “local expert”!!!

  • Frank Browne

    Maybe their adverts could provide their fee information too! Instead of inferring that they do not charge "commission". I had a professional colleague (not in the industry) ask me how their business model worked if they did not charge. He was lead to believe from the adverts that it cost nothing to sell through them.

  • Paul Singleton

    Maybe agents should be forced to disclose how many times they have been prosecuted by ASA or how many customers didn’t sell and lost hundreds or how many times they have been on watchdog or what their rating is on AllAgents. I’m happy to disclose all this PurpleBricks are you????

  • jeremy clarke

    Burple *ricks TOLD Government? Who the hell do they think they are?

  • icon

    What a load of TOSH!!!
    Most vendors would like the professional touch with an agent that has been recommended.
    Where I work the service our Vendors get is second to none. They're happy to pay a little extra knowing that they will get everything they need from us.
    If we do not sell, we do not charge. No matter what the price of the property, the same amount of work and service is provided. Purple Bricks charge you no matter what!
    If you want to pay only if the job is done, don't go work for PBs!!

  • icon

    A fixed fee for a bespoke service can often be the case .... but in line with many other service providers an agent might offer a special rate for staff, family & friends, a repeat customer, a client in a particularly difficult financial position, a developer whether large or small with a quantity of homes to sell or the likelihood of future business, someone who has bought through the agent before, a particularly desirable home or well motivated vendor ... or just because they have a real need for more stock fast. We have at times offered a discount rate for all of these reasons. And I have increased my rate in some cases where I didn't much want the business for one reason or another. I also charge a higher rate where a client will not allow a For Sale board, that focuses their minds!


    And an even higher charge when you know you can get it. i.e, A vulnerable seller!

  • Simon Shinerock

    Thinking about this I feel this statement earns PB the highest award for the pot calling the kettle black ‘I see bandwagons’ ‘where do you see them’ I see them everywhere’ jump jump, oops missed it ....

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    I think PurpleBricks are mistaken. They are the ones that try to clarify they do not charge commission. In the same light Proper estate agents therefore do not charge a fee, only commission. There you go PurpleBricks. Normal Estate agents don't charge a fee. "Save yourself from 'feemisery'

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    A lot of people in the country simply do not understand or respect the value that a competent and experienced estate agent brings to the table, the local knowledge of property, prices, buyers and state of their local markets, more now than ever a seller needs an experienced agent to get them the best price for their home in what is a challenging market. A high street agent WILL get you a better sale price for your home than any online agent simply by the way in which they work, the way they negotiate offers and more importantly because we do not get paid until the sale exchanges and completes and so a high street agent will be proactive in their sales progression and stop many sale from falling through. Rightly so they charge a higher fee because you are getting a complete service. Have you ever called Purple Bricks about a property? The person in the call centre has no idea about it, the sellers position, how longs it been on the market, they don't know the selling points of the flat on top of that Purple Bricks do not proactively call their applicant database to try and drum up viewings from nothing, they simply wait for the phone to ring via online adverts. If that's they type of agent you want and you want to pay peanuts for that sub standard service then good luck to you because you will most certainly need it!

  • icon

    well that post got everyone going, I too would like to see purplebricks publish how many properties they don't sell, that would put everything in perspective !!!

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    just been to see a property where the online agent has undervalued by £50.000

  • David Bennett

    It is wonderful how just about everyone on here, tell each other what they already know. You should be telling this to your potential clients. It is a sad fact that PB market themselves brilliantly. It throws vast sums of investors money at advertising. I bet there aren't many home owners that haven't heard about 'commisery' and how cheap it is to instruct them. Up there with 'Should have gone to Specsavers'. Stop whinging and get your message out there. Why aren't the National Association, RICS , the Guild etc championing your cause? Quick enough to take your subs!


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