Online agency Housesimple has become the first in the UK to sell houses for free.
It says that based on the average property price in the UK of £226,798, sellers could save over £3,000 in commission.
Rather than charging commission or fees for selling homes, Housesimple earns referral fees from no-obligation selected services provided to sellers and buyers such as mortgage, conveyancing and insurance advice.
The free service, which has been trialled in selected postcodes in Yorkshire since January and the North West region since April, will now be rolled out permanently across these markets before the business makes its move into other regions in the coming months.
Sellers will continue to receive local expert valuations, photos and floorplan, ads on Rightmove, Zoopla and others, a ‘for sale’ board, negotiations and sales progression, and the support of a dedicated team from valuation through to completion.
“It's time for change in estate agency. We believe selling a property should be a great experience and that’s why we are making it simple, transparent and free” explains Sam Mitchell, chief executive officer at Housesimple.
“The ability to sell a home through advertised listings and professional support, without paying any estate agent fees, is unique in the UK. Housesimple is the only company to offer this service and we expect it will quickly become the most popular way to sell a property” he continues.
“This is a bold move but one that has been tested. Within just six months of trialling this offer we’ve increased our property listings five-fold and are now one of the leading agents by listings in cities like Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester.”
Housesimple now claims to be the UK’s 5th largest single-brand estate agency.
Mitchell continues:“Like most estate agents, we are generating revenue from ancillary services, but as we don’t have expensive branches and we use technology to make us more efficient, we can pass on these savings to our customers by not charging fees to sellers or buyers.
“Our goal is to offer our free service nationwide, but we’re not extending our service to the whole of the UK in one go because we think demand will initially exceed our ability to service all our customers. We are therefore building up our coverage in Yorkshire and the North West and will start to roll-out to other towns and cities in the coming months.
“We know that people don’t just want cheaper, they want better. We’ll continue to offer an outstanding, fully managed service from a dedicated team working together to sell homes quickly, easily and for the best possible price.”
Founded in 2007 by Alexander Gosling and Sophie Cronin, Housesimple is backed by investors including Sir Charles Dunstone, together with his business partner, Roger Taylor. Housesimple says it has sold properties with a total value of more than £2.5 billion.