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Graham Awards

TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Online estate agency ceases trading and customers refunded

The online estate agency Settled appears to have ceased trading with its customers refunded.

It was launched in 2014 by former Google executive Gemma Young and her brother Richard.  In 2017 it secured £1.2m in funding in a new investment fund-raise.

But a statement on the website today says: “In light of Coronavirus, we’re rapidly living in a very different world. With that in mind, we’ve made the hard decision to hibernate Settled. We’ve refunded all of our customers who were yet to have an offer on their home and we’re helping those in the process of selling to get to completion.

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“We’ve also reflected and decided, we don’t want to go back to the way things were.

“It’s time for us as a business to examine both the problems of these present times and to also look deeply at the issues that have impacted the property market (including Settled) for many years.

“It’s time we stopped to take a look at how we build our business for the future, so that, as the market begins to recover, we can launch a vastly improved way of buying and selling homes, which, in turn will help to stabilise the country’s economy.

“It’s time to connect with advancements in technology and the opportunities this offers for the property sector.”

The people behind the agency say they now want to establish a PropTech platform working with government, local authorities, banks, lawyers, estate agents, surveyors, insurers and consumers.

 

  • Matt Faizey

    Who did what now?

  • Paul Singleton

    Another one bites the dust, the list is getting longer and longer!

  • Simon Shinerock

    Well that’s Settled then

  • Graham Davidson

    Fair play to them for refunding any sellers who were not under offer.
    Did they extend the same courtesy to all the people who invested in the business during any rounds of fund raising?
    I suspect not! I suspect just like others such as Emoov, they have handsomely salaried themselves whilst throwing investors money down the drain.

    Kristjan Byfield

    Graham why would investors get their money back? Had the business been a raving success, would those investors have simply handed back their equity in return for their original investment? Investing is a risky business- especially if you invest in a biz/sector you don't understand. Feel they have been very genuine here- lots of businesses fail- plenty of traditional agencies too let's not forget.

     
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    No wonder they can afford to refund their paltry client numbers with the £1.2m funding.

    Would be good if you can report a breakdown of expenditure for the business.

    One suspects she will be dining out on that ex Google resume as she goes to try and be a government advisor.

    The thought of our taxpayer money going to such advisers deeply troubles me.

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    Still showing as a trading active company on Companies House.........??

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Losses were just shy of £3m last July, I am guessing this is closer to £4.5-5m by now. Again, same trend as others, as soon as any scale is attempted losses widen dramatically. What is interesting, however, is that they had a 90% success rate on offers agreed and they completed transactions in half the national average. By the look of it they are taking these learnings and looking to leverage them in a different way to benefit the market as a whole. We shall see. Anyone keeping a tally of total losses by onliners to date?

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    Maybe just maybe all these people trying to find a so-called better way to do estate agency will have to conclude that the the traditional way for most people is the best way and there simply isn't the demand for an alternative that is scalable.

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    We need to adopt the Canadian Model - it protects buyer and seller alike and is fast and efficient. Only downside is the agents fees haven’t dropped to the uk levels yet, though that is happening, but having everything done and dusted in 28 days from offer acceptance is brilliant- everyone knows where they stand. It works.

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