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Rightmove probing online agency with controversial past

Rightmove is to review the processes of an online platform which directly uploads sellers' property details via an app.

Two years ago the platform - Top Gaff -  was dropped by Rightmove after saying it was not an estate agency. However, now Top Gaff says it IS an agency and uploads sellers' details to Rightmove and Zoopla.

Top Gaff now claims to be an online agency, where property details are loaded on to its own website - although no such details are on its own website as yet.

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In publicity material sent to Estate Agent Today this week, Top Gaff says owners can use its own online valuation tool or set their own asking price, and upload their information to the Top Gaff team in less than 10 minutes with "no contracts, commission, or fees.”  It says the only costs for sellers are the commissioning of an EPC and conveyancing fees from their chosen suppliers.

In the latest promotional material Paul Bar, managing director of Top Gaff, says: “Research shows that 63 per cent of buyers are more likely to choose an agent that can publish their properties in a shorter time frame, than having to wait. Unlike traditional High Street estate agents, who on average take two to five days to add a property to market, once the Top Gaff team has reviewed your listing, carried out required property and compliance checks, your property can be uploaded to Rightmove and Zoopla.”

This is very different to two years ago, when its publicity material said Top Gaff “is not an estate agent, it is a property gateway app.” At that time it also said Top Gaff “eradicates the need for an estate agent or online agent, giving consumers the ability to list their property for sale on property portals including Rightmove without paying commission or fees.”

Top Gaff now says its app’s encrypted messaging service enables users to arrange viewings, negotiate on price, and follow up with potential buyers throughout the sales process. “It allows users to take control of the selling process” it adds. 

Sellers are invited to take part in a six stage operation, beginning with downloading the app and setting up a profile; they then enter a postcode, followed by an asking price; they then enter property details as prompted by the app, plus adding photographs or videos from a mobile telephone. The sixth and final stage is for this all to be submitted “for professional review” before it is listed on the Rightmove, Zoopla and TopGaff websites. 

Vendors are encouraged to film their own video tours but there is an opportunity to add “premium upgrade features” which include professional photography, floor plans, accompanied viewings and signage.

The company describes itself as “a new generation of service provider to the market. Top Gaff is an online estate agency service powered by a ground-breaking app that enables sellers to take control of the sales process with expert support from property professionals for free.”

As of early this morning there were no property details listed on the Top Gaff website, even though some properties are listed on Zoopla and Rightmove. 

Top Gaff's Paul Barr told Estate Agent Today: “Top Gaff have been carrying out a Beta launch over the last 12 months and are now in the process of our hard launch. We currently have property available on Zoopla and Rightmove and will advertise our properties on our own website in the next couple of weeks as listings grow. It is a unique free proposition for property buyers and sellers and utilises a highly developed app taking online estate agency to the next level.”

Last evening a Rightmove spokeswoman told EAT: "We will be reviewing this agent and their processes to ensure they adhere to our terms and conditions." 

This afternoon a Zoopla spokesperson said: "All customers have to follow our member guidelines when listing properties on Zoopla. Customers who fail to do so face a variety of potential measures including the removal of their ability to list properties on the site."

Here is the EAT story from 2019 about Top Gaff and you can see the current Top Gaff website itself here.

  • Murray Lee

    Another reason not to be on portals that accept "non agents" like this and say Open Rent? You can advertise a property privately on O R for £29 and it gets on the portals through them. Hardly fair!

  • Algarve  Investor

    Dreadful name. Is it owned by Danny Dyer?

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Being an agent I am confident they will be fully compliant with Ombudsman membership, ICO registration, etc, etc

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