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Purplebricks wins praise for dropping prejudiced sellers

Purplebricks’ decision to de-list a property after the Christian vendors made anti-gay comments has won widespread support from industry figures, including the chief of a rival firm.

Sam Mitchell, chief executive of Strike - another online agency, widely regarded as the second most successful in the UK after Purplebricks itself - tweeted: “Good for you @purplebricksuk. Doth of the cap from the team here “

Prominent industry trainer Richard Rawlings, in a comment on Estate Agent Today, said: “As a Christian myself, I find this form of extremism embarrassing and very much at odds with Jesus’ teaching … I don’t think he would have approved of this stance by the vendors. Disgraceful!”

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The results of a poll on EAT suggest that some 78 per cent of readers backed the Purplebricks stance, saying that vendors should not be allowed to discriminate against vendors on the basis of their sexuality. Another 18 per cent felt vendors should be able to discriminate, while four per cent said they did not know.

At the end of last week the Daily Mail reported that purchasers Luke Whitehouse and Lachlan Mantell were told that they could not even visit a three-bedroom £650,000 home in Surrey as the vendors were opposed to 'two men in a partnership.’

The request to view by the gay couple - arranged through Purplebricks - was turned down, and the vendor sent messages including one that read: “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

A social media statement made to the prospective buyers by the agency reads: “Thanks for sharing this message Lachlan and we're so sorry you've had this experience. This stance is completely opposed to our views and values. We'll refund this seller's fee as Purplebricks no longer wish to list it.”

And a Purplebricks public statement says: “The sentiments expressed in this message are completely opposed to Purplebricks' views and values. We have contacted the seller to return their fee and request that they sell their property with a different agent.”

The incident echoes a long-standing dispute involving a Belfast bakery which eight years ago refused to supply a cake decorated with the words “Support Gay Marriage”.

The bakery won its case in the UK Supreme Court in 2018 and again in the European Court of Human Rights earlier this month.

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    Thank God for Purplebricks telling us what our values should be for publicity. Seems to have worked judging by the others desperate to get in on the virtuous feeding frenzy and build up their brownie points.

    Nice to see that 'homophobia' and 'discrimination' are tags for this article. Seems that mainstream media tactics are now being used by industry nobodies too. Can't wait to see what society is like in 20 years.

    Algarve  Investor

    They are the values of the society we live in. If you don't like it, move to Dubai. Even if PB were merely doing it for positive PR, it was entirely the right decision. Refusing to sell someone a home because of their sexual orientation is discrimination, pure and simple. Fortunately, we now live in a time where that is the case, when it once wouldn't have been.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but equally that opinion can be challenged and if that opinion doesn't fit in with the laws and values of that society, then that has consequences. It's a bit like vaccinations - people have the right not to have them, but equally they must understand that there are consequences to that action.

     
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    @Algarve Investor

    I decide my values. Not you, and certainly not the collective stupidity known as 'society'.

    I agree that PB made the right decision, when did I say otherwise?

    They excercised their freedom to their own opinion and their right to do what they wanted with their business. I champion that. Now can we extend the same rights to the Christian couple if we're so worried about treating people equally? They have the RIGHT to discriminate when it comes to selling their property, and they also have the RIGHT to express why they have done so, without having to lie or hide it.

    I happen to agree that their opinion is outdated and ignorant. That is IRRELEVANT. They are entitled to it and entitled to express it in a way that doesn't interfere with someone else's rights. The gay couple have no right to buy their property and no right to tell other people that they can't frown on their lifestyle. They have lost nothing. Again, this isn't an opinon I share, but that is irrelevant.

    As for the law.. please, give me a break. The law is made by highly flawed and highly selfish people who put careerism and political agenda above everything. Please don't present me with the stupidly basic argument that if something is illegal it is therefore wrong or bad for society. We ALL discriminate, you, me, everyone, on a daily basis. It is human nature. The fact that many people refuse to accept it is based on nothign more than a need for validation and maintenance of social status through virtue signalling. It's tiresome and transparent.

     
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    What about the freedom of choice for the sellers?

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    • N W
    • 24 January 2022 12:55 PM

    they have freedom of choice.... they just cant discriminate (and certainly no agent can act for them if they decide to discriminate as this makes the agent vulnerable as a result)

     
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    @N W

    They can discrimInate. They just have to lie about doing it. Another win for the effectiveness and efficiency of the law that everyone all of sudden seems to back wholeheartedly.

    Another example of the nonsense that permiates today's society.

     
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