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Written by rosalind renshaw

Tepilo, the private sale-by-owner site started by Sarah Beeny, is relaunching imminently as an online agent.

It has merged with an agent, Think Property, based in Essex, which was started by Mark Newman and Peter Joseph in August 2010.

Joseph is Tepilo’s new chief executive and has invested in the company, including its website which is due to relaunch very shortly.

Tepilo will continue to be a ‘passive intermediary’ as well as an online estate agent.

It will have both private sellers on its site, who will pay nothing for their properties to be listed, as well as paying agency customers whose properties will, it is envisaged, go on Rightmove and Zoopla.

Tepilo, which has registered with the Property Ombudsman scheme, plans to charge paying customers either £195 upfront plus £895 on completion, or £595 upfront and nothing on completion.

Services to paying customers of Tepilo will include photography, floor plans, EPCs, and valuation visits conducted by a nationwide network of agents. Joseph said that key people in certain areas would be recruited.

Asked whether it meant that TV star Sarah Beeny had thrown in the towel on her original model, Joseph said this was not the case: “However, it is fair to say that it has not worked in the way that it was originally thought. What people want is to have their properties on Rightmove and Zoopla: that is what the sellers want.”

He said that the new Tepilo website had received a lot of investment, and will have some unique features. Joseph also said that the aim of the business was to be a highly progressive online agent.

Tepilo was started in July 2009 by Beeny, who presents prime-time property programmes, and has been operating as a completely free platform for buyers and sellers to communicate and negotiate directly with each other.

The Tepilo site has been trumpeting the fact that users had no estate agents’ fees to pay, and that it itself was not an agent.

It is not clear how many properties have sold through the site, which by the end of last week had not filed any new blogs since last November, but did appear to have a large inventory of property throughout the UK.

Although Think Property launched as a high street agent, two years ago it announced that it was turning itself into an online business and gave the traditional estate agency model only three more years.

Currently, as a private sale-by-owner service, Tepilo is not able to use the major portals – and may have to convince them of its imminent re-launch.

Rightmove last night confirmed that Tepilo is not a member, while a Zoopla spokesman said: “Tepilo’s current business model is such that they do not meet our criteria to become a member of Zoopla Property Group which requires them to be an agent.

“If that changes in the future, then we are happy to review at that time, but we do not allow private sellers or private seller aggregators to advertise with us.”




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    David Bennett - "Sarah Beeny was a traditional estate agent, before her TV career took off."

    Not according to Wikipedia:
    "Beeny travelled around the world solo at the age of 17 and felt "lonely and seasick" most of the way round. She returned to the UK to take a series of jobs, including: working for Save the Children; window cleaning; door-to-door vacuum cleaner selling and running her own sandwich making business. Assuming she would be self-employed for the rest of her life, at weekends she would study the property market, which gave her a good grounding in the market. Having saved up a deposit, without any formal training Beeny began her own property developing business with her brother and her husband.

    The rest of your post was equally splattered with MDT...

    • 05 October 2013 20:36 PM
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    Ahh... there he is, as usual, Mr RR - making his attempt to hijack yet another story thread.

    It's actually ONE thing he's good at - and the closest to excelling at ANYTHING property-related in the slightest.

    Except, that is, running away from EVERY challenge that an Estate Agent (past, present or future) throws at him.

    In that particular sport he would win a Gold...

    • 05 October 2013 20:23 PM
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    I don't think the Tepilo free advertising for FSBO was ever really going to take off because as other in the thread have already stated, yes you can advertise for free but then you have to do everything else yourself.


    @get there quicker - THE example that the practicalities of 'free' doesn't work in the real world.

    I for one disagree, Finders and Sellers are already proving it.

    • 03 October 2013 12:03 PM
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    RR, you are a very silly billy, why would you use an agents site to try to change the market? See stupid, you post on the wrong site!

    • 02 October 2013 11:27 AM
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    Thanks for trying, Tepilo: If estate agency wasn't broken we, like others whom have gone before us, wouldn't have been working on ways to fix it!

    The fundamental problem is: that asking prices are the 'usual suspects and need to be brought closer to reality by estate agency. The only way this can happen is if agents become more involved with the buying process, instead of just being people who sell.

    Until that day dawns, we plan to keep offering the house-owning public ways to sell more effectively online; and also to save fees.

    • 01 October 2013 16:00 PM
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    Interested to see how her number of vendors will increase with all the free promotion she gets in The Sun, should not be allowed really!!

    Also, I hope she visits all the private sales listings she has if she is going to lost on the major portals.

    • 01 October 2013 08:32 AM
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    It's too easy to say "I told you so" but sod it "I told you so". Seriously though, we could all look up her sound bytes when she launched but I think the bigger picture is that this will stand as THE example that the practicalities of 'free' doesn't work in the real world.

    A brave attempt but if vendors are really to enjoy zero fees then they're stuck with doing it all themselves and self service isn't really catered for.

    Welcome aboard Sarah!

    • 30 September 2013 17:27 PM
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    La Booby was an actress before she rolled her sleeves up, as was Kate Humble & Susanna Reid.

    All of whom can convert my semi any time.
    © Mock the Week 2013.

    • 30 September 2013 11:00 AM
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    SB uses panels for her cheap EPCs, so she won't be contacting me! I was an estate agent for over 30 years and admire what she does. Yep, I'd ki55 her ar5e any day, second only to Kirstie.

    Shame posters don't feel they can include their name on here, preferring to remain anonymous.

    • 30 September 2013 10:06 AM
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    Should pull a lot of comments today, offering a web listing for free didn't do even with constant promotion in the Sun every weekend.

    @David Bennett, 'thanks for that sweetie! we will do our EPCs with you, Love SB X'...........Ar53 Kisser!

    • 30 September 2013 09:55 AM
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    Sarah Beeny was a traditional estate agent, before her TV career took off. She has tremendous skill and is very well placed to look to the future of selling property. She is tapping into the portals and appealing to the sellers who realise high street commissions are now too high.

    • 30 September 2013 09:23 AM
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    Obviously not going well... I say stick to what you know. We dont make TV shows and you dont try your hand at being an estate agent. Why is everyone trying to do everything these days?

    • 30 September 2013 08:15 AM
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