A company claiming to be the UK’s first not-for-profit agency has been set up in Cornwall.
Run by a committee, it will charge a flat fee of £399 (no VAT) to list the property, with all profits going to local charities and other good causes. It pledges that ‘not one penny’ will go to its shareholders.
The package includes internet advertising – it mentions Zoopla but not Rightmove – and local newspaper advertising, charged at cost. It also includes boards, professional photography and property details,
imove Cornwall, based in Wadebridge and Truro, and was the brainchild of Mark Green, its chairman, who describes himself as an experienced estate agent.
He said: “We list the property in the usual way – professional photographs, floor plans, provide a ‘for sale’ sign etc – then their property is listed on property portal websites.
“Vendors from there take control of the selling process, showing buyers their home and negotiating a sale. We provide constant support for each customer to guide them through the process.”
The online agency covers the whole of Cornwall and says it has been set up as a community-led social enterprise.
Its constitution promises to offer customers a platform similar to traditional estate agency services, but at low cost, and with all profits donated to local charities. The agency promises to tell customers in advance which charities and other good causes will benefit.
The constitution says that vendors who instruct the agency to sell their property anywhere within Cornwall will become non-voting members. A management committee will have the power to veto members.
The committee, which also has powers to fund-raise, will be elected annually at AGMs and meet at least four times a year. One-third of the committee will enable the business of the agent to be carried out.
According to the constitution, 50% of profits after tax will be given to registered charities and 50% to non-charitable good causes in Cornwall.
The agency is gathering local sponsors, which are contributing services or goods, in return for which they are recommended on the website.
EDITOR's note: We apologise that this story was removed in error for a short period today. Unfortunately, the removal took with it the read statistics and all the earlier comments.