Purplebricks clarifies that it does pass on all offers to vendors even after sale agreed

Purplebricks has firmly clarified that it continues to receive and pass on all offers, after an answer given to an online Trustpilot review appeared to suggest that this might not be the case.

The review, which gave Purplebricks a rare one star, said: “Very upset, my son had a lovely house lined up and all was agreed! Purplebricks found another buyer and went ahead and cast my son’s offer aside. Very bad form and very upsetting.”

The response posted on Trustpilot said: “At Purplebricks we pride ourselves on providing a transparent and convenient service and we would never endorse the practice of gazumping. The way that the Purplebricks platform is designed means that a number of offers could be submitted at any one time, and all of those offers go directly to the vendor for their consideration.

“Once an offer has been accepted and solicitors details have been entered by both sides, the property is always withdrawn from the market for sale without exception.

“At this point no further offers can be submitted through the Purplebricks platform. This is because at that point we would consider that both parties have commenced legals and are committed to the sale.”

Under the Estate Agents Act 1979, the agent is obliged to pass on every offer for a property, right up until exchange of contracts. The duly is only released if the agent has specific written instructions from the vendor.

Asked to comment, a Purplebricks spokesperson said: “Everyone can make an offer through Purplebricks at any time 24 hours a day.

“In the event that an offer has been accepted, the customer decides whether they want to continue to market the property or have it marked as sold subject to contract. If the property remains on the market, offers are made in the usual way.

“If it is taken off the market, the property is marked sold subject to contract and offers may still be made at any time by speaking to our central property team who are available 24 hours a day.

“All offers are communicated to our customers verbally and in writing, in accordance with the Estate Agents Act 1979.”

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33 Comments

  1. PeeBee

    Boy! – it seems like they want to start all singing from the same hymnbook.

    Could this be the first business ever founded purely upon the principles set out in the words of a quotation attributed to one of our greatest Statesmen – Benjamin Disraeli,1st Earl of Beaconsfield, KG, PC, FRS?

    Some may argue that to be the case.

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  2. PeeBee

    The response on the @Trustpilot review seemed so compelling… so certain of the Company policy.

    So believable, I would say.  Like it says on the tin.

    Fact.  End of.

    Well… isn’t that what it SHOULD have been?

    Makes you wonder how the respondent could have got their actual practice so woefully, fundamentally – and downright counter-to-legal-instructionally – wrong,

    Makes you wonder why they went to the obvious trouble of getting it so wrong when it will be printed in the Company Handbook on Page #1 under the heading

    BASICS TO FOLLOW BY THE LETTER AS THEY ARE COVERED NY THE LAW OF THE LAND AND WILL GET US IN DEEP DOO-DOO IF WE DO OTHERWISE

    and able to be cut’n’pasted into a reply top any potentially aggrieved party as defence against claims of malicious and ILLEGAL practice.

    Doesn’t it?

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  3. Eric Walker

    I raise you ‘confirmation of further marketing instruction’. See TPOS code and Provisions of Information. Act.

    You must seek your clients instruction as to whether the property ramains on the market whilst the sale is proceeding. No system should assume. If your client wishes to continue marketing you must advise the buyer accorindingly.

    Irrespective of the property being withdrawn whilst the sale is proceeding at a satisfactory rate, you are still obliged to pass on all offers unless instructed otherwise by the seller in writing

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    1. Woodentop

      here here, and they have a duty to go back to the original buyer to ask them if they wish to increase. Now I wonder if there was a related cross sell to the new purchaser and that was confirmed to the vendor. If not PB your are in big trouble. Most unusual if an agent charges fixed fee upfront, to not pursue best possible price for vendor as is their responsibility. But then we all know about fixed priced agents!

       

      we would never endorse the practice of gazumping, isn’t that exactly what you did?

       

      Once an offer has been accepted and solicitors details have been entered by both sides, the property is always withdrawn from the market for sale without exception…….  At this point no further offers can be submitted…….. illegal and againgst TPO code of practice. Trying to squirm out of it with later with excuse of vendors instructions, is not what you say is your practice without exception! At least 2 people at PB can’t agree on what they should be doing. Disgraceful.

       

      So what was the vendors instructions? Ladbrokes odds are not looking good for PB and here is a classic case of the industry, more knowledgeable than the consumer becoming aware of possible breach of law and if we inform TPO, they say, sorry won’t listen to you, only the wronged consumer and NTSEAT say, thanks but no thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      1. Woodentop

        Conduct like this used to lead to OFT issue agents banning orders.

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      2. Woodentop

        I see the PB rep was quick off the mark with the first dislike or was it someone from NTSEAT, nope cant be them, they don’t work that fast.

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  4. Tim Higham

    …its the quality of the conveyancers you align with that is crucial. Shoddy attracts dreadful PR.

     

     

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  5. 198470

    All you need to know about Purplebricks is here;

    https://www.allagents.co.uk/purplebricks/

     

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    1. house_hunter70

      Wonder why the allagents.co.uk reviews are so bad, yet Trustpilot reviews are generally excellent? 9.3 latest I see.

      Can they somehow manipulate the trustpilot reviews? Or perhaps the allagents are posted by rivals? either way some disparity to say the least!

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      1. PeeBee

        A fair smattering of PBs @Trustpilot reviews read like this:

        Purplebricks UK reported this review for breach of Trustpilot guidelines. We are currently assessing the review in accordance with our reporting processes

        They very rarely get reinstated.

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    2. agent orange

      The only thing I dont like about that review is the last line.

      “had to now resort to a high street agent”

       

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    3. Woodentop

      This is where the use of reviews is manipulated and misleading the consumer and should not be permitted by ASA. AllAgents give them a rating as a company 13,383 out of 14,983 which is near the bottom of the pile. Companies are allowed to use the best with small print, but this does not hide the fact that their rating is not necessarily what the service standards are and fly’s in the face of what reviews are supposed to be about. Consumer protection comes to mind. I also note that 87% of reviews are ONE STAR and that having trolled through their local property experts, they are not in many major cities and towns! But then we all know that, but their advertising continues to mislead the public on all fronts?

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  6. Garret2

    In my opinion, Facebook is the least easy review platform to “game” – https://www.facebook.com/purplebricksUK/reviews

     

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    1. Garret2

      Mystery solved!

      Here’s the reason why TrustPilot reviews are so glowing.

      Timing is everthing.

      This is all taken direct from the PurpleBrick FaceBook Review page (linked to in my earlier post)…

      Sarah Storey (Sep 5th)  Our local expert was clueless as she had backed off completely. I was totally appalled that a sale of £850k could be stopped just like that . I wouldn’t touch Purplebricks with a barge pole or recommend them to anyone. I’m also kicking myself as I left a glowing trust pilot review when we first got our buyer.

      In response….

      Julie Williams: Yes I wondered why they asked for feedback before completion and it all became very clear after a buyer was found. Because after a buyer is found they do nothing! I wish that I had been asked for feedback afterwards.

      Sarah Storey: I’ve been promised vouchers by the Regional Director . We’ll see!

      Rikharthu Lee: You can always change your trustpilot review.
       

      Joyce Bowler: I wondered why I got asked for a review one week after getting an offer. This offer is conditional and so I have asked purple bricks to mark our property as “under offer” and not “sold”. So far no luck.

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      1. AgentV

        I totally agree. Customers are always on a high when they have just accepted an offer…..because they can see all their plans moving forwards. But we all know there is an awful lot that can happen after this stage. Realistic reviews should always be after a sale completion. Perhaps TrustPilot would like to know they are being cleverly ‘manipulated’.

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  7. Chri Wood

    “In the event that an offer has been accepted, the customer decides whether they want to continue to market the property or have it marked as sold subject to contract. If the property remains on the market, offers are made in the usual way.”

    Leaving aside the seemingly clear response in the answer to the review that Purplebricks standard procedure appears to contradict The Estate Agents Act and potentially disadvantage the customer; as I interpret the above statement PurpleBricks are failing to follow CPR regulations. If a sale has been agreed, subject to contract, under offer etc. I.e. a memorandum of sale has been issued, then the property MUST be displayed as such as to do otherwise is a material misdescription. Whether customers like it or not, a property can still be marketed but MUST be displayed with the correct status clearly stated in the advert etc.

    Separately, the Uber v GMB case is also going to be interesting to watch with its implications for similar models such as PurpleBricks and eMoov etc.

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    1. Woodentop

      This is what happens when no-one is actually policing the industry.

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  8. Woodentop

    It is time PB operations were fully investigated by NTSEAT and by competent team of investigators going through their files. There is a history of this company misrepresenting to its very core? As a large organisation the public are clearly at a high risk and the regulators should not be after the horse has bolted. Any failing regulator is in contempt.

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  9. Keyser Söze

    Here’s my take on PB right now:

    I’ve just counted their Zoopla new instructions over the last month: http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/branch/purplebricks-head-office-solihull-58933/?page_size=500

    I counted 2,476 new instructions (this number is falling each month and is a lot less than they have previously quoted http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/purplebricks-getting-closer-to-profit-as-ceo-reveals-new-listings-of-3000-a-month/).

    Furthermore, on PB’s website I count 358 LPEs:  https://www.purplebricks.com/search-local-expert?ref=header

    This works out at an average of 7 listings per LPE a month (assuming none of the 2,476 are juggled properties).

    I understand that the majority of LPEs get £150 per listing (£200 if they are a Territory Owner. Territory Owners also get £50 for each of their LPEs listings). So, through my calcs the vast majority of LPEs are getting on average £1,050pcm (7 listings * £150) from listings. They make some other small amounts from viewings and conveyancing referrals but from what I understand this does not account to much.

    They have to pay for their own car, fuel, car insurance, phone bills, PI Insurance, someone to do their books and have zero paid holidays.

    Quite a big difference in earnings compared to what they stated in this article: http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/purplebricks-in-huge-recruitment-drive-for-local-property-experts-across-country/

    Plus, I am told they are expected to have their diaries open 7 days a week (with weekends a must) and receive a number of compulsory daily tasks to complete (vendor calls, pre-valuation calls, listings to create, etc.) No wonder their LPE turnover is huge!

    Prior to their IPO Hardman produced this report containing projections: http://www.hardmanandco.com/docs/default-source/company-docs/purplebricks-group-documents/purplebricks-dec15

    This report projects PB to do 43,000 (3,583 a month) instructions in 2017 after doubling their LPEs to 310. PB currently have 358 LPEs on their website and appear to been listing 2,476 a month. This doesn’t bode well for 2017.

    Why, after doubling their LPE count, have the new instructions not doubled? I would say this is down to stock levels. They have a combined stock amount of 9,653. 9,653 / 358 LPEs = 27 properties for each LPE to look after.

    When PB first launched, their LPEs spent the majority of their time winning new business in (as they had little existing properties). Now their LPEs are being weighed down by stock levels (dealing with viewings, offers, vendor calls, etc.) and have less time to focus on new instructions. I see difficult times ahead for PB.

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    1. Mark Walker

      Actually, the Uber case has been won today.  So suddenly they do have paid holidays…  😉

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      1. Keyser Söze

        Very true.

        At the moment, if an LPE leaves a territory and a new LPE takes over the patch. The new LPE is expected to pick-up the stock that the previous LPE listed.

        As far as I’m aware the new LPE will not be paid for this as PB have already paid the original LPE to bring the property on the books. Imagine having to work for free to try and sell a property where the previous guy has taken the money and ran?

        If I’m right and the average LPE is bringing in £1,050pcm. With all the hours they are doing are they now entitled to minimum wage?

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    2. Woodentop

      So LPE’s don’t get the £100,000 a year, is any one surprised? I bet the LPE is, who has no doubt told the wife and kids how wonderful things are going to be.

       

      And this is the company that stock market analyst recently said PB is going strong, while hammering ratings down on their competitors. The whole saga is a rotten egg for the city, brokers and investors. Another nail in the wall for investigation.

       

      Did we ever get a report on that Shareholders meeting and the Dividend announcement, if there is any?

       

      Anyone know what Ozz thinks of them today?

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    3. Hillofwad71

      Keyser A very accurate assesment of the brick wall on instructions  that Purplebricks have now hit falling well short of the Hardman forecasts. High turnover of staff has resulted in many complaints by customers  about poor service .Reports to Ombudsman and  many instances of fee refunds   Purplebricks police the  reviews on Trustpilot to such an extent they probably have  a number of staff  permanantly assigned to the task so desperate to retain the rating for their TV advertiisng campaign  Any unfavourable reviews which cant be verified are removed  by Bricks but surprisingly unverified favourable ones remain!! One customer complaining that their  LPE advised them to withdraw the property  for 2 weeks and relist  I wonder what the rational underpinning that advice was It gives them an opportunity to double count or juggling  Hitting aprofit looks a long way off the horizon and the £300m +valuation  certainly filled with hope.Emperor’s new clothes

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  10. htsnom79

    I have a sense that, over the last couple of months, the chickens are finally coming home to roost for PB and their ilk. Whats really needed now is an expose which actually has traction with the public and not just those of us that know whats up circle jerking on forums, while I’d be very pleased to see a Watchdog or Telegraphesque MP expenses or Big Sam type thing I’m just not convinced that Journo’s think it will fly and regulators are disinterested to the point of tragic farce. Hmmmm, there must be a way.

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    1. PeeBee

      I would suggest that it’s not a case of any of that – it’s more likely the dangling threat of the Legal Eagles sent in with bazookas strapped to their @$$£$…

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      1. htsnom79

        Uber case might assist those screaming eagles 🙂

         

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  11. Keyser Söze

    Mods,

    My comment has been in moderation for the last few hours?

    Report
    1. PeeBee

      Have you got URLs in the post?

      If so – cut’n’paste the post into a new posting window, remove the links and it should post okay.

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      1. Keyser Söze

        Thanks, it’s now showing.

        I like to reference with facts. Not made up figures!

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  12. MarkRowe

    Must watch:

     

    http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s4533194.htm

     

     

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  13. htsnom79

    That’s the badger!

     

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  14. Chri Wood

    Presumably all of these “sub-LPEs'” working for the LPEs’ are declared to vendors in writing as required under TPO rules…

    Then again…Probably not.

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  15. smile please

    Following on from yesterdays “Uber” ruling.

    Could PurpleBricks Clarify if their LPE’s are paid minimum wage and have holiday pay? – FYI If not the LPE’s can claim back 2 years and going forward are entitled if my understanding of the ruling is correct.

    Report
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