Estate agent launches promising to sell homes within 90 days – or lend vendors the cash

A proptech company has launched, which intends to take 10% of the estate agency market by promising to sell a vendor’s home in 90 days or give them the cash.

Nested, which goes live today, guarantees the sale within 90 days or lend the seller the full amount, interest free, enabling them to move on.

Nested has been founded by Matt Robinson, one of the founders of direct debit provider GoCardless.

The service will be available initially in London and aims to solve the problem of uncertainty when in a property chain.

Robinson, speaking exclusively to EYE, said Nested’s mission was focused on “trying to do good” and highlighted that “it’s incredibly painful to sell a property and buy another one. We’re trying to make that simple”.

Instead of sellers losing their dream home or “having to resort to moving into rented accommodation” Robinson says: “Nested makes sellers chain-free from day one, removing months of uncertainty and putting them in the strongest position to make their next purchase.”

He referenced a recent Which? report which shows that three in ten property sales now fall through, with 21% of failed deals caused by buyers unable to sell their own home.

When quizzed about the model shifting from them buying the home – as was reported in EYE previously  – to providing a loan to the seller, Robinson said: “Bridging is more aligned – it caps liability – and we make our money alongside the vendor by selling property.”

He added Nested’s model was “cheaper and fairer than the distressed or quick house sale industry” which he highlighted was criticised in a report by the Office of Fair Trading.

The business has raised £3m from investors including Passion Capital and billionaire German entrepreneurs Oliver and Alex Samwer via their Global Founders Capital fund.

Joining Robinson on this journey are James Turford and the former Songkick CTO Phill Cowans, who has built their “smart valuation technology” which Nested uses to provide would-be sellers with a valuation online and guarantees a minimum sale price.

On fees there’s a minimum of 1.8% plus a 20% share of any upside over and above the guaranteed sale price.

Robinson readily admits sellers “pay us more than another estate agent” because “we’ll give you the certainty to move forward”.

He stated his intention was “not looking to be a small business or be bought out for tens of millions. We are looking to take 10% as a minimum of this (estate agency) market by adding more value, not less”.

Talking about previous Proptech as “surface level innovation so far”, he described Purplebricks and eMoov as “not tech companies” as “none of them are product oriented companies”.

He said: “They’re easyJet or Ryanair for estate agency. They’re just agents ditching the offices and racing to the bottom.”

He added: “Traditional high street agents provide a valuable service and if you speak to sellers they tell you they get a good service. We’re not for everyone, when we say a minimum 10% market share, there’s probably a ceiling of 50%, because some won’t be in a hurry (to sell).”

On how they look to achieve such ambitious market share Robinson said: “Purplebricks ask how they can reduce fees but while they chop out cost, they also chop out value. We ask how can we better justify fees and add value.

“Historically middle men are much maligned for not adding value. If we can say for certainty how much your property will sell for and how quickly it will sell, then we put my money where our mouth is, and we think the market will come to us.”

The service, which is signed up to TPO, is available now for homes worth less than £1m and begins with an online valuation at www.nested.com

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25 Comments

  1. AgencyInsider

    Good luck to them. I give it six months.

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  2. Richard Rawlings

    Excellent, customer-focused innovation from someone who clearly recognises that value, rather than fees, is the reason why people choose an agent. Difficult to replicate without deep pockets, so I expect Nestled to be a serious contender in the industry. As I have been saying for some time, agents have to decide where they stand – cheap or boutique? The middle ground is shrinking.

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    1. LocalAgent201625

      Sorry, but you’re wrong.

       

      Clients will never “bridge” from these people, as the repayments will be astronomical, nor can anyone guarantee a house to be sold in 90 days. It’s just impossible.

       

      Also, your comment on people recognise value rather than fees, contradicts itself. People want value for money these days, I was out door knocking earlier and a vendor is on the market for 1.2 million and being charged 4000 + VAT, he’s had no contact, no viewings , NOTHING. But refuses to change because it’s a cheap fee.

       

       

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      1. LocalAgent201625

        Further more, to show cost does matter that Estate Agents themselves have gone as far as create a website to stop the monopoly of rightmove and Zoopla.

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      2. houseofpain

        Means he’s not motivated fella, move onto to the next vendor who is and they will happily pay a good fee.

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  3. Chri Wood

    “…he described Purplebricks and eMoov as “not tech companies” as “none of them are product oriented companies”.
    He said: “They’re easyJet or Ryanair for estate agency. They’re just agents ditching the offices and racing to the bottom.”
    Rather nicely put.

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    1. Eamonn

      They belittle the enemy (PB), of their enemy ( traditional agents), and the comment is “nicely put”

      i think the frase is ” saw you coming”

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    2. Eamonn

      Make no mistake, nested will be hoping for the rise of the online only agent.  They may even support it,   It will weaken chains, create more uncertainly when selling and giving them more potential customers.

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      1. rayhan

        I find this cynicism unhelpful. It’s not polite to make such nasty assumptions about somebody else’s intentions. I know Matt personally: he’s very clear his first goal is about doing good. Everything else is about creating genuine value for customers.

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  4. Eamonn

    nestled pay off the sellers existing mortgage (replace with a legal charge of their own) and then advance the seller the balance of funds from their lower valuation,  “called a  guarenteed sale price”  minus 20% of the real selling price.

    Plus the vendor is going to be hit with a temporary stamp duty surcharge until they can claim it back of HMRC

    Yes it’s a Nice Idea and it solves problems but only adds the value of price of mind.  Not sure I agree it adds any more value  when people don’t get the equity value of their home.

    Would have been nice to see them partnering with high street agents and factoring in a percentage cut.  It would  help them grow.  But instead they have tried to be like PB and easy property in being a online valuation expert.

     

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    1. rayhan

      Actually, if you reach out you’ll find they’re amiable to partnering.

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  5. Property Paddy

    He’s gonna need a tad more than £3m if he starts in London, that’s the price of a studio flat in Chelsea !!!!

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  6. Mark Walker

    Smallprint?

    Correct Property Paddy.  £3 million isn’t worth calling a drop in the ocean.

    “some won’t be in a hurry (to sell)” – i.e. the house you are selling is not going to be at the value that a high street agent is going to give you.

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  7. LocalAgent201625

    Ha, what a load of tosh.

     

    All these companies coming up with “new” ideas to give sellers another angle to sell their property will literally do no different than what traditional high street agents do.

     

    It’s just flooding the industry , and these firms wonder why fee’s are dropping quicker than Katie Price’s draws.

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  8. Trevor Mealham

    *** he described Purplebricks and eMoov as “not tech companies” as “none of them are product oriented companies”.
    He said: “They’re easyJet or Ryanair for estate agency. They’re just agents ditching the offices and racing to the bottom.”
    He added: “Traditional high street agents provide a valuable service and if you speak to sellers they tell you they get a good service

    ** So £3m as a starting point with some deep pocket investors. A calculated start up that sees 1. traditionals have value – good  and that 2. budget agents are racing to ground zero.

    Budget agents and budget listers can’t provide full service, and are now facing lower cost models in the ‘We’ll save you £billions shout’

    Nested is likely to be an interesting one to watch. So long as the £3m might one day be supported by £300m+ to deal in the larger volumes they predict.

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    1. rayhan

      They’d very keenly look at multi-listing their stock, too.

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  9. P-Daddy

    Arbitrage/interim finance/equity release/niche lender whatever their description, £3m is not enough to tap and develop an idea that in theory adds fluidity to the market. All booms bring out spin off ideas…they are too late.Sarah Beeny tried one which built lists of agents who would arbitrage chains back in 2007….can’t remember its name but lasted 2 minutes and of course all the new on line agents! The childrens’ fable  warned of the vanities of people, The Emperors New Clothes!

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  10. Goads12343

    And what about the additional 3% Stamp Duty charge if the buyer continues to purchase a property whilst theirs is still on the market with this agent. Yes – they can claim it back within 3 years, but what if they don’t have that cash?

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    1. rayhan

      HMRC, I believe, gives you six months to straighten out before the punitive stamp duty kicks in. But obviously do seek professional conveyancing advice before sharing assumptions with the wider world.

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  11. houseofpain

    I don’t see how this is any different to the dodgy ‘sell your house fast’ gang.

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  12. Woodentop

    While some may praise this guy’s good intentions …. it doesn’t alter the fact it has to be financially viable to succeed. houseofpain may have summed it up for I though it was April 1st! your are having a laugh with only 3m in your pocket. Its been tried before with outrageous interest payments and while I see the 20% is the secret (not to secret) catch, many have tried before and failed as the public have been wise to this for a long time. You need £billions.

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  13. PaulC

    Ok so at first I thought HAHAHAHAHAHA

    Then you start to think about it, properly..

    They give a guaranteed price some 9-10% below where they think it will sell at  a max.

    They target areas where homes sell generally quickly. Lets say area where sales typically take sub 30 days.

    They only have 3mln, but they have assets they are buying lets say they can leverage it 5 times. Remember the guaranteed price is 9% off.

    So they have 15 mln and are able to charge a reasonable fee and they have upside downside potentially.

    They could be on to something here.

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    1. Woodentop

      Which means … they are targeting the vulnerable to sell their properties under value!

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  14. JAM01

    Whether the bridging model works or not, at last another estate agent prepared to charge a decent fee AND an uplift on an agreed threshold sale price. Well done!

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  15. KByfield04

    So- just tested this ‘amazing’ new service. According to its algorithms property in E2 have gone DOWN in value in the last 2 years. It offered a ‘guaranteed’ price approx. 2/3 of the value wiping off around £250-300,000. That much better value than paying an agent 1.5% + VAT right?

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