A post on a public forum has raised a seller’s concern that if he uses Purplebricks to sell his home, he will not be allowed on the books of a high street agent to buy through them.
He says this is unethical, but questions whether it is legal.
Purplebricks says it is aware of the practice happening.
The main part of the seller’s post on the MSE forum reads: “I have had several house valuations and as to be expected, the Purplebricks’ standard £849 was by far the cheapest.
“Other agencies have a very negative view of them and state they have no after-care service and once you have a buyer you get no further support (probably the case with a lot of EAs not just online ones…).
“One company has said very clearly that if someone sells with Purplebricks, they won’t let them buy a house on their books. (And stated this is direct from the company owner with the quote ‘if they don’t like it then sue me’.)
“My question is, is this legal? I know it’s a little unethical but I feel pushed into a corner as most houses in the area I want to move to are being sold by this company. So if I use Purplebricks to sell I won’t be able to buy from them.”
He says the agent that refuses to accept a buyer who is selling through Purplebricks charges £1,000 more.
The post has sparked some interesting comments from other users of the forum.
One person advised him to pop a note through the door of a property he likes the look of, saying he wants to put in an offer but the agent refuses to engage with him because they do not like his choice of selling agent.
Purplebricks also posts in the thread, saying they do indeed have a post-sales support team.
There is also advice to report the agent to an ombudsman, and to name and shame the agent publicly – something the poster has so far declined to do, as he’s hoping for some leeway on price.
A spokesperson for Purplebricks said that the firm is aware that this does sometimes happen.
The spokesperson said: “We are aware that some high street agents act in their own rather than their client’s best interests by not passing on every offer received. In doing so they are breaching the TPO code.
“At Purplebricks our technology facilitates direct messaging between buyer and seller, so our customers can rest assured they see every offer that’s made.
“We have long campaigned for greater transparency within estate agency, because we want to see customers treated fairly and honestly and poor practices like this underline just why it’s important.”