Is the BBC planning to take another look at online agents?

It looks as though the BBC’s programme, Rip off Britain, is planning to show something about online agents

Here’s the tweet that suggests it.

Previous BBC programmes that have looked at the sector, specifically Purplebricks, are radio’s You and Yours, and BBC1’s Watchdog.

Purplebricks, together with Emoov and Urban, seem keen to help Rip off Britain with its research.



Email the story to a friend


  1. Ouch18

    I hope so !! The sooner these so-called ‘online agents’ are a thing of the past the better for everyone.

    As a local agent we’re on more online portals than any of these ‘online agents’!

    What are online agents? Psychology has been used in the advertising of ‘Online Agents’ to make people think that it’s modern estate agency?

    It isn’t estate agency at all?

    Clueless staff with little or no local experience who are costing consumers money.  

    The customer service is none existent and trying to get answers when there’s a chain is like pulling teeth!

    They aren’t bothered whether you sell your house or not, they’ve had their money



    1. ArthurHouse02

      Not a thing of the past….but brought to task on the misleading and inaccurate claims that they make. Rebecca could do with digging really deep not just into the customer service side of things but also try and drag out the “transparency” of how many properties they actually complete on themselves.

    2. AJL20

      I think many would concur, but I think ‘a thing of the past’ is unrealistic.

  2. AgencyInsider

    Here we go, yet again. Can we all stop calling them ‘online agents’. Every flippin’ agent is online. It’s a total misnomer.

    ‘Full service’ v ‘Self Service’. ‘Payanyway’ v ‘No-sale, no fee’. ‘Professionals’ v ‘Chancers’. Anything you like, but not ‘ONLINE’!

    1. AgentV

      Call Centre Listers.

    2. Robert May

      Passive intermediary listers is the correct term, they are not estate agents and if Terry wants to discuss it so do I.

    3. AJL20

      ‘Online Only’is surely more accurate?

  3. elibh35

    Investigate “Modern Method of Auction” Which charges 5%+VAT with a Min fee of £6000.00

    1. fluter

      I think you’ll find that is 4.2% Including VAT so 3.5% + VAT and it is paid by the buyer, not seller. That’s the information i’ve seen from one of the biggest in the market. The £6000 is correct but that is also including VAT, so equates to £5000 plus VAT.

      1. Property Pundit

        it is paid by the buyer’……who simply knocks it off the amount they are prepared to bid. Not brilliant for the seller IMHO.

        1. fluter

          Better than not getting a buyer when the seller wants it, which is when auction becomes a viable option. Its certainly not right for the vast majority of properties but it is definitely suitable for some.

  4. BrandNew

    When the BBC published the report on the ‘Pimlico Plumbers’ case a few weeks ago I did ask them to look at the status of the LPE’s and whether they were workers or truly self employed. It would be nice if that was part of their investigation.

  5. DonShore93

    The BBC would do well to look at the reviews sites these agencies use to support all their marketing. They nearly always lead to non-compliance with the CMA regulations (and looking worse on Google).

    BTW – whatever did happen with the Trustpilot being ‘sacked’ by PB and replaced by Feefo?

    1. Ostrich17

      “BTW – whatever did happen with the Trustpilot being ‘sacked’ by PB and replaced by Feefo?”

      How would that work? PB reviews on TP would then start to reflect the truth as poor reviews would not be removed.

      PB have perhaps realised there is no way they can leave !

      1. DonShore93

        Agreed Ostrich 17 – the ‘devil and the deep blue sea’ – one open to abuse by ‘appealing’ every single negative (pushing it off page 1, even assuming the appeal is unsuccessful and the client can prove to TP that they did business) the other by ‘cherry-picking’ (only inviting happy customers to write reviews).


        Either way – abuse that the BBC (and the CMA) shoule be interested in.

      2. DonShore93

        While we are on the subject of reviews and PB, I heartily recommend that everyone read Gary Telford’s review today on Trustpilot – sums up the flaws in ‘online’…
        “PB undervalued my house!

        I sold my house in Northampton in April 2018 and in addition to local agents I tried Purple Bricks. Their agent covers the whole of Northampton and their Valuation was £40,000 less than the price the local agent’s valuation and this was achieved. So my tip is to get local agents to value your property because saving commission was insignificant compared to the difference in valuations. The PB agent said they could sell at the local agents valuation but again the local agent’s better knowledge of the local market meant that the valuation was achieved within two weeks of listing.In the right market PB may be better but I was very happy to pay the local agent’s commission!

  6. Mark Walker

    Only 2 things are guaranteed in life, death and someone will shift a million PB shares on the eve of the programme.

  7. PropertyWebmasters

    Why waste time bashing online estate agents, their time is limited… Traditional estate agents need to concentrate on being better than them.

    Lets face it, traditional estate agents have had it easy for many years but their offering is way superior to that of an online agent. We work with many Traditional Estate Agencies globally, we love them but times have changed, competition will come and go and they need to act now. Those that survive will be those that embrace technology and put effort into marketing their own services. It’s never gonna be how it used to be, it will only become more technologically focused and if you’re not ‘down with the kids’ then you will be ‘down and out’.



You must be logged in to report this comment!

Comments are closed.

Thank you for signing up to our newsletter, we have sent you an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Additionally if you would like to create a free EYE account which allows you to comment on news stories and manage your email subscriptions please enter a password below.