New free-to-list site aims to challenge Purplebricks

Rayhan Rafiq-Omar, a previous columnist on EYE and founder of Unmortgage, has launched a new venture, Free.co.uk.

Aimed at DIY sellers, the company will offer free listings.

It will make its money from commissions on mortgage products.

Its site proclaims that:

Selling your home has never been easier
At Free, we believe full service estate agency doesn’t have to cost you a penny.

Rafiq-Omar is reported as saying:

“I’ve been thinking about this for three years now, but was running Unmortgage.

“So on leaving Unmortgage, I knew this is what was next,”

“Even thinking of selling your home is painful; there’s just so much friction. And the thought of spending all that money is debilitating.”

According to its site the service removes, “the BS, the fees and the complexity.”

Rafiq-Omar says: “We aren’t competing with high street agents — they exist to hold people’s hands, which many people feel they need to sell their home.

“Those who know their home, its value and the local area [are] better than any ‘local property expert,’

“Free.co.uk gives them a new choice to be in control.

“Purplebricks is the main/only competition.”

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20 Comments

  1. JustPlainSavage04

    Why does everything have to be free nowadays?

    I saw a Strike (housesimple market leaders) advert on television last night and I thought it was the introduction to a new kids TV programme such as power rangers/ pokemon until it said ‘Sell your home for free’

    Companies and people need to believe in their worth, customers will not think highly of you if you give your service for free. Set your fees to reflect your service and you will get them.

    I think Housesimple changing their name when apparently they were market leaders across most areas says it all really.

    Anyway, good luck to Rafiq-Omar, but potentially have 5 minutes and just ask yourself, am I worth a free listing? Or am I worth more?

    JPS

     

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  2. AgencyInsider

    So it’s a fishing for mortgage leads operation with the free listing as the bait. Good luck with that.

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  3. Anonymous Agent

    Free or cheap upfront listings with no real concern for whether the price is right or not is costing vendors money left, right and centre.

    By the time they realise that sticking a few photos on the internet isn’t going to work for them they’ll have missed out on the first exposure spike and probably have to reduce the price which will mean they end up with a lower price than if they’d gone on with a proper agent at the right price in the first place.

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  4. OMG

    That’s the biggest waste of a premium domain name in my opinion.

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  5. bennykruce

    Purplebricks is not their competition as p’ricks advertise on property portals. Their competition is ebay or facebook.

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    1. PeeBee

      I think you’ve missed the point, bennykruce – probably because the article has missed or omitted it in the first place.

      This ‘Agent’ is listed on Rightmove.

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  6. RichardHill61

    FFS!

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  7. Property Poke In The Eye

    Some people just just don’t get it.  This Omar chap is one of of them – on the gear!!!

    Even investors are starting to know these free or low cost models just dont work in a service Industry.

    Omar needs to go back to school and learn the basics of business.

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  8. Woodentop

    You mean you want to only work with those that don’t like paying a bean to sell their home. Best of luck trying to get their mortgage commission.

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  9. smile please

    Best of luck they will need it.

    Remember when we thought 1% to sell a house was the race to the bottom….. Now we have multiple people trying to ‘sell’ houses for free.

    People are happy to pay for a quality service.

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  10. Property Pundit

    Please let it stop.

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  11. WhereIsTheMoniiMoney

    I just listed my property!

    Might have thrown in a few things to see if it sanity-checks…

    “A five bedroom detached house with three bathrooms. Built in the last 20 years and last decorated before 2018, it has a private garden and a private garage. On the market for £0 and with no additional costs, this property offers 2000 square metres and gas central heating. It is a freehold property.”

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  12. Russell121

    Surely there is a danger of a customer to be worse off financially with an uncompetitive mortgage offer.

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    1. Property Pundit

      Exactly.

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    2. jan - byers

      If it is done by a qualified IFA there is no reason to assume that they will not be acting in the clients best interest – if they do not they will have a lot of explaining to do I do not think would bother to risk it for one mortgage

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      1. PeeBee

        “If it is done by a qualified IFA there is no reason to assume that they will not be acting in the clients best interest”
         
        But these are NOT IFAs.  They quote they have access to 47 lenders, so whilst they may well offer a “whole-of-market” service, there remains a strong possibility that there will be better deals available that a truly “independent” FA would be able to secure.
         
        47 lenders is pretty small coal.  It’s roughly half the number you can gain access to on MoneySupermarket, for instance.
         
        And although the site specifically refers to “their experts” being regulated, there is NO regulatory information or disclaimer information whatsoever on the website – which I find extremely surprising.
         
        Worrying, even?

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  13. GPL

    Roll Up, Roll Up Homesellers…..

     

    Gather around…..

     

    We’re offering to sell what is probably your most valuable asset, and of course your home …….for Free!

     

    The only catch is that you have to be daft enough to believe there is no catch!

     

    Complete & utter b@ll@cks!

     

    When you see the word Free? …….saddle up and ride as far away as you can. You are as free as a worm dangling on a fishing hook being lowered into a river!

     

     

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  14. GPL

     
    Our Industry is blighted by parasites like Free?, Purplebricks & many other freeloaders.
     
    Thank goodness most Homesellers are thoroughly intelligent, wary and will listen to a skilled, knowledgable, established, professional estate agent and trust them to deliver an exceptional service for a fair fee.
     
    I wouldn’t p!ss on these Sham Artist Companies if they were on f***!
     
    ”Real” Estate Agents …….keep up the good work! We are way above these parasites.    
     
     

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  15. jan - byers

    The think is from the outside looking in – it is no use for many people but for some it will work

    I know what my house is worth

    I would have no issue showing a buyer around I know the house and area better than any agent

    I have no issue with negotiating  a deal if it is not what I am looking for I just say no – not a big deal

    I would have no issue chasing the sale through myself and probably have more experience than many young negotiator at doing that

    My house is worth about 900k

    1.5% plus vat – £16,200

    I would give it a try for free

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    1. PeeBee

      “I know what my house is worth…” 
      (skip forward 30 seconds of typing the same post)
      “…My house is worth about 900k”  
       
      So – you don’t know what your home is worth, then.  
       
      That is one reason (and there are plenty to choose from) why you… and people like you – aka the vast majority of homeowners – need an Estate Agent.

      Report
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