Purplebricks accuses high street agents: You’re out of touch, out of date and you put people out of pocket

Traditional estate agents have been accused of being stuck in the past as Purplebricks steps up its ‘commisery’ campaign.

Purplebricks said that Britain’s method of buying and selling homes is out of touch and out of date – and leaves “millions” out of pocket.

A new report for Purplebricks – called ‘Commission: Out of touch, out of date, out of pocket’ – claims estate agents’ commissions are seen as “unnecessarily expensive” by over a third of home owners.

The report makes the equally controversial claim that sellers may be left in the dark about offers.

It claims: “Commission is supposed to incentivise agents to work harder but the work involved in dealing with a £100,000 home is the same as with a £1m mansion.

“And because the estate agent isn’t paid until a sale is agreed, home owners, who have no visibility of offers received other than information relayed by the agent, can’t feel certain they have been made aware of all offers, or the exact position of those making the offer – so can feel left unsure of whether they’ve accepted the very best offer for them.”

It also claims that estate agents’ commissions have spiralled in the last two decades but that the public is not getting more for their money.

It says: “House prices have soared by 253% in the last 20 years, from an average of £61,830 to £218,255. As house prices have boomed so have the profits scooped up by high street agents – the commission on the above examples has gone up from £1,113 to £3,929.

“Despite rising house prices making commissions rise year on year, it is not the case that consumers are getting more for their money.”

The report, based on the average estate agent fee being 1.8% (1.5% plus VAT), argues: “Technology has freed buyers from the rigidity of working hours and now it’s time for things to improve for sellers too – those who actually pay the bill.”

According to the report, estate agents’ fees were cited as the top gripe by 35% of home movers, followed by Stamp Duty (28%) and conveyancing costs (26%).

Buyers cited the legal process (39%), the cost of buying (26%) and the process of actual moving (18%) as the worst aspects of purchasing a home.

Dealing with estate agents came in fourth, at 11%.

Nearly half of those questioned (47%) said estate agents represented average value for money; 42% felt agents represented poor value; 16% felt the agent had not done enough for the money they were paid; while 10% felt agents offered good value.

The report, based on a survey of over 1,000 people who had previously sold a home, says that 95% of people make the internet their first port of call.

When it came to estimating the amount of commission they would expect to pay to sell a £500,000 house, 96% underestimated the cost and one in seven (16%) said they had no idea what the bill would be.

The report does indicate widespread public recognition that they can pay a flat fee “and avoid a percentage commission” when selling, with 69% aware of the possibility.

When asked how they would have felt if they had appointed an estate agent to sell their property only to find they could have purchased the same service for a lot less, almost all (94%) said they would feel annoyed, with six out of ten saying they would be “very annoyed”.

Less than 5% of those questioned were concerned with an agent showcasing a property in a high street office shopfront while one in ten said that they chose an agent following recommendation from a friend or a family member.

Michael Bruce, CEO of Purplebricks, said: “Home owners are entitled to a fair, transparent and convenient way to sell their homes and it is no longer acceptable to charge ever-increasing fees just because that’s the way things have always been done.

“This report shows that commission is the charge people dislike paying the most when they sell. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There is an alternative: a fair fixed fee with the same personal service as the high street.

“We want to help as many customers as we can avoid commisery – that feeling of kicking yourself because you could have got the same service for less.”

The research was carried out by Atomik Research in January and released yesterday.

EYE has asked Purplebricks where it got its commission figure from. My Home Move, which supplies conveyancing services to the company, has been quoting 1.2%.

However, yesterday afternoon a spokesperson for Purplebricks strongly defended the 1.8% (1.5% plus VAT) figure.

She said it was based on the results of a Purplebricks survey conducted between May 19, 2015, and July 7  last year. The survey had been sent to all sellers who had completed their sales with Purplebricks between these dates, and the respondents were asked to give the level of commission quoted by a traditional high street agent: 1,805 respondents indicated the level of commission they were quoted, and the 1.5% average was taken from these responses.

She also quoted Citizens Advice which quotes a commission rate of  between 1.5% and 2.5%; Your Money which said that the “average high street fee is 1.5% … but charges can be as much as 3%”; and the 2011 Which? claim that the national average commission is 1.8%.

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  1. Hillofwad71

    Could be a record number of replies today!!!! Libel! Agents not passing on offers !! Got some neck !Way to go.

    1. mrharvey

      The ‘leaving customers out of pocket’ is the one that got my hackles up.
      Considering PB is a listing service that puts little to no effort in actually selling a property, I’m sure pretty much every single one of their customers is left out of pocket when they have to cut their losses on PB and go to someone who will actually do the job they claim to do.

      1. AgentV

        Their ‘business model’ incentivises the first reasonable offer that comes along to be accepted, because that involves the least amount of work. In my experience carrying out more viewings, encouraging more offers, creating competition and then negotiating properly adds a typical £5,000 to £10,000 more to the sale price on properties from £100,000 to £200,000.
        I might charge £1,000 more than they do no sale no fee, but they have full service contact with me throughout the process and I bet overall my vendors end up with a good few thousand better ‘walkaway result’.

    2. Paulfromromsey87

      Where do I start with this libellous, ignorant nonsense.  This’ll do:
      “And because the estate agent isn’t paid until a sale is agreed, home owners, who have no visibility of offers received other than information relayed by the agent, can’t feel certain they have been made aware of all offers, or the exact position of those making the offer – so can feel left unsure of whether they’ve accepted the very best offer for them.”
      One example and the most recent.  We have recently achieved £4,000 more than an asking price of £280,000, having had 2 buyers at the asking price make their ‘highest and best offer.’  As often happens, the buyer that lost out then made a yet higher offer.  As the law requires, this offer was submitted to the vendor and subsequently accepted after the original offeror said they couldnt offer any more.  How much more did we make out of it?  Not a penny as we’d agreed a fixed fee.  Why did we bother?  Because thats what REAL estate agents do, act honestly and lawfully in the best interests of their clients.  And thats why we will survive and remain strong as an industry because, when we do it right, we’re b****y good at it!  Mr Bruce, no-one ever looked good trying to make someone else look bad.

      1. AgentV

        Using a new marketing technique we have developed, we have carried out 75 viewings on a property needing work last Saturday, another 35 on Tuesday and have over 30 offers, many of which are £15,000 or more above the marketing price. We could stop there, but we still have another 50 potential buyers and we will show these round on Saturday. Why?…because same as you Paul, we are trying to get the very best sale price for our vendors whilst being as fair as we can to buyers by letting as many view as want to. As #REALestateagents (curtisy Paulfromromsey87) that is what we do. 

    3. Property Paddy

      I rather think if we estate agents worked to the same standards as PB then the acusation may have some merrit.
      However us estate agents work to very high standards and becuase of our services we are more likely to generate higher sale prices, better progression services and actually understand the business.

  2. AndrewOverman

    Tell that to the lady who’s about to list her house with me and pay my fee because as a potential buyer it took you bafoons four days, yes FOUR DAYS, to reply to a viewing request she made online. I wonder how many thousands of pounds you’ve lost your clients because of your appalling service?

    The truth will out in the end, it always does.

    My question remains the same as it has always been. What’s your list to sell ratio?

    If you want to know why the industry is frowned upon I think you lot and Mr Q should take a long hard look in the mirror!



  3. IndAgent

    PB – stop being the typical agent dissing others. It’s getting boring. Why not just promote what makes you different from us lot in a positive way?

  4. sb007ck

    Its probably about time the NAEA turned these press releases into a positive spin. “Thanks for highlighting that two thirds of people are more than happy with the fee the pay the estate agent”

  5. surrey1

    Wow. Where do you even start with that??

  6. Jonnie

    Alrighty then…………..this gem of an article will get the blood pumping today. Brucie boy has out Quirked Quirk with the gob on a stick thing, only difference is one can afford to take a breath rather than yapping on like (an admittedly rich) soon to be castrated terrier in a vets waiting room.

    Obviously  it’s a big bundle of nonsense with more than a dollop of spin and chooses the facts it likes while blanking the ones that don’t suit, one being the Myhomemove fees report, now those people are the main conveyancing partner for PB and good friends, but the reality of agents fees doesnt fit with the massive gobbing off exercise that this is.

    Anyway I’m sure many readers will add a combination of sarcasm, banter, comedy, serious debate and utter twaddle over the course of today, or everyone could ignore it and treat it with the indifference  it deserves?


    1. Property Ear

      Agreed – this report merited zero replies

  7. Frown Please

    At least we will sell a house. Not charge to upload a photo. If you are lucky.

  8. Chris Wood

    If you want to produce a document that shoots yourself in both feet and keeps firing, this is it. Amongst many other own goals and creative spin on your own research that doesn’t support what you’ve been telling consumers and investors for years, when you have to ignore your own conveyancing partners data (largest, probably most accurate, published insight into UK estate agents fees) to substantiate a claim that is already based on a non like for like comparison, you know you’re in the doodoo. I would imagine Stephen Hayter has been issued a gagging order on this topic by PB.

  9. Malcolm Barnard

    I have a quote from Georgie Willock, PR Manager at MyHomeMove regarding the source of their figure quoted in this story. Georgie said in an e-mail to me on the 13/2/17 that “We operate in every postcode area in England and Wales, and helped nearly 50,000 people to buy and sell last year, so you can say our results are reflective of the national picture”.

    I would be surprised if there is a more current or robust set of data about the average fees charged by Estate Agents. The Estate Agency trade bodies should be campaigning for the figure quoted to be recognised & the only figure that can be quoted when comparisons are made in advertising & PR.

    Why do Purplebricks quote a Which report from 2011 when the above MyHomeMove figures were used by Which in an article that is still on their website today? See more here: http://www.which.co.uk/money/mortgages-and-property/home-movers/guides/selling-a-house/estate-agent-fees-and-contracts

    1. Chris Wood

      I believe there is strong evidence to support the premise that if you stick your fingers in your ears and shout loud enough, inconvenient facts magically disappear.

    2. cyberduck46

      >I would be surprised if there is a more current or robust set of data about the average fees charged by Estate Agents. The Estate Agency trade bodies should be campaigning for the figure quoted to be recognised & the only figure that can be quoted when comparisons are made in advertising & PR.
      It should be mandatory in law that an agent publishes its commission rate on every document and be prominently displayed in their premises and is not allowed to be negotiated. 
      The industry only has itself to blame for being susceptible to spin.
      Interestingly in the Which? article, 16% of a survey of 1990 people said they were dissatisfied with their Agent. I wonder how many this would have been if they knew they could have negotiated a lower price in many of those sales.

      1. AgentV

        a lower price in many of those sales
        I think you have encapsulated it all in one statement there. Yes they could have saved maybe a thousand pounds or so by using an online lister, but I bet they would have ended a few thousand pounds net worse off… after the lister obtained them a ‘lower price in many of those sales’ 

    3. Beano

      I respectfully disagree, surely we want to be earning 1.5%? – assuming we deserve it. I would rather potential clients be expecting me to charge what I feel I deserve, than them see a figure of 1.2 as a starting point for negotiation. Keep telling the world we charge 2-3% for all I care, not only will you show that they are lying, but that you offer a much better value service than they might have been expecting.  
      That said I dont think the selling public are stupid, if you did a poll on your high street today of homeowners, I would imagine most people would guess nearer the real figure than the OTT numbers given out by these loss making listing outfits.

  10. AgentV

     The survey had been sent to all sellers who had completed their sales with Purplebricks between these dates

    How can anything be concluded from such a small sample of vendors!!!

  11. Chris Wood

    Two posts on a Purplebricks story already this morning and I haven’t been pulled yet. I’m either losing my touch or Schillings are having a lie-in.


    1. AndrewOverman

      Or they have no legitimate response? 
      I’d love a response to my list to sell ratio question. 
      Please Brucies bros. Do tell me. Please don’t forget though that whilst your PR machine is good, there are people who can legitimately prove or disprove your claims. 
      Let’s go. Gloves are off. 
      What percentage of your stock do you actually sell? 

  12. AgentV

    let there be silence for a moment while we hear the NAEA’s comments on the report commissioned by one of their members criticising the business of most of their other members. We’re waiting……

  13. agency negotiation limited

    Another headline I could do without hearing:  ” A survey said….”

    Irrelevant questions asked to a minuscule percentage of vendors.  If PurpleBricks wishes to debate the effectiveness of the commission-only model, it needs to ask the question that Neil Woodford asked Mr. Bruce before investing in this ‘House of Cards’.

    ” What’s your exit route?”

    Commission-only model, for all its flaws, offers the only option that safeguards vendors interests. Don’t like the agency or service. Choose another.  Pay up-front, or nine months down the line with PurpleBricks and there is no exit route if the home doesn’t sell. .In many cases with PurpleBricks, it can be like watching a car crash in slow motion.  You know it’s going to happen, but you can’t help those involved.

    PurpleBricks have a persistent habit of making the truth seem relative.

  14. AgentV

    I wonder if all this is just a bit tongue in cheek from Mr Bruce, and after reading ‘how to make friends and influence people’ what he really wants is to start building a better relationship with us all. Anyone else see that undercurrent at all?

  15. proagent54

    I know Stephen Hayter reads this and would love to hear his thoughts, sadly though as PB are MHM biggest customer I guess he will stay quiet?

  16. Hillofwad71

    What does Bruce say today to those 6 householders (according to Zoopla) who listed on the 6th April 2016- I year of unsoldness  Maybe  1or 2 of them who chose to defer payment   presuming it would have sold  have had Chase sending  the bailiffs in  as they didnt  have the money for the fee on the 10th month.   Does he send them  a birthday cake with their fee reimbursed?

  17. JAM01

    It’s an old survey report and to me, more indicative of the lack of traction PB now has, so trying again to ***** the public consciousness. However in doing so, they highlight 65% are happy with traditional EA as it stands. Now that the likes of PB has caused many traditional agents to up their game, that percentage will increase in the future, I believe.

  18. Thomas Flowers

    Commiseration, that feeling agents get when you have paid upfront for a service and not achieve a sale.

    Go on PB tell us and NTSEAT how many people have paid for a service they did not receive?

    Remind us of your mind boggling conveyancing referral fees and does this influence your offer recommendations?

    What incentive do your listers have to bother pushing a sale through to completion?

    What is your fall through rate?

    Everyone of your listings during your last year end returns appear to have been subsidised by your investors by around £1800?

    That is more than my average fee for a full no sale, no fee service up north where the average property price is only around £175,000.

    How can the Bruce Bros justify to investors making an addition £17 million in share sales prior to the latest year end results when PB lost £12 million in 2015/2016?

    Are PB likely to generate more revenue than spend in 2016/2017 accounts?

    PB recently raised £50 million to launch in America.

    Will all that money be used to launch or will any be used to prop up your UK and OZ offerings?

    Is a prolonged investor subsidised offering over years anti-competitive?

    Should the CMA be looking into this?

    If your turnover is in the millions do your self employed listers charge VAT if they do not personally exceed the VAT registration threshold?

    Is this recent outburst to deflect the fact that PB are likely to lose money again in 2016/2017?

    Expect more of this posturing over the coming weeks?


  19. David M

    “……you could have got the same service…..”   does this mean that like traditional agents PB is now confirming that they will not charge/refund any fees if they are not successful in finding a buyer????


  20. ARC

    Try explaining that to the two vendors of PB that I am dealing with sign in to 10 month contracts with £1600 plus VAT deferred payments who have had three viewings between them in 3 months and the ‘local expert’ doesn’t seem bothered as he knows he’s getting his 1600 quid either way! The truth will out.

    1. cyberduck46

      >The truth will out.
      But will it be what you expect it to be? My own research suggests not, especially if you believe the Jefferies report that only 14% of listings result in sales.
      The other question of course is will the truth reach the ears and eyes of the public? It might even be there for them to find but how many of them will even look?

  21. Ted58

    I wish you could add Gifs to these comments because I have a few belters that would better describe my emotions to this email,

    The problem is he spouts all this nonsense and people believe him


  22. AgentPink92

    Actual Survey Question:

    When asked how they would have felt if they had appointed an estate agent to sell their property only to find they could have purchased the same service for a lot less, almost all (94%) said they would feel annoyed, with six out of ten saying they would be “very annoyed”.

    Suggested follow up Question:

    How annoyed would you be if you had to pay the lower fee up front and your home didn’t sell … or after 10 months even if your home still hadn’t sold?

    a) very very annoyed

    b) very annoyed

    c) annoyed

    d) happy

    e) very happy

    f) very very happy

    The survey results including this follow up question may knock the cherry off PB’s icing.





  23. Richard247

    I’m online and think it’s a good system ,you can save thousands by not having a shop . You can still offer a great service ,I have no problem with high street agents I think some do a great job, at the end of the day if you offer No1 service the customer will pay £1000 or 10000 so I think there room for both. Please don’t shoot me

  24. Essjaydee51

    Has everyone paid their fees yet to naea etc the silince from their hq is deafening. Toothless, inept and a waste of money and they have the audacity to tell us how to be officially professional for the publics confidence. It’s like the tpo those that can, do and those that can’t, teach!


    1. AgentV

      I am sure that everyone at NAEA head office is frantically working on a statement they will issue very shortly?
      OR …..they won’t do anything until overall membership starts falling from protest about one member being allowed to very publicly ridicule the vast majority of the other membership.   

  25. Tablespider006

    Does this sound familiar at all?

    Start fight

    Stand back and watch the fun?

    Given that PB spend a fortune on advertising, and that their current campaign, like so many, is just a collection of meaningless neologisms, no doubt compiled by a spotty PR graduate with no life experience whatsoever, why are you surprised that the same team would issue a press release pushing the “commission bad” line?

    If those that watch over us and are supposed to speak for us, have vested interests which motivate them to do nothing, then maybe we ought to consider whether being part of an organisation that allows such actions, is the way forward?

    Having said that, even this negative campaign – We good: Them bad – brings the industry into the public eye and it’s up to those of use using the more traditional paradigm to overcome these overbearing, loud upstarts and make sure our voices are heard?



    1. AgentV

      An excellent post Tablespider006 and Woodentop, couldnt have put it better.

  26. AgentV

    To me commission is a sign of success….success for selling my vendor’s house for the highest amount possible and seeing that sale through to completion. I am proud I earn commission and I bet the vast majority of Vendors would prefer to pay a commission for success rather than a fixed fee for failure!!!

  27. Woodentop

    When they come out fighting … you know PB are worried? They are failing and having to attack the mainstream high street to win business. If they were that good, people would be queuing up and they could publish the correct data with pride for all to see.


    Or is it from the words and advertising, hatred for estate agents and the sole purpose for using a non-profit business model is only to disrupt the high street, with the intention to try and put agents out of business while their investors carry the expenditure and they rake in the salary. It seems to me the latter is becoming obvious to all? If so PB are touching on ground that is illegal having crossed the line with Business Protection Regulations? NAEA at least should have taken this up when commissary appeared on the scene. It is slanderous and grossly misleading.


    PB Commissary advertising never says why the fees are generally just higher than PB’s. Overheads are far higher for a far better service than PB can and does offer and that is fact. Using the top end house price and a top end agents fees which that clientele are more than happy to agree to (wish I could charge or afford it!) is distorting facts. They also do not mention that paying a fixed fee gives no incentive to get the best price and that fee is charged if they fail, while the high street has to cover the cost from somewhere …. commission is based on covering total overheads for the business annualy, not per sale. Agents needs to educate customers why their fee may be higher … when you do the customers just about always agrees it makes sense. 


    Maybe its time that just like with the banks scandal of massive losses and fat cat salaries is exposed as to what is actually happening with PB and its investors? The Bruce brothers rake in the money, while the business struggles to stay solvent with no return for their investors and have the nerve to make out agents are financially greedy with commission that pays for higher overheads.

    1. cyberduck46

      Woodentop, you are completely off the mark. PB are not struggling, far from it.
      Their market share on new instructions in the UK has grown since the beginning of February. The number of LPE’s in that time has grown from 388 to 425. I would go as far as saying that at this point of time they are making a profit in the UK. If market share continues to rise at the current rate then with fixed costs already covered the profit will increase rapidly.
      In Australia the start has been very promising. Income of £2.5m already. 
      I recommend people do their own research and ignore what others are saying.

      1. Woodentop

        No I’m not but then everyone is entitled to thier view. Which bit is wrong … they mislead, don’t provide a like for like service, declared any dividend to investors, accounts show no meaningful profit, Bruce Brothers are cashing in shares and fat cat salaries? Income v expenditure in Australia is already reporting a loss is a wait and see? PB will not show facts.


        How do you work out they are making  a profit, facts please. On-line is also a declared fact … still miniscual share of the market.


        PB have had long enough to corner the market … failed miserably to make more than two paces and now resort to bully tactics to try and win instructions based on misleading advertising and not the real story ….. says it all. Their market is like all budget business models … limited.

        1. cyberduck46

          >How do you work out they are making  a profit
          Like I say, do your own research. Look at the data available from third parties. Read what analysts are saying, not just one of them. Make your own assumptions. Be sceptical but keep an open mind. Look at human nature. There’s no point in being rich if you end up in jail. No business tells shareholders everything but they do produce statements and if they mislead shareholders we are talking a serious criminal offence so as an investor you have to trust what they tell shareholders but of course some things are open to interpretation so take that into account.
          >PB have had long enough to corner the market
          They don’t have to corner the market and whatever they will eventually achieve takes time. Average LPE’s in 2015 were 35. In 2016 153. Currently 425. I believe there were 1.4 million transactions last year so plenty of pie to go around.

          1. Woodentop

            The research is there. It shows a £multi-million investment and one third of a £million return that showed no real profit and no dividends. I wonder if you are one of those investors with a head buried? They do need to corner the market or they will fall by the wayside, that is simple business. They are curently milking what they can get, for as long as they can ….. the click is ticking. It is you that is not coming up with research and making assumptions?
            What is an LPE cyberduck46?

            1. cyberduck46

              >I wonder if you are one of those investors with a head buried?
              You are talking about experienced investors. Investment trusts and the like. Do you really think they don’t appreciate the risk/reward?
              Experienced Analysts too. Peel Hunt recommending the shares up to a price of £2.75 back in January.
              If you accept that there is currently a profit of a third of a million can you not see that this will rise quickly as market share increases? Whatever the market share was that created that third of a million must have created enough income to pay off the fixed costs (admin & marketing remained the same in H1 of both 2016 & 2017 at £10.4m) as well as the costs per transaction. From the break-even point onwards all transaction income after the cost per transaction gets added to the profit so profits will accelerate as market share increases. Market share increases as the number of LPE’s increases.
              Do a search on “purplebricks scaling mike delprete” for a better explanation.
              An LPE is the local property expert who values the property. There are some who are paid but most are self employed. There is a hierarchy which I believe involves an agent being able to take on 2 sub-agents and earning a percentage of the sub-agents’ commission. As an agent you are very unlikely to recruit a sub-agent unless you thought there was sufficient demand.

              1. Woodentop

                An LPE is not a property expert and many are found to not be local either. They are nothing more than a lister with no incentive to serve the customer fairly. I always laugh when they are called LPE, as the ones I know and many others compalin of, are not experts. Yet another misrepresentation to add to the list. What you are saying is PB will do well …. hopefully …. but track record todate clearly shows they continue to fail in an ever  decreasing market and new instructions are not happeng to pay LPE’s £100,000 a year. You are focused on potential (stockmarket gimmick) but I am talking they behave wanting.

                Your not by chance a fisherman? The odd person manages to catch a whopper while most never do, at best is a tickle. If you are a shark that’s a different thing.

                1. cyberduck46

                  >but track record todate clearly shows they continue to fail in an ever  decreasing market
                  Not according to the data I’m looking at. 
                  Do some research yourself and you’ll soon see what’s happening. 18000 instructions in the first half created a third of a million profit. Growth of 150% over the same period a year earlier. PB announced record instructions in January and I’ve been monitoring instructions myself since February.
                  But like I say, do your own research. If you just listen to and repeat what others are saying then who do you choose to repeat? People have their own agendas and those that don’t want the company to succeed focus on any negative without even verifying it for themselves.
                  Even PeeBee who is a staunch critic has admitted to me that they are gaining traction.

                  1. Woodentop

                    I don’t disagree that they have made some headway based on their own figures but we all about portal juggling etc. Considering they are nationwide, it would be expected but when you break it down to town by town they are insignificant, constantly loosing instructions and they only way they can make headway is to slag off the other agents. PB is all about spin, you can fool people some of the time but not all the time. That day will come but in the meantime as an investor one should look alot closer at what is fact and not the talk by Bruce & Co. They are still not giving any dividend forecast and the city say they are making no worthwhile profit and starting to come to light … not is all it would seem.

                    1. cyberduck46

                      Woodentop, no experienced investor would take any notice of TV adverts and will focus on figures. Some will do their own research like I have done.
                      Don’t get sucked in by all this “portaljuggling” malarky – the system that claims to detect portaljuggling which is being touted around is flawed. It can’t detect whether an agent is deliberately manipulating the portals and one Agent has already exposed this weakness after being labeled as one of the top 50 portal jugglers.
                      The fact that you are talking about a dividend shows you have very little understanding of what type of companies pay dividends and what type of company PB are. PB have just raised £50m from investors to enter the USA market later this year. Next year it will be another country if Australia is living up to expectations. If a fast growing company paid a dividend that would be a sure sign they couln’t make better use of the money themselves. No investor in any fast growing company would expect a dividend.
                      The bottom line is that PB are not struggling. As far as the UK is concerned it looks like they have a profitable business and those profits will rapidly increase if market share continues to grow. Clearly that’s a big “if” but the current signs are very promising for them (but do your own research). 

                  2. PeeBee

                    “Even PeeBee who is a staunch critic has admitted to me that they are gaining traction.”

                    Only a fool would try to claim that they are not. It is how they are gaining traction which is the issue.

                    Perhaps, however, I should complete what I actually ‘said’ to ‘cyberduck46’:
                    “…they are gaining traction. And not just in their home patch. Fair play to them… IF they could walk the walk.”

                    And it is that very path they are attempting to walk that, I and many others firmly and sincerely believe, will be their undoing.

  28. stang69

    So, essentially what PB are saying is that we should all charge a lower upfront fee and then not worry about whether the property sells or not?

    Hmm…sounds like a business model to me!

  29. Stubby26

    Not one chain in two years has completed with a Purplebricks link. I have taken instructions from them where the vendor lost their chain and was not aware even after six weeks. I had one vendor who thought he was ready to exchange and lost his onward purchase due to Purplebricks not informing him of a chain falling through. Most vendors have to progress their own sale and have no chance of knowing where they stand with the bottom of a chain.


    I have been dealing with Purplebricks in my area from the start.

    1. AgentV

      Stubby26 You need to post your experience on twitter on #CONmisery!

  30. RichardHill61

    Honestly Property Industry Eye….Have Purple Bricks acquired your business as there’s a ‘BS’ article every (fwording) day!

    Is there nothing else to write about?

  31. lettingsguru

    And this from a company that has just bought a high street agency…..

    1. AgentV

      Perhaps it is all part of a masterplan to try and discredit the whole of the ‘full service independent industry’ along with the NAEA, and then buy all of us up cheaply when we are on our knees.
      We need to ‘network’ together and fight back!!!
      Anyone up for a fight? 

  32. StanLaurel35

    At the end of the day we all know that PB take the instruction money and run, they don’t want to do viewings, they’re not bothered about sales chasing and achieving an exchange, both of these cost them money, why bother when you have already been paid! My experience is they just don’t care. In my opinion it will slowly start to filter through to the public. I’m really not that concerned about them. I have to admit in my area the commission is on average about £1800 a lot different to London, so I don’t come across them a lot but talking to my vendors who are moving into areas where they are more prominent the feedback is not good, same from solicitors. I absolutely panic when a vendor /purchaser is not happy with my service and I do all I can to appease them because word of mouth is a nasty tool. Being a nationwide company this will take a little time but it will happen.

  33. Zeus

    Place the property on the internet sit back and hope that the phone rings is their stratagy.

    Who sorts out the numerous issues involved with getting a sale past the post such as damp & Timber reports, electrical and gas reports, Fensa certificates just to mention a few. Most sellers would not know where to begin and what to look for to avoid spending more then they need too. This is just one of the ways proper estate agents add value.

  34. hodge

    Purple bricks sadly are the future and the reason is sitting in 90% of estate agents offices.

    The independent states that you will need approx 600k to retire, personally i think a million is closer to the figure and yet most agents don’t even have 3% contribution to a pension pot so you can expect about 100K absolute tops in your pot, plus of course whatever you need to pay off your 35 year term mortgage.  So please don’t use the we can negotiate the best price for you as many can’t even negotiate your own salary package let alone somebody elses sale price.

    Secondly if you pay £5000 in fees plus vat the you have a 6K debt and over at least 20 years  it will cost you £7353 at 2.1% approx in payments back to the lender. Probably 90% or more use equity to fund moving costs.

    If i instruct PB and they are not making a sale then any high street agent will drop his pants for you property so you could discount the PB fee anyway, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    High street is changing to online . Amazon, Asos, everyman and his dog is on the net as this reduces costs. PB will evolve over time but the agents will die a death, so get your CV out and soak up the sun, its due to rain next week and you will need cover. PB will sell you a rain coat.

    1. Property Pundit

      Nope, have read your post a half dozen times and I’m still struggling to find either a valid or viable point in there. Somebody help me out please. 

      1. hodge

        Perhaps this may help you.
        Learning and development couses on change management.

        1. AgentV

          And what do you do Hodge?

          1. AndrewOverman

            He goes on couses 

      2. Woodentop

        Same points were made when the financial services industry jumped on the sell your home band wagon in 1990. All lost and pulled out only to be replaced by banks and building societies. All lost and pulled out only to be replaced on-liners …. the writing is on the wall as they are even worse at it than the first two. They do nothing a high street agent doesn’t do, all they peddle is cheap fee that makes them no real money. The interent is a tool, not a solution and all estate agents already use it and have been a lot longer than the on-line disruptors who can’t sell their own service without bribes and lies.

    2. StanLaurel35

      What a load of tosh, ‘Estate Agents don’t contribute to a pension’…..so every other profession does?? I have 6 properties that I rent out. I stick with what I know. All my staff are encouraged to get on the property ladder asap. My manager has 3 and both my senior negotiators have two. In under 6 years time all my mortgages will be paid off and I will have an income of over £5k a month. We’re not all ignorant stupid buffoons!

      1. hodge

        Perhaps you are one of the 10% then.   Estate agency companies dont contribute much to pensions and make millions so clearly staff do not neg the best deal for themselves, that was the point. So why could i expect you to neg on behalf of me to sell my house.
        PB will win out as agents are desperate for new properties and will drop their pants, so instructing PB first and seeing if it costs you 995£ is a no brainer.
        As for rental when you sell any of them you will pay CGT
        My pension fund had 40% given to me by the governement, no rental voids or stamp duty and has grown at 18% pa .
        Not all agents are baffoons, but not smelling the coffee and seeing change is dumb.
        Sorry for the delay in the response but just been out on the Harley, checked my pension on return and have made 2k today tax free.

        1. AgentV

                     You clearly sound extremely well off. You need to take a punt on the newest development in proptech and get in at the very early stage. From what I know it will become over time more valuable than Purple Bricks. 

          1. hodge

            Well to a degree I have via the Woodford uk equity fund and he is doing pretty well. 

        2. StanLaurel35

          Why sell them when I have a £5000 pcm income, yes I wil pay tax on that income when I retire but will still have enough to live comfortably, and my children will be comfortable when I leave this world. oh and by the why I do have a pension.

          And what makes yo think PB will negotiate a better price than what I do?


        3. LincsAgent04

          “Been out on the Harley” – says it all that, terrible bikes

    3. Shaun77

      Cast your mind back to the late 90’s onwards. All of the online recruitment sites predicted the end of traditional recruitment consultants but it never happened.

      Speak to any decent firm that hire talented staff and they will always use the services of a good recruitment agency.

      Recruitment , like estate agency, is about providing a service not a product, so the comparisons with Amazon etc are just not relevant.

  35. hodge

    And just to add insult to injury imagine a poor pension and all of the hours you work……to be told work longer for the boss.


    There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.
    As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.
    The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”
    The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”
    “Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.
    “This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.
    The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”
    The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”
    The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman.
    “I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”
    The fisherman continues, “And after that?”
    The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”
    The fisherman asks, “And after that?”
    The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”
    The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”

    1. Thomas Flowers

      A mirage?
      So the trick is to own a small part of the dwindling fish stocks by getting other investors to buy the Ocean?
      You can then sell access to this Ocean for personal profit before people realise that you cannot buy an Ocean, only a very small part of one?
      You then have to sell this Ocean quickly as the longer you leave it the more salt it accumilates so others may not be able to draw water from it as easily in the future?

  36. Zeus

    There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person’s lawful prey. It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money — that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot — it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.” John Ruskin 1819-1900.

  37. Jonnie


    Good work on my (clearly) stupid idea on ignoring this massive lump of cobblers / ranting of a madman.

    Shall we have a pop at the easyJet lad that did the dinosaur bum and funeral march thing next?




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