Online portal Purplebricks
fakes price reductions on some of their listings, while some other agents fake
entire listings, so says an estate agency blogger interviewed by the Times.
The Times reports the anonymous blogger as saying that the estate agency business, and especially lettings, is like the “wild west” since it is unpoliced allowing agents to behave as they like. It refers to Purplebricks as a “bad offender” in the article, but suggests such practices are rife in the industry.
The blogger is reported as
saying: “Part of the problem, particularly in lettings, is that there is no one
policing the industry. There is no sheriff in town. Some of these practices may
not appear the worst thing in the world but if people are prepared to do them
when they can easily be found out, you have to wonder what else they are doing
behind closed doors.”
Purplebricks refutes the
allegations, telling the newspaper:
“We’re disappointed to see these isolated examples, which are a tiny
proportion of the thousands of changes made by Purplebricks and our customers
every day. This is not a practice we adopt or accept and, in line with our
commitment to higher standards of transparency in our industry, we will
actively prevent this kind of behaviour as soon as it’s pointed out.”
Without knowing the identity of the blogger it is difficult to know what they are hoping to achieve by exposing these practices – if indeed exposing them will or could really achieve anything.