Purplebricks and similar
online agents are ultimately not viable because they do not charge enough to
provide the level of expertise vendors require, the head of a regional estate
agents’ association has suggested.
Speaking to the Eastern
Daily Press – and referring to Purplebricks base £899 fee and their recent
withdrawal from the US – Nick Taylor, MD
of independently-run Hadley Taylor and Chairman of the NDAEA, the Norwich &
District Association of Estate Agents, comments: “Online-only estate agency is
nothing new. Agents who provide a nationwide online service operating from a
call-centre type operation have been around in various guises since the dawn of
“None of them have really
worked because most consumers want more than they offer. When selling one’s
biggest financial asset, most sellers want to employ a fair degree of expertise
and the truth is that £899 doesn’t buy much expertise.”
While some will dismiss Taylor’s remarks as sour
grapes from a conventional estate agent many others will agree with the
fundamental point he raises. It costs money to properly value, market and
progress the sale of a major asset. It could well be that even upwards of
£1,000 is an insufficient amount to do it and, in some ways, Purplebricks is
trying to achieve the impossible.
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