Yopa Battles Upfront Fees Criticism With No Sale, No Fee Option

Online estate agency Yopa has introduced a “no sale, no fee” option for customers selling their home through the firm.

If sellers choose this option and the agency finds a buyer, Yopa will charge a flat rate fee of either £1,495 or £2,695 depending on where the customer lives.

Those choosing to stick with Yopa’s traditional fee structure will pay less – either £839 or £1,399, with the option to pay upfront or through a 10-month payment plan. With this option, the fee is payable regardless of whether or not the agent finds a buyer.

The move seeks to combat one of the criticisms of online flat-fee estate agents, whereby upfront fees mean people pay whether they sell or not, in contrast to traditional high street agents who take a percentage cut that is only charged if and when the home is sold.

Daniel Attia, chief executive of Yopa, said: “Moving home can be stressful and expensive and we set up Yopa to try and make the experience of selling your home easier, faster and cheaper than it has been in the past.

“Today we are launching a new way to use Yopa’s home-seller service where the customer only pays when their house is sold.

“This is further evidence of our ambition to make Yopa a fully customer-centric organisation – set up by customers, for customers. Yopa is all about simplicity and transparency, hence the customer now has the choice of when they want to pay for our services.”

Land Registry statistics show the average value of a home in November 2017 was £243,339.

Selling at this price through Yopa on the no sale, no fee option is likely to cost a seller £1,495 unless they live in some of the more expensive boroughs in London, where Yopa charges the higher fee.

Purplebricks does not offer a no sale, no fee option.

Emoov and Housesimple also both offer a no sale, no fee option and charge a flat fee of £1,495 on completion.

Someone opting for a traditional estate agent, charging the average fee of 1.56% including VAT, would pay £3,796 on the average £243,339 home. Someone with a larger home – selling for £500,000 – would still pay around £1,495 to a typical online agency versus £7,800 to a traditional agent.

Hatched offers this choice too, though it steers customers towards the fixed fee option, warning the traditional no sale, no fee option is by far the most expensive, according to the analysis by the Daily Mail.

EasyProperty recently ditched its deferred payment plan and now charges an upfront £295 listing fee, with a further £595 paid on the sale of the property. If the property fails to sell, customers pay only the initial £295.

DealMakerz thinks it is great that sellers are being offered more choices over how they sell their home.

It will be interesting to see which payment model wins over the long term, especially following the recent criticism of Purplebricks. One investment banker described using the platform as the equivalent of a “£1,000 coin-toss”.