We recently sold our home in just 10 days through online estate agency PurpleBricks, saving us thousands of pounds in fees.
I was sceptical about using the website, because of certain seeds of doubt planted by agents from traditional companies and worrying about conducting the viewings ourself.
In the end the money saving opportunity it presented was way too tempting and we decided to give it a go. Ultimately the risk paid off, because we saved £6,801.
I want to emphasise this is not an advert. I have not been paid by PurpleBricks, received a discount on their fees or made them aware I am writing this review.
I’ve decided to write this post in case you are wondering about selling with an online agent, but worried that it’s cheap for a reason. Maybe you’re worried about negotiating the price yourself or you’ve been given a low valuation for your home by an online agent and that makes you question their expertise.
So here is a rundown of my experience of selling with Purple Bricks.
How PurpleBricks works
We paid PurpleBricks £849 to list our home online. This meant that our house went on RightMove, Zoopla and the PurpleBricks sites. This is how most people are searching for homes these days, so really this is the most important place for your house to be marketed.
The company’s local agent for Reading came to our home and chatted to us about what we got for our money and then looked around the home.
They gave us a valuation which was way lower than we had estimated the value of our home should be. It was also lower than what the high street agents had proposed.
I’ve heard from other friends who say PurpleBricks undervalued their home too. The thing you have to remember is, it’s not the agent that decides what you charge for your home. You put it on the market for whatever price you want.
The agent valuation is merely a guideline. So our house went on at well over £75,000 more than PurpleBricks had estimated, and we sold at asking price.
Once your home is on the market, you can access your profile online on the website or via a smartphone app. The profile shows you your property and the summary of activity.
This includes web hits, messages from potential buyers and appointments for viewings.
We decided to conduct the viewings ourselves, but you can get PurpleBricks to do it for you, for £300.
We found the viewings easy. You simply show people around, answer their questions and chat about the property and area.
You don’t have to be a salesperson to show people around your house. In my opinion, buying a home is such a huge purchase that you either like it or you don’t, no one can make you buy a house you don’t want.
We had around seven viewings over the course of 10 days before receiving an offer, which we were notified of via the app.
As part of the £849 fee, the PurpleBricks local agent negotiated the offer up to asking price on our behalf, however we could have chosen to negotiate ourselves.
Once our home sold, we were asked if we wanted to use the PurpleBricks conveyancing service which we declined after reading poor reviews.
We went for a local solicitor as we wanted to be able to drop off paperwork in person and had read the Purple Bricks solicitors could be tricky to get hold of.
However our buyer did use the PurpleBricks solicitors and the purchase did run smoothly.
Why use an online estate agent
The number one reason is the price. The best offer we had from a traditional estate agent was 0.75 per cent of the final sale. The highest was 1.5 per cent.
Our home ultimately sold for £510,000, which means we could have ended up paying £7,650 in fees had we gone with the agent asking for 1.5 per cent. That’s half our budget for a new conservatory on our home!
I think there are a lot of fears around going online only, because there’s a misconception no person from the website will be helping you sell your home. However that just isn’t true.
We had the number for our local PurpleBricks agent. He was an experienced estate agent and helped us whenever we asked for it. He also did all of the negotiating on price for us, something which I’m sure puts a lot of people off.
We had a low valuation and several of my friends have reported a similar story.
Less contact with an agent
If you choose not to let the online agent do your viewings then you will have less contact with the agent. We hardly spoke to ours at all when our house was on the market.
If you feel you need more hand holding then maybe a traditional agent is better, although we did have the number for our Purple Bricks agent.
No mailing list
The one thing that made me rethink not using a traditional agency was the fact that local agents have a lengthy list of buyers looking in the area.
Once your home is on the market, they call these buyers or email them to ask if they want to see your home. This is a more direct approach to marketing than just the online listing.
When you’re talking about thousands of pounds, I think we can agree that is a huge plus point!
Online booking for valuations
This is a great service as being able to see your bookings and organise things online makes it way smoother.
We could also both access the bookings calendar, making it far easier for us both to keep on top of when people would be coming over to see the house.
Your property is marketed online in exactly the same way
These days selling property is all about online visibility. It’s where most people go to look for their new home, so getting yourself on to RightMove and the other online property websites is your main concern.
All in all I would happily use PurpleBricks again, especially given the saving we achieved as a result and how quickly our home sold.
I’m happy to answer any questions about selling with PurpleBricks, just drop me a message or leave a comment below!