Up-front fees charged by Purplebricks and many of its smaller competitors have reached a plateau of acceptance among vendors, new estate agency research suggests.
Just 17% of those selling their homes prefer up-front fees compared to those paid after a sale has completed, a survey of 2,717 people by property advice website Property Road reveals.
“We’ve seen the market share of online estate agents stagnate and even drop slightly over the last few years and these results may explain, at least partially, why that might be,” says Paul James, its founder says.
And even among the more tech-savvy vendors who use online estate agency firms, only 40% are prepared to pay fees upfront before the property sells.
Property Road says that, despite the growing cost-of-living crisis, vendors still value performance over cost when it comes to their most valuable asset, with half believing the ability to achieve asking price is the most important feature of an estate agent.
Estate agency speed
This is compared to 25% who prefer speed and 12% who value ‘good customer service’ the most. On the other hand, ‘low price’ is important to just 9%.
But one influence online agents have had on the public is to shift attitudes to viewings.
Just 28% of those canvassed said they want their estate agent to do all their viewings, while 26% are happy to do some and the rest are keen for their agent to do all the viewings.
“While we have seen many of the big players begin to offer a choice between upfront fees or payment on completion, there are still some, most notably Purplebricks, that seem reluctant to change their approach,” adds James.