Hybrid estate agent HouseSimple has launched an offer on its website to sell homes for free and without any commission which is to debut in Yorkshire and the NW but eventually go nationwide.
The offer appears not to be a PR stunt and has been launched with a tagline of ‘seriously, it’s on the house’ but with no published end date.
HouseSimple’s marketing move also appears to be a response to competitor HouseShop, which is offering a similar deal and points to a ‘race to the bottom’ as online and hybrid agents fight for leads.
Online agents have form using this ‘free offers’. When easyProperty first launched four years ago it gave the first 200 people to sell their homes via the company a free service.
After registering with HouseSimple for an appointment, potential vendors are offered the free service which includes portal listings, photos and floorplans, negotiation and sales progression, a valuation, local property expert, for sale board, online dashboard and a service that operates until 8pm.
The hybrid agency is hoping to make money from passing on leads from its customers to third party suppliers including for mortgages, EPCs, conveyancing and landlord insurance.
But the offer makes no mention of viewings, which the company has always charged extra for at £35 a viewing and £50 for a key-holding service, although its ‘free’ offer says that there is ‘no catch’.
Sam Mitchell (left), chief executive officer at Housesimple, says: “It’s time for change in estate agency. We believe selling a property should be a great experience and that’s why we are making it simple, transparent and free.
“The ability to sell a home through advertised listings and professional support, without paying any estate agent fees, is unique in the UK. Housesimple is the only company to offer this service and we expect it will quickly become the most popular way to sell a property.
“This is a bold move but one that has been tested. Within just six months of trialling this offer we’ve increased our property listings 5-fold and are now one of the leading agents by listings in cities like Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester.”
House Simple was established in 2007 and currently has 1,307 homes for sale on Rightmove and 15 properties to rent.