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Agencies & People

Manning Stainton has complaint over Housesimple ‘free to list’ adverts rejected

Leeds-based agent claimed small-print T&Cs for Housesimple's free service meant adverts seen in July last year could be misleading.

Nigel Lewis

housesimple

A complaint against online agent Housesimple that its ‘sell your home free’ advertising claims are misleading has been rejected by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The complaint was made by Leeds-based estate agency Manning Stainton, which claimed small-print clauses within Housesimple’s T&Cs for its free service meant the claims could be misleading.

These T&Cs include Housesimple being able to charge to market a property if it doesn’t sell after six months and also charge for an additional For Sale board or when photographing large or multi-unit properties.

It can also charge for travel costs to reach more remote properties.

Manning Stainton also said that Housesimple’s advertising didn’t make it clear that the service is restricted to certain geographical areas.

At the moment these include the NW of England, Yorkshire and Nottingham.

But these points have now been dismissed by the ASA after Housesimple pointed out that although its free service does come with terms and conditions attached, the agency said it had never charged for extending a vendor’s marketing period, for an extra board or any of the other services highlighted in the complaint, and nor did it intend to.

HouseSimple said it has never claimed that its free service is national, and the company’s homepage includes a search facility for potential vendors to check if their home is eligible.

“It may be hard to believe, but we really do sell houses for free,” says Sam Mitchell, CEO of Housesimple (left).

“We are completely upfront with customers and the ASA ruling confirms this. More and more, people are embracing a new way to sell their properties for free rather than being charged excessive fees, or even worse, upfront fees before they’ve even sold.

“At Housesimple we are on a mission to turn the industry on its head, by making buying and selling simple, transparent and free.”

Read more about Manning Stainton.

 

February 5, 2020

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