Purplebricks has moved into attack mode once more and produced a ‘commisery’ report that it says proves traditional agents are “out of touch, out of date and leaving millions out of pocket”. But it’s hard to find much data in the report to back up this contention.
The report also appears to have avoided asking respondents what they expect to get for the much reduced fee that Purplebricks charges compared to traditional agents.
Nevertheless, the report contains some worrying research for agents. This includes how only 5% of those buying or selling are concerned whether an agent has a high-street office, that house sellers are becoming more aware about alternative selling models, and that 68.9% of the public now know that they don’t have to “fork out” a percentage commission on the value of their property.
It also says that the average commission among agents is 1.5% excluding VAT or £3,929 per sale.
But the survey results don’t conclusively back up Purplebricks’ contention that traditional agents are out of date.
35% annoyed by cost
The company talked to 1003 respondents three months ago, of whom 35% said they were annoyed by the cost of using an estate agent, but only 11.37% said agents were the worst thing about buying a home. It also reveals that just 16% said their final bill from their agent came as a surprise.
The research is also confusing – while Purplebricks found that 42% said agents represented poor value for money, only 16% felt their agent hadn’t done enough for the money they were paid.
But the research does reveal changing attitudes to customer service, prompted by ever increasing role of the internet in daily life.
Some 42% of respondents like the idea of ‘moving dashboard’ to show a sale’s progress, and 29% expect a full service, 24 hours a day.
“Homeowners are entitled to a fair, transparent and convenient way to sell their homes and it is no longer acceptable to charge ever-increasing fees just because that’s the way things have always been done,” says Michael Bruce, CEO, Purplebricks (pictured, left).
“This report shows that commission is the charge people dislike paying the most when they sell. But it doesn’t have to be that way, there is an alternative: a fair fixed fee with the same personal service as the high street. We want to help as many customer as we can avoid commisery – that feeling of kicking yourself because you could have got the same service for less.”