Purplebricks has confirmed over the weekend that it is conducting a ‘Gold’ fee trial in London that offers vendors a £399 upfront service followed by a £4,100 completion fee.
The service includes professional photography, floorplans, a for sale board and VAT.
“This was flagged in our annual report last month which stated that ‘we recognise that, to extend our market leadership, we’ll need to evolve our pricing’,” says a Purplebricks spokesperson.
“That means looking at different pricing strategies and we’re now in market with those tests.”
If this is then taken to the wider market, ‘Gold’ would represent a major departure from its existing fixed-priced commission structure, which is £999 outside London and £1,499 in the capital, both including VAT.
It would also place Purplebricks much closer to most traditional agents’ fees – at £4,499 in total this is more than the 1.42% average fee most agents charge based on the average UK house price of £230,000. But in many areas of London and the Home Counties it will still be less than most agents charge.
But this trial does include viewings, which is departure from its previous fee offerings, which charge for viewings as optional extras.
At the beginning of August, when the new strategy was announced, Purplebricks’ CEO Vic Darvey (left) said: “Reducing the upfront fee will reduce the barrier for many customers in instructing us – while higher fees on completion will allow our LPEs to earn more from each sale, ensuring our self-employed model will not only remain sustainable but become more attractive to the best talent in the industry.”