Much Cheaper Alternatives to PurpleBricks

Compared to traditional high-street estate agents, Purplebricks (the biggest and most popular online agent by a country mile) may seem like a mouth-watering bargain, but when compared to their own digital kind… so might be surprised to learn that they’re as expensive as they come. So let’s take a look at some much cheaper alternatives, take a walk with me…

Purplebricks Online Estate AgentsI guess when your brand is as gigantic as PurpleBricks’ you have the ability, or maybe even the right, to charge more than the competition. But who is actually the competition?

See, Purplebricks, and a few of the other well-known online agents, have been smart. They’ve jumped onto the whole “we’re so much cheaper than high-street agents” brigade, and flaunted it loud and proud. The punters are mesmerised by the projected savings, so-much-so that they’re not even considering how Purplebricks fair against their own kind– that is, other online agents.

The reality is, while their fixed-fee payment model may save you a small fortune compared to your local agents percentage based model, they ain’t cheap when compared to other online estate agents. Actually, technically speaking, they’re a Hybrid Agent (which is a magical cocktail of online technology, mixed with knowledge, experience and expertise of local estate agents), but even with in that tidy little niche they ain’t the cheapest. No way near.

Unlike many with in the industry, I don’t have anything against Purplebricks, other than their super pretty website, which I find tragically unusable (but I’ll save that rant for another day).

Misconceptions and other highly-rated options!

I’ve personally never used Purplebricks services (no, not because of the poor usability issues, although that’s a superb reason not to), and that’s because I’m, sadly, more in-tune with the ‘online agent’ vertical than the average person, so I’m aware of the arguably as good, and certainly much cheaper alternatives. So much cheaper that it’s impossible for me to want to give Purplebricks a spin.

By no means am I disputing their value or quality of service (’cause I have no personal basis for judgement), which can arguably be quantified by their [current] sparkling 4.7 / 5 rating on TrustPilot, but I’m also not oblivious of the other players in the market, also rated very well, but not as well known. But more on that shortly. First, let’s eliminate a couple of the most common misconceptions…

1) Nope, Purplebricks was not the first online agent to ever hit the market.

2) And nope, they’re not the only online (or ‘hybrid’) agent around. Far from it, in fact. Online agents have been multiplying by the day for years.

Don’t feel bad if you’ve been swindled, because you wouldn’t be totally stupid to have gobbled up either of those rumours, because it’s definitely no coincidence that Purplebricks’ brand is so strong that they’re thought to be one of a kind.

I’d also expect the same results if I pumped as much money as they have into marketing (according to this article on Property Industry Eye, they spent a staggering £8m on marketing alone in 2016, which is far more than any of their rivals. To give you some perspective, that’s more than Rightmove spent!).

So really, it shouldn’t come to any surprise that many of us have been brainwashed into thinking there isn’t more to the world of selling online than Purplebricks.

Yup, you may have heard of a couple of the other gigantic players in the market, like Strike (formerly Housesimple) and YOPA, because they’ve also spent their fair share on generating buzz. But meh, like everyone else they’re still trailing by significant distance, so I wouldn’t be totally surprised if you haven’t heard of them. But more to point, even beyond the alleged ‘Top 3’, there are so many other wonderful (and cheaper) options to choose from.

To clarify, I’m not trying to discourage anyone from using any particular agent, be it Purplebricks, I’m just making you aware of your options.

Online/Virtual Vs Hybrid Agents

I mentioned Purplebricks is a hybrid agent, right? Do you know the difference between an “online/virtual agent” and “hybrid agent”? Did you even know there was a difference?

There is!

Ok, well, a ‘hybrid’ agent typically involves a local agent visiting your property to take an in-person valuation, and they also usually give you the option of paying extra for ‘hosted viewings’ (e.g. Purplebricks charge an additional £300 if you want their agent to take the viewings). Pure ‘Online agents’ don’t provide any of the face-to-face services. So instead of an in-person valuation, they’ll use their internal tools to provide you with a valuation report, which will contain a guide price.

It gets a little more confusing than that, though. While Purplebricks currently only offer a ‘hybrid’ package, many online agents offer both ‘hybrid’ and ‘online’ packages. You with me? Cool.

Either way, pure ‘Online/virtual agent’ packages are hell of a lot cheaper in general.

Price/Service Comparisons

Right, so let’s start crunching some numbers to determine how much extra you’re currently having to cough up to work with the market leaders, Purplebricks, instead of some of the other respectable options…

This is what Purplebricks is currently charging…

Estate AgentRatingDurationIncludes / NotesPrice
Rating
4.6
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
Until Sold
Includes / Notes

Pay now package
  • Until Sold marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • Photograghs
  • Floorplan
  • Negotiation
  • For sale sign
  • In-person valuation

*Selling fee of £1,499 in London and surrounding areas.

Price* £999Inc VAT Visit Website

I’ve tried to find like-for-like hybrid packages, so they’re comparable alternatives…

Estate AgentRatingDurationIncludes / NotesPrice
Rating
4.6
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
6 months
Includes / Notes

No fee package
  • 6 months marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • Photograghs
  • Floorplan
  • Negotiation
  • For sale sign
  • In-person valuation
  • No sale, no fee
  • 13 weeks Sole Agency contract

*YES, Strike will give you a 100% free service, no strings attached.

The catch is: Strike currently only sells properties in England, and in two forms. They provide a "hybrid" service (i.e. which includes an in-person valuation by a local agent) for properties in the Midlands, North West & Yorkshire etc. Specifically, the following postcodes: BB, BD, BL, CA, CH1- 4, CH25 - 34, CH41 - 49, CH60 - 66, CH70, CH88, CH99, CW, DG, DH, DL, DN, FY, HD, HG, HU, HX, IM, L, LA, LN, LS, M, NE, NG18 - 24, NG34, OL, PE10 - 12, PE20 - 25, PR, S, SK, SR, ST7 - 8, SY13 - 14, TD, TS, WA, WF, WN, YO.



For the rest of England, they provide a "virtual" service, which includes everything listed, but instead of an in-person valuation, you will receive a digital valuation report (presumably compiled by current and historical house price data).

Price*FreeInc VAT

Free
Visit WebsiteBook Free In-Person Valuation
Rating
4.7
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
Until Sold
Includes / Notes

Premium package
  • Until Sold marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • Photograghs
  • Floorplan
  • Negotiation
  • In-person valuation
Price £188Inc VAT
Normal price: £199

Discount available
Visit Website£11 Discount Code: PIP11
Rating
4.5
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
12 Months
Includes / Notes

IATA Essential package
  • 12 Months marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • EPC
  • Photograghs
  • Floorplan
  • For sale sign
  • In-person valuation

*You need to choose between Professional Photography/Floorplan or EPC. Alternatively, pay extra for the other: £119 for Photos, £65 for EPC.

Price* £379Inc VAT
Normal price: £399

Discount available
Visit Website5% Discount Code: Welovethelandlord17

And for added pleasure, here are a few pure online packages that are, quite frankly, a bloody bargain…

Estate AgentRatingDurationIncludes / NotesPrice
Rating
4.6
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
6 months
Includes / Notes

No fee package
  • 6 months marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • Photograghs
  • Floorplan
  • Negotiation
  • For sale sign
  • In-person valuation
  • No sale, no fee
  • 13 weeks Sole Agency contract

*YES, Strike will give you a 100% free service, no strings attached.

The catch is: Strike currently only sells properties in England, and in two forms. They provide a "hybrid" service (i.e. which includes an in-person valuation by a local agent) for properties in the Midlands, North West & Yorkshire etc. Specifically, the following postcodes: BB, BD, BL, CA, CH1- 4, CH25 - 34, CH41 - 49, CH60 - 66, CH70, CH88, CH99, CW, DG, DH, DL, DN, FY, HD, HG, HU, HX, IM, L, LA, LN, LS, M, NE, NG18 - 24, NG34, OL, PE10 - 12, PE20 - 25, PR, S, SK, SR, ST7 - 8, SY13 - 14, TD, TS, WA, WF, WN, YO.



For the rest of England, they provide a "virtual" service, which includes everything listed, but instead of an in-person valuation, you will receive a digital valuation report (presumably compiled by current and historical house price data).

Price*FreeInc VAT

Free
Visit WebsiteBook Free In-Person Valuation
Rating
4.9
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
*Until Sold
Includes / Notes

Standard package
  • *Until Sold marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • Negotiation
  • Zoopla featured listing (for 1 week)

*99home advertise their "Standard" package for a 3 month term on their website, but they have told me it's actually "until sold" as long as your listing doesn't qualify as misuse. For example, if you massively over price your property and don't realign it with the market value, they will remove it after 3 months.

Price £94Inc VAT
Normal price: £99

Discount available
Visit Website5% Discount Code: HomePIP5
Rating
4.7
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
Until Sold
Includes / Notes

Standard package
  • Until Sold marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • Negotiation
Price £94Inc VAT
Normal price: £99

Discount available
Visit Website5% Discount Code: PIP5

Please note, I try my best to keep the information of each agent up-to-date, but you should read the T&C’s from the agents’ website for the most up-to-date information.

Quite a range of prices and options, right? Who knew?

What/who do I recommend? Err… shuffle through the options and see which agent/package makes most sense for you. But the reality is, by and large, they all bloody offer the same services, and are all rated roughly the same *shrugs shoulders*

And yes, you read correctly. Strike (formerly Housesimple) really are offering their ‘Hybrid’ service (which is currently only available to properties in the north of England) and their ‘Online’ service (which is available to the rest of England) for absolutely free, and yes, it’s absolutely legit. They’ve been doing it a while now. They’re just a freaking anomaly in this whole equation and they’re definitely shaking up the market. Unfortunately their service is only available for properties in England!

I definitely wouldn’t discourage you from using Strike’s FREE service, I honestly don’t think there’s a better deal around. If you want to know more details about ‘how’ and ‘why’ they’re able to offer their service for free, you can read my in-depth Strike review.

Top tip: if you’re happy to take your own viewings (which most people using online/hybrid agents are), and you’re comfortable with valuating your own home (here’s a complete guide on how to figure out how much your house is worth), then I would recommend using a pure online agent, otherwise you’re just paying for junk you don’t really need.

For a complete guide on online and hybrid estate agents, and all the options available…

Complete list of Online & Hybrid estate agents →

Purplebricks and Lettings Services

Oh, another quick common misconception; Purplebricks are purely online estate agents, and only deal with property ‘sales’.

Not true, they now also offer letting services to landlords. Although, I’m reluctant to believe they’re taking the lettings division as seriously as their sales, because they’re currently not the market leaders in online lettings, but unsurprisingly, damn near the most expensive (if not the most expensive). Notice a trend?

My guess is, the money is in property sales, because I’m assuming that if they really, really, really wanted to, they could splash a bit of money around and corner the lettings sector, too, and knock off the current leader, OpenRent (an awesome online letting agent that I’ve personally used. Highly recommended!).

Anyways, their letting service costs left me kind of baffled, because their prices seem to be on-par with regular high-street agents. For example, their “tenant-find” service came back with a whopping £600 price-tag, for a property in Hertfordshire with a rental income of £1000 PCM! That doesn’t seem all that competitive, and if it is, I’d expect more of a saving from an online/hybrid service. Anyone else?

If you’re interested, here’s a list of alternative online letting agents that won’t cost you 4 arms and 20 legs! To be specific, the starting price is from FREE (yeah, really!)…

As always, thoughts and comments welcome…

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