What The Hell Happened To Doorsteps? (Updated Review 2021)

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Doorsteps worse price

I can’t believe it’s been almost 4 years since I first chucked Doorsteps.co.uk, “the UK’s cheapest Online Estate Agent”, under the microscope. They came crashing into the online estate agency space with a disruptive house selling service that demanded a measly £99, which included a very desirable Rightmove & Zoopla listing. A penny-pincher’s wet dream, winning the hearts of many folk around the nation.

Tragically, almost everything I wrote about Doosteps service is now a pile of garbage; it’s out-dated drivel, including the alluring £99 price-tag, the very thing that put them on the map. Doorsteps have gone through an internal shake up that’s resulted in their prices increasing more than a gut-wrenching 200%, and quite honestly, I’m struggling to identify what value the extra dosh is providing. Yup, this is going to be one of those blog posts.

However, the biggest tragedy of them all is that the only reason I became aware of the transformation isn’t due to Doorsteps’ professional courtesy (in fact, I’m still waiting to hear from them. Hello?), but instead, I received an email from a disgruntled geezer, informing me that my [former] Doorsteps review is total codswallop.

So here I am, cobbling together an update (after being barked at, like I’m a Goddamn fool).

So what’s changed, and should you use Doorsteps to sell your house in 2021 and beyond? Here’s the update you need and deserve…

I did contemplate throwing my original overview of Doorsteps onto the operating table to undergo minor cosmetic upgrades; perhaps a fancy-schmancy face-lift and butt-check implants, fitting for modern times. I thought it might be the easier option.

But honestly, Doorsteps of today is unrecognisable from when they first launched (and up until very recently), so patching that old hag back together would have been a losing battle, likely to result in a complete bodge-job.

Judging by the tone of my opening monologue, it probably wouldn’t have crossed your mind that I have an affiliate partnership with Doorsteps, and if you actually decide to make it through the entire post, you’ll likely be convinced that definitely is the case.

Well, I do [have an affiliate partnership with them]. At least for now.

Full disclosure sorted, agreed? Cool.

I know what you’re thinking, “with friends/partners like you, who needs enemies?”

Needless to say, this spruce-up is unlikely to go down well with them, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they decide to shove my head in a meat grinder and toss our arrangement in the bin after this goes to print. But I hope they realise it’s all love and this is coming from a good place, but more importantly, my audience always comes first. Yes, I’m talking about you, snuggle-bunny.

I know, I know, I’m a cute bundle of sugar and joy, always putting you at the forefront of my warm and fluffy heart.

Doorsteps today (what’s changed)

1) From £99 to… £358! OUCH!

This is what made Doorsteps such a successful and compelling dance partner:

Estate AgentRatingDurationIncludes / NotesPrice
Rating
4.7
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
3 months
Includes / Notes

Standard package
  • Key features
  • Rightmove listing
  • Zoopla listing
  • Negotiation
Price£99 Inc VAT Visit Website

Handsome, isn’t she?

They had a couple of other decent packages, too. But unsurprisingly, the £99 package was the blue-eyed poodle, stealing the show. And that’s precisely why I was startled after discovering that the script writers’ decided to toss her into the wood-chipper. But I’m not entirely surprised it happened.

This is the new line-up:

Doorsteps packages

Let’s focus on the £358 DIY Deal package, because it seems to be the direct replacement for their former £99 package.

A couple of thoughts come to mind. None good.

  • Holy-fucking-hell, that’s quite a bump in price, a scorching 261’ish per cent. How does that happen overnight? At least screw us nice and slowly with gradual hikes. Sheeesh-kebab!
  • For the added £258, I’d expect a buttload of new frills and a hooker.

    Alas, the only real notable difference is a “For sale sign”, everything else listed is either intangible fluff or same old, designed to pad-out the offering and justify the new lavish price-tag. And let’s face it, no one gives a flying rat’s ass about a plank of wood attached to a hideous advert.

  • Their shop window prices now exclude VAT!

    Yes, they went fucking there.

    It’s okay, I’m also mortified. We’re in this hellhole together.

    This issue really leaves a sour taste up my rectum! Do they actually think we’re VAT registered?

    Unless you have a Business-to-Business (B2B) model, showing prices exclusive of VAT feels like a deceiving marketing tactic, designed only to underplay exorbitant prices. Moreover, I don’t even think it’s legal for estate/letting agents to show prices exclusive of VAT, because almost all of their customers are consumers, so they can’t reclaim VAT.

    Come on, guys, quit dicking-around and treating us like animals! Unveil that hideous boil on your forehead! We already know it’s butt-ugly!

    Horrible decision. Just horrible. Wonder whose brain-child that tragedy was.

    Notice how I’ve been referencing their base product with a £358 (inc VAT) price-tag? That’s because I ain’t playing their game.

    Here’s what civilians should actually expect to pay for their packages:

    Doorsteps packages inc VAT

  • Last but [definitely] not least, it’s my time to shine.

    In my original [out-dated] Doorsteps overview, there is a glorious section titled, “£99… it probably won’t last!!”

    I mentioned earlier that the whole £99 thing is merely a hook, but I also think it’s a temporary one. It’s unlikely that Doorsteps £99 package, or even the £199 one for that matter, will be sustainable for the foreseeable future. In fact, if they’re not already loss-leader products, I suspect they will be soon enough.

    While I’m absolutely reluctant to believe I could be totally wrong about this, it’s entirely possible. However, from my experience, I can tell you that most estate agents that come swarming into the market with stupid prices and smug ambitions eventually get obliterated by increasing Rightmove and Zoopla fees, so there’s usually a very limited shelf-life for the ‘bat-shit crazy prices’ game.

    I KNEW IT!!!!!!!

    Sorry, I had to.

    And yes, that’s really me.

Is this simply a case of the old rates being economically unviable for any longer? That’s my guess. But regardless, a 200%+ increase is difficult to stomach. But the reality is, unless you know the previous price/offer, the new one probably isn’t going to sting, and I ‘spose that’s what they’re counting on.

But I know. And you know.

2) “Sell my house for free” option

Before you crap yourself with excitement, it’s not what it sounds like. Well, not unless you’re thinking of a service that 99.99999% of the human population won’t use.

Yes, they now offer a “free house selling service”… but it’s an “Online Auction Option”

Enough said. Let’s move on…

What hasn’t changed

In the spirit of being economical, much of the following is going to be a copy/paste job from my previous write-up, but don’t let that deter you from following my crumbs, because I’ve added some mod cons.

1) Budget online agent

Despite the hefty price bump, I’d still class Doorsteps as a “budget” online agent, so I still think you need to manage your expectations by reminding yourself that “you get what you pay for” if you decide to use them (or any of the other online estate agents).

So what does ‘budget’ mean in practical terms? In my opinion, budget online agents are best suited for anyone that:

  • simply wants their property property listed on the biggest UK property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla in order to generate leads (this is probably the single most popular reason for using an online agent);
  • isn’t shy or terrified of unsatisfying legwork, including the mundane shoot-yourself-in-the-face process of scheduling and taking viewings;
  • is happy to deal with the general public, some of whom could be utterly grotesque and stink of cat-piss and decomposed human remains;
  • is smart enough to realise that ‘great’ customer service isn’t necessarily part of the deal, and definitely shouldn’t be expected (more on the following point)

2) Customer Service

This issue isn’t exclusive to Doorsteps, but rather all online agents.

If you go into this deal expecting minimal zero customer service, then you’re unlikely to be disappointed! So that’s why I recommend keeping expectations to a bare minimum, no mo’

If you’re relying on good ol’ customer service while using an online agent (not a hybrid estate agent) that costs peanuts, then I’d argue that you’re dangerously incompetent, because you don’t understand the online agent model properly, yet you’re using one, and the concept of “getting what you pay for” is lost on you.

Actually, perhaps that’s marginally harsh. But my point is, don’t use an online agent if you demand a one-on-one high-street service. The whole online model is largely based on automated technology and call-centres replacing real-life human service, and that’s precisely why their services are cheaper and customer service is usually scatty at best. Case in point, Doorsteps pay to advertise on my website, yet no one bothered to notify me that they have updated their packages.

Most budget online agents lack attention to detail, and that’s very telling from the offset when relying on their website for an informative experience. Yes, they mostly look fabulously with their glossy visuals, but vital information is usually always missing (or hidden in the small-print). In short, most of their websites terrify me, and it sets the tone of what I should expect.

To clarify, I’m not saying you won’t or can’t receive good service from Doorsteps or any other online agent, I’m saying you probably shouldn’t expect it to be anywhere close to overwhelming, or even above average (’cause you ain’t really paying for it).

4) Upselling pressure (conveyancing + mortgage services)

From what I’ve heard, Doorsteps, like most other online estate agents, relentlessly hard-sell additional services like conveyancing and mortgages, and if you don’t bite, it only seems to trigger them into chasing harder and faster, like the fucking Terminator.

Annoying.

But I get it.

Upselling is how they generate a significant portion of their revenue and they’re critical to the bottom line. Let’s face it, no one is getting rich flogging carboot estate agency services.

Comically, Doorsteps have the gall to display “Free in-house mortgage consultation” as an inclusive feature of their packages. Talk about plumping a turkey with synthetic junk.

Who on God’s green earth pays for a mortgage consultation?

Anyways, the real problem is, online estate agents generally don’t offer the best conveyancing or mortgage deals, but arguably convenience is a real thing.

3) Still highly rated & popular

While I’m getting increasingly dubious about the legitimacy of reviews on third-party platforms like TrustPilot, I still think they’re worth perusing to get a general whiff of customer satisfaction levels.

Doorsteps have managed to maintain and accumulate a string of satisfied customers according to their TrustPilot page – they have over 5k reviews and an impressive rating of 4.7/5. Make of that what you will.

They currently have 750’ish listings on Rightmove, so clearly their service is being used. My guess is, though, many of those listings were added while the rate was still a mere £99.

How do they compare to other online estate agents now?

My confusion with Doorsteps is that I have no idea who or what they are targeting anymore; they’re no longer the cheapest of their kind, so that marketing gimmick is out the window, and they’re not offering premium Hybrid services like Purplebricks or Yopa, so they seem to be loitering in the middle somewhere in no man’s land (along with a few others). In a dramatic twist, Doorsteps have suddenly placed themselves in a very average position in a very competitive market, even though it was a very out-of-the-ordinary offer that attracted people to them in the first place.

Bit of a weird pivot, innit?

For me, that’s where I think the problem lies for Doorsteps’ future.

Presumably, most people that use services offered by Doorsteps are price sensitive, and that makes me wonder why anyone would choose Doorsteps over the cheaper options, because I’m struggling to identify a unique selling point. Anyone care to throw me a bone?

To help give you a better idea of what else is available, here’s a list of my recommended online estate agents. In short, there are better deals to be had in every direction, whether you want to spend less or more.

Would I use Doorsteps? Should you use Doorsteps?

I’ve yet to use Doorsteps service, I’m just giving you an overview of their current service as I understand it and sharing my thoughts as a tyre-kicker, so I can’t give you a recommendation based on any real experience.

However, I certainly wouldn’t stop you or anyone else from using their services as long as expectations are realistic, because in the grand scheme of things, £299 £358 for a house-selling service is still cheap as maggots. So go for it. Or don’t.

If I thought their service was terrible, utterly misleading or poor value, I wouldn’t partner with them. I think they do exactly what they say on the tin.

Would I personally use Doorsteps today? In all honesty, if I wanted to use a service like Doorsteps, I’d personally go with a cheaper alterative if it’s available, simply because I’d only use that type of service if my primary concern is being listed on Rightmove & Zoopla and generating enquiries. Yes, it’s a race to the bottom for the competing online agents, but that’s how they positioned themselves in the first place. Own it!

While it may not have been economically viable for Doorsteps to continue without increasing their prices, there are other reputable online agents like Strike, 99Home, still managing to keep their rates on ice, offering more bangs for the buck.

For anyone in England, Strike’s free house-selling service still continues to be a freak of nature, and is an obvious choice.

Estate AgentRatingDurationIncludes / NotesPrice
Rating
4.7
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
6 months
Includes / Notes

No fee package
  • Key features
  • Rightmove listing
  • Zoopla listing
  • 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.

However, 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: B1 - 50, B6 - 99, BB, BD, BL, CA, CH1- 4, CH25 - 34, CH41 - 49, CH60 - 66, CH70, CH88, CH99, CV, CW, DE, DG, DH, DL, DN, DY, FY, GL1 - 20, GL50 - 56, HD, HG, HR, HU, HX, IM, L, LA, LE1-19, LE21, LE41, LE55, LE65 - 67, LE87, LE94 - 95, LN, LS, M, NE, NG1 - 25, NG31 - 34, NG80, NG90, OL, PE10 - 12, PE20 - 25, PR, S, SK, SR, ST1 - 21, ST55, SY, TD, TF, TS, WA, WF, WN, WR, WS, WV, 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.

Price

Free

*Free

Visit WebsiteBook Free In-Person Valuation

Ultimately, I have no horse in this race, so I’ll leave it in your capable hands to conduct your own due diligence and do what’s best for you.

You’re up to date.

As always, I’d love to hear your precious and beautiful thoughts…

xoxo

24 Join the Conversation...

1 out of 5 rating2 out of 5 rating3 out of 5 rating1 out of 5 rating2 out of 5 rating1 people have rated their experience with DoorSteps - The Online Estate Agents.3 out of 5 Stars.Leave your Comment / Review
Guest Avatar
Eric 28th October, 2021 @ 08:51

LOL, love it.

I cant stand unnecessary ex VAT prices, it's very telling. They realise their new price is potentially off putting.

1
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 28th October, 2021 @ 08:53

@Eric

Thank you, and agreed :)

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Sean H 28th October, 2021 @ 09:17

Thanks Landlord, brilliant.

I used Strike thanks to one of your newsletters. I sold a flat earlier this year without paying a penny in agency fees. One thing I will say is that yes there service is free but like you said, its important to keep your expectations in check because there is a trade off. In my case I was happy to do the legwork myself and didnt expect an amazing service so I couldn't fault the overall experience. I plan on using them again next year.

3
Guest Avatar
Clair T 28th October, 2021 @ 10:25
1 out of 5 rating 2 out of 5 rating 3 out of 5 rating 1 out of 5 rating 2 out of 5 rating

I used Doorsteps to sell a BTL cottage that I wanted to offload, this was in the £99 days. Some of the potential buyers complained about them, saying they were difficult to schedule viewings with but we sold the place fairly quickly. Their 'negotiation' consists of the buyer putting their price into the portal and you deciding whether you accept it or not. It's not what I would call negotiating but if you're confident in dealing with potential buyers yourself, it can make huge savings over bricks and mortar agents.

Now their price has increased I would be looking at other online cheapie agents before using Doorsteps again. They were ok, fine for listing on Rightmove etc but nothing to get excited about. The price was the best thing about them.

Cheers for the update!

4
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GriffMG 28th October, 2021 @ 10:40

Brilliant article, thank you.

Just used OpenRent to let a flat to some HongKongers, seems to be going well.
Tried Mashroom, complete fail, zero qualified enquiries.

Just for reference, we ask every enquiry what the do/work for and what they earn,
it's in the listing, they can't be shy, why waste time/money referencing someone
who can't pay the rent. From Mashroom not a single enquiry got to a viewing (or
even answered coherently).

How is the coffee going. Into 3D printing now... what size is your portafilter, yes
portafilter, 58mm? I have seem some nice designs I could practice printing...

5
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 28th October, 2021 @ 10:49

@Sean H
Ahh, thanks for the update. Glad to hear Strike worked out for you - I've heard a lot of good feedback about their service.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 28th October, 2021 @ 10:52

@Clair T,

You're welcome.

Thanks for for sharing your experience. 100% agree with everything you said - your experience and thoughts pretty much runs parallel with what I've said, so that's reassuring.

7
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 28th October, 2021 @ 11:02

@GriffMG

Thanks, appreciated as always.

Ah, interesting to hear about your experience with Mashroom. When did you use them? I know they've made a lot of updates/improvements over the last several months.

Can't go wrong with OpenRent, they're a beast. Did you enable the advanced screening filter? I find that helps with increasing the quality in leads.

Funny enough, I went down the 3D printing rabbit hole at some point last year - watched endless hours of YouTube videos. I almost pulled the trigger on buying a small printer- looks like a great hobby. But I think I got sidetracked with crypto hah.

Perhaps I'll revisit 3D printing in the near future.

Coffee is going wonderfully, thanks - my body still absolutely relies on a nice cuppa' every morning! I know I've become a totally reprehensible coffee snob, because for the first time ever, I recently took my own coffee beans on holiday. God, I'm such a coffee a**hole! :)

Ha, yup, I use a standard 58mm bottomless portafilter. Can you actually print a usable portafilter, or just the handle? Presumably, the actual filter needs to be metal, so it can conduct the heat from the group head?

8
Guest Avatar
Marion 28th October, 2021 @ 11:19

I just love the way you present your information.

You always bring a broad grin to my face.
Get yourself on TV.

Thank you for being you.

9
Guest Avatar
GriffMG 28th October, 2021 @ 16:28

@Landlord

Taking coffee beans on holiday - I can top that, I roast my own green beans on holiday!

The ref to 58mm was for a wall mounting bracket, I don't think I could print a portafilter
that would be successful unless I used carbon fibre... not sure that's food safe.

The 3D is almost as much fun as the coffee.

Mashroom gave us numerous leads, many people on U.Cred. some Rent2Rent scammers, some people who just wanted a phone number so they could try and 'explain their circumstances' and one or two who had imaginary friends who were going to pay half the rent on a two bed that was too big and too expensive for one person... We abandoned them about three weeks ago.

10
Guest Avatar
Vicki 29th October, 2021 @ 03:13

Thanks for another great article.
I just switched from the online letting agents to open rent. Wished I moved sooner!!
I have to ask….. Is that really you?

11
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 29th October, 2021 @ 09:00

Thanks @Marion, really appreciated.

Ha, as they say, "I have a perfect face for blogging"

12
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 29th October, 2021 @ 09:06

@GriffMG

*slaps forehead* I can just imagine you in your crocs and the complimentary white dressing gown, on the hotel room balcony, smoking a cigar, and roasting beans!

Ahh, the wall bracket, yeah, that makes sense. I've actually watched a lot of YouTubers 3D print mods for their coffee machines, particularly the Gaggia Classic.

Thanks for the feedback regarding Mashroom. I'm surprised that the quality in leads was so drastically different between OpenRent and them, because presumably, the leads mostly come from Rightmove/Zoopla, that's why I wondered if you enabled the advanced screening option in OpenRent (which asks prospective tenants some tough(er) questions).

13
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 29th October, 2021 @ 09:09

Hi @Vicki,

Many thanks, appreciate it.

Yup, landlords LOVE OpenRent, and if I had a nickel for every time someone said, "wish I knew about them sooner", I'd be a very rich man. You just can't beat the value they provide. In any case, glad you found them eventually.

Ha, is that really me? Yes.

But is that really, really me? No :)

14
Guest Avatar
GriffMG 29th October, 2021 @ 09:44

@Landlord

Close enough - if you leave out the crocs, dressing gown and cigar... glass of very chilled Rose from the vigneron literally a stones throw from the gate and beans roasting in a popcorn popper with the glass bowl from an oil lamp on top... that's a clearer picture. Of course, not done that for a couple of years, but here is hoping for 2022

15
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Carmel 30th October, 2021 @ 14:23

Thank you very enlightening and entertaining too

16
Guest Avatar
GriffMG 31st October, 2021 @ 08:53

@Landlord
Ah ha, I've printed a portafilter bracket I found online (I don't have a 59mm one to measure).

It's enormous, it seems to me, big as a small skillet. Could you tell me the measurement across
the two wings of yours - I'm seeing about 83mm on the print. Email me directly if you want.

17
Guest Avatar
Calum 1st November, 2021 @ 11:09

Fantastic article, really insightful and entertaining!
I had an awful experience with Doorsteps - they failed to answer many of my calls and emails when I needed them, as well as receiving a lack of enquiries.
I had a look through Google and found Griffin Property Co who provided a better service and ended up being cheaper at £195, as opposed to the package Doorstep offered me! I ended up selling within 2 weeks and received a much better service all round.

18
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 1st November, 2021 @ 11:13

@Calum

Yeah, but you're the Sales Director of Griffin Property Co...

19
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 1st November, 2021 @ 11:20

@GriffMG,

Hah, okay, cool. I'll take a measurement later and let you know.

Is it something like this you're printing: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/1065808450/portafilter-wall-bracket-58mm

20
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Gordon 1st November, 2021 @ 18:48

I've been a long time lurker and a big fan of your honest, accurate and down right funny blogs. You are correct that estate agents need to include VAT in all advertising, including on websites. Specifically the Consumer Rights Act 2015, part 3, chapter 3, section 83-3 and section 83-4-c. Keep up the good work!!

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/part/3/chapter/3

21
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 1st November, 2021 @ 21:46

@Gordon,

Ha, I love it when a lurker comes out to play, it's very cool. Thank you.

Ahh, I KNEW IT! Thanks for confirming, and citing the Act.

Funny enough, I just checked Doorsteps pricing page, and they have now removed "+ VAT" altogether (while still showing the ex VAT price)... they still add the the VAT during checkout. That's even worse now!!

It all feels very shady. It's a shame they felt like they had to do go down this conniving route. Bloody toe-rags!!

22
Guest Avatar
GriffMG 2nd November, 2021 @ 18:53

@Landlord

That is pretty much what I have done, not all pretty and cleaned up... but done.

23
Guest Avatar
GriffMG 2nd November, 2021 @ 18:55

Hmmm... Griffin Property Co., has a nice ring to it B-)

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