If you’ve just discovered that Strike.co.uk (formerly Housesimple.com) have taken an axe to their fees, making their house-selling service completely free – yes, the same service they used to flog for a whopping £995 – then your first reaction is probably the same as everyone else’s: jump onto Google to find out what the hell is going on and what the catch is. So here we are!
Meanwhile, Strike’s main rivals, Purplebricks & Yopa, don’t seem phased, because they’re still flogging their very similar Hybrid estate agency service north of £950.
Reluctant to believe that an estate agent could give away something for free – let alone the same service that used to cost a small fortune – the obvious question is being asked: is this weird looking “thing” legit?
On the surface, the offer doesn’t make sense. In fact, it feels straight-up batshit crazy. So if you don’t know what the deal is, allow me to explain what’s going on…
Just to clarify, Housesimple have gone through a complete re-brand, they are now Strike.co.uk. For all intents and purposes, they’re the same company offering the same services they always have, but they’ve thrown themselves under the surgical knife and made some superficial amendments.
Going forward, Housesimple is no more. It’s Strike! STRIKE!
Is Strike’s house-selling service actually free?
In short, yes! Totally free.
When I mentioned Strike’s free services (note, they were Housesimple at the time) on my Facebook Page (consider joining if you haven’t done so already), a couple of people confirmed that it’s the real deal:
So yup, you can legitimately sign-up to Strike’s service and sell your house without spending a dime.
Here’s an overview of what you get for free:
|Estate Agent||Rating||Duration||Includes / Notes||Price|
Strike (formerly Housesimple)||RatingTrustPilot Reviews||
Includes / Notes|
No fee package
|Visit WebsiteBook Free In-Person Valuation|
Yup, everything listed is included with the free package.
So, is there a catch or what?
I wouldn’t say there is a catch per’se, but there is a very hefty limitation to using Strike’s service, that may make this a non-starter for the majority of homeowners (looking to sell) in the UK.
Catch 1: England only!
First and foremost, Strike currently only sell properties in England. So if your property is located in any other country in the UK, I’m sorry, but you’re out of luck, there are no freebies or party bags for you here, only a kick in the teeth, and a link to alternative online estate agents available to you at a cost.
Catch 2: Strike will either provide you with a “Hybrid” service or a “Virtual” service
Strike used to limit their services to specific regions in the North of England, but they now service the whole of England (even though Strike don’t want you to know that, apparently. More on that shortly). However, depending on where your property is located in the country, you will either receive a ‘Hybrid’ service or a ‘Virtual’ (online only) service.
Strike’s “Hybrid” service
The free hybrid service includes the following:
- 6 months marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
- For sale sign
- In-person valuation
Yes, it’s all FREE, and as said, it’s comparable to what Purplebricks & Yopa currently offer for an eye-watering £999.
However, Strike’s Hybrid service is currently only available to a select few regions in the north of England, which currently includes the following regions:
- North West
The specific postcodes their “hybrid” service currently covers is the following: 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.
Strike’s “Virtual” (online only) service
If you don’t qualify for the hybrid service, you’re not left out in the cold completely, so don’t worry. You’ll still qualify for their “virtual” (online only) service, which is available to the rest of England (just to irritate, they don’t seem to want people to know that, and I’ll get to why shortly).
The virtual service presumably means that you won’t receive any in-person services. I say presumably, because when I pressed Strike’s marketing team for details on what we should expect from their virtual service, this is the response I received:
Strike is currently trialling the offering to customers outside of it’s core operating region. However as it is a trial it is subject to frequent change. On that basis Strike would like to avoid promoting this service where possible as the information and proposition promoted may quickly become inaccurate as the trial progresses.
*scratches noggin* What the hell are they telling me? I’m not entirely sure whether I should or shouldn’t be telling you about their free virtual service, but here I am nonetheless, with my gigantic and toxic blabbermouth, blurting it all out. But moreover, it is clear that the service is subject to change.
So, the virtual service [presumably] includes:
- 6 months marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
- Valuation report
In any case, at the very least, I imagine you should expect the above features.
Once again, yes, for free.
While it’s not as feature rich as the hybrid package, it’s still a mind-boggling offer in my opinion, particularly because getting a property listed on those portals is, generally speaking, the basis of a successful sale, and the primary feature most vendors are looking for when using an online agent. Everything else is just fluff and frills.
As said, Strike’s Hybrid service can be compared to Purplebricks & Yopa’s offerings, but their virtual service can be compared to DoorSteps & 99home’s, which are currently being flogged for a very reasonable £99.
If you’re looking for the support of a local agent to conduct an in-person valuation and/or provide hosted viewings (the latter being available as an optional paid add-on for the hybrid service), then the virtual service isn’t going to cut it I’m afraid, and you’ll have to look elsewhere for an alternative online estate agent that services your area (which is pretty much every other online agent).
How to sell your property with Strike
Step 1: Get a valuation
Strike’s free service includes a valuation, and arranging one should be step 1.
Depending on your postcode, you’ll either qualify for the free Hybrid or free Virtual service. If you qualify for their Hybrid service, you’ll be able to schedule an agent to conduct an in-person valuation through their online calendar. Everyone else will be provided with an online valuation/report.
To clarify, there is 100% no obligations to use their service after a valuation is conducted.
As said, Strike isn’t exactly shouting from the rooftops that they will provide a service to the entire country, so if you enter a postcode which slips outside of the regions they’re openly targeting (which are the northern Hybrid regions), they should still offer you with an online-only service.
If at any point they shutdown the virtual service, no harm, no foul. It’s worth a try either way, in my opinion.
Step 2: Instruct Strike to sell your home
If you are happy with the valuation, you can then choose to instruct Strike to sell your home. Your property will then be marketed for sale for 6 months on the UK’s biggest property portals, including Rightmove & Zoopla.
Step 3: Going live and managing your advert & enquiries
Once your advert is live you’ll be able to manage everything via Strike’s online dashboard, including your viewings schedule and any offers made.
Will Strike’s Hybrid service eventually be free in my area?
It’s hard to say.
However, Strike have said they do eventually plan on rolling out their service to other areas eventually, and when they do, I intend to update this blog post. So stay tuned. However, my guess is, they’re going to expand into other areas very slowly.
So while you may not have unscratched the winning lotto ticket today, you may tomorrow. Or more realistically, in the coming months. Or years. But remember, as said, a virtual service isn’t a terrible consolation prize by any means, and in fact, many may prefer it. It’s still an incredible deal… it’s free, afterall.
Why is Strike Free?
If you’re anything like me, then you don’t like things you don’t understand, so that’s why I want to clear any doubts.
While Strike’s offer sounds amazing, WHY IS IT FREE? I NEED TO KNOW!!!
Ok, so here’s the explanation…
Strike toss away their core services for free because they hope to make enough money from up-selling additional services, which includes the following:
- Upgrading Rightmove ads (i.e. paying extra for a premium listing, which generates more views)
- Energy Performance Certificates (£90)
- Hosted Viewing Services (£549 for unlimited viewings, or *£35 per hosted viewing on a ‘pay as you go’ basis)
- Conveyancing Services (price varies by case)
- Moving services (price varies by case)
- Mortgage brokering (price varies by case)
*You might be subject to an additional on-off fee of £78 for key management e.g. key collection/return or ‘key safe’ installation at the premises.
In all fairness to Strike, they are transparent about their up-selling tactics. This is what it says on their website:
We recommend useful services when you need them – such as mortgage, conveyancing and insurance advice. There’s no obligation, but if you use one of our partners we get a commission, which we are upfront about from the start.
Yup, Strike is basically a salesmen scrambling around for commission.
To irritate, there is NO obligation to buy any of their add-on services. However, we can assume that they hope we do – and somewhere along their sales-funnel they’ll probably be a hard-sales approach – but we certainly won’t be contractually obligated to pay a penny for any additional junk. For now, anyways.
Based on their EPC price (£90), I think it’s also safe to assume you won’t be getting any real bargains by tossing their extras into your shopping basket, only convenience (maybe). I’ll leave it in your capable hands to decide which you value more, value or convenience.
In any case, good sense should always encourage you to get multiple quotes from different suppliers so you know exactly where you stand. Here are my suggestions:
- Energy Performance Certificates: LettingAProperty.com sell EPC’s for £69 (Inc VAT)
- Mortgages Quotes: Habito is a free online mortgage brokerage, and they have been amassing a huge amount of positive feedback for providing extremely competitive mortgage deals. They have a 4.8 / 5 TrustPilot rating from over 2000+ customers (at the time of writing this blog post).
- Conveyancing Quotes: Get 4 instant quotes from expert SRA or CLC regulated conveyancing solicitors and Licensed Conveyancers by using this online tool by Reallymoving.com. Average saving is £365.
- Moving Quotes: Get 5 quotes from reallymoving.com, one of the most popular comparison websites for removal companies.
Yup, I’m sure Strike will be thrilled with that top tip of mine.
Sorry Strike, but your ‘giveaway’ model tells me that you’ll never be able to offer me a good price on your extras. You simply ain’t gots the margins.
As a final note, I want to make it clear that I believe the details covered in this blog post regarding Strike’s service is true at the time of publication. But it may change tomorrow.
I will do my utmost to keep this blog post up-to-date if/when Strike change the terms of their service, but for the most accurate and up-to-date details, you should always rely on Strike’s official website.
So should you use Strike?
Just to clarify, I haven’t used Strike’s (or Housesimple’s) estate agency services, so I can’t do anything other than make you aware of their current offering, and explain why and how it’s free (because, as said, it can seem suspicious at a glance). However, it’s worth pointing out that they do have positive reviews on TrustPilot from 7000+ folks, with a current rating of 4.7 (out of 5).
I can’t imagine this business model being sustainable forever, it seems too unprofitable. So if this unlikely strategy to dominate the market eventually ends up being their downfall, then so be it. That’s on them.
Fortunately, they have backers’ with more money than sense.
But hey, that’s not our concern. If free food is being offered, why not snap it up? Strike.co.uk
Have you used Strike’s (or Housesimple’s) free service?
If so, I’d love to hear your experience.
Were they.. errr… worth the money? Leave a comment below…
Remember, if you don’t qualify for Strike’s freebie, check out the list of other online estate agents, which start from £99. No, it’s not free, but still peanuts in the grand scheme of things.
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.