Purplebricks Review (2020) – Everything You Need To Know!

1 out of 5 rating2 out of 5 rating1 out of 5 rating2 out of 5 rating3 out of 5 rating 9 people have rated Purplebricks - The Online Estate Agents | Leave your Comment / Review

Purplebricks.com, arguably the biggest UK estate agent, and almost certainly the biggest and well-known online estate agent.

With such a gigantic reputation and customer base, it’s only inevitable for them to face… resistance! You can’t please everyone.

So with all the good and bad press Purplebricks receive, are they to be trusted, but more importantly, should YOU use Purplebricks to sell your property?

Let’s take a look…

Purplebricks Review

Purplebricks Online Estate Agents

Purplebricks brand is so solid that many still believe they’re “one of a kind”, in the sense that they’re the only cost-effective digital estate agent.

They’re not.

The reality is, there are a butt-load of them, all fighting for a slice of the pie, including the likes of Yopa and Strike (formerly HouseSimple), two also very well-known online estate agents. And, while they’re both throwing heaps of cash on marketing in an attempt to close the gap, they’re both failing to keep up with Purplebricks, which means many are still unaware of the options beyond the market leader’s.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to discourage anyone from using Purplebricks as their online agent of choice, but at the same time, I’m definitely encouraging everyone to look at the other feasible alternatives, some of which are allegedly just as good, if not better, and definitely a whole lot cheaper.

Just to give you some perspective, at the time of writing this blog post, Purplebricks are charging £999 for their services, while DoorSteps – an alternative online agent – are offering ‘comparable’ services for a mere £199you do the maths! If that’s got you scratching your head, then Strike’s offer will blow your freaking mind. Strike are currently offering their house selling services for FREE (no strings attached), but they only service England (not the rest of the UK, like Purplebricks and DoorSteps).

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
4.6
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

Of course, Strike and DoorSteps aren’t the only online agent chomping at the heels of the market leader’s, and offering big savings…

List of the best Online Estate Agents →

How does Purplebricks work?

Presumably, you already know, and the only reason you’re here is because, before handing over your cash to Purplebricks, you want to do some good old fashioned due diligence. Sensible.

But on the off chance, if you’re genuinely here to understand more about the process of how Purplebricks and other online agents work, please allow me to alleviate some of your ignorance.

I think the best and easiest way to break it down is by highlighting the four main differences between an online estate agent and your regular local high-street agent (which we all know and loathe)

  • There are no local branches/offices
    I’d say this is the main difference, and the reason for why online agents are considerably cheaper than your local high-street agent.

    Online agents do NOT operate out of local branches, everything is handled through one central office… somewhere in the UK (I’ve yet to find any online estate agent that outsources their call centres overseas). This means their running costs are significantly less than a nationwide estate agent that has branches all over the place.

  • Local agent
    Many of the online agents (Purplebrick is included with in this list) are technically ‘hybrid agents‘, which means they provide a blend of online and real-life services.

    The ‘real-life’ services comes in the form of a ‘local expert’, who will visit your property and conduct a in-person valuation, and then assist you along the way until completion (although, you’re unlikely to see them again in-person after the viewing, unless you pay for ‘hosted viewings’. More on that shortly). A common misconception about online agents is that they’ll leave the vendor to their own devices, but that’s not entirely true; you won’t just be left unsupported.

    These local agents typically work from their home (not from a local office or branch).

    The pure online agents won’t provide a local agent and they’re generally much cheaper, but they usually provide a dedicated account manager which you can communicate with either by phone or email, right up until completion.

  • Rightmove, Zoopla & other Property Portals
    All of the best online agents will market your property for sale across the biggest UK property portals, like Rightmove & Zoopla, and this will be the primary method of generating enquiries, if not the only way.

    In fact, all the best estate agents, including high-street agents, will market their properties across the same property portals, because that’s how the majority of them generate their leads. You want the most eyeballs (i.e. potential buyers) on your property sale? Put it on Rightmove & Zoopla. Simple.

    However, the average local agent will also advertise in their window, in local papers, magazines and various other localised outlets (methods which are quickly becoming less and less effective).

  • Viewings
    Perhaps the second most notable difference between an online agent and a high-street agent, the viewings.

    While some online agents are starting to provide “viewing services”, most of them don’t, so that means you’ll need to take the viewings yourself.

    The online agents do provide the service, demand an extra premium for it, because it’s an ‘add-on’.

    In my opinion, I think an online agent solution is better suited for vendors that are willing to take their own viewings, because the cost of an online agent doesn’t become all that appealing when you start bulking on the viewing services. Purplebricks currently charge an additional £300 for their viewing service, which gets thrown on top of their base cost of £999. If I’m going to have to splash out £1299 on agency fees, I’d personally be very tempted to negotiate a deal with my local high street agent, even if I have to pay a little more.

So there we have it.

Hopefully you’ve been enlightened, even if only a smidgen. Admittedly, I only covered the highlights in this blog post, but for a much more detailed coverage, I recommend heading over to my online estate guide. There’s plenty more in there.

The negatives of using Purplebricks

PurpleBricks have managed to gather tens of thousands of reviews on TrustPilot, and while the vast majority of them are positive, there are noticeable complaints, many of which are based on the same reoccurring issues.

  • Extra fees – while online agents live by the premise of offering a “fixed fee” service, some people have complained that PurpleBricks bolt on unnecessary costs if you want to use the “pay after sale” option.

    I quote, “You can defer your fees until the house is sold, but you will have to use their choice of solicitor, who of course charges over the odds. You can use your own solicitor, IF you pay ANOTHER fee. Alot of hidden charges, as usual, if it appears to good to be true…then it probably is.”

    Side note, PurpleBricks outsource their conveyancing service to MyHomeMove/eZieConveyancing.

    To re-clarify, PurpleBricks are definitely one of the most expensive solutions to selling property online!

  • Poor Communication – perhaps the most vocalised complaint is about the unsatisfactory experience when it comes to communication. My guess is that the local agents cover vast areas, more ground than the average local high-street estate agent, which obviously means they have less time to answer phone calls and reply to queries. I quote, “Service at start was excellent. But when the offer was received no negotiations done for a better price. Estate agent was hard to contact at the most crucial of times”

    It must be noted though, the very nature of online estate agents entails less “hand-holding”, so I recommend only using an online agent if you’re fully prepared for its genetic makeup. Basically, don’t expect the same personable one-on-one experience you’d expect from your local high street agent when you’re using an online agent and paying online fees. Otherwise the joke will be on you when you’re left disappointed.

Why do so many hate Purplebricks?

I have a couple of theories.

Firstly, I think they’ve made some grave mistakes with their marketing. The old classic: promising the world, and falling way short. In August 2017, Purplebricks appeared on the BBC TV show Watchdog because they were accused of misleading advertising. It’s fair to say that they left an unsavoury taste in many of their customers’ mouths.

But I don’t think that’s been their biggest battle. While I have no doubt that there has been a fair share of shocking service dished out, I actually think their biggest issue has been consumer ignorance. And it’s the same issue that ALL online agents face. Just my personal opinion.

I’ve worked with many of the biggest online letting and estate agents for several years now, and I frequently interact with their customers. So I know how many of them see the cheap price-tag (compared to how much their traditional high-street agent charges) and instantly sign on the dotted line without actually understanding the details of the service they’re purchasing.

The reality is, no one should expect to receive a high-street agent service when paying a fraction of the cost. But many do. I think that’s the crux of the issue, that consumers aren’t managing their expectations. So the result is a lot of disgruntled customers.

So my advice is, in order to minimise your disappointment with ANY online agent, including PurpleBricks, you should fully understand how online agents work so you know what to expect, and I also recommend checking out the cheaper alternatives so you weigh up your options.

Would I personally use Purplebricks to sell my home?

Nah.

But equally, I wouldn’t stop you from using them if you want to.

Rightly or wrongly so, I believe all online agents more or less do the same thing, which includes providing the most useful features, a professional photography service (which is critical for marketing purposes) and Rightmove and Zoopla listings (critical to generate enquiries). Most estate agents, both online and high street, generate most of their enquiries from those online portals. So as long as I’m getting the enquiries, I don’t really need much more.

I personally think Purplebricks are way too expensive (£999 for their baseline service), and they get away with it because of their gigantic brand. Fair play to them. In some cases, it can be a little more expensive to use a high street agent, if not cheaper altogether. If that’s the case, why even use an online estate agent? The basis of their appeal is the huge money-saving opportunity on agency fees.

But besides that, Purplebricks isn’t providing a unique service or providing any extra value compared to other online agents. At least, I don’t feel their price justifies the value compared to the cheaper options available, and that’s precisely why I’d use a cheaper alternative instead. Actually, since I’m in England, I’d use Strike’s highly rated FREE service, which I discuss in more detail in my Strike review.

For those of you who have used Purplebricks, or are contemplating it, I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts in the comments section below…

13 Comments- Join The Conversation...

1 out of 5 rating2 out of 5 rating1 out of 5 rating2 out of 5 rating3 out of 5 rating9 people have rated their experience with Purplebricks - The Online Estate Agents.1.6 out of 5 Stars.Leave your Comment / Review
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Kirsti withington 7th July, 2020 @ 14:52
1 out of 5 rating 1 out of 5 rating 2 out of 5 rating 3 out of 5 rating 4 out of 5 rating

DO NOT USE. Local agent doesn’t respond to call or messages you ask her to do stuff never gets back to you. I have other local estate agents phoning me to give me new properties on the market and ask me how I’m doing with purple bricks not much really. I would go with a local estate agent as least they have some get up and go.

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S.Ekins 15th July, 2020 @ 17:16

DONT GET TAKEN IN. Been on the market with this lot for over 2yrs. They overpriced property to get us to sign up. Full of promises to begin with then , Got ya money don’t give a toss. First agent from Bricks deceived all the way along with lies and promises. Next agent one call to introduce herself then never another word from her. Heard from a new agent Monday 13 July, again first contact in 5 months. Now had enough of this lot. Putting house on the market with a proper Estate Agent this week. Wasted £800+ with Bricks.
In my opinion don’t even rate 1star.

2
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John 18th July, 2020 @ 09:26
1 out of 5 rating 1 out of 5 rating 2 out of 5 rating 3 out of 5 rating 4 out of 5 rating

A year ago we tried to sell our house with Purple Bricks. The house had no serious problems and we were asking the average price for the area. We did not get a single viewing through Purple Bricks. At the time I assumed that this was due to their representative in our area not being on the ball...

This year the house is finally sold and we are buying. I've made Three enquiries properties marketed by Purple Bricks in two different areas and none of them have resulted in a viewing being arranged. All I get is a standard text message claiming that they've emailed me a link to book a viewing. I have not received any such link.

3
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Claire MacLeod 26th July, 2020 @ 08:47
1 out of 5 rating 1 out of 5 rating 2 out of 5 rating 3 out of 5 rating 4 out of 5 rating

PB ruined my life last year. Within 8 months of choosing them to rent out my home, I was £10k in the hole through unpaid rent and damage to the property. They recommended tenants who set up a marijuana grow op in 2 bedrooms and stopped paying rent after 3 months. When I raised concerns PB refused to conduct an early inspection. They deny any responsibility and say the loss is my fault because I didn’t check that they had arranged landlord insurance when I requested it. They hadn’t. They are an immoral, unscrupulous, callous Company and I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy.

4
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donna campbell 3rd August, 2020 @ 10:17

Viewing at 11am in cardonald. Was there for 10:50 and three cars in driveway. No one answered the door no one contacted me and no arrived. We waited 15minutes. Disgraceful way to treat people who are looking to buy a home. Took us 30minutes to get to the place. Pathetic

5
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Amanda Jokl 6th August, 2020 @ 06:12
1 out of 5 rating 2 out of 5 rating 1 out of 5 rating 2 out of 5 rating 3 out of 5 rating

Initially the agent was very good with his sales patter. Once the sale was agreed didn't see him at all.
Emailed the after sales service several times to try and see what was happening but they just said they were getting no response from the solicitor.
If you want to sell through them to save money and you are prepared to do your own viewings and do your own chasing with your buyers you can save a lot of money.
Our biggest issue then is that we chose a house to buy that was being sold through purplebricks.
The seller had chosen to pay later and use purplebricks recommended conveyencers.
Nine weeks since our offer was accepted. Their conveyencers have not got some paperwork off the sellers yet. They don't chase the buyers for information. They said "we expect the seller to be chasing us to find out what is happening"
After sales service team and the agent are as useful as a chocolate fireguard.
I would possibly sell again if it was going to save me a lot of money but I would never buy a house again sold by purplebricks.

6
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Jim 9th August, 2020 @ 13:18

Their reviews are pretty much fabricated. Do not use PB!
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/purplebricks-trustpilot-reviews

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Ian R 10th August, 2020 @ 09:17
1 out of 5 rating 2 out of 5 rating 3 out of 5 rating 4 out of 5 rating 5 out of 5 rating

As a family we've used Purplebricks to sell 3 properties in the past few years. We received the service we'd expected without any disapointments. The individuals on the ground we dealt with were all former bricks & mortar Agents with local knowledge, etc. What was interesting and very unprofessional was the amount of correspondence from local Estate Agents that suggested Rightmove was going bust and generally slagging them off for not being bricks and mortar (included national chains and local independents). Everyone without exception had selling rates that were at least two to three times PB's rates. I was very shocked at the vehement nature of the correspondence that was sometimes in my humble view was libellous in content.

However, all the properties sold via PB and they coordinated all the viewings/negotiations.

Based on our experience I have absolutely no doubt a significant amount of online negative reviews are from their competitors and of course there will be genuine disappointed reviews for a swathe of reasons which may actually be nothing to do with PB (or any Estate Agent).

PB have successfully disrupted the market and lower priced competitors will follow and I'm sure many will not survive at their low price point. The online virtual office (which PB is) is likely to become the new normal for many traditional Estate Agents - which will retain a limited number of brick and mortar branches (even if it's just one). Technology is an amazing enabler and it is going to be a great asset and tool to Landlords and home owners going forward.

Estate/Letting Agents need to learn and embrace the technology quicker and compete on that basis. Those bringing real value to their customers and tenants will survive.

8
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Mike 14th August, 2020 @ 08:01
1 out of 5 rating 1 out of 5 rating 2 out of 5 rating 3 out of 5 rating 4 out of 5 rating

Found the PB employee 👆

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Joseph 22nd September, 2020 @ 15:37
1 out of 5 rating 1 out of 5 rating 2 out of 5 rating 3 out of 5 rating 4 out of 5 rating

Hello All,

I rented an apartment in Park Hill Rise @ St. Arvans Close from Dec 2018 to Sept 2020. My worst experience was with the Agent initially (PB) and then with the landlord.. I've never defaulted even a single time on timely payment in the 1.7 years I lived at this property. But if I had an issue it would run for days or weeks before someone would attend to it, they never respond on time...

But here's the thing. I handed over the key on the 9th September on time to (PB) the agent and I am still waiting for my deposit to come back to me...

I wonder if there are kind solicitors who help tenants to get back their deposit on time..
With a wife half way in her pregnancy and with having to wait this long to get your deposit
is very painful..

10
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd September, 2020 @ 19:52

Hi Joseph,

So your tenancy ended on the 9th? That wasn't that long ago, to be fair. The deposit should be returned within 10 days... but once it is agreed on how much should be returned. I'm presuming the latter hasn't happened.

Not sure why you would need a solicitor; the whole point of a tenancy deposit scheme is to help manage these issues.

Your deposit should be secured with a tenancy deposit scheme, so you can just contact them if you want to lodge a complaint, and they should ensure the deposit is dealt with appropriately.

In any case, as said, I don't think it's been that long, so I wouldn't be that concerned just yet, although I do appreciate that tenants want their deposit back ASAP, because they usually need it.

For now, I would persist with trying to contact your agent to find out what the situation with your deposit is. Failing that, contact the deposit scheme.

Best of luck.

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Alix Edwards 30th September, 2020 @ 08:39
1 out of 5 rating 1 out of 5 rating 2 out of 5 rating 3 out of 5 rating 4 out of 5 rating

Some very good people within the company however nothing is co-ordinated properly The tenants cannot ever get hold of management Repairs are not followed through There seems to be no line of communication within the company which has led to expensive damage to my properties through issues not being reported or documented properly. They do not have decent local tradesmen as they are based in Birmingham and when I have got quotes from them they are absurdly off the record high so not worth using. A lot of useless correspondence is generated such as gas cert letters with no property name on them - so a waste of time. They have a landlord portal which is a complete and utter mess again without the information properly uploaded on them and the accounts department has made a lot of mistakes such as charging the one off let only fee for a year on the same property and the way the statements are generated with loads of blank pages does not work well with accounts systems like Xero. The whole experience is extremely frustrating and tedious and has led to unhappy tenants which is a first in my 17 years in this business because of their inability to follow through or organise anything properly so sadly I would not recommend this company. It is also impossible to get hold of people through a sea of answerphones and unanswered emails. A total contrast to my other managing agents who are all very good.

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Joanna wilyeo 11th October, 2020 @ 06:23
1 out of 5 rating 1 out of 5 rating 2 out of 5 rating 3 out of 5 rating 4 out of 5 rating

Absolutely useless. Had 3 different agents through PB , communication poor to say the least they did nothing to aid the sale of our house only put a for sale sign up and advertised it on right move once they have your money they disappear, totally misled into signing with them without realising we were signing up to use their solicitors to act on our behalf to sell the house . Then on the day of completing and moving an extra 400 pound had appeared from a system error that the solicitors could not track how or why this had happened , had us over a barrel as if we didn’t pay we could not complete ( this was at 14.30 pm on the day of moving with our removal vans packed and 2 removal vans waiting to unpack ) dishonest and useless !
WILL NEVER EVER USE PURPLE BRICKS AGAIN

If I could I would rate them minus 5 stars . I cannot stress enough .

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