TheHouseShop.com – the property website that allows you to advertise your property for free, whether you want to sell it or let it- but does “FREE” really work when you’re trying to shift “expensive” (a house)? Here’s my review…
TheHouseShop.com is a property portal that allows sellers, landlords and estate agents to advertise properties for free on their website! They’ve been on my radar for a while, but I’ve only recently started to pay attention to how quickly they’re growing- with tens of thousands of tenants and buyers using their website every day.
The concern is… property is big business, so it sounds particularly awkward when someone comes along and says they’ll help you flog your property by listing your property for free, especially while everyone else wants you to hand-over the 16 digit card number before putting any wheels in motion!
Errr… so, is there a catch, is their service just free dog-shit, or are they a legit means of generating enquiries? We’ll get to that, but before getting into the nitty-gritty…
What is The House Shop… REALLY?
On the surface, you may think my introduction already answered this question, and you may think you already know all the answers. But you’d be surprised at how many folk has get it all wrong.
The common misconception is that TheHouseShop is an online estate agent, similar to the likes of Purplebricks and YOPA on the sales front, and Upad and OpenRent on the lettings front. While TheHouseShop may compete with those guys, and ultimately share the same objectives, they’re NOT an online agent. Or at least, they don’t follow the blueprint of the traditional online agents.
Online agents typically take a fee from a landlord/seller and then distribute the property details onto property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla to generate leads. I’d say TheHouseShop is more comparable to a ‘property portals’ (i.e. tenants and buyers go onto TheHouseShop looking for properties) as opposed to an online agent. But unlike the two gigantic front-runners mentioned, TheHouseShop allows private individual sellers and landlords to directly market their property on their website, while Rightmove and Zoopla strictly deal directly with estate agents (i.e. you have to go through an agent to get listed on Rightmove, otherwise no cigar).
Something else that separates the TheHouseShop is the fact that they supply optional services for sellers and landlords, for example, valuation services and energy performance certificates, tenant referencing etc. So really, they’re providing an all-in-one solution. Or, in the words of TheHouseShop, they offer an “Amazon-style” service for sellers and landlords.
Long story short, the TheHouseShop is a cross between an online agent and a property portal, available to use by individual sellers, landlords and estate agents.
Can You REALLY Sell or Rent your House for free with TheHouseShop?
The gazillion dollar question, right?
Theoretically, you can list your property on TheHouseShop.com, receive enquiries and go onto achieving your goal of either selling or letting your property. For free.
So yes, you REALLY can.
However, while there isn’t a direct catch with the free service they provide, it’s important to note that while they do attract tens of thousands of visitors per day, which does sound like a lot, but in the grand scheme of things… it’s not great. Bear in mind they’re trying to generate enquiries for EVERY property they have listed, which is spread across the entire UK. That ain’t no easy task, it requires volume. Heaps of it.
The reality is, TheHouseShop are still in the infancy stages, and they don’t attract anywhere near as many punters as Rightmove or Zoopla (I’ll compare the stats further down).
My point is, TheHouseShop could definitely work for you- you could go onto selling or letting your property for diddly-squat just like thousands of others already have. BUT… you’ll statistically stand a much better chance using an online estate agent or online letting agent (depending on whether you want to sell or let) so you can get your property listed on Rightmove.
So what’s my opinion, should you use TheHouseShop or not?
Hell yeah, they’re FREE. You have absolutely nothing to lose in any which scenario. So go ahead and list your property on TheHouseShop.com if you’re looking for buyers or tenants…
But, now, allow me to give you a little more meat to chew on…
If you’re adamant on looking to sell/let your property for free: if you don’t want to spend a penny on marketing, then definitely use TheHouseShop to sell your property- they’ll be your best option. However, if you’re landlord looking to find tenants, may I suggest looking into OpenRent’s awesome free offer instead! No problem, you’re welcome for that tip :)
And of course, if you want to maximise your exposure, list your property on TheHouseShop.com while you’re at it.
If you’re in no immediate rush to sell/let: If you have the luxury of time on your side, then I’d recommend listing your property on TheHouseShop.com to test the water. If after a few weeks, or even months (depending on how much time you have), you don’t have any bites, then I’d consider going down the online agent route (as per the links above)!
If you only want to use ONE means of marketing your property: if you’re a simple being and/or if you can’t be assed to sign up for more than one property marketing service (which I totally get), then I can only recommend going down the online agent solution. There is no substitute. Sorry, HouseShop!
TheHouseShop Vs Rightmove Vs Zoopla
As said, TheHouseShop is growing quickly, but they’re still puny compared to Rightmove and Zoopla (particularly Rightmove, the current market leader by a country mile).
I’ve made the following clear before: if I had to choose ONE portal, I’d go with Rightmove every damn time. In fact, you’d be a fool to choose any other portal if you had to choose one. Of course, getting your property on all three would be the winning formula.
To give you some context, according to this article on HOA, Rightmove receives a whooping 127.5 million visits per month, while Zoopla says its websites (including Prime Location) and mobile apps attract over 50 million visits per month. That’s a serious amount of eyeballs!
How does TheHouseShop compare? I’ve been told that they receive about 1 million visits per month. Don’t get me wrong, that’s still a buttload; I’d sell my left nut to achieve similar popularity, and it’s plenty enough traffic to bag you a sale, but they’re still… errr… a tad behind the market leaders’, innit?
That diagrams a bit demoralising, ain’t it? In defence of TheHomeShop, I think the graph makes them look a lot less useful than they actually are!
Have you used TheHouseShop.com?
Personally, I’ve yet to list my property on their website, but next time I’m in the market for new tenants (which probably won’t be in the too distant future), I’ll be sure to give them a spin. But I do know of other sellers and landlords that have both successfully and unsuccessfully used their platform, which tells me TheHouseShop is a no-brainer! And while I only hold a limited amount of confidence in the legitimacy of review websites like TrustPilot, I still feel reassured when I see positive feedback from the punters’ – which TheHouseShop has, over at reviews.co.uk.
So if you’re in the midst of doing you’re research, and rightly questioning the whole ‘free’ thing, I hope I’ve been of some help. To reiterate what I’ve already said, you’ve got nothing to lose…
If you’ve used them to either sell or let, please share your experience! I’d love to hear about it…
Disclaimer: I'm just a simple landlord blogger; I'm not qualified to give legal or financial advice. Any information I share is my opinion based on my personal experiences as an active landlord, and should never be contrued as legal or professional advice. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.