Discount Code for YOPA.co.uk
Unfortunately my pockets are currently empty, YOPA didn’t want to extend the discount code they previously gave me (and many benefited from). SAD FACE!! Furthermore, I’ve been told that they no longer distribute discount codes, period!
BUT WAIT!!! They still offer free property valuations from one of their local agents, so you can find out how much your property is worth, and there are no obligations to use their services after receiving your valuation!
Another day, another celebratory red ribbon gets the snip to open the virtual doors of yet another “online estate agent”
If up until now you’ve only been aware of the two [alleged] heavyweights of the online estate agency world, Purplebricks and emoov, then do yourself a favour and recognise that there are plenty of online agents that will market your property on Rightmove & Zoopla to choose from, so you shouldn’t necessarily be won over by familiarity, because in reality, online agents mostly do the same flippin’ thing (whether you realise it or not). That is, to market your property on the biggest UK portals (e.g. Rightmove, Zoopla) and generate a buttload of enquiries so you can get shot of your property ASAP for the largest amount of cheese humanly possible!
YOPA have strolled in looking to cause some damage to their rivals; stacked with bags of cash and a heavy marketing presence. Perhaps that’s why you’re here; while they’ve been busy marketing the crap out of their brand, you may have caught a whiff, and now you want to find out more. If that’s you, you’ve come to the right place.
In this blog post I want to provide an overview of YOPA, because they’re a little bit different from most of the others in the space, and perhaps it’s not entirely clear how or why. So please, allow me to drop the penny!
Why am I picking on YOPA?
I’ve listed a dozen or so online agents to choose from, each varying in price (and quality). YOPA wanted me to throw their name onto the list, but before I played nice and rolled over, I wanted to understand what they were all about. That’s fair and responsible of me, right? Right!
The thing you’ll quickly notice about the agent list is that it’s categorised into two ‘types’ of agents: “online-only” and “hybrid”
YOPA is a “hybrid agent”, which typically makes them significantly more expensive than an online-only agent, but that’s because you get a little more bang out of them, which may or may not be deciding factor for you. And that’s precisely why I wanted to dissect YOPA, so I could explain their ‘hybrid concept’ in a little more detail.
YOPA costs a whopping £839 (but that’s a drop in the ocean compared to the average high-street agent), which is approximately £200 more than it’s closest online-only rival. OUCH! The price differentiation raises questions, and rightly so. Why the premium? What am I paying extra for? Is it worth it? Should I just stick with the online-only agents?
Why is YOPA more expensive than online-only agents?
Yes, let’s tackle the crux of the issue. And I’ll try not to ramble (even though history dictates I’ll fail, miserably!).
YOPA, like the other hybrid agents, are based on a model that offers features you would expect from an online agent and a traditional high-street agent.
Most online agents operate purely online, meaning their service is managed through their website and typically phone-support; they won’t have a physical office/branch which you can bust into and cause a riot for providing a shambolic service, nor will they have localised agents zipping around in their flashy MINI Coopers. Of course, that’s why online estate agents are so much cheaper than the traditional high-street agent cowboys- the overheads are minuscule in comparison.
YOPA have ripped chunks off the online agency model and chunks off the high-street model… and squashed it all together to make a mutant, à la “Hybrid” Essentially, you’re left with the best of both worlds, which is:
YOPA will provide you with a dedicated local agent! Yes, “local”, and this is what the extra £200 is really about, and that’s the aspect which is snatched from the high-street model. You can catch a glimpse of their mugs over on the YOPA agent page, so you can see exactly who you would be dealing with. Such beautiful people.
The agents are professional and dedicated YOPA estate agents, they’re not moonlighting or working around their full-time job. So to clarify, they will NOT have a high-street shop presence, but will provide local physical presence and support because they’ll be located near you (you’ll probably only meet them once though, and that’s during the property valuation).
If you’re interested in getting a free valuation from YOPA (there’s no obligation to continue thereon), your prospective ‘local agent’ will visit your property to get the ball rolling. If you then wish to use YOPA’s service, your new-best-friend-agent will guide/support you through the sale until completion. That will include the initiation of marketing your property; professional photos, floorplan, a ‘For Sale’ sign and then throwing your property advert onto the likes of Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation to start generating enquiries.
If you also want your agent to take the viewings, they can, but at an extra cost of £300 (i.e. it’s not included in the basic £780 package), and that’s when you’ll have the opportunity to meet your new mate again.
You with me? Good!
I’ve already mentioned that YOPA, like every other online agent, does not have a high-street shopfront or local branch. Essentially, that’s what makes classifies them as an online agent, or at least partially.
You can arrange everything online via their website, including payment, and access to a 24/7 dashboard, which will allow you to view/process all your enquiries 24/7.
To give you a clear picture of the current ‘hybrid’ market: there are a couple of others lurking around, most notably, YOPA, Purple Bricks, Hatched and Tepilo. I’m not here to take sides, I’m here to provide an overview, but after doing some quick research I can confirm the following: Purple Bricks and Hatched are more pricey, and while Tepilo is cheaper, their customer service currently appears to fall woefully short (their TrustPilot feedback is actually quite embarrassing). So YOPA doesn’t seem like a bad choice out of the hybrid bunch.
Is YOPA worth paying £200 (approx) extra for, or should I go for the cheaper online-only agent?
This is how I look at it: if you want the assistance of a local agent to support you through the entire process of selling your home and relieve you from some of the work-load (after all, your time is precious), then yes, in my opinion the “hybrid” model is worth stumping up the extra cash for, even if you have to do so begrudgingly. However, if you’re confident you can do without the local assistance, then a cheaper online-only agent is probably the better option. However, I do want to make a few crucial points before you pull-the-trigger and make your decision:
Don’t be THAT Dad
Using an online agent, including a “hybrid” one, is already going to save you a shitload of cash comparative to a high-street agency. You’re already winning here.
So I wouldn’t try to whittle down the costs of selling a home to the point of creating a false-economy. What I mean by that is, don’t focus on JUST saving money by taking on a project which you’re ill-prepared for. A good analogy is when an unqualified Dad tries to hopelessly save costs by trying to repair the leaky dishwasher when his only education and experiencing is streaming a few ‘how-to’ videos on YouTube. In most cases, the end result will be a bodge-job, and eventually lead to more expenses to fix-the-fix.
My point? As much as we all religiously love to believe that an estate agent’s job can be just as equally fulfilled by a chimp (if not better), they mostly do have the knowledge and experience which will allow for an optimal selling experience.
If you actually would benefit from the added local support, don’t talk yourself into being the bodge-job Dad. The law of averages dictates you’ll cause havoc and it will end in tears.
All Online Agents will provide support
I don’t want to provide a false illusion, so let me clarify something (before someone jumps on my hairy back and causes a scene).
No matter which online agent you decide to choose, if at all any that is, they will ALL provide support (as far as I’m aware).
YOPA’s local agent will provide a physical and local presence, and that will understandably be comforting for many (unless they’re a sleaseball idiot). However, the online agents that don’t offer a local dedicated agent will also provide support and guidance, but most likely by a dedicated account manager in a support centre somewhere. Regardless of which online agent you opt for, you will never be left to fend for yourself.
In any case, definitely read the T&C’s of whichever agent you’re interested in working with, and find out exactly what level of support you will receive! Most crucially, don’t be afraid to ask questions, preferably by email so you can prove what was promised to you.
My word of warning when using YOPA – be wary of the “Pay Later” option.
YOPA do offer a “Pay Later finance option”, which means you’ll have no upfront fees. How enticing!
This is what their website says about it:
Our finance partner, Divido, gives you the freedom of paying for our services later rather than upfront. List and sell your property with YOPA and pay nothing for the first 10 months, with no interest or deposit either.
In order to qualify for this option you’ll need to complete and pass a credit application process, which I’m told is similar to applying for a credit card. Fair enough.
If approved you enter into a 10 month loan agreement, with no interest and no deposit. At the end of the 10 months, the lender will take payment direct from your account. You do, of course, have the option of paying back the loan at anytime with in the 10 months.
Now, what they don’t make entirely clear is the following: whether or not your property sale completes, you will have to repay this loan. And, if you use the ‘Pay Later’ option you must then also use their conveyancing partner for the sale of your property. The legal fee is £649 + VAT and disbursements (£749 + VAT and disbursements in some London postcodes). If you choose not to instruct their conveyancing partner, admin charges will apply- and I can’t find how much those ‘admin charges’ are for the life of me, not even a clue, which I find quite concerning.
Either way, I’d avoid the ‘Pay Later’ option, the whole deal seems a bit foggy, in my opinion. And I really don’t like the forced obligation of having to use their conveyancing partner. That said, I’ve seen a few of the other online agents offer similar choke-holds when opting for the “Pay Later” option, so it’s not just a ‘YOPA thing’. Buyer beware!
YOPA’s customer reviews
We live in a world where it’s never been easier to complain about piss-poor service and have our voices actually heard. And that’s because it’s so God damn easy to access the internet and have our say, and equally, to access those voices with the help of Google. The sad reality is, we humans are more compelled to leave negative feedback than a positive one. I’m still undecided on whether giving everyone a platform is a good or bad thing, but it does have its obvious advantages, particularly when trying to decipher who offers the best customer care/service.
If someone has been sold a questionable piece of cod from Dave’s Fish Palace, you can bet your left nutsack on the fact that you’ll be able to read about it somewhere, albeit in the darkest depths of the internet, tucked away in a dingy forum occupied by unstable contributors. But it will be there.
So if you’re happy to put a monetary value on reviews/ratings, which more and more people are, maybe that £200 extra YOPA are shoving down our throats is well justified by their current TrustPilot rating of 9.6 from 205 reviews. Credit where credit due, because their rating puts YOPA second in terms of trust of ALL 10+ online agents on the market (both online-only and hybrid).
I’m personally a review fiend! I actually think most people are these days; it’s become part of the ‘buying process’. I order almost anything and everything off Amazon these days, and I won’t even pull the trigger on paperclips without reading the reviews first, so the idea of basing my decision for which service-provider to use to sell my home (a product infinitely more valuable) on reviews is a no-brainer. I frequently pay a little extra for my car insurance policy based on reviews, because the cheaper ones generally have poor ratings off the back of horrendous customer service, and that ultimately sways my final decision. God forbid I get into an accident- the last thing I would want to deal with is a shyster insurance company giving me the run around and doing everything within their power to refrain from paying-out. I’d rather just pay thirty-quid extra and gamble on the better odds of receiving a better service.
So, you interested or what?
YOPA provide free property valuations from one of their local agents, so you can find out how much your property is worth. There are no obligations to use their services after receiving your valuation!
Tell me about YOUR experience
As a matter of interest, have you used YOPA or any other online agent? What’s your experience been? If you’re looking to use an online agent, who are you going to use and why?