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to take this Purple Bricks complaint further?

(59 Posts)
DefinitelyCommisery Wed 27-Feb-19 18:35:20

Feel like I've been conned! I listed my house for sale with Purple Bricks at £575,000. This price was set by the court during divorce proceedings and agreed by their estate agent. The house has been at risk of repossession due to ex's non payment of the mortgage.
I signed on with Purple Bricks in June and in 6 months I only had 1 viewing which resulted in 1 offer far below the asking price from a couple that had not sold.

In desperation, I signed on with a local estate agent in December and had 40 viewings and 4 offers within 2 weeks- many of the prospective buyers said they had seen the property online with purple bricks but the pictures were so bad they didn't view- saying the house looked very dark. The local estate agent said this was because the camera PB used had a wide angle lens attachment which blocked the flash. Id initially accepted the photos as I just thought that was how my house 'photographed' but since seeing the other photos I can really see what a bad job they actually did. These viewers confirmed that the local estate agents pictures were more representative of the property and not photoshopped.

During the course of marketing with purple bricks they kept telling me to drop the price and blaming brexit which I duly did until I'd got down to 500k and still no viewings. If I had gone with a local estate agent earlier i would have sold the house earlier for a higher price mitigating the higher fee and some!

Given that the local estate agents were able to sell the house within 2 weeks it can only be that the photos were so substandard it was detrimental to the sale. Purple Bricks are now demanding their flat rate of £849 be paid despite only getting me 1 viewing in 6 months and losing 75k by following their advice! I don't have the £849 because the house sale still hasn't completed. I've written a complaint like many others in the same boat but don't expect them to waive the fee given other experiences I've read today. Apparently, 60% of houses are still for sale after 10 months with Purple Bricks. I just don't think their sales model works.

AIBU to follow the procedures to escalate this to the Ombudsmen/ file a claim myself to county court?

RedHelenB Wed 27-Feb-19 18:38:46

Surely you must gave ok d the photos. Can't see this has much legs tbh, but if you go with the cheap option I wouldn't expect to get top price.

RebootYourEngine Wed 27-Feb-19 18:40:27

Im not an expert but i would take it further. Do purple bricks have estate agents or do they just put the house online and do nothing else?

SalrycLuxx Wed 27-Feb-19 18:42:04

How exactly did you lose 75K by following their advice?

Did you not ask local agents to quote?

Whynham Wed 27-Feb-19 18:42:14

You have no idea if your house would have sold for the higher price if it were advertised elsewhere.

DefinitelyCommisery Wed 27-Feb-19 18:44:26

Yes I did query the photos but was told that was how my house photographed. At the time I didn’t want to pay £5k for estate agent and they promise the same thing in their advertising without the massive fees.

I wish I could turn back the clock and I genuinely had no idea the no viewings were related to the photos when the purple bricks agent kept telling me it was to do with Brexit and telling me to drop the price.

The pending repossession means every penny counts and I’m just gutted all round.

TheInvestigator Wed 27-Feb-19 18:45:38

When you changed estate agents, why couldn't you set the asking price back to the original? (I've never sold a house so don't know if you're not allowed to put it back up once reduced).

If you're allowed to increase the price, then you can't blame purple bricks for the 75k loss because your new estate agents would have given you a new valuation, or you could have told them the court ordered one.

You also said OK to the photos. You know what your house looks like, and you live in the real world so you must know that photo quality can make things look better or worse. If you thought the house didn't look good in the photos, you should have done something about it.

PoliticalBiscuit Wed 27-Feb-19 18:47:22

I don't think morally you owe them any money and they've provided very little of value.

That said, I'm sure their systems are fairly tight and I'm not sure I could cope with a divorce, a house sale, and fighting an EA at the same time.

SalrycLuxx Wed 27-Feb-19 18:47:24

They took photos which you apparently accepted. If you weren’t happy you needed to complain there and then.

DefinitelyCommisery Wed 27-Feb-19 18:47:36

The house was valued at £575,000 and I dropped the price in 25k increments on advice of the purple bricks estate agent. I then couldn’t list it at a higher price when I relisted with a more effective agent. The local estate agents said if time was on my side (ie 6 months earlier) they were confident they would have got the asking price. The offer I was forced to accept due to imminent repossession was £500k.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Wed 27-Feb-19 18:48:47

Do purple bricks have estate agents or do they just put the house online and do nothing else?

Yes that’s all they do- but they are very clear on that upfront.

I don’t believe you have lost £75k. You just can’t know what you would have got if you had marketed through someone else initially.

You will have approved the photos.

Honestly I think what’s happened is you used a (very) cheap agent and got what you paid for. With a side helping of the new agent wanting to stir a bit about the old one.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Wed 27-Feb-19 18:49:30

The local estate agents said if time was on my side (ie 6 months earlier) they were confident they would have got the asking price

Agents are ALWAYS confident that they can get £x. Until they have to.

DefinitelyCommisery Wed 27-Feb-19 18:51:43

Taking all the comments on board, thank you.

PoliticalBiscuit- I really am done with it all wink I’ve had about as much as I can take! At some point karma will get my prostitute shagging, non mortgage paying, non maintenance paying ex and I’ll be sitting back with a cocktail enjoying my new found peace!

Whynham Wed 27-Feb-19 18:52:02

The estate agent would tell you they think Purple Bricks are doing a bad job because they are the competition. They cannot for sure know it would have sold at the higher price no matter how confident they are.

Mammajay Wed 27-Feb-19 18:52:40

Agents will always say they could get more in this situation.

Alsohuman Wed 27-Feb-19 18:52:57

We looked at a house and rejected it because it was on with PB, we knew they’d do nothing to ease the transaction through. That house was eventually sold through a conventional agent. I wouldn’t pay them, OP.

spanieleyes Wed 27-Feb-19 18:53:06

I then couldn’t list it at a higher price when I relisted with a more effective agent
Of course you could..

they were confident they would have got the asking price
Well, they would say that, wouldn't they!.

Nickpan Wed 27-Feb-19 18:54:02

have you looked on Rightmove to see what price other similar houses were marketed at? Don't forget, you'll only see asking price on Rightmove, not buying price

DefinitelyCommisery Wed 27-Feb-19 18:54:27

The thing that Really gets me is they claim to be as good as any other agent yet the stats are glaringly obvious they aren’t.
1 viewing in 6 months compared with 40 viewings in 2 weeks.
I researched it all and it seemed like a good option but I’ve made a really crap call and I don’t want to pay them!

tentative3 Wed 27-Feb-19 18:55:07

You're obviously frustrated and upset, and if you're just venting then fair enough. If not, I'm afraid you just need to chalk it up to experience. You've no way of proving the 'loss', indeed it's unlikely that a house worth 575 got as low as 500 without anyone looking past the photos and at least booking a viewing.

What did the estate agent you're with now value the house at? What offers did you get?

We sold our last house with purple bricks. The photos were fine, we added two to the agents' pictures, but that was more due to the sun not being out the day he came. We sold it to the first viewer. Would I use them again? No. There are high street agents offering fixed price packages now, our agent wasn't very useful during the actual sale process itself, and our current house isn't cookie cutter enough to be a purple bricks house.

Your comments about their business model: well, if they're getting paid regardless I don't suppose it really matters to them if the houses are still on the market.

KatnissMellark Wed 27-Feb-19 18:55:56

Purple bricks do what they say on the tin. They're not a traditional agents and don't do everything a traditional agent do. We sold with them for full asking price in less than two weeks, but we got feedback from lots of friends on our advert, had a few photos redone in better light/from different angles, changed the order of the photos and tweaked the wording of the advert, all via the agent but at our instigation.

I think you signed the contract and they've fulfilled their obligations so you have to pay. You could try to argue for a reduction but I'm not sure you've really got a leg to stand on, sorry.

DefinitelyCommisery Wed 27-Feb-19 18:56:10

My buyers have had a valuation survey and it indicates the house is at least 40k undervalued but repossession hearing is too close for me not to have a sale in place however low.

KatnissMellark Wed 27-Feb-19 18:56:39

Oh and EVERY local agent we spoke to slagged them off to high heaven. Perhaps because they were £thousands cheaper and taking their business.

Motherofcreek Wed 27-Feb-19 18:57:01

Dreadful company! Ours was on for 6 weeks with one view. Pictures were awful. Sold through local estate agents in the end.

I didn’t have to pay purple bricks anything though confused

thewinkingprawn Wed 27-Feb-19 18:57:21

Of course you can relist the house at a higher price - why on earth couldn’t you? The new estate agen won’t want you to because he wants a quick and easy sale (although you also need one by the sounds of it). I think you will have to pay purple bricks / you approved the photo’s and agreed to the price drop

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