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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?

Yabbers Wed 02-Oct-19 07:47:39

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

Of course they did. They have an axe to grind with purple bricks.

Apparently, 60% of houses are still for sale after 10 months with Purple Bricks. I just don't think their sales model works.

What is the comparator for a high street estate agent? Without knowing that, this figure is meaningless.

Worth noting the 60% figure was calculated using land registry data, PB own figures say 88% are sold in this time. I would be wary about concluding either of these figures as accurate.

Bricks and mortar agents are way more likely to drop the price to sell than Purplebricks, according to a Which? report last year.

You may well have had bad advice, you might have a case not to pay the fee, or part of it, but to jump from your own situation to trashing PB business model isn’t right.

SoupDragon Wed 02-Oct-19 07:21:30

zombie thread

This has been bumped by someone who also had a bad experience with Purple Bricks. I hope the OP has sold since February!

Tonnerre Wed 02-Oct-19 06:57:11

I agree that you can't know that you would have got £75K more with another agent.

However, I do agree that Purple Bricks seem pretty useless. I've seen quite a few houses in my area with PB signs outside that seem to hang around for ages, only to be sold quickly after another agent's board goes up.

PositiveVibez Wed 02-Oct-19 06:47:12

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

This is not true. We were buying off someone who sold their house with Purple Bricks. Due to our buyers chain collapsing, unfortunately the sale didn't go through, but Purple Bricks do have estate agents who deal with you once you've put in an offer and the process was extremely efficient.

I was rather impressed to be honest.

Mishfit0819 Wed 02-Oct-19 06:37:44

Purple Bricks are a lot cheaper because you do more of the legwork, whether it specifically states it or not. You need to research local house sales/listings, check the ad to make sure it's selling your house properly, checking photos and having them redone if not taken on a bright day/not angled correctly etc. Unfortunately you've learned that the hard way but not PBs fault, they are upfront on what you are getting for the price.

I think you should challenge their additional fee on the off chance they let you away with it or as a good will gesture reduce it. However I do think you'll have to pay and Chalk it up to experience.

FWIW, we've bought and sold via PB and thought they were excellent. From a buyers perspective, I knew the ads were more realistic, it was much easier to book viewings and gain information such as home reports,therefore a much quicker process. Traditional estate agents were much slower and pushy, and took every opportunity to slag off PB because its their main competitors.

Dongdingdong Wed 02-Oct-19 06:03:53

Because a traditional agent does his or her best to get the best price for a house because of the % commission.

If a house has gone under offer then it’s highly unlikely that any agent or owner would let you come to view it.

susanhypnotherapist Wed 02-Oct-19 05:18:38

I just had a bad experience with Purple Bricks complained to ASA, Property Ombudsman, Trading Standards and Watchdog. Not sure I will get anywhere, but the company are terrible. So doing all I can to warn others not to use Purple Bricks.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Wed 27-Feb-19 23:32:21

The agents around here are currently being incentivised on price reductions because they want sales. So just getting you to agree a lower asking price benefits that individual agent regardless of any sale. Nuts. And that is in the most expensive city (housing costs vs earnings) in the country

KatnissMellark Wed 27-Feb-19 23:11:31

@AndThenWeWillBeAllDone I think they do too, but don't think they're really bothered about £10k here or there. And PB don't purported to do what traditional agents do. In my experience anyway. But as there a franchise-type model things probably do vary area by area.

AndThenWeWillBeAllDone Wed 27-Feb-19 23:03:04

@KatnissMellark I disagree that agents on commission don't push for a higher price than those on flat fees.

KatnissMellark Wed 27-Feb-19 22:53:33

@AndThenWeWillBeAllDone if an agent is charging 2.5% commission, the £10k difference is worth £250 to the company, and probably 10 or 20% of that so max £50 to the individual agent. They quite frankly won't give a shit and will just want it sold. What you as a buyer/seller think is a significant amount of money (and is to you!) is absolute pish to agents.

If you read the TS&Cs when you go with PB and understand the offer, it's a great concept. But only if you go in eyes wide open and willing to do a lot of legwork yourself.

AndThenWeWillBeAllDone Wed 27-Feb-19 22:40:55


Because a traditional agent does his or her best to get the best price for a house because of the % commission. Higher price =higher commission. PB working on a flat rate fee have no incentive to get the best price only to get the house sold so they can stick a sign showing how successful they are. PB didn't get the best price for the house and should have advised to allow further viewings and go to best and final. That's what a traditional agent would do.

ILoveBray Wed 27-Feb-19 20:49:20

I'm confused why they are expecting you to pay them? Surely you only pay if the eventual buyer was introduced to your house through their service. It sounds like they weren't.

Or do I have this completely wrong? Never used Purple Bricks confused

Namechangeforthiscancershit Wed 27-Feb-19 20:02:53

How is that PB's fault?

I wondered that!

Whatelsecouldibecalled Wed 27-Feb-19 20:00:34

Sounds like you’re having a really shit time OP. I hope your ex gets what is coming to them.

In regards to PB sounds like your local property expert was a bit rubbish. However you will still need to pay them as you signed a contract with them. Went for the cheaper option and it didn’t pay off for you.

I have just sold my house through PB and couldn’t have had a different experience. Property expert was great and knowledgable of the local market. House priced accordingly and plenty of viewings. I carefully checked the advert and did a little editing before I approved but it was of good quality to start with. We sold in 30 days of it being on the market.

Remember each time your house was reduced it entered into another search bracket. I would imagine there are more people maybe able to buy at 500k than 575k. Not that I could afford either!

Possibly a bad experience for you with PB but I think it is very area dependant. There are thousands of great reviews on trust pilot etc. If you were going to complain at all I would suggest it’s about your property expert not being that great. Good luck

tentative3 Wed 27-Feb-19 19:54:00

OP, sounds like you're having a shitty time so take on board what's been said here, forget about purple bricks, get the house sold and forget about your dickhead ex. The best revenge is living well, so go out and live bloody well.

KatnissMellark Wed 27-Feb-19 19:47:48

I tried to buy a house through PB. Viewing cancelled because offer had been put in. I loved the house location and when the sale dragged on put a note through the door saying if it falls through this would be my ball park offer. Sold price was £10k less than my ballpark so PB lost seller £10k for the sake of saving £2k on fees.

How is that PB's fault? Those are sellers decisions. The seller decides the price to list at (with guidance), decides what viewings to accept/cancel, what offer to accept confused

Bringmewineandcake Wed 27-Feb-19 19:47:42

Sorry...the thread had moved on by the time I actually hit post blush

AndThenWeWillBeAllDone Wed 27-Feb-19 19:44:31

I tried to buy a house through PB. Viewing cancelled because offer had been put in. I loved the house location and when the sale dragged on put a note through the door saying if it falls through this would be my ball park offer. Sold price was £10k less than my ballpark so PB lost seller £10k for the sake of saving £2k on fees.

Bringmewineandcake Wed 27-Feb-19 19:43:59

What did the t&c say about payment of their fees? They’ve definitely done a shoddy job if they only got you 1 viewing in 6’s whether you’re bound by the contract to still pay them is the sticking point.

Godowneasy Wed 27-Feb-19 19:37:56

I'm a fan of online estate agents and think they could totally put potentially conventional estate agents out of business altogether. No wonder the conventional estate agents feel threatened!

I sold an expensive flat with an online estate agent (Housenetwork, not PB) a couple of years ago and I was really pleased with the service, and the huge amount of money I saved myself by using an online estate agent.

The photos were really excellent though and I think it was key to getting viewers/buyers through the door. It also helped that it was a bright sunny day when they were taken.

In the op's case it sounds as though the photos were poor and perhaps the house was initially over priced too. I don't think there's any recourse with PB as she'd agreed to using the photos.

BlueCornishPixie Wed 27-Feb-19 19:28:02

I think while it's annoying, you approved the pictures. I think if the house was worth 575 they would have to be really shit pictures to get no viewings at 500k.

You also kind of get what you pay for, you didn't want to pay for an estate agent so went with purple bricks, with purple bricks you have to put tin more of the effort, checking the pictures and listing.

The estate agent could say "I could have sold it at 3mil" once it's safely sold at 500, because they will never have to prove it.

DefinitelyCommisery Wed 27-Feb-19 19:27:37

PB give you 10 months to pay the flat rate regardless of whether you have sold.
I asked them if they could wait until mid April when house completes but they said it was payable in March regardless and they will debit the funds. Well, that’ll decline anyway but it’s just more stress.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Wed 27-Feb-19 19:21:13

I'm In the process of selling my dads well my property now. I'm with House Simple. They don't take anything until the sale is complete. If PB take a cut regards less of whether or not the property sells. What's their incentive to to help get the property to sell.
Funny they don't mention that on the Advert.

DefinitelyCommisery Wed 27-Feb-19 19:20:40

It was on with PB for 6 weeks at 500k still no viewings. Ex had a repossession hearing in January so I had to have a buyer in place to delay proceedings.
There were 4 offers- highest was 520k but buyers hadn’t sold and I needed to have a complete chain to present to the court.
So lots of factors really which I take on board are out of their control but it doesn’t stop the overwhelming feeling of being conned and backed into a corner.
Thank you for all of your replies.

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