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This topic is for feedback on Mumsnet product tests. If you're a company / brand and would like to run a product test on Mumsnet email insight@mumsnet.com

MNers review Purplebricks estate agents - read their feedback

(40 Posts)
EmmaMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 09-May-18 16:23:51

This is the feedback thread for the 10 Mumsnetters who tested the Purplebricks online estate agency service to try and sell their home.

Here’s what Purplebricks has to say: “Purplebricks has become one of the UK’s largest and most successful estate agents because we combine amazing Local Property Experts (LPEs) with world class technology that enables us to give a personalised, 24/7 service. The vast majority of our LPEs come from the high street and joined us because they recognise this is how estate agency should be – a proper estate agent, fixed and transparent fees, no commission and a clever portal that puts you in complete control of your sale. You’ll see everything, all your offers, viewings, feedback, the performance of your advert, at any time, from anywhere in the world, at the click of a button. And don’t forget to check out our 40,000 Trustpilot reviews, too. We’re really proud of them and it will give you a chance to see what other customers have said about us.”

Testers please answer the following questions:

First lot of questions: impressions on the valuation
- How helpful was your Purplebricks valuation?
- Was it made clear how Purplebricks works?
- Were you confident with your Local Property Expert’s knowledge and expertise?
- What most appealed to you about the Purplebricks service?

Second lot of questions: putting your property up for sale
- How pleased were you with your advert in terms of property description, photos and speed it went live?
- Did you feel in control through the process?
- Did you feel supported by your Local Property Expert throughout the process?

Everyone who leaves the required feedback will be given a £50 voucher of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck!

MNHQ

Standard Insight T&Cs apply

mrsmandm Wed 09-May-18 16:45:54

- How helpful was your Purplebricks valuation?
It was very clear, the rationale was explained to me and the Estate Agent clearly knew the local market. I had previously had a valuation from another online agent and they were way out.
- Was it made clear how Purplebricks works?
Yes, I had read up a lot online, and had been told some scare stories by local agents, but the estate agent put my mind at rest.
- Were you confident with your Local Property Expert’s knowledge and expertise?
Very, he really knew the local market and had lots of experience in branches of local EAs.
- What most appealed to you about the Purplebricks service?
I really liked the agent, David, he had a calm presence and I felt confident that he would work hard to get me a good sale.

mummyofcutetwo Wed 09-May-18 16:56:45

Impressions on the valuation

- How helpful was your Purplebricks valuation?
Very helpful indeed. The local agent has filled me with confidence due to his enthusiasm and knowledge.

- Was it made clear how Purplebricks works?
Yes, it was.

- Were you confident with your Local Property Expert’s knowledge and expertise?
Yes, I feel confident.

- What most appealed to you about the Purplebricks service?
The valuation I was given is in line with that of other estate agents. I love that you can look at the everything online or on the Purplebricks app, making you feel informed and in control.
The advert approval process was easy. A few drafts went back and to and then the finished ad went live, all within one evening.

Elllicam Wed 09-May-18 17:08:08

- How helpful was your Purplebricks valuation?
I felt the valuation was very clear and helpful, the agent Paul showed us exactly what price he thought the property would go for and explained why he thought that, showing us other sold prices in the area.
- Was it made clear how Purplebricks works?
Yes our agent explained exactly how the process worked and we were confident
- Were you confident with your Local Property Expert’s knowledge and expertise?
Yes our agent is very knowledgeable about our area and about the selling process. We have felt very confident and supported.
- What most appealed to you about the Purplebricks service?
The thing that we liked most about the purplebricks service (apart from the very reasonable price!) was that it is so flexible. We put our house on the market last Friday (bank holiday weekend) and with any other estate agent we would probably have been hanging on until today to get viewers but we have had a lot of people through over the weekend. We really like the process of requesting a viewing, we get a text to ask if we are available for a certain time and we can accept that time or change it. Compared to other (far more expensive) estate agents the communication is far better and I have really appreciated the app/website as it is really easy to understand and see feedback from viewers.

Elllicam Wed 09-May-18 18:15:54

And our house is now under offer! 6 days and over the Home report!! Thanks purple bricks!

emdude Wed 09-May-18 18:38:38

- How helpful was your Purplebricks valuation?
Very helpful. The agent had obviously done her research and came well prepared. She was very straightforward and didn’t try to convince us our house was worth more than it actually was (which agents have done to us in the past). She explained how she had come to a valuation she’d given and we quickly agreed on a selling price.

- Was it made clear how Purplebricks works?
Yes. I had done a bit of research prior to her arriving. Once we met our agent she gave us a explanation of all parts of the website, and the app. It all seemed quite simple to use.

- Were you confident with your Local Property Expert’s knowledge and expertise?
Extremely. Our local agent, Karen, is excellent. She has worked in our region for a long time and has a great grasp on the market. She worked extremely quickly and efficiently and had our property on the market within a day of meeting her. Her advert was well written, and pictures were also very good. We couldn’t have been happier with the service we have received.

- What most appealed to you about the Purplebricks service?
Being a bit of a control freak I have loved the ability to login and see advert views, viewings booked, feedback etc. I like being able to directly liaise with the viewers as this cuts out a lot of unnecessary faffing. I’m also extremely impressed with the speed and efficiency of the service we have been given.

SeaWitchly Thu 10-May-18 14:15:50

How helpful was your Purplebricks valuation?
Not sure at the moment to be honest... we had our home valued by other local real estate and they estimated the selling price to be lower than our Purplebricks agent. However our agent took this information on board and also lowered the asking price once he realised the dimensions of our property were smaller than those he had previously valued against.

Was it made clear how Purplebricks works?
I think this is something I am beginning to understand more about as we go along.... So what I gather is the next stage is for an advert to be developed and placed on the Purplebricks website, we can then arrange our own viewings or our agent can accompany potential buyers.

Were you confident with your Local Property Expert’s knowledge and expertise?
Our agent seemed to be familiar with the broader area but not our specific area.... However he was willing to put in the research and was good with communicating what he had found out about the local property market.

What most appealed to you about the Purplebricks service?
Helpful agent who was enthusiastic and good with communication.
The website seems okay and user friendly thus far... But we haven't yet posted our ad [as the photos haven't been done] so will be able to comment more once that is up!

ginauk84 Fri 11-May-18 09:40:12

- How helpful was your Purplebricks valuation?
We felt he was about right, he talked about other properties in the area and what they are on the market for. Our property is awkward as there is nothing like it in the village so it is difficult to value so he had compared to properties in similar villages nearby and we felt the valuation was about right.

- Was it made clear how Purplebricks works?
Yes although it would have been good to have had the option there and then to have photos done for the advert.

- Were you confident with your Local Property Expert’s knowledge and expertise?
Yes he was familiar with the area and lived quite locally too. He really sounded enthusiastic and confident it would sell.

- What most appealed to you about the Purplebricks service?
Our rep wasn't trying to push the service on us at all he told us all the info and said at the end of the day it's up to you, have a think and let me know. He wasn't a pushy salesman at all, he was really down to earth and enthusiastic.

lovebeingamother Fri 11-May-18 22:49:21

- How helpful was your Purplebricks valuation?
The valuation was given as a wide range and the lower range was just over 4% lower than the price paid for the house 2 years back. This was a shock as we have added value to the house. When bought, the house was in a bad state and we renovated and refurbished completely including new kitchen, bathrooms, flooring, some doors, windows etc.
So, whilst the top of the valuation range was what I expected, the bottom of the range was completely unexpected and did not match with other three agents I have had to value the house or with the fact that it was lower than the price paid for the house 2 years back . The property market has not gone down in this area. It is stagnant but not spiralling downward.
I am not sure what to make of the valuation. I asked the agent and they are of the view that if a property hasn't sold in 3 months (our property is already in market with another agent), it is certainly over-priced. The opinion makes sense but considering the location (town centre, proximity to rail station and much sought after partially selective & high ranking state school), I feel it is conservative.

- Was it made clear how Purplebricks works?
This is absolutely clear from the website itself. Most of the features are self-explanatory and the agent has listed the benefits of selling with Purplebricks succinctly. I am fairly confident about how the whole process works. Theoretically, it looks a great way of selling.

- Were you confident with your Local Property Expert’s knowledge and expertise?
They seem to have done their homework and have researched well. I was given information on the market competition and current similar properties for sale. I felt they knew the market well.

- What most appealed to you about the Purplebricks service?
It was very convenient to arrange the valuation, send messages and view report etc. Everything could be done in a few clicks and for that reason, I find Purplebricks very appealing. When compared with traditional agents, this process is very straightforward and helpful. I can seek all the information on Purplebricks website.

ToffeeNosed Tue 15-May-18 12:18:01

First lot of questions: impressions on the valuation

- How helpful was your Purplebricks valuation?

Standard. We’ve already had 2 high street valuations and one online one so had a rough idea of price which has ranged in +/- £35k difference. PB Agent seemed to be a bit confused as to how to value the property, said they couldn’t find much comparison and did ask if we had other valuations which I thought was a bit of a no-no (but they all have asked that). Initially couldn’t decide if it was worth more than x, discussed about high pricing putting people off viewing. Could try x then dropping back to offers over x, as a second option, seemed to be confident of their strategies.

Discussed viewing options, open days, single viewings. Asked our position etc. Discussed Rightmove cycles and how many people the advertisement would reach in our county. Confident that we would get an offer out of e.g. 15 viewings.

- Was it made clear how Purplebricks works?

Did go into a bit of a PB monologue but did get through important points:

To check out Trust Pilot, look at Facebook reviews. Who would be hosting the viewings, how many sales PB have recently had. Where it was advertised, the process, i.e. pictures, floorplan, agreement, goes live, e-mail alerts to purchasers, feedback.

Performance Report: How many days on market, tracking, every viewer status, feedback, if an offer has been made, 2 weekly marketing review, 1st month market review via group message. Mid month phone call to discuss marking that you can always see status in portal.

Offers made are via website & are 24/7 *(not sure about this, would have liked my agent to have been the point of contact not a call centre, however that should mean that there are no allegiances i.e. playing us off against the local builder or other favoured buyers etc).

They Find out buyers’ position, negotiate with buyers & qualify buyer. Find if the mortgage is approved in principle, evidence of a deposit, Cash: bank statements, is there a chain – contact other agents. Post sales. The department deals with solicitors, us, buyers and chases progress.

They are not a no sale no fee agent. You pay a fee & if house doesn’t sell you can resume at a later date. Payable irrespective if you don’t sell. It’s a lifetime fee, you can click at a later date and your house is back on the market. EPC is extra at £84

They use Advance Conveyancing: 10mts interest free credit on fee if you agree to use their conveyances. Pay the fee when the 10mts is up or when you complete or drop out, whichever is sooner. £2,000 all in including solicitors. Compared with £3600 approx with a high street EA. Not including solicitors.

T&C can be found on the website.

- Were you confident with your Local Property Expert’s knowledge and expertise?

Agent had already talked about their many years Estate Agency experience in initial pre-evaluation phone call. Agent seemed quietly confident, not pushy, good first impressions (not reeking of aftershave/perfumes nor full of attitude or vacuous or using buzz-words).
Did say that it would be different people in the team taking on the property viewings but same as the high street Agent.

Gave them a tour of the house, was positive in all rooms and picked out features of interest. Was the only agent to look in our loft space and suggest taking a picture of this as a selling point, in other valuations the agents didn’t even bother to look.

Said property was in a good location for schools, knew catchment area and had personal experience of town itself. Seems enthusiastic & engaged. Overall happy.

- What most appealed to you about the Purplebricks service?

They are doing the same job as the high street Estate Agent in our case for 1/3 of the cost. Having much experience as buyer/seller with the High Street Agent I personally feel that they don’t do a lot for the money and often alienate the buyer. I feel that the priority is advertising, photographs, getting the advert on to the major internet sites which Purplebricks provide.

In comparison to a high street agent, I am concerned about the next steps and their flexibility in getting viewers through the door and whether click-to-view will be as accessible as a telephone appointment. We previously tried to view via Purplebricks’ website and the agent kept cancelling our appointment because they only wanted to do times we couldn’t and we lost the house. I did bring this up, that particular agent was known to them and we were assured they had left now but I am tentative about the next stage.

gloopygloop Tue 15-May-18 16:07:48

How helpful was your Purplebricks valuation?
Very helpful - the whole process was very easy and organised. The agent was really lovely and also very realistic in terms of her valuation.
- Was it made clear how Purplebricks works?
yes she talked us through the whole process very clearly
- Were you confident with your Local Property Expert’s knowledge and expertise?
yes, she explained that she has over 15 years experience working as an estate agent and could talk knowledgeably about the area, she had clearly done some research into our street and our area which I was impressed by.
- What most appealed to you about the Purplebricks service?
The fact that it is all online/emails. it's very clear when someone is booking a viewing, the feedback is online . From our experience of looking for a house, we have found this much easier than trying to call and arrange appointments. Hopefully people wanting to view our house will feel the same!

mummyofcutetwo Fri 25-May-18 12:52:56

Second lot of questions: putting your property up for sale

- How pleased were you with your advert in terms of property description, photos and speed it went live?

I was very happy. It went live just the day after he came out to the property.

- Did you feel in control through the process?

Yes, I felt in control and well supported. Every little comment or suggestion I made about the draft advert was looked at, but the process was still amazingly smooth and quick.

- Did you feel supported by your Local Property Expert throughout the process?
Very much so. He’s been very reassuring throughout the process so far.

mrsmandm Fri 25-May-18 13:12:30

Second lot of questions: putting your property up for sale
- How pleased were you with your advert in terms of property description, photos and speed it went live?
The photos and description were really good. Lots of friends commented on the quality of the photos. It's easy to make any edits on the website. I wasn't keen on the photo of the front of the house, so the estate agent came back twice, one time hanging around waiting for the clouds to disappear so he could get the best photo.

- Did you feel in control through the process?
Our local agent kept a close eye on viewing requests and followed all up promptly, consulting with me throughout.

I had a slight issue with the website. Once you've submitted any edits to the advert online, you then have to wait for PB to approve these, and can't make any more edits in the meantime (which slowed down the process a little as I was keen to keep going back and adding more info). If I'd realised I would have made all the edits in one go. Also, I could not cancel viewings myself on the website as they were being managed by the local expert, not a problem as he was so good and on the ball with requests, but you do get a bit less direct control.

- Did you feel supported by your Local Property Expert throughout the process?
He has been amazing, I can't sing his praises highly enough. Very professional and a great support through the stress of selling. Feels like he was genuinely excited for us when we got offers. My local estate agent warned me that I'd end up doing it all myself if I went with PB, but it has not been the case at all, he has checked in with me at least every other day and guided us through every stage of the process. I've been recommending him to everyone I know.

gloopygloop Fri 25-May-18 16:15:49

Second lot of questions: putting your property up for sale
- How pleased were you with your advert in terms of property description, photos and speed it went live?
Very satisfied. The photos are realistic and don’t make out house look bigger than it is. We liked that we could edit the description ourselves although we didn’t need to do much. It went live very quickly once everything had been checked by us
- Did you feel in control through the process?
Yes very much so
- Did you feel supported by your Local Property Expert throughout the process?
Definitely she has been very helpful, took great photos and has kept in touch with us where needed.

emdude Fri 25-May-18 17:26:20

- How pleased were you with your advert in terms of property description, photos and speed it went live?
We were very pleased. The agent arranged to do photos quickly, put the advert together the same day and (after a few tweaks) the advert went live that evening. Having sold with a high street agent before I couldn’t believe how fast the process could actually be!!

With regards to the pictures - they were well taken, showed the house in its best light, without making it look bigger than it is. The description was also good. It made the house sound appealing without being overly descriptive and flowery.

- Did you feel in control through the process?
Very much so. I like that we could tweak any wording in the advert, the order of the photos etc. We only had to make tiny changes, and they were approved by the agent within the hour!!

- Did you feel supported by your Local Property Expert throughout the process?
Yes we have. Couldn’t recommend our agent, Karen, enough. She’s has kept in touch on a regular basis, assisted with any queries, assisted with rebooking of viewings (even though we’re doing them ourselves) and been on hand for any questions we’ve had. She is extremely quick to answer us when we call or text.

We had one unfortunate situation of a buyer making an offer and then pulling out. Karen handled this brilliantly and I felt she was genuinely gutted when she rang to tell us!!

I will be recommending her to anyone who asks..!

ChickenVindaloo2 Sat 26-May-18 13:16:46

Well this feedback isn't representative of PB users as a whole!
It's just propaganda.

Snookie00 Sat 26-May-18 13:30:41

Would be inclined to agree Chicken. Never sold with them but my experience as a buyer has been dire.

Poor quality photos, can’t book same day viewing, heavy sales job from their call centre in the midlands to try to get our business. I was then called by 3 different reps to get feedback on the house. The whole process seemed disjointed. The house we looked at is still on the market 3 months later when everything else here sells within a fortnight.

Would definitely not use them to get a premium price in a buoyant market. Maybe if things are slow and just want to sell cheaply.

spanglisher Mon 28-May-18 18:29:57

I'm not part of this trial but I must say I'm really surprised by how enthusiastic all these buyers are, as this is the complete opposite of my experience. The agent turned up late and had real problems finding the problem, despite it being on a main road in London. It turned out he was running late from an appointment in Mayfair, and had been in Ealing earlier that day. As I'm in Brent anyone who knows London will know this is a huge very varied area so he was most definitely not local by usual definitions. He was extremely defensive at every question I asked, and did not even look around the property, simply walking in and sitting at the table, making me wonder why we couldn't have just done this by the phone. He didn't explain the fees leaving me genuinely shocked that fees are payable even if they don't sell, so zero incentive for them to put in any effort. They also insist on you using their own conveyancing company, which I know from bitter experience is guaranteed to add months to the process if anything is non-standard. Adding an extra premium for London, even on a low value flat meant they weren't even much cheaper than a local agent. Needless to say I declined their offer, went with a local agent and had an offer for the asking price within a matter of days

ChickenVindaloo2 Mon 28-May-18 21:35:40

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

ginauk84 Tue 29-May-18 09:47:50

Impressions on the valuation
- How helpful was your Purplebricks valuation?
Very helpful, it was around what we expected.
- Was it made clear how Purplebricks works?
Yes - very easy, uncomplicated service.
- Were you confident with your Local Property Expert’s knowledge and expertise?
Very - he lived locally and knew the area well.
- What most appealed to you about the Purplebricks service?
Cheaper than a high street agent and having the app to access everything makes it easier.

Putting your property up for sale
- How pleased were you with your advert in terms of property description, photos and speed it went live?
Yes very pleased as it was live within 24 hours. Very easy to view and our property expert was on his email answering questions straight away.
- Did you feel in control through the process?
Yes
- Did you feel supported by your Local Property Expert throughout the process?
Very much so, he is quick to respond to any queries.

emdude Tue 29-May-18 09:49:13

Chicken...

Can I just ask why I'm not considered a 'discerning' vendor? And what you're definition of this would be?

Also be interested how you seem to know the background / situation of the people that have been picked?!

lovebeingamother Tue 29-May-18 10:52:10

Chicken....
The feedback is not cherry-picked. At least in my case, I was given no restrictions on the type of feedback I could leave here. I am not even sure that the agent knows that their service is being reviewed because if they were aware, my agent would have been more enthusiastic with the advert and communication. I instructed them on Monday, received communication back the same day to say they will call me the next day. I did not receive any call or message until Thursday when I followed up with them. The property was visited on Friday, photos were taken and since then again no communication. I have sent them two messages and today is Tuesday and I am yet to hear from them or know when the advert will be ready. In a nutshell, it has been over a week since my instruction and the advert is still awaited. So, not the speed of service I expect from an online agent and my feedback will reflect this.
However, you cannot tar all PB agents by the same brush and so one's individual experience or the experience of the ones around you can be different to mine or the other reviewers here.

Spanglisher & Snookie00....
As a buyer, I had a mixed experience with PurpleBricks. I found it very easy to book an appointment and my messages were answered very promptly. During the viewing, I found the agent to be very courteous, polite but lacking detailed information about the house. They did not know where the keys were to the outbuildings and said could not show us those. We pointed to the bunch of keys by the front door and asked if these could have the outbuilding keys. Those were indeed the keys to the outbuilding. I felt the agent was not being pro-active and not doing their best to show the house in its best light. If I were the seller, I would not have liked that attitude. The follow-up on the viewing was an automatic email generated by PurpleBricks system. I left the feedback saying that I will be in a position to say more in a week's time. That statement should have resulted in a phone call or message from the agent to find out where we stood a week later and were we still interested in the property. I heard nothing from PB system or the agent and actually remember thinking to myself that as an owner, I would want this to be followed up by the agent. Also, the house was showing as 'Sold' by another agent and was still being marketed by PurpleBricks and the agent was not completely clear on the reason for this.

Chicken....I feel the reviews need to be objective and am going to do that in this thread. I am sure the other reviewers are doing the same. I have no reason to believe otherwise. Why do you think the reviewers will give positive feedback if they had a negative experience? Who do you think is cherry-picking? And why? The thread is open to all and anyone can chip in with their experiences as is evident from Snookie00 and Spanglisher's posts.

lovebeingamother Tue 29-May-18 12:45:42

- How pleased were you with your advert in terms of property description, photos and speed it went live?

I instructed the agent 7 days back. The photos were taken 4 days back and I am yet to see the advert. I am expecting it today at some point, having heard from the agent but can't comment on the advert until I see it. I can comment on the speed of the service though and it is slow. I have had quicker turnaround with traditional agents with regards to advert.

- Did you feel in control through the process?

I did not feel in control through this part of the process. I am dependent upon the agent and their ability to create an advert, show it to me and go live. I was not called back when I was told I would be and it took time to arrange an appointment with the agent when I was not expecting that to be any issue at all. I was expecting delay from my tenant's side as I had to seek their permission and check availability before the agent could take photos. The tenants were very obliging and allowed access but the agent took some time to make an appointment.

- Did you feel supported by your Local Property Expert throughout the process?

Really can't comment on this but may be able to add a comment later when the advert actually is sent to me and the property goes live which I hope happens today!

AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered Tue 29-May-18 17:37:22

I've never sold a home through Purple Bricks but bought our current (forever house) home through them. It was brilliant - we were able to contact the seller directly and sorted out tons of solicitor problems between us with zero unpleasantness.

The agent was lovely and utterly honest about the property (whilst of course highlighting its positive features).

If we ever sell (doubtful but you never know) I'd use them definitely.

CatchingBabies Tue 29-May-18 18:36:40

As a buyer I actively avoided any house advertised with purple bricks.

The first house advertised with them I arranged a viewing, this wasn’t a simple process where I could say I was available on x,y and z day, let me know when the seller is also availble. I had to specify an exact time on an exact day when I wanted to come and then they checked, if it was a no I had to submit a request for an hour later on the same day and so on until I eventually got a yes. That alone should have made me run but I eventually booked a viewing and went along.

The house was advertised as a 4 bed house, they knew we were looking for a 4 bed house. They failed to mention that the 4th Bedroom was a loft conversion that did not meet building regs and did not have a permanent staircase, only a fold away ladder that could only be opened from the outside so was totally unsuitable and illegal to be used as a bedroom. Complete waste of time. I told them at the time it was no good and why.

Despite that they rang me for feedback, twice. They also rang me 3 weeks later to see if I was still interested as the seller had reduced the price. What part of it is not a 4 bed house was hard to understand? They also sent me similar houses I may be interested in, such as a 2 bed cottage, a flat 75 miles away from the area I was looking at and a 4 bed house where the 4th bedroom was actually the living room.

I had to get them to remove me from there mailing list and after that didn’t view another house that was advertised with them, no matter how perfect it looked it wasn’t worth the hassle!

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