Two common misconceptions that need debunking straight off the bat:
- Nope, Purplebricks was not the first online agent to ever hit the market.
- And nope, they’re not the only “online” agent (technically, “hybrid agent“) around. Far from it, in fact. Online agents have been multiplying by the day for years.
Compared to traditional high-street estate agents, Purplebricks (the biggest and most popular online agent by a country mile) may seem like a mouth-watering and tempting proposition, but when compared to their own digital kind… they certainly don’t have the best reputation (3.7 out of 5 on TrustPilot at the time of writing this post), and despite them becoming an absolutely FREE house-selling service from December 2023, you might be surprised to learn that they’re not always the cheapest house-selling service.
So let’s take a look at what’s going on and how it’s possible to find some much cheaper alternatives. Take a walk with me…
Purplebricks FREE house selling-service
First, let me throw-up a snapshot of Purplebricks alluring free service…
I’ve already written an in-depth overview of Purplebricks free service and how it’s all possible, so if you want to learn more, that’s the place to go.
On the surface, the offer seems incredible and a stampede towards it seems like the only reasonable outcome. However, if you’re a seller that requires any of their optional add-on features (e.g. Hosted Viewings, Professional Photography etc) it quickly becomes apparent how “free” quickly gets tossed out the window.
Purplebricks optional add-ons
Digital Enhanced professional photos & 360 virtual tour and professional floorplan
Everything included in the Free Package, plus: Digitally-enhanced professional photos, 360° virtual tour and a premium floorplan, Rightmove premium listing and a discount on mortgage advice (saving of £150).
Full house Package
Everything included in the Boost Package, plus: hosted viewings and mortgage advice (worth £299).
Price/Service Comparisons with alternative online estate agents
It must be stated, if you don’t need any of the extras, Purplebricks FREE house-selling service is a great option. I’m personally not aware of a more cost-effective solution.
However, should any of the optional extras become necessary and consequently added to the shopping basket, the overall cost begins to escalate significantly – a cost that no longer remains competitive, and can start to feel painful.
Right, so let’s start crunching some numbers to determine how much extra you’re currently having to cough up to work with the market leaders, Purplebricks, instead of some of the other respectable options…
The best way to find the best value and top-rated online estate agent is to use the online estate agent comparison table – you can use filters to include only the features and services you require, and the table will return the most cost-effective options to you.
Please note, the options provided may not always be direct equivalents with like-for-like features included; rather, they are alternative choices that offer similar services. For example, while Purplebricks’ free service incorporates an in-person valuation (where a local Purplebricks agent visits your property for assessment), many of the cheaper alternatives I mention might not include this feature. The duration of the service is also important to bear in mind.
If you want a Rightmove listing…
Purplebricks charge £299 for a 6 months Rightmove listing.
While it is entirely possible (and proven) to generate a buttload of enquiries by just having a Zoopla listing, it would be disingenuous of me to underplay the value of a Rightmove listing. Make no mistake, Rightmove is the leading UK property portal – it attracts more buyers and sellers than anyone else by quite a staggering margin. So needless to say, many sellers want that magical Rightmove listing to ensure maximum exposure, which is precisely why many will be tempted to cough up £299 for the privilege.
However, there are other online agents that include both a Zoopla & Rightmove listing for a buttload less…
If you want Professional Photography…
Purplebricks charge £699 for digital enchanted professional photos & 360 virtual tour and professional floorplan.
It’s been proven that photos can make or cripple a listing – having direct impact on interest – so if wasting time and money isn’t on the agenda, investing in high-quality photos is usually a wise decision.
Of course, outsourcing this service isn’t always necessary, especially if you possess a high-end camera with a wide lens, a discerning eye for detail, and a grasp of compositional techniques. However, I say proceed with caution and play to your strengths. We’ve all seen the dingy and wonky photo fails on Rightmove, taken by self-appointed photography enthusiasts. Just don’t.
If you want Hosted viewings…
Purplebricks charge £899 for unlimited hosted viewings.
If you’re comfortable conducting your own viewings, then I say DO IT. Bringing in hired help for this task tends to be the most extravagant expense by far. This feature alone pushes Purplebricks service from free to £899. That’s no joke.
Here are a couple of cheaper options if hosted viewings is on your list of requirements:
If you want Rightmove listing, Professional Photography & Hosted viewings…
Purplebricks charge £1798 for their Boost and hosted viewings add-on, which includes a Rightmove listing, Professional Photography & Hosted Viewings.
We’re starting to talk serious money.
Like I said, once you start filling up the shopping basket with optional extras, which by and large are required by many sellers, Purplebricks free service starts to get a little spicy.
Here are a few alternative packages offered by other online agents that include all of the above for a whole lot less…
Even Yopa, the second largest UK online estate agent, ends up being more cost-effective than Purplebricks when you start adding on all the bells and whistles. Their service closely aligns with Purplebricks in terms of offerings, yet proves to be more economical when considering additional services.
What/who do I recommend? Err… shuffle through the options in the comparison table and find which agent/package makes most sense for you. But the reality is, by and large, they all bloody offer the same services, and are all rated roughly the same *shrugs shoulders*
Just to clarify, my intention is not to encourage or discourage anyone from using Purplebricks or any other online agent. It’s solely about raising awareness of available options and aiding in the discovery of the most fitting choice for individual needs. As mentioned, if Purplebricks’ free core service includes all your requirements, I believe it’s a great offer. However, if additional features are needed, there
might be are better deals elsewhere.
As always, thoughts and comments welcome…
Disclaimer: I’m just a landlord blogger; I’m 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I’m a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.