- Recognisable brand means more trust from buyers
- Fixed-fee pricing means you know how much you'll pay
- Customer reviews vary wildly
- Do not offer 'No Sale, No Fee'
- 'Buy Now, Pay Later' is tied into taking their conveyancing service
Purplebricks Review – As one of the best-known and largest online estate agents, Purplebricks have been in and out of the news for both good and bad. They are a real mixed bag, with people seeming to either love or hate them, so let’s take a closer look at what they offer.
At A Glance:
They are all over the TV and news sites for both good and bad reasons, that makes Purplebricks a difficult one to judge.
Here’s how they perform in the most important areas:
- Potential to save you thousands over high street agents
- Open 24/7 with full online account management
- Additional fees to pay if you don’t use their conveyancing service
- 96% of their customers rated them as ‘Great’ or ‘Excellent’
- Hosted viewings package available for an extra £300
They may be the largest online estate agent but there are some definite red flags appearing about their service already, especially around the ‘hidden fees’. Let’s look at Purplebricks a little closer…
Priced From £999
Choose to pay up-front or on completion
Local experts will value your home for free
Open 7 Days A Week
Support via telephone or email with fast response times
Is Purplebricks The Best Agent For You?
Take our short 6 question quiz to find out which online estate agent is right for you:
How Much Does Purplebricks Cost?
Purplebricks offer a fixed-fee package at £999 (or £1,499 for London properties) which is fairly priced compared to other agents. For this, you get:
- Professional photography
- Listings on Rightmove, Zoopla, and more
- Photobooks for sharing on social media
- Dedicated local expert
- Management of all viewings
- Online viewing schedule
- Offer negotiation service
- Personal support through to completion
- Online platform to manage everything
Unfortunately, Purplebricks also do not offer a ‘No Sale, No Fee’ service. There is the option to pay on completion, but if after 10 months you still haven’t sold, the fee will still be payable. That means there is an element of risk when using Purplebricks service – they get your money regardless of whether they successfully sell your property or not.
Purplebricks don’t often issue coupon codes to help make their service cheaper, but when they do you’ll find it on our Purplebricks voucher code page.
When we conducted our Purplebricks review, we found that the prices for add-ons were not very transparent. Most other online estate agents publish the prices of the extra services clearly, Purplebricks do not.
Other than a fleeting mention that their viewings service costs £300, and an FAQ that states a replacement ‘For Sale’ board costs £60 plus VAT, we couldn’t find any clear information as to what additional services you can purchase and how much they cost.
This lack of transparency is certainly a little concerning but doesn’t automatically make them a bad estate agent.
How Selling With Purplebricks Works:
Like most other online estate agents, Purplebricks offer a free valuation service. In fact, although it’s possible to use Purplebricks without first booking a valuation, you’ll find it hard to work out how to do it on their website.
As Purplebricks do not offer a ‘no sale, no fee’ option you’ll need to either pay the full cost up-front or take advantage of their buy now, pay later option. This essentially means you don’t pay anything until the property is either sold, or 10 months have passed, whichever comes first.
Be aware though that you’ll need to use Purplebricks recommended conveyancing service to remain eligible for the buy now, pay later option.
When you instruct Purplebricks, a local expert will visit you and your property to take photographs, create a floorplan and carry out an EPC if needed. From there, they’ll create your property listing and send it through to you for approval. As soon as you approve the advert, your property will be listed on Rightmove and the other portals.
Like with many agents, Purplebricks allow you to manage all of your viewings, feedback and offers through an online portal. This is great for keeping track of everything.
Purplebricks Reviews From Customers:
So, Is Purplebricks Any Good?
Our Purplebricks review has found that this is probably the largest of all of the online estate agents and by some distance too. That means you’ll see lots of their ‘For Sale’ boards around and plenty of their advertising, particularly on TV.
The advantage of using an online estate agent with a recognisable brand is an increase in trust and awareness from potential buyers. This isn’t something you’ll always get when using lesser-known estate agents, especially those not advertising much.
We have also found that Purplebricks offer a fairly priced service that includes most of the same things as comparable online estate agents. Therefore, from a value for money point of view, there is plenty to like.
Our Purplebricks review has also uncovered a raft of positive reviews on TrustPilot, including plenty from people who appear to have successfully sold their property which is always a good sign.
Purplebricks TV Advert:
Negatives Of Purplebricks:
One obvious negative is the lack of a ‘No Sale, No Fee’ option. This is negated partly by the ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ option but this does mean you have to use Purplebricks conveyancing service if you want to take advantage of it which takes off any shine it offered.
There are also concerns over a lack of transparency, with their website making it difficult to find any prices for the additional services that may be required such as an EPC or premium listing upgrade.
Talking of their website, it’s a really smooth looking website with lots of large colourful imagery. However, it feels like they have gone for looks over functionality as some aspects of the site are quite hard to use. If this is reflected in the listing management area it could make it a headache to manage your sale.
Finally, while there are plenty of positive reviews on TrustPilot, there are also lots of negative reviews scattered around the Internet. Another popular review site, AllAgents, for example, has 94 user reviews with an average rating of less than 2 out of 5.
It’s hard to say what the truth is about Purplebricks as there are so many conflicting reviews. However, there is certainly enough negativity out there to raise some serious doubts about their service. For that reason, we cannot yet give them our full backing.
Purplebricks On Watchdog:
In August 2017, Purplebricks appeared on the BBC TV show Watchdog. The accusations revolved around several allegations of misleading advertising.
In fact, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) have already banned several of the claims that Purplebricks have made.
During the programme there is an interview with a very nervous-looking Michael Bruce, one of the founders of the Purplebricks online estate agency.
Whether those detectable nerves are because there are foundations to the complaints, or whether they were just down to a lack of experience of Mr Bruce, it’s hard to say.
We suggest you watch the video above of Purplebricks on Watchdog and make your own mind up.
A Short History Of Purplebricks:
Purplebricks was founded back in 2012 by brothers Michael and Kenny Bruce alongside David Shepherd. The brothers had sold their successful midlands estate agency Burchell Edwards the previous year and saw online as the future of estate agency.
Through an aggressive advertising campaign and the financial backing of several serial entrepreneurs such as Neil Woodford and Paul Pindar, Purplebricks have established themselves as the largest online estate agent in the UK. In fact, they are estimated to have a 60% share of the market.
More recently, the Purplebricks empire has been expanded and they are currently attempting to establish themselves in the US real estate market.
Purplebricks Review – Summary:
Overall then, our Purplebricks review has found that while they may be the market leaders, there are plenty of questions about the kind of company they are.
There are wildly varying reviews from customers, and some debate as to whether Purplebricks are being unfairly targeted by fake negative reviews, or whether they are unfairly incentivising customers to leave positive reviews.
Whatever the truth is, any company that has featured on BBCs Watchdog programme should be treated with an element of suspicion until all guilt has been disproven. For that reason, we don’t think Purplebricks is probably as bad as some people make out, but there are still enough questions about them to make us hesitant to recommend them.
Compare Purplebricks To Other Online Estate Agents
As you can see, we believe there are several better alternatives to Purplebricks. Choose one of the agents below to see why they are better than Purplebricks: