Here we go again…..

So the war of words has begun; no, not The Donald and Messrs Putin/Jong-Un/anyone else who has p@$#d him off in the past 24 hours, but Purplebricks (PB) and the recently formed Charter For Independent Estate and Lettings Agents (CIELA).
What started the death stare posturing and verbiage was PB releasing the results of a whopping 1003 people (why that specific number, I have no idea) surveyed, that proclaimed to the masses how totally spiffing PB are in the opinion of the general public (well actually 1003 punters). Personally, I say good luck to them; but it does show that carefully worded questions put to a select audience can produce a specific and desired result. It proves yet again that you can fool some of the people some of the time. CIELA founder Charles Wright responded to PB’s report with a rather sniffy “the report is profoundly offensive”. Calm down Charles it’s a report about estate agents, not The Satanic Verses. He goes on, “especially to all the consumers who had money taken by PB even though they did not sell their home”. ‘Taken’ Charles? That’s a bit strong; they may not have read the small print or they may have been swayed by a very persuasive presentation but to imply theft is a little excessive.  Let us all remember that PB like all of us estate agents does try to sell a vendor’s property, how much effort is involved may well be open to debate. The difference being that we estate agents work on a no fee no sale basis whereas PB take the money upfront so their nether regions aren’t being held over the flames to ‘encourage’ them to achieve a sale. How many people will fall for this? Well 1003 so far. The same 1003 people would appear to have got what they wanted from PB. There is no magic formula people; the right house in the right location at the right price will always sell. So no need for floor plans, videos, strategically placed flower arrangements and exorbitantLy priced candles.
Before Charles has a coronary he should take succour from the fact that there are now an increasing number of people who have not managed to sell their home with PB and are more than a little aggrieved that they parted with their money and have nothing to show for it. In the past 6 weeks I have been approached by 3 vendors who having gone down the PB route, now want to try a “proper estate agent”. All three properties were overvalued-quelle surprise Rodders-and the vendors were shocked to learn that when I rang a local solicitor to get a quote for the conveyancing the price was much cheaper than that given by PB for the same solicitor who is on the PB panel. Without a kick back being factored in, it will be cheaper. What the naughty boyos at PB failed to mention either in their report or any of their sales literature is that in the event of no sale, Mr Vendor does not get his upfront fee returned to him. It is cheeky, it is ballsy and it is legal. It is what we “proper estate agents” make much of and rightly so. If more people who are looking to sell their property are told this when we visit them for a valuation then if the vendor still chooses to venture into the PB stable then best of luck to them.