Long-established private sales site The Little House Company is to relaunch and rebrand – saying it now has many more agents than private sellers using it.
The rebrand, as in the video we have linked to below, shows a logo which has a hint of OnTheMarket.
Nick Marr, partner, told Eye that in some 15 years of running the site, it was found that eight out of ten private advertisers still require the services of a professional – whether for a valuation or help in selling if a private sale did not work out.
From next week the site will be TheHouseShop.com whose tagline will be “It’s your choice”.
The site will still allow private advertisers to post properties, alongside high street agents, online agents and developers.
According to Marr, over 4,000 agents have signed up in the last two years.
He also said that an opportunity for growth had presented itself by OnTheMarket’s ban on online agents.
Marr said: “We think a rebrand reflects our intentions for the future to be a gateway to a number of services. The ‘Little’ in our name does not reflect our intentions, and it made sense to rebrand to fit our new model and to make it clear we are an inclusive website.”
In early 2013, Marr opened the site up to free listings from agents, mainly in an attempt to solve one of the business’s biggest problems – agents constantly pitching to its private sellers.
Marr said that agents were using The Little House Company as a source of leads and that if he accepted agency listings it would help formalise arrangements.
He also said at the time that agents needed more choice than just Rightmove and Zoopla, with the NAEA’s doomed venture PropertyLive closing.
Marr now says: “There has been a dramatic increase since 2013 in the number of agents listing with us. In fact we now have more agents listing than private vendors.”
Home owners will be able to conduct online valuations, but also request professional valuations from an agent. The new site will also offer the choice to compare high street estate agents, online estate agents, or selling by auction.
Advertising on the site will be free for estate agents.
For private sellers it will be free for 14 days and then cost £34.99 per month.
The site will offer a number of outsourced services available to both home owners and agents alike that include professional photography, floor plans and EPCs.
Marr said the new site will not be an agent but an advertising company, and therefore does not have to belong to a redress scheme.
It does not advertise its listings on Rightmove and Zoopla, and any private vendor who wanted to be on them could go through one of the agents listing on the House Shop.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Martin Charlick founded Little House Publishing in September 2000, selling it in September 2007. From 2007 to 2009, Charlick was a business consultant with Zoopla Property Group.
Nick Marr said he has run the site independently, and not part of any other company for the last five years. In March 2014, the site has come under Property Data Media LLP.
The video explaining the next step in the site’s evolution is here