Purplebricks accused of hiking fees for second time this year in Australia – but firm says new package includes viewings

Purplebricks has been accused of raising its fees for the second time this year in Australia.

However, Purplebricks says it has not raised prices but is now including accompanied viewings, previously an optional extra, in its private treaty price packages.

The Australian Financial Review says that in New South Wales and Victoria, sellers now have to pay $6,769, up from $5,999, an increase of almost 13%.

In Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia, the minimum upfront fee has increased to $5,769, up from $4,999 and an increase of more than 15%.

In January it hiked its fees by 33% in Victoria, and by 10% in other states.

However, a spokesperson for Purplebricks in Australia said that the cost of selling a property with accompanied viewings is unchanged.

The spokesperson said: “Previously this was an ‘add-on’ feature but given it has been selected by almost all of our customers and is proven to contribute to a stronger result, it is now included.”

The Australian Financial Review claims that the cost of selling a home through Purplebricks Australia is now about four times more expensive than using Purplebricks in the UK, where vendors outside London pay £849 ($1,541).

In Australia, Purplebricks offers vendors the choice of a private treaty sale or taking their property to auction. These latter prices are unchanged.

Meanwhile a new threat to traditional estate agents has emerged in Australia – amid claims that it is bigger than that posed by Purplebricks.

The Real Estate News Group says that the ‘assisted vendor DIY’ model was tiny five years ago – but almost overnight has mushroomed.

Vendor DIY agencies listed over 6,500 homes last year and this – more than four times the 1,500 listed in the same period by Purplebricks.

Names of agencies specialising in agent-free options include BuyMyPlace and No Agent Property.

Typically, there is an upfront fee of $700 which is charged to list the property. Vendors get a signboard to erect themselves.

More expensive packages include photos, floorplans and brochures, sold to vendors at a premium.

However, the Real Estate News Group reports that half of the 6,500 properties listed failed to sell, and those that did took over 300 days.

https://www.afr.com/real-estate/residential/nearly-7000-upfront-purplebricks-increases-fees-for-second-time-this-year-20180911-h159e4

https://sarealestatenews.com.au/fast-growing-agency-model-eclipses-purplebricks-and-could-cut-out-agents/

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32 Comments

  1. ArthurHouse02

    “Previously this was an ‘add-on’ feature but given it has been selected by almost all of our customers and is proven to contribute to a stronger result, it is now included.”

    -meaning- No one was paying for us to do the viewings, so now we are making them pay for it instead!

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  2. smile please

    Dommy and Ducky, where are you?

    See the share price is below £2.50 now …… Purple bubble bursting?

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    1. Mark Walker

      I see no reason not to set a new alert for 200p a share.  (I set one for 250p a few days ago)

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    2. Hillofwad71

      If you read Cyberduck’s posts on LSE  share chat site you will find he is fairly  ambivalent about Purplebricks  and  is not currently invested . He has been arguing the case  that the current SP is filled with hope value about Bricks success overseas

      To be fair It seems that his view is that Purplebricks are no worse or better than estate agents generally

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      1. AgentV

        I agree….its a great pity he has never taken the time to find a good local, knowledgeable independent, who knows what they are doing and cares a lot!

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        1. cyberduck46

          How do you find these people? Used plenty of Traditional Agents and no luck so far.

           

          I was very happy with my PB LPE though. The only agent who hasn’t got me signed up and then a few months later told me to reduce the price. An experienced agent by the way. Not as local as the guys on the high street but let’s face it if you don’t know roughly what your own house is worth then you must be in a pretty small minority.

           

          Not sure why Traditional Agents get so much joy out of watching investors lose money. Bitterness probably but what have investors who have perhaps invested a couple of thousand done wrong?

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          1. Woodhen

            Maybe because these investors are trying to put the High Street out of business for their own financial gain.

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          2. AgentV

            Its not bitterness cyberduck…its the fact that you lose business simply because the investors money is being used to subsidise your competitors fees to a point where you are unable to compete and make enough money to pay yourself. When you are a very small business, that means sometimes you don’t have enough money to pay your mortgage or buy food.

            So investors money of a couple of thousand into a business that was clearly aimed at destroying many small family supporting businesses throughout the country, in order to gain market share to make personal gains of millions for a few, does become an issue. 

            BSOS23PC
             

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          3. smile please

            Why do we take joy seeing shareholders loose money …….. Because we keep warning them and they prefer to believe the smoke and mirrors of PB

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          4. Mark Walker

            Whoa, whoa, whoa.

            I jumped on the slate PB bandwagon precisely because of a worry for investors.  (No, I never thought I’d see the day either)  There was systematic gaming of portals statistics prior to floating.  The portals eventually got around to clamping down on it, to an extent…  At the point of floating the company / companies were trading outside of the laws of Estate Agency.  They have thrown their hat in with further manipulation of the general public via TP reviews.  They took their Facebook comments section down because they are so reputation sensitive.  Landlords / tenants / sellers / buyers seem to have to take to Twitter to get a response out of them.  This is all just the UK.  They are now being spanked for illegality in Australia.

            And after all that… they don’t make any money!  All they have done is burn through investors’ cash.  They made a short-term killing off hope value on the shares and that is now crashing down with the losers looking like Lloyds’ names.  I can see a lot of folks ending up in the dock before this is over.

             

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            1. PeeBee

              You be’s a proper ‘ornery bu99er when something gets yer dander up, Mr W – duzzint yer!

              An 100% on point one, to boot.

              To me, however, the investors have simply been the cash cow to bring us to where we are today.  Their losses mean nothing to me.  Every gambler knows their luck can go both ways.  If people don’t know or understand that ‘investing’ is a gamble then they shouldn’t be allowed to ‘invest’. 

              Maybe wannabe investors should be made to sit a test.  It would be interesting to see how many already active would fail…

              MY ‘jumping on the slate bandwagon’ was – and still is – in defence of the industry and its’ customers. 

              And for the record, the 3-year (and counting) journey didn’t start on the PurpleBrick Road…

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              1. Mark Walker

                489.80p 31/01/2018
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                300.00p 03/08/2018
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                236.33p 18/09/2018

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                1. man perero

                  A 16.5% decline in the share price since Friday must make those recent corporate investors at over £3.00 feel really sick !! Next stop £2.00 !!

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                  1. man perero

                    Three hours on and its down to £2.19 !! Next stop £1.75 !! Fundamentals will always come through in the end. Enjoying the ride!!

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                    1. P-Daddy

                      And now 212…this will be hitting stop loss territory soon which is no doubt accelerating the falls. That’s a 10% daily fall…interesting although the volumes are not at panic levels! I bet it is to do with the much publicised Carney comments last week which will be having a big affect on sentiment and I know from everyone I’m speaking to..it has people nervous and maybe is now starting to filter through to the call centre mob and not only the bricks and mortar agents.

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              2. Mark Walker

                Normally, yes.
                But not when regulators were AWOL and we know of the blatant dishonesty.

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                1. AgentV

                  But not when regulators were AWOL and we know of the blatant dishonesty.

                  Like ‘we are real estate agents’?

                  BSOS23PC

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              3. AgentV

                To me, however, the investors have simply been the cash cow to bring us to where we are today.  Their losses mean nothing to me.  Every gambler knows their luck can go both ways.  If people don’t know or understand that ‘investing’ is a gamble then they shouldn’t be allowed to ‘invest’. 

                Also, even if the odd investor lost all of their £2,000, the loss would still be totally insignificant compared to the loss of a job, a livelihood or a small business! And how many people has that happened to as a direct result of unrealistic fees being charged by a loss making company supported and subsidised by investors money?

                BSOS23PC 

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          5. davehedgehog

            Yeah my heart bleeds for Neil Woodford! Total Bitterness.

             

             

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          6. Shaun77

            When you talk about “knowing roughly what your property is worth”, what are you suggesting is an acceptable margin for error – 5%, 10%? When selling a property, every 1% (or fraction of thereafter) often means thousands of pounds.

            If properties had a set price, like books on Amazon, using a cheap online model would make sense but the reality is that property prices aren’t set and the % you achieve very often comes down to the effectiveness of the agent you use and their ability to negotiate coupled with a desire to make it happen. This is equally important in the post sale process, especially if further negations are required following a bad survey/down valuation/gazundering.

            The belief amongst the public is that these elements aren’t important, or have no value, is purely because they are inexperienced in such matters and assume selling property is easy. The onliners are exploiting this by telling everyone that selling for the best price is no more complicated than putting an ad on Rightmove, and it is for this reason that traditional agents dislike them. You could argue that It’s essentially obtaining financial advantage through deception.

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            1. davehedgehog

              > Cyber – I was very happy with my PB LPE though. The only agent who hasn’t got me signed up and then a few months later told me to reduce the price. An experienced agent by the way. Not as local as the guys on the high street but let’s face it if you don’t know roughly what your own house is worth then you must be in a pretty small minority.
               
              That is a total contradiction…If you were not in the ‘small minority’ and knew what your house was worth why did you go on the market at an inflated price to start with?

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              1. PeeBee

                Sadly, there is no way that we will ever know by what degree the £93k differential from instruction to completion price was  “inflated”, davehedgehog…

                …as another Agent may well have secured an offer somewhat closer to the Asking Price.

                (Whichever one of the respective Asking Prices it is you care to pick, of course – three to choose from that I’m aware of – maybe four!)

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          7. htsnom79

            Because they’re kraap at what they do cyber duck, we’ve been telling you that for months if not years, all the rest of the guff is just guff, if you want to move and have it managed start to end they are the wrong way to do it, regardless of price.

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  3. Robert May

    Sounds like Purplebricks are  getting disrupted!

    Being neither a proper agent nor a passive intermediary those who  could enjoy the  ‘yeah right’ promised incomes of a very expensive franchise model seem to be cutting out the expensive bit and offering  the same FSBO listing service without the  expense of a central office that  doesn’t really add any value to the service.

     

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    1. cyberduck46

      >fast-growing-agency-model-eclipses-purplebricks-and-could-cut-out-agents/
       
      >Being neither a proper agent nor a passive intermediary
       
      Doesn’t it say that this free model is disrupting “proper agents” too? Ones that charge twice as much as PB?
       
      You seem to have misunderstood the article Robert or perhaps you didn’t even read it?
       
      “With commissions starting at around 10 times this figure, before marketing fees, there is no possibility for a traditional agent to consider competing on fee.”
       
       
       

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      1. Robert May

        What I read is, they don’t  charge enough and are having to increase their charges. What they introduced wasn’t  correct and has to be changed

        What I have previously read is that  the listing reps aren’t having their income expectations met.

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  4. Hillofwad71

    https://theurbandeveloper.com/articles/purplebricks-increases-fees-to-8800

     

    So it’s half the fee  on instruction with the remainder on completion,

    Sounds a sensible move to me .Wonder  if they  will adopt that here?

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  5. Chris Wood

    Drip, drip, drip

    Trickle…

    Squirt….

    Gush….

    Cascade…

    And the cracks in the #PURP dam get bigger and bigger

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  6. Chris Wood

    If Dom and Ducky had any sense of decency/ integrity they might be able to salvage some self-respect and general respect from posters on here if they were to finally admit that much of what many of us have been saying for the past few years that they have so vehemently denied/ trashed, rudely insulted, is now coming to pass/ showing as being correct.

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    1. PeeBee

      Famous quotes with “IF…” in them:

      If I had a hammer” (Pete Seeger, 1949)

      If a picture paints a thousand words then why can’t I paint you?” (David Gates, 1971); (Telly Savalas, 1975)

      If my Grandmother had wheels she’d be a wagon” (Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott, SD 37961)

      If Dom and Ducky had any sense of decency/ integrity…” (Chris Wood, September 2018) 

      Of course, one of the above is a work of complete fiction.  It sticks out like a sore thumb.

      Good try though, Chris – for a minute you almost had me believing…

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  7. PeeBee

    Interestingly there is no mention of the supposed forthcoming increase/amendment to the pricing structure as reported in another afr article – whereby the fee WILL rise – to Aus$8800, with an upfront payment of half (quarter in certain areas) and the remaining 50% or 75% being paid on sale.

    Interesting that they feel the need to increase the cost by an enormous chunk for a successful sale.

    Anyone care to hazard a guess as to why this might be deemed necessary by the Bruce Brother steering the change…?

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    1. AgentV

      Me,me,me,me,me (jumping up and down, donkey like, with hand held aloft)……maybe because getting a successful sale involves a damn site more work than just listing the property on the internet, and a lot more work involves a lot more time and needs a lot more money.
      It’s generally what real estate agents do as an inherent part of their normal service!  

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