Purplebricks says it does not receive all of the referral fee disclosed on conveyancing

Purplebricks has said that it does not receive all of the referral fee in online quotations.

An online conveyancing quotation document we have seen spells out a legal fee of £599, and appears to explain that Purplebricks gets the lion’s share of the money – £426.50.

The rest of the money would presumably go to eZie, part of My Home Move.

In the document we have seen giving conveyancing information, Purplebricks discloses under the heading of ‘important info’: “The introducer who has provided this quotation has suggested that you use a particular lawyer for your conveyancing.

“The introducer is required to advise you that it has a financial arrangement with the lawyer and that the lawyer will pay a referral fee to the introducer and an administration fee to the panel manager, these total £426.50 + VAT. The lawyer is totally independent from the introducer and the lawyer will act only on your instructions and always in your best interests.”

We asked Purplebricks about this, and a spokesperson yesterday told us: “The quotation provided is a mix of a referral fee and management fees charged by My Home Move.

“We do not receive all of the payment disclosed.

“The fees our customers pay are extremely competitive and track favourably against a number of corporate and independent estate agents.

“It is common knowledge that estate agents receive a referral fee and again what we receive is in no way out of context with the market and in particular against the estate agents we track.

“We recommend many of the first class firms that are recommended by other estate agents in the industry because of the service they provide.”

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16 Comments

  1. AndrewOverman

    At approximately £170 per transaction for the actual lawyer, it’s no wonder their “panel” solicitors have the reputation they do both within the industry and from (genuine) client reviews – check out their Facebook page.

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  2. Neill30

    Good Morning,

    I have recently bought a property through Purple Bricks, and they assumed that I would be using their conveyancing firm, having sent an e-mail to me to that effect. Their firm rang me, and I asked how they deal with a conflict of interest if the seller used the same firm, they could not provide an answer.

    I chose my own firm of conveyancers.

    Also, there are issues at times with the customer service, in particular with communications with their ‘agents’. Too much is put on their shoulders, with no back up, such as dealing with telephone calls.

    One example was when I had several conversations with their agent, on his Bluetooth, while he was driving, not a good practice, potentially dangerous, and the sound quality was poor.

    Online agents have a role, and such models have existed for several decades, though previously not online.

    They also illegally relist properties.

    I decided to sell my property through a ‘traditional’ agent.

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    1. PeeBee

      Neill30

      I take it from the content of your post that you are not an Estate Agent, but a customer (or what has been now given the tacky monicker of ‘consumer’).

      That being the case, I would therefore like to thank you for taking time out to provide me and my colleagues in industry – as well as other homeowners and buyers – an honest appraisal of what you experienced.

      Knowledge is King – and we are all now one step closer to the throne as a result of your post.

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      1. LondonR90

        PeeBee, remember a few weeks back we discussed a PB review on here and asked how long it would stick on the Trustpilot site? Well it was removed a day or two later (reported and then removed of course)

        I wish everyone would just head over to Facebook. Because PB do not have a ‘special relationship’ with Facebook where they promote them in their sales literature.

         

        Anyway there’s a another ‘one to watch’:

        Purplebricks are useless but first let me tell you why they have such good ratings, thats because they silent bad reviewers! 10 months they’ve had my apartment for sale in an upmarket suburb of Manchester where apartments sell in weeks if not days. in the begining there was several viewings I do wonder how many of those viewings were real prospects though. At the start comunication was ok but for several months its been terrible.They do not get back to me, I call and text and no one calls me back, days later I will get a text reply but no substance to the responses so I’m left bewildered. It seems like they give it a big push at the start but if your property does not sell they forget about you. I’m not even sure who actually is in charge of my apartment. they have lost a set of keys and now they want me to pay them £930 (be carefull with the small print, if they do not sell your property after 10 months you still have to pay them). Stay away!!!

        Published 12pm today.

        Again, seems a genuine review on the face of it. Let’s see..

         

         

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  3. Keyser_Söze

    “We do not receive all of the payment disclosed.

    Around £50 of the introducer fee goes to the LPE.

    Still £376.50 is not a bad stealth fee for PB.

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    1. AgencyInsider

      Not a stealth fee. It is a disclosed fee, albeit in the small print.

      However, it is a wholly unnecessary fee since any consumer can do far better for themselves by going direct to a high street solicitor/conveyancer and (usually) getting a proper, better and far more personal service as a result.

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      1. Keyser_Söze

        “It is a disclosed fee, albeit in the small print.”

        I would say that’s a good description of a stealth fee.

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  4. Mark Connelly

    I have recently bought properties for a client through both PB and House Network. Providing info online was pretty challenging in both cases as neither had any provision for buying agents. In their book the person that books the viewing is the buyer. Both platforms are the real John & Janet of house buying particularly with regard to AML. With no provision for anything that may be a non vanilla purchase. ie. UK ltd companies tend not to have driving licenses.

    The most annoying thing as already eluded  to by Neill 30 was  being pitched for every referral bolt on. In the case of House Network you have four choices of box to tick with regard to conveyancing. It begins when they email you a quote that you didn’t request.
    I’ve already instructed you

    I would like to accept the quote, please call me

    I would like to know more please call me

    I’m still thinking

    Where is the box that says “I have already instructed my own solicitor”?

    Eventually I was forced to email them and point out that I was not their client and stop pitching me for third party referral business.

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  5. WickedOWL10

    Hands up anyone who enjoys being on the receiving end of a £199 conveyancing service?

    Personally I would prefer to see the conveyancer receive £1,990 and actually have the resources to update and get the transaction through.

     

     

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  6. Ric

    We’ve always refused the referral fee’s as we worked brilliantly with the local solicitors who continued to serve our recommendations well. Getting a hands on service and some probate referrals back from them by far outweighed referral income, as they knew like we did with them our care and attention was most important.

    It has worked brilliantly for us for some 25 years but and it is a small but which may turn bigger as the years go on:

    With most of the staff at the solicitors we have used for years leaving, mainly due to retirement, partners leaving etc etc or firms joining together and creating a different animal to what we worked with previously, being paid a referral fee is starting to enter my mind as a way forward, but I agree with WickedOWL10 the conveyancer keeping their fee and improving resources would be better in my mind.

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  7. Moolamarkie

    Referral commissions in themselves are not a bad thing.  Formalising  the process is not a bad thing.

    I actually have a bigger problem with the fee/revenue split rather than a fee being paid to PB.  The referrer should never receive more than the referee other wise the reason to refer (typically financial) overrides referring based on a quality of service.

    The internet is full of successful and reputable businesses that have formalised their referral processes.  John Lewis, First Direct and Amazon all offer referral and affiliate schemes.  They key element being the ease of which opting in or out is the choice of the customer and not being railroaded into choosing a product or service because of the commissions involved.

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  8. Tuf Luv

    Dude, just like that bearded lady in my local brothel, my money’s staying put. I find it amusing though. But then again I am an a*sehole. It kind of makes you want to vote Trump just so he can build a wall around PB. Then make them pay for it. Ok so their business can’t survive on hugs and I get that. Jeez if agency was built on love and respect I wouldn’t need so much chemical help but dude, they have to know that low balling the conveyancer will squeeze the juice out the nutz of customer service. They have to know that.

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  9. AgentV

    hi Chris…have you got the link to the Jefferies Analysts assessment…just want to have a look.

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  10. digitalfix

    If you’re sat there seeing share prices out by a factor of 100, then perhaps I’ll short some stock and allow you to buy it off me for £50 a share.  That’s half price, right?

    pssst… Purple Bricks trading at 108…. pence… that’s £1.08 to you and I.

    Oh… and I think you left an ‘s’ off your first name.

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  11. PeeBee

    AgentV

    Search the archive here on EYE:

    “Foxtons set to report plunge in profits, says broker”

    You will find reference to it there

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  12. AgentV

    Thanks

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