Of all online estate agents, Purplebricks.com is by far the UK’s largest and most well-known agency. There’s fees & services have been controversial. As with any reputable company, you have to take the good with the bad.
While some homeowners & landlords love Purplebricks, others take issue with some of their practices. Purplebricks reviews are mixed to say the least!
Are you preparing to sell or let your home and considering Purplebricks.com? You’ve come to the right place for an in-depth and honest Purplebricks review.
Here we’ll cover everything from Purplebricks fees to locations, experience, and pricing so you can make an informed, trusted decision.
How Does Purplebricks Work?
So, before signing up on Purplebricks, let’s go over exactly how the process works.
The first thing Purplebricks will do is set your property up on Zoopla, Rightmove, and their own website. They’ll explain the selling & letting process including how to view & field inquiries, offers and schedule or decline viewings.
Purplebricks offers services on its online platform, a UK-based call centre, and through a group of local experts. These local experts will provide support throughout the sale process but aren’t as “hands-on” as a normal high-street agent.
Once signed up and logged into Purplebricks’ portal, local experts are available for minor inquiries but don’t expect them to hold your hand throughout the process.
For someone new to the home sale or letting process, this may be unsettling and disconcerting. Others may have no problem handling a majority of the work themselves with minimal support.
Are Purplebricks cracking?
Purplebricks has recently had a lot of bad press and poor company news. From a tumbling share price and fines, it’s not looking pretty.
The share price is at an all time low. Why should you as a landlord or seller care? Well if the company is no longer operable, it could throw your let or sale into turmoil.
The news coming from regulators isn’t pretty either. A few laundering fines and deposit issues paints an even bleaker picture.
Whether or not Purplebricks will survive or make major changes to their business remains to be seen.
“Purplebricks was forced last month (Feb) to delay the publication of its first half results to provide for any potential future claims which could arise under the Housing Act in relation to this regulatory process issue.
The move followed speculation that the online estate agency could potentially face a bill of up to £30m after it allegedly put thousands of landlords at risk of being because it failed to follow basic tenancy law.
In November that Purplebricks had failed to properly serve legally required documents to tenants explaining their deposits have been put into a national protection scheme.
The agency accepts that there could be future claims against the firm, and provisionally estimates a potential financial risk in the range of £2m-9m”, EYE reported at the start of the year
To add to their woes, on the 28th June 2022, as reported by The Business Desk, Purplebricks has delayed its full-year results until the first week of August to allow sufficient time to complete the audit.
This comes after the firm issued a profit warning in May due to a major drop in instructions since it announced its interim results in January. It was down from 58,043 in 2021 to 40,141 over the last 12 months.
The firm says it has included additional procedures for its audit as a result of new processes and controls implemented by the company since the last audit.
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Understanding Purplebricks Fees
At this point, the main question that remains is how much are Purplebricks fees? Like most online estate agents, Purplebricks offers various services for different fees and pricing.
Another common complaint about all estate agents are hidden fees and sadly, Purplebricks is no different.
Purplebricks Selling Fees
|London||Outside of London|
Base pricing starts at £999 for most of the UK but £1499 for London and surrounding areas. This includes an advertisement on Rightmove and Zoopla, photography and floor plan, a UK-based support team, and access to a local expert.
If you want Purplebricks to conduct your viewings, you’ll need to pay an additional £300 or £360 for anyone located in London and the surrounding areas. Most people consider this a worthwhile investment since a poorly conducted viewing could cost you the sale.
One thing mentioned in several Purplebricks reviews is that they can suspend all viewings at any time without an explanation or a refund. This decision is made based on the number of viewings already completed and feedback.
Purplebricks also offers a “pay later” option, which has caused some controversy. You have the option to pay for services upfront or up to 10 months later at no additional cost.
While this sounds like a great option, some Purplebricks reviews claim customers end up paying more than they bargained for.
When customers choose the deferred payment option they’re faced with a conveyancing fee. This varies based on your location and the price of the property you’re selling. If you choose to use your own broker, you’ll pay £360 in administrative fees.
All home sales require an EPC, which Purplebricks charges £84 for.
Although advertising on Zoopla and Rightmove isn’t just part of Purplebricks services, but the main part, there’s also the option for premium and featured listings. These listings will cost anywhere from £125 to £249 for 2 weeks.
Purplebricks Letting Fees
|London||Outside of London|
|Rent collection||£106 pcm + £950||£33 pcm + £390|
|Full management||£139 pcm + £850||£46 pcm + £850|
Landlords are charged a one off £1,050 for finding a tenant via Purplebricks. Which is nearly 3 times when compared to other online letting agents.
However viewings are included which isn’t usually the case with online letting agents.
For landlords looking to use Purplebricks for letting and rent collection, fees will be £106 per month plus a £950 one off fee.
Fully managed costs are £139 per month plus a one off fee of £850. This includes an inspection every 6 months, inventory, repair & maintenance reporting and use of the Purplebricks management portal.
All fees quoted by Purplebricks are paid on let (not upfront).
For landlords with property outside of London, fees are much lower.
Find find fees are £580, rent collection is £33 and full management is £46.
What Reviews Have to Say About Purplebricks
Not only is Purplebricks the largest and most popular online letting agent in the UK, but it’s also the most reviewed.
With nearly 87,000 Trustpilot reviews, people have a lot to say about Purplebricks. The majority of Purplebricks reviews are glowing, which says a lot about the company.
Most users focus on the company’s efficiency and pricing. If you login to the Purplebricks online system, you’ll immediately see it’s convenient and user-friendly.
Local experts and customer support make the sale process easy. Some negative reviews commented on a lack of communication between agents and sellers, but this was rare and generally directed at buyers, not sellers.
Some buyers said it was difficult to contact a real-life person to answer their questions, although there’s no evidence that Purplebricks outsources their support centre, which is located within the UK.
A few buyers have also expressed issues with Purplebricks legal representation.
Many homeowners comment on how well their property is portrayed through quality photographs and detailed listings. Users also like how easy it is to manage the listing, schedule and manage viewings, and see the sale process to completion.
There is a wide discrepancy between different review sites. While Google & Trustpilot applauds Purplebricks, Reviews.io have different opinions with nearly 400 mostly negative reviews.
Purplebricks Reviews Are Mixed, But Mostly Positive
When it comes to companies and services like Purplebricks, you get what you pay for. Anyone looking for a hands-on approach to selling their home should probably stick with a local, high-street agent.
For anyone with a little knowledge about the property market or time to invest in marketing their home, Purplebricks is a great choice. Not only are they a leading name in UK estate agents, but they’re thorough and offer the support you need when you need it.
Customers of Purplebricks can login to view a range of details in regards to their property.
Once logged in, Purplebricks will show you viewings, offers, your property listing activity and messages from buyers, sellers and your assigned expert.
Logging in is very simple. Simply click this link and enter your email address & password.
The alternatives to Purplebricks
Unlike in its heyday, there are now a number of online agents offering low cost fees to selling or letting a property.
If you’re looking for an online estate agent alternative, check out our online estate agent guide for a more comprehensive overview.
Fees other online agents charge to sell a house are below.
|Estate Agent||Fee||Average time to sell (weeks)||Average asking price|
For landlords looking for an online letting agent, the other big players are below.
Online Estate Agent Fees vs High Street Agents vs Hybrid
It’s important for you to understand the difference between paying online estate agent fees and using a local, high street agent.
To complicate matters more, there’s the hybrid option which combines the two services and is part of what’s made Purplebricks so successful.
Let’s take a closer look at what services each type of agent offers.
Office Space and Local Branches
High street agents have local offices and branches they work out of. Most online and hybrid agents like Purplebricks do not. That’s not to say they don’t have a central office, but they don’t place individual agents at local branches.
Working from one central location reduces overhead costs, which is one reason online and hybrid agents are generally cheaper than local agents.
As online estate agents grow more popular, they’ve combined the best of both worlds to offer what’s known as hybrid services.
While most hybrid agents don’t have a dedicated office space or offer hands-on local marketing, they do lend support in addition to their online services.
Online hybrid agents like Purplebricks may provide a “local expert” to visit your property and perform a valuation. You may only meet this expert once, although they’ll remain involved in your property sale behind the scenes.
Some online agents list your property on popular portals (more on this in a second) and leave you to your own devices. It then becomes your job to market and sell your home independently.
Purplebricks doesn’t do this and won’t leave you unsupported, but they also won’t market your property the same way high street agents do.
Most online agents who work strictly online won’t assign you a local expert but will offer an account manager to help see you through the process.
Regardless of what type of estate agent you hire, they’ll advertise your home on popular property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla. For many homeowners, this is the primary way of advertising.
What you won’t get with an online agent is real-life, tangible marketing like brochures and pamphlets or advertisements in local magazines and newspapers. The good news is, these forms of paper ads are slowly dying off.
No local branches also mean less foot traffic for online agents, but with most properties selling online, this isn’t a major factor for most homeowners.
As long as your property is listed on Rightmove and Zoopla, you’re sure to get the most views, leads, and inquiries.
Both high street and estate agent fees cover these marketing efforts plus managing the listing, handling inquiries, and in some cases, scheduling viewings.
Speaking of viewings, most potential buyers who are interested in your property will want to see it in person. After seeing the photographs online, they’ll inquire with your agent and set up a meeting time.
Now, strictly online agents will tell you about the viewing and let you handle it on your own. Hybrid agents sometimes offer viewing services at an additional cost.
Purplebricks, for example, offers these services for £300 more than they’re already charging. Most local agents include viewings as part of their initial fees.
Conducting viewings yourself is generally a bad idea. It’s not easy to show your home and answer hard questions.
After all, you’re emotionally invested in the property and it holds sentimental significance. It can be difficult to separate yourself emotionally.
Not to mention, many homebuyers don’t feel comfortable asking questions or being honest to the homeowner. They prefer dealing with an agent.
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How do you get out of a Purplebricks contract?
You can withdraw or cancel any of the products or services you signed up for after the minimum period ends. By clicking the “Property Withdrawal” button on the online platform, you can withdraw your property as it’s being advertised by Purple Bricks. If the company has already helped facilitate your sale, you still have to pay the completion fee even if you terminate your agreement before any contracts are signed. Once you agree to advertise your property on Purplebricks, you’ll be entitled to a 14-day “cooling off period” before the advertisement goes live. At this point in the process, you’re no longer entitled to a refund for any initial advertising fees.
How does Purplebricks work in the UK?
Purplebricks shows sellers, landlords, and buyers how to use the platform but doesn’t offer much support or guidance once the process is underway. First, you request a free valuation, then Purplebricks shows you what to do with the results. You instruct Purplebrick on how you want your property advertised, after which the company will create an advertisement. You manage all your viewings and choose to either host them yourself or let Purplebricks handle them for you. When it’s time to accept an offer, Purplebricks can help with the final negotiations and paperwork.
How do Purplebricks agents make money?
Agents don’t collect a percentage of the sale price of a property, but instead, charge upfront fees. That means homeowners know what they’re paying up front and the fees don’t change depending on the final sale price. The benefit for agents is that they collect and keep this money regardless of whether or not the final sale goes through. These fees are primarily associated with marketing and advertising since most home valuations are done for free.
How much does Purplebricks charge?
Purplebricks charges £899 to market a single property. While they call this a “flat fee”, you could end up paying more. For example, if you live in London or other surrounding postal codes, expect to pay £1,399. The upside is that this is the only fee you’ll pay, regardless of how long it takes your property to sell. You can even take your listing down and remarket with Purplebricks at a later date and this same fee will cover the marketing costs.
Is Purplebricks operating in Australia
They were, but it didn't work out. After 2 and a half years, they backed out of the country to cut their losses