Purplebricks Reviews: The Truth about Purple Bricks

Written by Alexandra Ventress

Alexandra is a junior content producer who enjoys writing articles and finding out more about the property market.

Looking at who Purplebricks are, the pros and cons of using them, Purplebricks reviews, and how they compare to other online estate agencies.

Purplebricks are one of the most recognisable and well-branded online estate agencies, but how exactly do they compare to other online property selling options?

A brief overview of Purplebricks will show that they have the potential to save you thousands of pounds when compared to high street estate agents and are open 24/7 with full online account management. However, there is also a need for caution as extra fees can crop up, especially if you decide against their conveyancing service or decide to go for a hosted viewing package.

In this blog post, we will be looking at who Purplebricks are, the pros and cons of using them, Purplebricks reviews, and how they compare to other online estate agencies.

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Who Are Purplebricks?

Purplebricks are online estate agents who were set up with the intention of taking the stress out of house sales and saving customers thousands of pounds when compared to their high street counterparts.

The way that Purplebricks works is relatively simple. As is standard with a lot of online estate agencies, Purplebricks offer a free valuation service. Whilst it is possible to go ahead without first booking a valuation, you will find it difficult to do so as it is not laid out clearly on the website.

Purplebricks do not offer a ‘no sale, no fee’ option so this means that if you have decided to use Purplebricks to sell your property, you will have to either pay the full cost upfront or use their buy now and pay later option.

Basically, what this means is that you don’t have to pay anything until the house has sold or 10 months have passed. However, in order to take advantage of this policy, you must use PurpleBricks own conveyancers. If you don’t then you will have to pay upfront.

When you instruct Purplebricks, they will send a local property expert to your house to create a floorplan, take photographs and if it is needed, carry out an EPC.

After this, they will create your property listing and you will get to approve it before it is listed on Rightmove, Zoopla, and other property portals.

Much like other online estate agencies, Purplebricks offers an online portal through which you can manage all of your bookings, viewings, feedback, and offers. This is a very effective tool for managing your house selling journey.

A Brief History Of Purplebricks

Founded in 2012 by brothers Michael and Kenny Bruce and David Shepherd, Purplebricks is an online estate agency. The brothers previously ran a successful midlands estate agency Burchell Edwards which they sold a year earlier as they quickly realised online was the future of estate agencies.

Purplebricks gained the financial backing of several entrepreneurs such as Neil Woodford and Paul Pindar and established themselves as the largest online estate agent in the UK after an aggressive marketing campaign. They are estimated to have a 60% share of the market.

Most recently Purplebricks have attempted an unsuccessful venture into the US market and have been subject to several rumours about both their profitability and their security in the future.

Recent Changes To Purplebricks

Purplebricks has undergone a few critical changes over the past month, including changes to its pricing plan.

From the 11th of July:

  • The standard price has also been increased from £999 to £1,199.
  • The pro package will now be increased from £1,399 to £1,599.
  • The classic package (higher priced regions) will increase from £1,499 to £1,999.
  • The pro package (higher priced regions) will increase from £1,999 to £2,499.

As of the 25th of July 2022, Purplebricks have scrapped their money back guarantee. Before this, if your property had been listed for 10 months on Purplebricks without receiving an offer of at least 90% of the asking price then you would get your money back.

This was a popular selling point of PurpleBricks and offered sellers a security blanket in case their property was not sold on the open market within a reasonable timeframe. Removing it is an interesting move from Purplebricks and it will be interesting to see how it affects business.

How Much Does Purplebricks Cost?

Purplebricks is priced differently depending on location and what kind of package you are willing to go for. Each package includes a different service, with the more that you pay, the more you get out of it.

If you were to go for their fixed fee package at £1,199 (£1,999 for London and the surrounding areas) then you would get the following:

  • Local property expert
  • Professional photography
  • Floor plans
  • Advertisements
  • Lists on Rightmove, Zoopla, and other sites
  • UK-based support team

They have a slightly flexible payment option with the option to pay on instruction or 10 months afterward.

These are usually pretty common and can be found at most estate agencies, online or otherwise.

Unlike a lot of online estate agencies, Purplebricks also don’t offer a ‘no sale, no fee’ service. But they do offer a voucher code that makes their service cheaper, however, this does not happen often.

How Accurate Is A Valuation With Purple Bricks?

The topic of online valuation is subject to much debate. This is because people wonder whether online estate agents can offer the same local expertise as a high-street estate agent can.

Purplebricks offer both in-person and online valuations, meaning a local property expert can have a look around the house and decide from there.

If I Sell With Purplebricks, How Long Will It Take?

There are a number of factors that affect a house sale, from location to the property market and the condition the property is in. Purplebricks states on their website:

“The average time nationwide is just under six weeks. This is far quicker than a year ago when the average was almost nine weeks.”

Pros And Cons Of Using Purplebricks

As with using any service, there are both positives and negatives. Purplebricks are no different and whether or not they are suited to you depends entirely on personal situations.

Pros

  • Fees – One of the biggest plus points of using Purplebricks, is that it can save you thousands in fees. When you sell through an estate agent, you have to pay a commission which when compared to the fixed fee that you pay Purplebricks works out better in the long run.
  • Freedom – Another plus point to using Purplebricks is that they take a more relaxed approach to property selling. They are much more hands-off than a high street estate agent which will allow you to feel a lot more in control of your house sale. Through the online portal, you will manage everything from offers to bookings so everything that happens is reliant on you.
  • Accompanied Viewings – This gives you the freedom of doing viewings on your own or with the help of one of the local property experts. This means that if you want to conduct the viewings yourself you can, but you don’t have to.


Cons

  • Purplebricks Reviews Vary – One of the biggest red flags of Purplebricks is the wildly varying customer reviews. Depending on where you go, you will either see glowing reviews or you will see very scathing reviews. Purplebricks have also been accused of ‘screening’ reviews and purposefully trying to block poor reviews of their business.
  • Viewings – Depending on which package you choose means you may end up doing the viewings for your home on your own. And if you have no experience in sales or are not the best salesperson then you may be left struggling to sell your home. This can make the whole process more time-consuming and can add months to an already stressful process.
  • No ‘No Sale, No Fee’ Option – The lack of a ‘no sale, no fee’ option is another downside to using Purplebricks. You can either pay when you sign up or you can pay 10 months from then but if your house isn’t sold within that time frame you can be left out of pocket.
  • Extras – If you want extras such as improved marketing or a local property viewer to conduct viewings for you then it will cost an extra. As it will if you decide to use your own conveyancers.
  • Local Property Experts – Whilst Purplebricks advertises itself as having local property experts ready to assist you in selling your home, it is often the case that the expert is one covering a broad area of sometimes 30–40-mile radius. This means that their local knowledge will be fairly limited.

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Purplebricks Reviews

Purplebricks boasts on its website that it is the ‘most reviewed estate agent ever’. With links to both its Trustpilot page as well as its Feefo page, Purplebricks appears to let the reviews speak for themselves.

Looking at the Trustpilot for Purplebricks reviews it shows an overwhelmingly high percentage of positive reviews. Praising the company’s professionalism, customer service, and efficiency, at first glance Purplebricks appears to be a company that people can trust. It is impossible to get glowing reviews across the board and what you read about Purplebricks depends on the review site that you are on.

Whilst 93% of the reviews on their trust pilot are excellent or positive, on the comparison site allAgents they have an average rating of 1.3 out of five and in December 2016, the company stopped taking reviews on its Facebook page.

Another point worth mentioning is that Purplebricks has long been the subject of suspicion that they screen their reviews.

In November 2019, Wired ran an article about Purplebricks reviews and how they have long been accused of screening their reviews, hiding the bad ones, and asking for multiple reviews from satisfied customers in order to boost their Trustpilot rating. They spoke to people who had left negative Purplebricks reviews and had found that they had often been removed, with one dissatisfied customer being threatened with legal action if they did not remove their negative comments.

This is not the only bit of bad press that Purplebricks has been hit with. Earlier this year, the review platform allAgents named Purplebricks as the worst-performing property firm for customer experience.

Purplebricks On Watchdog

In August 2017, several allegations of misleading advertising landed Purplebricks on the BBC TV show Watchdog. The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has already banned several of the claims that Purplebricks have made.

There is an interview on the program with Michael Bruce, one of the co-founders of the company.

We strongly recommend watching the video

How Does Purplebricks Compare To Online Estate Agents?

With over 27,000 agents in the UK, it is fair to say that there is plenty of choice for those looking to sell. We have had a look at how Purplebricks compares to other big key players in the world of online estate agencies to see how they hold up.

We have looked at how Purplebricks compares against its competitors Emoov, Yopa and Strike.

Purplebricks vs Emoov

Emoov describes itself as a “fixed-fee hybrid estate agent that helps people sell their home with total transparency”. Having recently gotten a makeover, Emoov is under new ownership. For a fixed payment in advance and a percentage of the price once the sale has gone through will sell your home.

A strong mix of both high street and online estate agencies, Emoov is a good choice if your property is worth less than £150,000 whereas Purplebricks is a better value for higher value properties, but you do have to pay the full amount upfront.

Emoov has an advantage over Purplebricks as they won’t make you use their preferred conveyance services.

Purplebricks vs Yopa

There are a few similarities between Yopa and Purplebricks, as they both charge extra for hosted viewings, however, Yopa has the edge as they do not require customers to go with their conveyancing service of choice.

Another way in which Yopa edges Purplebricks is that they actively promote their ‘no sale, no fee’ service.

Purplebricks vs Strike

Whilst you may not have heard of Strike before, they have been in the property game a while. Operating previously under the name of Housesimple, Strike is difficult to beat when it comes to fees. Whilst Purplebricks are bigger and better known, Strike is ‘free’ to use.

This means that you won’t be forced to choose certain conveyancers or payout immediately or 10 months later. However, it is worth bearing in mind that there are still extras that you will need to pay for if you choose Strike. An example of this would be that if you wanted unlimited hosted viewings, you would need to pay an additional £699. You can get the same service with Purplebricks for cheaper.

A plus for both companies is that they will supply you with a for-sale board and both have 24/7 support in place for customers.

However, unlike Purplebricks, Strike will only offer in-person valuations in certain areas. If you aren’t too fussed about an in-person valuation, then Strike may be the option for you.

How Does Purplebricks Compare To Other Online Estate Agents?

If you are thinking of selling an online estate agency that isn’t Emoov, Yopa, or Strike, then there are plenty of other options out there. The biggest pull that Purplebricks has over other online estate agencies is that they are a big player in the game but if you aren’t fussed about additional add-ons and the lack of ‘no sale, no fee’ option, then they may be the choice for you.

But it is worth bearing in mind that it is always good to shop around and see what other agencies are offering. Whilst they may not be able to compete with PurpleBricks offer of local property experts, they should be able to offer similarly priced fees as Purplebricks.

How Do Purplebricks Compare To High Street Estate Agents?

The biggest bonus that Purplebricks has when compared to high street estate agents is the price. As a rule of thumb, if an estate agent is on the high street, they will usually charge more. However, a few high street estate agents have been lowering their prices to keep up with the competition online.

It is worth bearing in mind that offering the convenience of an upfront fee is not something that you will get from a lot of high street estate agents but what you do get is a personal touch that is often missing from online agencies such as Purplebricks.

How Does Purplebricks Compare To The Property Buying Company?

Where Purplebricks has a reputation for extra fees when selling your home and wildly varying customer reviews, with The Property Buying Company you are in safe hands. With 94% of our Trustpilot reviews rating us ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ we pride ourselves on excellent customer service and if you sell with us, we guarantee to cover all your fees for you, even the legal ones!

Unlike with Purplebricks, we can complete your sale in a timescale that suits you, without the frustration of waiting for a buyer on the open market or the additional spending and fees that comes with companies like Purplebricks.

With over 50 years of combined experience, we will buy any house, in any location, taking all of the stress out of house sales.

Put off by Purplebricks Reviews? Then give us a call or fill in our online form to receive a no-obligation CASH offer, which we could have in your bank in as little as 7 days…

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