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Purplebricks tells Government to go further in reforms and compel high street agents to publish fees

Land Insight to 17 April NS

Purplebricks has called on the Government to go further in its proposals to clamp down on the industry by requiring agents to publish their commission rates.

It said 93% of ‘traditional’ agents do not publish their fees should be more transparent.

Purplebricks said that, in contrast, its own rates are published and fully transparent.

The company also called for reforms at the Land Registry.

In a statement last night, Purplebricks said it was “wholly supportive” of most of the Government’s latest recommendations.

It also said that Purplebricks proactively contributed to the Ministry of Housing’s call for evidence into improving the home buying and selling process, and welcomed the findings.

In the statement, Purplebricks said: “We are wholly supportive of the proposal to introduce a mandatory professional qualification for estate agents.

“We already operate under similar regimes in Australia and the United States, and believe it would be a very positive step for the property industry in the UK.

“Our team have extensive backgrounds in traditional agency, averaging over five years and yet all have to go through a rigorous selection and ten day induction programme before becoming a Local Property Expert.

“After successfully completing their training, LPEs go into the field for ten days, before returning for another two days of residential training.

“The two courses together cover over 100 hours of training.

“We also wholeheartedly support initiatives to bring the property industry here into the 21st century with the use of transparent data, standardised metrics and quality controls.

“A major further step in the right direction would be the full digitalisation of data at the Land Registry and across the industry, so we can soon get to the point where every point in the sale or purchase of a property, whether a detached house or a one bedroom flat, is linked by its own Unique Property Reference Number.

“That will be a major advance which will speed up transactions and make for a much more stream-lined and less stressful process for the public. We will continue to actively lobby for this.

“The Government could go further in its proposals and should reconsider requiring all agents to be transparent and publish their commission rates or fee levels.

“Purplebricks’ flat fees £849 and £1,199 for London and surrounding areas are clearly set out on the home page of its website for everyone to see.

“Yet in a recent survey we found that 93% of traditional estate agents do not publish their commission rates or charges on their own website.

“Greater transparency on fees would allow customers to make more informed choices when selecting an agent and remove the unfairness which currently exists, whereby two customers on the same street, using the same agent may be paying different rates of commission for the same service.

“We will continue to proactively engage with Government so that customers get a better deal.”


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Source:: Purplebricks tells Government to go further in reforms and compel high street agents to publish fees