This article was written in collaboration with Purplebricks.
We recently sold our first home and I have to tell you, I was shocked at how much it costs to buy and sell a house. All up it cost us close to $30,000 to sell our duplex in Sydney!
A big part of the cost was the commission paid to the agent and another big chunk went on marketing, primarily online. While we were very happy with the agent we chose and the service we received, it is still a LOT of money to hand over, so when Purplebricks approached me to share a new model they have recently introduced into Australia I was intrigued.
A Flat Fee Real Estate Model
Purplebricks has been around in the UK since 2014 and successfully launched in Melbourne, Brisbane and The Sunshine and Gold Coast in August 2016. On the 16th January 2017 they launched into the Sydney and Central Coast markets with a completely unique model for selling your home based on a flat fee structure rather than a commission based one.
The way it works is really quite clever. You get the benefit of a Purplebricks Local Property Expert to guide you through each step of the process while being able to self manage as much or as little of the sale process as you choose.
How Does Purplebricks Model Work?
When you first contact Purplebricks you can search for a local property expert and book in an initial appraisal appointment. The property expert will come to your home and spend around 1.5 hours with you to better understand you and your home. They will then send you a full report including comparable local sales and give recommendations on listing price and sales strategy.
Once you are ready to go ahead they will arrange professional photography, floor plans and advertising. You pay a flat fee ($5,500 in NSW for private treaty and $6,600 for auction) with the option of additional add-on services. This fee includes online advertising on realestate.com.au and domain.com.au as well as your signboard and Local Property Experts assistance. The auction cost includes the auctioneers fee as well as the agent attending all open homes and private viewings (this is an additional cost for private treaty sales).
When your home is ready to list online and the sale process starts, the Purplebricks online portal helps you manage it all. You can speak directly to potential buyers, arrange inspection times, review feedback from those who’ve viewed the property and even negotiate the sale price (or delegate it to the Local Property Expert to manage if you prefer).
Once your home sells, all these discussions can be sent directly to your solicitor or conveyancer to finalise the contracts. Like everything with Purplebricks, the sales support team is there 24/7 to help.
For the first time, home owners have a real choice when it comes to how they sell their home, and as a result most Sydney home owners will save tens of thousands of dollars. Not only that, but they will have the transparency of being able to see what is happening with the sales process at every step of the way. I would have LOVED that when we were selling!
Does It Work?
My initial question was does it really work? Do people sell their homes and are they happy?
Purplebricks certainly seems to be proving themselves in the Australian market so far. In just four months, Purplebricks has exchanged or settled on over 150 residential properties to deliver an estimated $1.7m in savings back to sellers and Purplebricks has been rated 9.5/10 (“Excellent”) by its Australian sellers to date on independent rating service TrustPilot. The average time on market for a Purplebricks property is 24 days.
Real Case Studies
Tanya Elsegood listed her Melbourne property with Purplebricks and ran an auction campaign.
- The reserve price was $765,000 and the property quickly sold at the first auction for $787,000
- Tanya saved over $15,000 thanks to Purplebricks
You can check out the auction here.
Phil McEwan listed his Gold Coast property with Purplebricks as a private treaty sale.
- The list price was $549,000 and the property quickly sold at the first open house viewing for $545,000
- Phil and his wife made a savings of approximately $10,487. The property was on the market for just 3 days before it was sold.
You can check out the video here.
How Much Could YOU Save?
The reality for most Sydney home owners is that that they will save tens of thousands. Purplebricks says $15,000+, but with such a range of hose prices across Sydney, the savings could be WAY more. Our marketing alone was more than the full fixed fee for Purplebricks.
Overall I think it’s a really great concept and one that will save many homeowners a lot of money plus give them the transparency and control that is often lacking when selling a home. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it goes in Sydney. If you have used them before or decide to give them a try I would love to hear your experiences!
Check out the new Purplebricks TV commercial for Sydney below…