Buying and selling a house with Purplebricks


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Our building surveyors recently carried out a survey on a house that had been sold via the Purplebricks estate agency; this particular house was in a below average condition.  We believe that Purplebricks sell a large variety of different types and sizes of properties.  We managed to have a good discussion with the estate agent or local property expert as he is called in the Purplebricks franchise.

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Differences with surveyors and differences with Purplebricks

Our independent building surveyors were met by the Purplebricks estate agent/local property expert at the property, whereas normally on the day of a building survey our surveyors would have to go to the estate agency office to collect keys. 

You may or may not be aware that Purplebricks do not have offices as they generally, from what we understand, have agents working from their homes. 

The Purplebricks estate agent showed our surveyor around the property quickly showing them how to open the doors, which were slightly tricky and also pointed out to our surveyor where there were some window keys for the window locks.  The Purplebricks representative asked our surveyor for his details and also asked which type of survey was being carried out on the property, which our surveyor duly advised. 

Later, the Purplebricks estate agent wanted to leave to go onto another appointment and our surveyor asked where the keys could be returned to?  The response was to be advised that it would be best to leave the keys hidden somewhere at the property!

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Purplebricks late evening viewings

During our surveyor’s chat with the Purplebricks estate agent it was established that the agent had been an estate agent for a long time and had a large amount of experience.  The agent advised that he was finding working with Purplebricks very good and enjoyable although many appointments were late in the evening.  The agent also advised that he was pleased to receive local work from Purplebricks.

Purplebricks online estate agents / property experts

A few weeks later another of our surveyors surveyed another property that was marketed by Purplebricks, by now our surveyors had researched via the internet to find out more about Purplebricks and how they operated. 

This time again the agent met our surveyor at the property, which was unoccupied and again showed the surveyor briefly around the property and again showed how to open, in this case, the rear doors which were particularly tricky.  Whilst our surveyor was carrying out the structural building survey he had a chat with the Purplebricks estate agent and was advised that the agent used to be part of a large corporate estate agents and then had set up on his own and then worked for Purplebricks.  This agent described how he was enjoying working for Purplebricks and how the experience had had a 400% increase in his business over the past couple of years, although did not explain exactly when they had started with Purplebricks.  In addition to this the agent also advised that it was good as they received a good amount of local work although they did tend to attend many evening viewings as this was a popular time for viewings.  The agent was aware that Purplebricks is a 24hr 7 day a week business and this model worked particularly well in the London area at this time.

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Surveyors experience with Purplebricks

From our surveyors point of view being met at the property is helpful as often our surveyors have to go to estate agencies’ offices to collect and also return keys to the property.  This is frequently usually carried out in High Street locations, which are often locations where it is difficult to find available car parking spaces nearby. 

The estate agents our surveyors have met so far who work for Purplebricks (who are called local property experts) have been as knowledgeable as the estate agents that our surveyors come across in the more established estate agents.  The Purplebricks agents, our surveyors have found, are certainly knowledgeable about the area where the property is located and have an average estate agency knowledge regarding the property.  As our surveyors understand it, Purplebricks estate agents only work for the seller of the property and when asked if they carried out a bias service stated that they did not know about this if they did.

Property details that Purplebricks prepare appear fairly similar to what we find in good estate agents particularly the independent local estate agencies, in our experience we often find the better estate agents have moved out of corporate estate agencies and set up on their own.

Furthermore, as with any businesses there is a variety of different qualities of estate agents and cannot all be tarred with the same brush!

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Buyers experience of Purplebricks

When our surveyors asked what the buyers experience was of Purplebricks the first response was that it has been a different experience as the estate agent did not have an office and only met them at the property.  Their experience was that the Purplebricks estate agent was very polite and presentable and seemed relatively believeable and honest. The overall experience was reported to be a fairly relaxed operation but this could be this particular agent and of course importantly they had the property on the market that the potential purchaser was looking for.  In addition to this the buyer was well aware that the estate agent was working for the seller and they were protected by caveat emptor / buyer beware so to some extent they needed to be aware that everything that the Purplebricks agent was saying was to sell the property!

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We wish Purplebricks Limited all the best

Over the many decades our building surveyors have worked in the property industry many changes have taken place and we do wish Purplebricks estate agency with their tag of “an estate agent you can love the best” certainly seem to have a lot of sale boards present and seem to be a popular choice.


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