The risks of using an online estate agent to sell your home

Is it really worth the risk selling with an online agent?

Many of you will have seen the recent episode of BBC Watchdog revealed shocking information following an investigation of the online estate agency Purple Bricks, and it’s failure to provide clear, transparent information to its customers.

Far from revolutionising the property market, Purple Bricks appear to have taken the reputation of estate agency back to the days when it was perceived as an un-trustworthy industry, something that many high street agents have long been battling to overcome.

“The ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) has banned 6 of the company’s claims over the last 18 months” and claims about so-called costs savings on fees from the online estate agency versus the high street agent are suggested to be misleading.

Key points to note:

  • Sellers were given the option to defer fee payment without being told that they were actually entering into a credit agreement with a separate finance company.
  • Customers subjected to additional charges for organising property viewings.
  • The flat fee of £849 or £1,119 is not refundable so sellers cannot recover this whether Purple Bricks sell your property or not.
  • A non-refundable flat fee of £849 or £1,119 – will not be able to recover whether they sell your property or not.
  • Their so called “Local property experts” were not local at all, with reports of one coming from 30 miles away
  • Distinct lack of communication – one customer had no idea that their original buyer had dropped out of the transaction.

Since opening in early 2016 we at Middleton estates have worked hard to dispel the perception that all estate agents are dishonest. We have built a strong team of sales and letting agents who practice the same philosophy when it comes to working with clients: “reputation is more important than any quick win”. We understand just how important it is that our clients feel listened tounderstood and valued when it comes to buying, selling, letting or renting a property with us, which is how we have built up a loyal customer base and are now looking to expand our business across the South Coast.

Key reasons why our clients say we’re different:

“Can’t thank all the guys enough at Middleton Estates for arranging my sale and purchase. They were always available for advice, support and professional guidance in what can be a stressful experience they ensured that it was as trouble free and enjoyable as possible.”

“Thanks to Middleton estates for helping us get our family home. It was a pleasure for us to have them sell our home and was able to build a rapport with all the staff members. It definitely seems that going with an Independent estate agents provide a more personal moving experience.”

“Having worked with Tom for 18 months he is a highly professional and trust worthy agent and has a fantastic knowledge of estate agency, would not hesitate to buy or sell through Tom, not a normal estate agent but one who cares about all vendors and buyers and will help them find their dream home.”

Our promise to you:

  • We only take a fee once your property is sold.

  • Our team will actively source you a property – you just provide the wishlist.

  • You will receive transparent information and advice at all times.

  • Communication will be face to face, via phone or email (whatever works best for you) and you will be informed throughout your property sale or search.

  • You will not be tied into a long term contract – our contract terms are much shorter compared to other agents.

  • We quickly tell you about new instructions to the market to get you ahead of the queue.

At Middleton Estates we operate truthfully, fairly and with your best interests at the core of our service. Our reputation is too important to risk and that’s why we stand by our promises to you at every stage of your property sale or purchase.

We operate an open-door policy with our clients to ensure that we are communicating clearly and listening to what works for you. If you’d like to find out more about buying, selling,  renting or letting a property with us, get in touch today 01273 454878 or email

Tom Middleton, Managing Director – E:

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