Online agency is first in UK to sell homes for free

Online agency adopts new business model to become the first UK estate agent to sell homes for free. It will be rolled out across the country in the coming months having already been trialled in selected areas.

Housesimple, the UK’s fifth largest single brand estate agency, has already trialled the model in Yorkshire and the North West of England and it will be rolled out across the nation.

It says that based on the average property price in the UK of £226,798, sellers could save over £3,000 in commission. Chief executive Sam Mitchell believes it will become the most popular way to sell homes.

Sellers will continue to receive local expert valuations, photos and floorplan, ads on Rightmove, Zoopla and others, a ‘for sale’ board, negotiations and sales progression, and the support of a dedicated team from valuation through to completion.

Rather than charging commission or fees for selling homes, Housesimple will earn referral fees from no-obligation selected services provided to sellers and buyers such as mortgage, conveyancing and insurance advice.

‘It’s time for change in estate agency. We believe selling a property should be a great experience and that’s why we are making it simple, transparent and free. The ability to sell a home through advertised listings and professional support, without paying any estate agent fees, is unique in the UK,’ Mitchell said.

‘Housesimple is the only company to offer this service and we expect it will quickly become the most popular way to sell a property. This is a bold move but one that has been tested,’ he explained. Within just six months of trialling this offer the agency increased property listings fivefold and it says it is now one of the leading agents by listings in cities like Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester.

‘Like most estate agents, we are generating revenue from ancillary services, but as we don’t have expensive branches and we use technology to make us more efficient, we can pass on these savings to our customers by not charging fees to sellers or buyers,’ Mitchell pointed out.

‘Our goal is to offer our free service nationwide, but we’re not extending our service to the whole of the UK in one go because we think demand will initially exceed our ability to service all our customers. We are therefore building up our coverage in Yorkshire and the North West and will start to roll out to other towns and cities in the coming months,’ he added.