ACA finds more online estate agencies’ claims to be dishonest
In a further blow to the reputation of the online estate agency industry, the advertising watchdog has cast its critical eye towards market leaders Purplebricks and Housesimple, for making misleading claims regarding their services.
As more house sellers find themselves moving towards online as opposed to high street estate agencies in a bid to save money, many are finding that the advantages of e-commerce are not quite as clear-cut as they originally hoped.
In the last few years, a number of online agents including Hatched and eMoov have fallen foul of the ASA standards of practice with regards to honest advertising by making unsubstantiated claims to increase business.
Purplebricks themselves have faced the wrath of the watchdog numerous times. In March 2016, the company were censored for claiming there would be no upfront fee to sell a property on their website – in reality, however, the fee did exist, it was simply charged later in the sales process.
Over the following year, Purplebricks had two further rulings against them upheld as a result of incorrect claims about how much money could be saved by switching from high street agents to the online giant.
Housesimple, who were recently voted as best online agent by MyHomeMove in 2017 have also found themselves falling foul of the ASA in November last year for falsely claiming in a London Underground advert that it sold houses on average three times faster than any other agent – a claim that preyed upon customers who needed to sell their house fast.
They also found themselves in trouble in February this year for failing to disclose the need to use their in-house conveyancing and mortgage services in order to have to access to the quoted prices advertised on their website.
With complaints regarding online agents on the rise due to their competitive marketing practices, many customers are finding themselves questioning whether the cut in fees is more advantageous to the sale of their home than the local knowledge available from their local high-street agent, or other more reputable companies who can accurately gauge how much their house is worth.
Of course, when the market is in a slowdown, many vendors cannot afford to wait for their home to sell through the traditional means. Luckily, they can always use house-buying companies who are happy to purchase a home no matter the location or circumstances.
Prefer to not deal with estate agents? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.