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Pete's Blog

Purplebricks last Wednesday night on prime time TV rejected claims that it has led vendors 'up the garden path'. On the Watchdog programme on BBC1, one seller complained that their Local Property Expert was in fact based 30 miles away. Another complained that the Purplebricks advert on TV said it would “'old her hand', but it had not. The vendor went on to sell through a high street agent. Other parts of Watchdog focused on how sellers who deferred payment have to sign up to a credit agreement with Close Brothers, saying they had not been warned about this.
 
Every business faces competition. But, to my recollection, Castlegate has never appeared on watchdog. There seems to be a growing competition within the Estate Agent industry of who can charge the cheapest fees to sell a home, with some agents quoting as little as £395 to market your property.
 
The aim of these agents such as Purplebricks, is to tell the public that they can save thousands of pounds in fees by selling their home through them. A claim that they cannot substantiate and Purplebricks have been told to stop making such claims by the Advertising standards authority.
 

The Lesson:
Throughout my life, like yourselves, I have been a consumer of goods and services and whether it be a tangible item that I am looking to buy or a service that I am seeking, I have made good choices and some very bad ones in the past. The bad ones are primarily when I have sought to ‘save money’ and ‘buy it cheap’, but ‘cheap as chips’ doesn’t work. We have all been caught out in the past tempted by some supposed saving, but even after experiencing rubbish goods or services some people continue to just buy on price! They never seem to learn the lesson that if you can buy it cheap, then there is some reason for that, but never question what that reason is?
 
Someone emailed me the other day telling me to phone them to see if I qualified for a £5,000 rebate on my telephone system. They caught me at a vulnerable moment and I fell for it again didn’t I, made the call and when asked how I qualified for the £5,000 rebate was told, “well we might be able to get you some rebate but it depends”… Oh, come on!
 
I also recently switched wifi suppliers, after claims that I could save money and that it would be 1000 times faster or something like that. IT’S NOT! It’s worse than before and I wish I’d stayed put and paid £10 more a month for a better service. I could go on...
 
‘You only get what you pay for son', my Dad used to say. He was right and I wish that on occasion I had listened to him more. “Pay cheap pay twice he’d say”, and in the past I have because the offer at the time seemed too tempting and I was slow to learn.
 
To many people their property is possibly their biggest financial asset. Yet it never ceases to amaze me why they then entrust the sale of such a large and important financial asset to someone who then has little or no incentive to sell it. This applies to many business’s such as Purplebricks because you have to pay upfront or make a commitment to make a deferred guaranteed payment to them. They have their money and they then move on. Great business if people are daft enough to do that. They have no incentive to work hard to get the best and highest price for your property because they have already been paid and they don’t care whether they sell it or not because they have already been paid! They have no incentive to get the property sold quickly for the owner because guess what, yes, you’ve got it... they have already been paid. Seriously?

 

The best sales agent is the one that gets you the best / top price for your property and in the quickest time!

And that’s Castlegate, we are great at it, our statistics show that and there is ‘the difference’. With Castlegate you have direct access to the owners of the business, not someone sat in a call centre in Birmingham. What’s more, we have great local knowledge and incentive to sell your property because we do not get paid until we do. We charge more because we do a quality job and as a result you get more which means that you receive a higher price for your property. So, it all boils down to whether you want your property selling properly with Castlegate on a fully comprehensive basis, or to go cheap and choose someone to sell it on a Third Party, Fire and Theft basis, because there are plenty out there who will promise you the earth and deliver nothing. We all have a choice.
 
Our real and genuine reviews speak for themselves. We will continue to be the agent of choice in our area and to deliver what we promise. Meanwhile we can sit back and wait for more people to send in their complaints to Watchdog.

Until next time.


Peter Mitchell
Managing Director

Property Portals