Purplebricks, UK hybrid real estate brokerage, to invade US with $60M

Firm peddles a high-tech, low-fee offering and aims to recruit highly experienced U.S. agents
  • To successfully break into the U.S., Purplebricks will have to adapt to buyer's agency and the MLS, and win over consumers who have shrugged at low-fee offerings in the past.
  • The company says it will try to hire some of the "most experienced" agents in the U.S., licensing its brand and business model on a ZIP code basis.

An elderly British man asks a homeseller if he used the real estate firm Purplebricks to sell his home. “They’re just online, aren’t they?” asks the seller. “No, no, they’re proper estate agents,” insists the elderly man. “You just don’t pay commission.” Looking dazed, the seller politely excuses himself. Then he screams into a cupboard.