Purplebricks is bringing its flat-fee model to the Sunshine State. The U.K.-founded real estate brokerage – which charges sellers a $3,600 fee per listing – officially launched Tuesday in Orlando and Tampa, as the company celebrates one year of operating in the United States.
“We’ve seen a huge cultural shift favoring total transparency as Americans’ faith in a number of professions – including real estate agents – has dwindled,” said Eric Eckardt, the U.S. chief executive of Purplebricks.
Eckardt cited a study the company commissioned that compares trust levels among different occupations. The study, conducted by New York City-based consulting firm, Kelton Global found that among the 1,028 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over that responded, only 11 percent of Americans “completely trust” real estate agents.
“The fact is that before Purplebricks, there was little to no visibility into the home buying and selling process – the agents had all the control, which allowed them to hike up commission fees and dole out information as they saw fit,” added Eckardt. “We have remedied this conundrum by providing a full-service offering that grants total transparency into the entire process, empowering our clients to play a greater role in the sale of their homes in partnership with our local real estate experts.”
Eckardt’s claims of no visibility into the home buying and selling process before Purplebricks is bold, to say the least. The company has come under fire in the past in the U.K. over its lack of transparency for fees buried in small print and gotten into public spats over the veracity of its home selling stats.
Starting today, residents in the two Florida cities can list their homes with the company for the flat-fee up front and, upon closing, pay the buyer’s commission. The fee is flat across all regions in which Purplebricks operates – in addition to Florida, the company is in California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Arizona and Nevada – and includes pricing and staging advice, professional photography, signage and marketing, an immersive 3D virtual tour and dedicated support through closing.
Aaron Drucker, who had spend the previous six years with Redfin, will lead operations in Florida.
“Both Tampa and Orlando are experiencing sellers’ markets with 2.5 and three months’ supply of inventory, respectively, which is leading to rising home prices,” said Drucker. “Now is the perfect time to introduce consumers to Purplebricks’ revolutionary platform, through which clients can save thousands.”
The company said with Purplebrick’s formula the typical listing of a $306,000 home in these regions would save the seller approximately $5,580 over choosing a real estate brokerage and paying a six-percent commission.
“What attracted me to the Purplebricks platform is the value proposition to both the consumer and the agent; it’s the best in the industry,” Drucker added. “Furthermore, Purplebricks is nimble and able to scale rapidly without sacrificing on service. I look forward to leveraging my extensive expertise in the Florida real estate market to make an immediate impact for customers and agents.”