Another Flat-Fee Brokerage “Purplebricks” Expands to California
By Alexander Reed @ Real Estate Daily
January 25, 2018

The British real estate company Purplebricks just launched their flat-fee home listing service in San Diego County, Fresno, and Sacramento. The full-service brokerage charges sellers a flat $3,200 to list their home and offers a variety of traditional brokerage services.

Key Takeaways

  • Purplebricks’ flat-fee of $3,200 is likely cheaper than traditional commission costs
  • The flat-fee includes a variety services like 3-D virtual tours and professional photography
  • Purplebricks pairs assigns local real estate experts to help sellers through the process

Purplebricks is expanding to the United States after a successful few years in the UK housing market. The full-service brokerage just launched in San Diego, Fresno, and Sacramento – expensive markets with sellers looking for a discount on commission.

The median home price in San Diego County, for example, was $540,00 in November. Purplebricks’ flat-fee of $3,200 would save the average seller around $10,000 on listing commission fees (assuming 2.5% listing fee and 2.5% for buyer’s agent).

“When prices are high, it just makes more people into Realtors,” said Dana Kuhn, real estate lecturer at San Diego State University. “The (commission) model has survived for a long time, but is vulnerable now to online systems.”

Purplebricks is one of many flat-fee brokerages taking advantage of competitive, overpriced housing markets. Southern California is attracting a growing number of companies that are lowering commission fees and offering a full-service brokerage experience.

“The flat rate obviously is a great value. Home sellers get 3-D virtual tours, a full-service offering, professional photography and a local real estate expert that actually shows up at the house and works with them throughout the process,” said Eric Eckardt, CEO of Purplebricks U.S. operation.

Nancy Fitzgerald operates out of Irvine California and is one of the Purplebricks’ best reviewed on Zillow. Fitzgerald said the brokerage offers the full range of services associated with traditional brokerages. “We do everything that a traditional agency would do. We probably do more.”