According to the Advertising Standards Authority, consumers assume that online real estate agent Purplebricks conducts viewings as part of its fee.
Purplebricks has been warned to clarify its advertising around its fees after a watchdog found it was likely to mislead consumers.
The Purplebricks website stated that consumers could “instruct us to sell for £849”, with small text adding that the fee rose to £1,199 in London and surrounding areas.
Next to this was an icon which, when hovered over, revealed that customers could pay an extra one-off fee of £300 for the agency to conduct viewings of the property.
Hunters Property Group, which understood that the average fee paid to Purplebricks was higher than £849, complained that the information was misleading.
It also complained that the website was misleading because it did not make clear that the £849 fee, unlike estate agent commission, had to be paid irrespective of whether or not the property was sold and before the sale was completed.
Purplebricks said £849 was the figure that most people paid to sell their property and around 40% of people paid an optional £300 for their viewing service.
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