Australia’s Own Big Friendly Giant (BFG) Has Arrived

If you’re a mum like me, it’s likely you’ve seen the movie BFG – Big Friendly Giant. It tells the tale of an orphaned girl who is plucked from her predicament and taken on a journey to the giant’s homeland. Together the girl and the giant battle other giants. But these giants are bigger and they seem to have an advantage: They hang out in a group and there’s a lot of them. The girl and her BFG have to work ‘smarter.’ So together, they come up with a savvy plan to please everybody and ultimately save the world. They even meet the Queen.

If you love a story with a happy ending, where everyone ends up well…chuffed – come in close. I’m here to deliver a new concept in real estate that’s launching in Australia and I’m jiggling in my seat with excitement over it.


Here’s the short of it

Real Estate in Australia is set to receive a shake-up. This competition comes in the form of a glorious customer-focused giant dressed in yes – purple. If you are in the predicament of selling a house soon, I hope you’ll pause with me for a moment to take this story in.

This new concept is ‘a breath of fresh air’ and it’s going to change the way Australian’s do real estate – forever.


Timing is everything

This story is timely for me. My hubby and I have just spent the last three months in a real estate battle of our own over our little investment property in the country. The story is a typical landlord’s tale of turmoil and woe.

Think prime time ‘bad tenant story’ from a show like A Current Affair. Mix that with a visual of 10 hungry bulldogs owned by a filthy dog-breeding pot-smoking tenant. Then add a real estate agent with limited management ability, no customer service skills and dodgy company processes. Now add a pinch of timing and children – school holidays. Sprinkle that recipe with distance. Our investment property is a 4-hour drive away. Serve that up with a week of losing income while shovelling up the mess in the country. (You don’t want to know what happened up there.) Finally, garnish that with a loss of $4000 (and that’s not including income) and you’ve got a picture of the kind of ‘out-of-pocket’ experience I’m talking about.

As you can imagine, this has been a recipe for ‘hell.’ The whole experience has left me with a really bad taste in my mouth.


That’s why I was so happy to hear this…

The name on everyone’s lips this week is ‘Purplebricks.’

If you’ve ever bought or sold a house in Australia via a real estate agent, or plan to, this story is for you.

Have you experienced any of these frustrations?

Before I get into things, here are just some of the battles I’ve personally had when buying or selling a house through a real estate agent.

Such experiences are not ‘fun to have,’ but I admit – they do make for gripping ‘hindsight’ stories at parties.

Sluggish processes

Generally, it takes weeks just to get the house ‘put on the market’ and listed. Then there are all the emails and calls. They’re thrown into the air by agents like confetti in a random and confused efford of poorly-delivered offers.

Anguished Negotiations

Many sellers experience anguish over ‘negotiating’ the agent’s commission (these can vary considerably). That’s if sellers know they can even negotiate these at all. This is often not made clear until the end of a deal, by which time most people are ‘over it.’

By the end of the process (the sale) buyers and sellers are exhausted. They’ve barely the energy to raise a glass in celebration. They just want their lives back.

Most refer to this phenomena as – ‘sleeping at night.’

Lack of transparency and shifty acts

Some real estate agents don’t even disclose offers to sellers before an auction. This is shifty because they are trying to ‘get a house to auction’ because they profit so much more.
In fact, here’s a shifty act we personally experienced:

We put a bid on a house at an auction and our pre-offer of $440k was according to the real estate agent – ‘refused by the vendor.’ The house went to auction and sold for $50k less than the price we offered – at $390k. Then we ‘ran into the vendor’ while on a walk up the shops. They had so little money from their sale, they ended up moving to the same then-crappy neighbourhood as us.

We got chatting over the garden fence and I mentioned we tried to buy their old place. We happened to know it was them, because we had also put a bid on the house they bought. During the conversation we mutually discovered the offer was never given to the vendor. They were devastated to realise they’d missed out on a cool $50k due to this shifty lack of transparency.

But don’t worry – there were winners in this story alright:
  1. No surprise – the real estate agency. They walked away with their fat auction check and big commission on the home.
  2. The ‘lucky guy’ who snapped up a piece of premium real estate at the last minute for a song (hmm…).

Losses

Owners losing money due to dodgy agent’s doing dodgier ‘in-house’ deals.

Yep. I’ve heard all kinds of stories about agents not only selling houses to their friends, but also snapping up deals for themselves or family members.

Does happen.

Communication

Agents completely leaving homeowners out of the sale process and ‘keeping them in the dark’ until the ‘final offer’ is received.

Come on guys.

No-one likes to go to a party and get ignored in the corner.

Even, my kid knows that…

Inconvenience

Finally, buying and selling houses is totally inconvenient for most of us. The task is way too time-consuming for busy mums, dads, consumers, working people and everyone inbetween. I looked at a total of 35 houses over eight weeknights and weekends before buying.

In the end we moved suburbs and just grabbed the house we’re in now because it was a stinking hot day in summer (42 degrees) and we were ‘over it.’

Thankfully, four years on – we’re extremely happy with our purchase.

But that could have turned out another way – like, uh… disaster.


For all of the above reasons, I’m stoked Australia’s got a new real estate BFG

Firstly, I’ll give you the quick tip – and show you their video. This will really put some pep in your step, if you are ‘over’ real estate agents too:



Here’s my super short version of this happy story

  1. You save about $15,000k
  2. You pay one flat fee upfront to sell your house
  3. If you don’t have the flat fee ($4,500 inc GST) you can defer the whole cost of the fee until settlement
  4. You won’t pay agent fees after the deal
  5. You can watch offers for your home come in live any time of the day or night
  6. If you want to go to auction you only pay an additional $825 dollars!!!!!! (Hooray!!!!)
  7. Their customer-service is premium with 24/7 around the clock help
  8. They are open when other Real Estate Agents are closed
  9. Purplebricks Local Property Experts are fully licensed
  10. Transparency is key – Negotiating with buyers is your choice (You can choose to negotiate or have your highly qualified Purplebricks Local Property Expert take care of it and they will do everything for you)
  11. When a sale is agreed upon a dedicated Sales Support team will guide you through the conveyancing process

Here’s a nifty visual of the kind of goodness I’m talking about:

Here’s a scenario of how you might sell your house on Purplebricks

  1. You read this story or see a story on the telly
  2. Head over the Purplebricks website and register online to sell your house
  3. You use their calendar to ‘book an appointment time’ with your local PB rep
  4. Your rep with give you a no-obligation appraisal and offer their advice and expertise
  5. They will personally support your throughout to achieve the highest possible price
  6. You instruct Purplebricks to sell
  7. They provide all marketing including a floor plan, description, professional photography and signage to sell your home
  8. If you choose to sell by auction the cost of an auctioneer and open days are also included in the fixed fee
  9. Your fully licensed Local Property Expert will prepare your advertisement for the leading property websites including realestate.com.au, domain.com.au and purplebricks.com.au
  10. Your home can be up for sale and ‘on the market’ in Australia within 48 hours and visible to millions of potential buyers instantly
  11. Your local expert becomes your advocate and manages the entire process for you
  12. You start receiving offers online
  13. You sell your house at the agreed price
  14. You don’t pay a commission

A further note on auctions

If you want to go to auction, you won’t be forking out the cost of groceries for a year. Instead you’ll pay just $825 extra on top of the flat fee ($5,325 inc GST in total). That will get you an auctioneer on the day and your house SOLD to the highest bidder. You can also take offers right up until your auction date and you can have FULL CONTROL of that process if you want to.

So why am I calling ‘Purplebricks’ Australia’s Big Friendly Giant?

Well. I was lucky enough to meet personally with Purplebrick’s CEO, Michael Bruce, last week in Melbourne. The meeting was refreshing. Michael is nice. He’s down-to-Earth. It’s inspiring to see friendly, family-oriented people (Michael is in partnership with his brother Kenny) building empires that are helping people.

They’re big

Purplebricks is worth close to $630 million dollars in the UK after floating on London’s Alternative Investment Market last year.

They’re friendly

Michael’s persona is humble. He is just like a bloke you’d meet at the pub or a neighbour you might meet over the back fence. Overall, I found Michael’s approach to be wholesome and honest.

They’re giants

They have also secured a whopping 62% of the UK’s non-traditional estate agent market.

Why purple I asked?

It turns out ‘in the early days’ of business, Michael asked brother Kenny to come up with a colour to represent what they wanted their business to stand for.

Their goals for a name included ‘strength, integrity and something regal.’

And so Purplebricks was born.



What can you do with all those savings?

Here are my big tips on what you can do with the savings you make from considering Purplebricks

Build Equity

The saving of $15k can be added to the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG). If you are a first-home buyer you can save close to $25k by going down the Purplebricks path and combining the savings. Spend the money on your renovation, add equity to your home and use the equity to buy an investment property.

Renovate

Many people who buy houses neglect to factor in renovation costs after a home purchase. Spend the $15k on those first renovation tasks to make your house more liveable straight away. Or buy a house, do a quick ‘cosmetic’ renovation on it, flip it and then move into a dreamier house.

Invest

Invest the $15k into your super. That money will compound over time and depending on your age, you could be thousands of dollars better off when you’re older.

Borrowing Power

Clear bad debts like car and credit card loans. Stop paying high interest and improve your credit rating. The less debt you have, the more chance you will have to borrow for purchasing real estate in the future. Banks love debt-free punters.


Random Notes

Here are some final notes on why Purplebricks is getting rave reviews from consumers: 
  • Their flat-fee commission rate
  • They offer full 24/7 support
  • Outstanding customer service
  • The solution fits around customer’s busy lives
  • You can accept live offers online
  • Their Local Experts are fully licensed, industry experienced and they’re pleasing people (they have a five-star rating on Trustpilot from over 7,391 UK reviews)
  • They’re breaking down cost barriers to sale for consumers
  • They’re creating clear lines of communication between buyers and sellers
  • You can track your property sale from start to finish
  • You can choose your level of involvement in the process
  • They provide full information and transparency
  • You’ll also receive a post sales support team
  • Their ‘taskforce’ of fully licensed experts are at hand
  • You can put your property on ‘pause’ if you want to take a break
  • You can keep your property up until it sells

Why Aussies are loving Purplebricks


I’m giving Purplebricks my FIVE STAR RATING

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Nice work PB – thanks for being my new BFG.

I’m eternally grateful.

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PENINA PETERSEN
Once orphaned by agents – no more…
Australia’s No.1 Savings Blogger