If you’re in the market to sell a property, you may have noticed a few DIY-selling sites pop up over the last few years. These sites are an alternative to the traditional method of using an agent - and paying large commissions. Instead, you do it yourself and still get to advertise on the same listing platforms.
That includes Cubbi, but there are other companies like Purplebricks or Buy My Place that have entered this market with the same proposition: ditch your agent.
With a few DIY-style offerings to choose from, what’s the difference between all of these sites? And which is going to be best for your situation?
If you’ve bought and sold a couple of properties before you might prefer a full DIY option. But if you’re not as experienced, you might want a platform that offers a little more support.
To help you decide, we’ve put together a comparison table of some of the major players below, with a summary of each one.
If the below table looks a bit overwhelming just skip it and go straight to my summary on each company.
To be upfront and honest - yes, I’m the co founder of Cubbi but I don’t think Cubbi is for everyone or every property. The other companies on this list are very reputable and offer a great service. You just need to pick the right one for you.
First up, Purplebricks offers a free appraisal. Instead of using agents, they use a “fully licensed local property expert” (...so, a real estate agent), who offer you advice on negotiating, listing the property, and general guidance along the sales process. Sellers and buyers communicate with each other on the online platform.
You can delay the $4,500 fee ($5,500 if you’re in New South Wales) if you use their partner conveyancer - LawLab - which costs about $1,300 - $1,600 for a house in New South Wales. (You can get out of using them and still defer your payment if you pay a $360 fee.)
You get a basic listing on realestate.com.au, Domain and the Purplebricks website. You also get a professional photographer, a signboard, and a floorplan, though you have to pay $220 for brochures if you want them. They offer 24/7 contact. You handle all the inspections yourself, or pay $770 for the agent to do it.
One note: Purplebricks doesn’t operate in Tasmania, the ACT, or the Northern Territory.
Who is Purplebricks for?
Purplebricks is the closest thing to using a traditional agent but with a big saving of about 50%.
Let's say hypothetically your property was worth about $600,000 and at 2.5% commission. That’s going to cost you about $15k plus marketing. Whereas if you use Purplebricks you’ll pay around $6,000 taking into consideration extra costs for inspections and brochures.
Purplebricks is great if you’re totally inexperienced with selling a house and need someone in person guiding you. To get the full benefit from Purplebricks you have to pay the extra $770 for them to do the inspections.
Warning: There is one major difference compared with an agent, if you don’t sell you still need to pay their fees.
Buy My Place
Buy My Place has a similar type of offering to Purplebricks in that they promise a good selling experience with no commissions. But they don’t seem to offer the same type of individual contact, instead offering a 24/7 support line.
Buy My Place offers different packages ranging in price. The most basic is the $795 plan, which gets you:
• A basic listing on realestate.com.au and domain until sold
• Customer support
• Online enquiry forwarding
• Market comparison report
They offer five different packages depending on if want a photo signboard, photography and even professional copy writing.
Their top tier package ($4,595) is only available in Melbourne. That tier gets you someone to handle your enquiries and inspections as well, along with a free appraisal, photographer and a keys handover too - so it’s closer to what you get with Purplebricks and an agent.
Buy My Place gives you more flexibility with all the different packages, but it’s fairly expensive at the high-end.
Why Buy My Place?
If you’re looking for basic advertising and want to manage your own sale this is a great option. If you have a property in more competitive areas (in and around CBD’s) like Richmond, Victoria you should be weary of where you listing will show up on realestate.com.au.
Comparing Buy My Place with other DIY selling sites - the main difference is this company has stood the test of time. Unlike many other smaller ones who pop up one day and gone the next.
Property Now is a nuts-and-bolts service with nothing too fancy. For $694 you get:
• A listing on REA and Domain
• Basic support (online or on the phone)
• For sale sign
• Phone inquiry system
• Inquiries are forwarded to you
You have to handle your own inspections, your own appraisal, your own paperwork, etc. But there are some extras you can buy as well, like:
• A realestate.com.au 30 day Premiere listing upgrade for a property in South Yarra is $5,463 as quoted by a support person. However their website says anywhere from $700 to $2,000.
• Open for inspection signs - $50 per stake
• A “professional property video” for $100
• SMS notification of enquiries for $15
• Weekly engagement reports for $5
• Translation for Chinese sites at $430 for 95 days
• Professional photography - $250 for 12 photos
Property Now says they’re open seven days a week, only closed on Christmas, and you can either use phone, live chat or email to contact them.
Why Property Now?
Very very similar to BuyMyPlace with regards to the service and features offered except they don’t have a top tier package.
Suitable for people who are keen to do it alone with some guidance on a smaller marketing budget.
This option was not part of the chart above because it’s not a DIY Selling platform however it is still the most common option to sell your home so it’s worth a mention.
Using a traditional agent is a hands-off experience, but you pay through the commission. If you’re selling a house (same scenario above) in Victoria for say, $600,000, a 2.5% commission means you’re paying the agent $15,000. But that means you get everything taken care of:
• Usually an appraisal
• Professional photography and a floor plan if you’re lucky
• Basic marketing on websites
• They handle the inspections
• They handle the paperwork (you still need a conveyancer to handle the legal side)
• Handling enquiries and negotiations
• Advice and support
Obviously, the price will differ based on who you ask. Most agents charge a marketing fee upfront especially for a premiere listing on realestate.com.au.
Who should use an agent?
It’s a real hands-on experience. The main thing you need to do is make sure the house is in tip top presentation (as per normal when selling) and pick the right agent!
I would recommend this option to anyone who has no time to show buyers through, lives interstate or just wants the job done without thinking too much :)
You just pay for it in large commissions.
At Cubbi we offer an online service that varies in price depending on how competitive your suburb is. For example a property in Richmond will cost you $3,819 but in Boort (Country Victoria) it will cost $2,235.
All of Cubbi’s listings on realestate.com.au are “Premiere” 45 day listings by default. Once your “premiere” listing is done, it defaults back to the “featured” listing – which is still above all standard ads on realestate.com.au (Buy My Place, Property Now and Purplebricks).
Before I go any further I think it’s critical to explain, what a Premiere Listing is. They are the biggest and best listing you can get on realestate.com.au.
Premiere listings appear first and rotate to the top every 15 days. On average they get 5.5x more email enquiries than standard ads and sell 49% quicker. (stats provided by realestate.com.au)
With Cubbi you also get:
• International exposure in the USA, Europe, Southeast Asia and China
• 100 A4 double sided brochures
• Large photo signboard sized 6x4
• An open home sign
• Real-time inquiries over phone and email
• Weekly performance reports
• Access to a personal licensed real estate agent, seven days a week, to help you with things like negotiating.
With Cubbi you can handle your photography, or you can work through our partner. You also handle the inspections as well, but have access to support open seven days to help you out with anything.
Who should use Cubbi?
As I mentioned above. Cubbi is not for everyone but we do represent the best value for any metro property wanting to reach the most amount of buyers possible.
Something you might know is that we used to offer standard listings (like Buy My Place and Property Now).
But when some friends were asking me what service they should use, I found it hard to recommend my own site because we were all the same and simply did not provide the type of marketing (at reasonable price) I would use on my own place.
Now there is a BIG difference between Cubbi and all other DIY selling sites.
Cubbi is the only property DIY site that offers you Premiere listings on realestate.com.au as a default choice. Every other site charges you extra (and you pay for it).
Let's continue the table from above.
These are the prices from the previous table (assuming the property is in Richmond, Vic):
This is what you would pay if you upgraded to a 45 Day Premiere listing (in Richmond,Vic):
If you listed your property in Richmond today (28 July 2017) with Cubbi your property would go straight to the top of page one. Whereas for a standard listing with any other competitor you would be towards the bottom of page 6. In two weeks’ time you’ll probably be on page 8.
Why are our listings only Premiere?
If you want to sell your place for the highest amount possible you need to reach the most amount of buyers and your first offer is generally your best offer - if you’re going to sell for the highest price you need to hit the market with a bang. You’ll never get the first four weeks back.
The other massive difference with Cubbi is the international exposure. Something you may not know: in the 2015 financial year Chinese buyers spent $24.3 billion on Australian real estate. An increase of 96% on the previous year! More info.
Let’s rap this up!
Every choice has its differences. If you want someone else to just handle everything, pick an agent. Purplebricks offers you the chance to manage your own sale with a lot of hand-holding. If you want the basics, then PropertyNow or BuyMyPlace is for you. If you want to reach the most amount of buyers go with Cubbi.
The choice is yours. I hope this was helpful.
Please confirm the above prices with the company before you go ahead and purchase.
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