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Spicerhaart unveils online estate agency

by: Mortgage Solutions
  • 08/03/2010
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Estate agency group Spicerhaart has unveiled a new online estate agency called iSold, with Tesco playing a key part in the launch.

The development has been the subject of intense speculation in the last few weeks and comes hard on the heels of the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) ruling that estate agencies should not be subject to regulation.

Brokers reacted unfavourably to the ruling, with 90% of respondents to a Mortgage Solutions poll voting that estate agents should be supervised.

However, the OFT’s recommendation that estate agency rules be relaxed paved the way for iSold’s launch and a possible Google venture rumoured for later in 2010.

As well as promoting iSold to Tesco customers, Spicerhaart has also ensured clients’ properties will be advertised on Rightmove, Primelocation, FindaProperty and Zoopla, among other property portals.

iSold also intends to help customers arrange their mortgage, obtain a Home Information Pack and also assist with conveyancing and surveying services.

Steve Shore, spokesman for iSold, said: “We are providing a service that offers early adopters an internet-style alternative to mainstream estate agency, by offering online customers a limited menu of fixed-price services. The Spicerhaart Group remains firmly committed to its high street estate agency businesses.”

David Thomas, managing partner at broker Chadney Bulgin, said: “Although there are a lot of internet-based offerings, the reality is that there are a lot of mortgage products in the market and the need for comprehensive advice is still high. Brokers will not be affected, because consumers realise that they still add value.”

Tesco previously dipped its toe into the property portal market in 2007, with mixed results, when it experienced contractual difficulties with key partners.

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