The video compares a house purchase with a meal, suggesting you wouldn’t pay for a meal upfront so why would you pay an estate agent?
The video from Housesimple shows friends and couples examining the dishes on offer at a well-known restaurant in Manchester, which was chosen for the comical social experiment.
Diners were seated and given menus, noticing that dishes start from just £10.
A friendly-faced waiter then approaches the test subjects, clutching a chip and pin machine. He then informs bemused customers that it is restaurant policy to charge a set fee of £250 per table upfront — even if their chosen dishes are less expensive.
Two friends who popped into enjoy a glass of prosecco each were then confronted by the waiter who demands they immediately pay £50.
One responds: “Can you not just put it on the bill… like at the end?”
One man, who did not take the restaurant’s up-front payment policy too well, asks: “Do you not trust our faces?” before declaring “I’m going to bloody leave then”.
However, the skit was part of a social experiment by HouseSimple aimed at raising awareness of upfront fees charged by other online estate agents; Housesimple charges home sellers a fee on sale of their property.
Sam Mitchell, CEO at Housesimple, said: “We wanted to make a point with this experiment; that in certain situations people don’t react well to paying upfront for a service they haven’t yet received and in some cases, never will.
“If we don’t expect to pay upfront in these situations, why should this differ when buying or selling your home? The film captured and reinforced our decision to be the first online estate agent to have a No Sale No Fee only proposition,” said Mitchell.
Watch the video below.