Tesco & Spicerhaart launches iSold.com

The much anticipated online estate agency offering from Tesco and SpiceHaart will be launched today in Bristol. Tesco’s previous attempt to enter the property market was adversely affected with legal challenges from the outset and eventually sold to their partner in this new venture SpicerHaart.

iSold.comIt would be fully expected that Tesco will have learnt from previous issues they encountered with a more focused and targeted strategy and iSold.com will soon be on the radar of agents up and down the country.

The recent OFT Report on the home buying and selling process hinted that regulations maybe relaxed in the future to allow increased competition from businesses such as Tesco to enter the market place. This led the NAEA express extreme concern at the possibility in an open letter to the OFT recently.

Tesco previous property portal was launched in July 2007 and listed details of more than 300,000 homes for sale. The majority of the properties were supplied by the fish4homes website, though very quickly fish4homes terminated its agreement with Tesco due to complaints. The disagreement led Tesco to remove 250,000 property listings from fish4homes.

Tescos original offering was set up to allow homeowners to sell their properties without the need for an agent and their fees, with Tesco charging a one-off fee of £199. The previous controversy was based upon whether Tesco was acting as an agent or not and this seems to be the main point that they have tackled head on.

iSold.com will be acting as an estate agent

It is made abundantly clear on the pre-launch website.

“iSold.com offers a clear choice between three full service estate agency packages to sell your home: iSold Essential £999 inc vat; iSold Premium £1,119 inc vat; and iSold Premium Plus £1,299 inc vat and uses advanced technology packed with features to get you the best price for your home and make the sales process quicker and smoother.

iSold.com uses their own locally-based valuation experts AND advanced technology to deliver a fantastic service and help sellers save thousands in estate agency fees.”

iSold.com fees

iSold.com fees are made of an upfront marketing fee and a  fee paid on completion.

iSold.com is far more expensive than there original operation though still very keenly priced when comparisons are made with typical estate agency fees of between 1.5% – 2%. Though already debate is developing whether it is fair to make such comparisons.

  • iSold Essential £299 inc VAT marketing fee plus £700 incl VAT on completion
  • iSold Premium £499 inc VAT marketing fee plus £700 incl VAT on completion
  • iSold Premium Plus £599 inc VAT marketing fee plus £700 incl VAT on completion

The various levels of marketing packages are available but none included the additional cost of the required home information pack.

The fee levels will come as a welcome relief to some estate agents and the initial reaction seems to be mixed at what level of market share iSold.com could realistically achieve. There will be no doubt many who will welcome Tescos backed to the property market though just as many will be hoping for a repeat of their previous downfall.

Can we really expect Tescos to be unsuccessful twice?

Does iSold.com’s offering really provide true value to the home seller?

Is iSold.com a threat to the traditional high street estate or more so the private home seller websites?

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25 Responses to “Tesco & Spicerhaart launches iSold.com”

  1. why does it cost so much? Or does is there an illegal price fixing cartel in place?

  2. i give them 2 months before they are lowering the fees as this is far too expensive at the moment. It does seem as if they may get it wrong twice in a row. Maybe third time lucky next time.

    Also quite confused as why SpicerHaart are getting involved in this.

  3. Although this is great news for the seller, what about the buyer?
    With the weight of Tesco on the seller’s side, this stacks the odds even more against the buyer. And less than 2% of UK homebuyers have a buyers agent working for them (versus over 70% in the US) which is why we have launched Buyersedgeuk.com to readdress the balance between sellers and buyers.

  4. Mike Wilson Says:

    I can’t see them getting much market share … people don’t like paying out up front – even if it’s £299.

    What some individuals want is the ability to sell their properties themselves with the property listed on Rightmove and other portals. But these portals only accept agents.

    Some, some enterprising agent needs to offer a flat fee service for say £199 which includes a Rightmove listing for a month and email forwarding.

  5. I used to work for Spicer Mc Coll before they even bought Woolwich property services and rebranded it to Haart, the only thing they are interested in is their own profit, they always have been and although profit is not a dirty word they are an estate agent that has always had a run before you can walk attitude so I would think very quickly service standards will drop (if they are ever any good) I see 22yr old (cos they are cheap) wide boy Estate Agents going around and not doing as good a job as the other established agents.
    Tesco will succseed but with Spicer Haart? I think not.

  6. I find it hard to believe it, but they have seemingly launched the site without it actually working. There are lots of lins that are not linked (#) – incredible and ridiculous at the same time

  7. Have you seen an exciting concept which is being developed by a bright prospect Ben Harris, iTurnip.com

    It is the estate agencies response to the threat from tescos. Estate agents plan on selling products on the high street taking market from the supermarkets.

    The inventor of the site can be contacted via twitter http://twitter.com/housingdabble

    One agent aparently said. “Tesco should stick to selling groceries whilst we sell houses. If they dont want to do that fine, expect us to replace our chesterfield sofas with shelves of locally produced fruit and veg.”

    To register for this new service visit http://iturnip.ning.com/

  8. Talk about throwing money away – I can buy windows and fit them myself but I’m no good at it but its certainly a cheaper option…

  9. Hippocrates Says:

    I love the brochure written in conjunction with one of the UK’s leading Estate Agents and backers of this project:

    ” In the last 10 years a lot of things got easier, simpler and better value. But Estate Agents certainly haven’t.”

    10/10 for honesty, so I take it that they will obviously clear down their Estate Agency operation and close all their branches?

  10. about time some one used this technology,what do estates agents do to justify their huge fees,they can knock thousands of your property,but this has little effect on their fees,if they were to wake up & charge little but often,the housing market will boom

  11. think of the money you would save,you would be able to buy a conservatory

  12. An interesting range of responses. As noted above the upfront fee certainly is off putting. I’d be interested to hear just exactly what “estates agents do to justify their huge fees”. Any takers?

  13. What everyone is missing is that this is merely an entrance to the market for tescos. This is an entree and the starter is not even prepared, never mind the main cours. Agents with ridiculously high fees, should be scared, very scared.

  14. Tesco will make a fortune without selling a house do the sums normal market has 1 million new houses for sale each year, if tesco convince just 1% to use ISOLD they could bank 10,000 x £599 upfront fees = £5.990 MILLION.
    Traditionally only a third of houses marketed by an agent sell through the agent under the terms NO SALE NO FEE, if the same formula is used with the Tesco offer then 2 out of three of there customers will pay more to sell there houses. Well done Tesco you will make a huge profit as always by pretending to save your customers money.

  15. I have made the misake of signing up to this and there is nothing but hassle. I found the meeting with the estate agent very high pressure and kept asking for further explanations which I didn’t get a straight answer for. I signed up but cancelled in the 7 day cooling off period. I then read the small print and discovered their clause that even if you cancel in the cooling off period you still have to pay Tesco’s set fee.

  16. There is already an agent operating in midlands offering a far more comprehensive service. They sold my house within a week, and although they charge an up front fee they do have the facility to defer the payment along with the HIP.


    Good agents justify their fees by giving clear market advice that is researched, involving their client only when absolutely necessary (ie updating on sale progress and putting forward offers, conducting viewings, preparing sales particulars, marketing property across 20+ web portals, advertisinfg in newspapers, having a showroom on the high street and paying the local council fees for this privilege, providing employment to local people and getting £250,000 rather than £245,000 by negotiating with buyers ensuring that they actually have the money to buy the property in the first place rather than wasting Vendor time and money engaging the services of a solicitor on a ‘sale’ that will never happen. My fees are £3750 on a sale at £250000 – by my reckoning my seller is better off using me and has done little work to get moving!!!

  18. Interesting, but im not quite sure what to make of this!

  19. I think they would make much more profit if they also focus on overseas market! Can you imagine what fortune they can make over it!!!

  20. iSold.com in York Says:

    The next step in Tescos bid to rule the property market has started. They now have a big bus advertising their services outside the shop.

  21. I would like to thank you for the endeavors you have made in publishing these articles. I am a new real estate agent and I’m trying to broaden my knowledge of real estate property. I think I’ll be coming back to your website for quite awhile 🙂

  22. It’s good to see this place is finally getting the attention that it really deserves! Keep up the fantastic work.

  23. Though the principle of being able to advertise on the major portals is OK, with isold and similar firms, sellers are missing that this is not everything an estate agent should offer.

    At Property Parrot we offer you the low fees and advertising you want, but also offer far more than other online firms… local knowledge and advice, accompanied viewings, 7 day a week availability and a face to face service…

    After 10 years in the Leeds property market, I am able to offer worthwhile valuation advice (which can be a costly mistake if not taken), deal with vacant/investment property sales by doing accompanied viewings and offer a more flexible personal service to both buyers and sellers.

    I’m all for lowering fees but estate agents still need to offer a full service – not just bang an ad on Rightmove and call it a day!

    Property Parrot also lets you pay upfront or on completion.
    Check us out if you are selling in Leeds and want low fees but a full estate agency service at the same time.

  24. There should really be another way to Sell a House. This is way too expensive – I know of a professional website that is due to launch later in the spring of 2011 that will offer all UK private home sellers with a real alternative to the estate agent route and it is FREE!!

    Bring it on I cannot wait for this to launch!

  25. I think they are doing well now. isold.com is one of highly recommended ones.

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