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Online brokerage aims to undercut New York companies with cheap commissions

Armed with a discounted commission and a flat-rate listing fee, a U.K.-based brokerage is looking to undercut the competition when it enters the New York market this summer.

Purplebricks Group expanded its U.S. presence to the east coast last week, offering to list any property on its comprehensive web platform for $3,200, while charging a commission of just 2.5 percent for the buyer’s agent, which compares to a national average of 5.5 percent and New York fees, which can range as high as 7 percent.

With an average sales price of $560,000 in the New York Designated Market Area, a typical Purplebricks customer would pay $17,200 compared to $30,800 at the national rate.

Founded in 2014, the company established a presence in Australia in 2016 and a handful of California markets last year. Through its website,, the brokerage provides market price analysis, photography and 3D virtual reality tours of listed properties.

Through the website, sellers can book showings, get direct feedback from potential buyers and even accept purchase offers with the click of a button. This technology is backed up by the human knowledge of local real estate experts.

“We are providing a simple and convenient way for both buyers and sellers to conduct business and save thousands of dollars at the same time,” the company’s U.S. CEO Eric Eckardt said. “With Purplebricks those sellers and buyers are able to enjoy the changes to the process and pricing they have been calling for.”

Having secured a headquarters in Midtown, Purplebricks is actively recruiting licensed real estate professionals to join its New York operation.

“With higher than average rates of commission and transaction volumes, New York was the natural first move on the East Coast for Purplebricks,” founder Michael Bruce said. “Our local team [has] an in-depth understanding of the U.S. market and considerable experience of New York specifically.”

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