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Yopa Review: Are Yopa any good?
Online estate agent advice
05 August 2020

Yopa Review: Are Yopa any good?

Rosie Hamilton
Writer & Researcher

Yopa is an online hybrid estate agency that claims to offer 'everything traditional estate agents do', but at a 'fair' fixed fee. We were intrigued by this claim, and driven by our dedication to estate agent performance, we decided to take a deeper look into how Yopa works, what they charge, and whether they're any good.

We found that although Yopa clearly performs better than many other online estate agents, they still suffer from some of the limitations of the online estate agency model. We also found some sneaky terms and conditions in some of their fee packages, which we explore in a bit more detail below.

If you're willing to take more ownership of your sale, and are happy with a call centre approach, Yopa does offer a reasonable service. However, if you want more support with your sale, and to ensure you're definitely getting the best price for your house, an experienced, high street agent is a better option.

Yopa fees

There are three main Yopa fee offerings: Pay Now, Pay Later, and No Sale, No Fee

Within each of these there are 'basic' and 'premium' Yopa estate agency packages, which include a variety of different features. Each bundle has a single set fee that's the same wherever you are in the UK, except London, where Yopa charges more. We detail the specifics of each below:

Pay Now Core

Outside London: £999 fixed fee

London: £1,499 fixed fee

Included: Local estate agent, advert on Rightmove, Zoopla, and PrimeLocation, floor plan, property photos, For Sale sign, and access to the YopaHub (their online tracking tool).

Pay Now Premium

Outside London: £1,399 fixed fee

London: £1,999 fixed fee

Included: As well as everything with the Core fee, the premium package includes unlimited viewings hosted by a Yopa agent, and a Premium listing on the major online portals.

Pay Later Core

Outside London: £999 fixed fee

London: £1,499 fixed fee

Included: Local estate agent, advert on Rightmove, Zoopla, and PrimeLocation, floor plan, property photos, For Sale sign, and access to the YopaHub (their online tracking tool).

Important: If you choose the Pay Later option, you are required by Yopa to use their preferred conveyancing broker - Optimus - or pay a fee of £300.

Pay Later Premium

Outside London: £1,399 fixed fee

London: £1,999 fixed fee

Included: As well as everything with the Core fee, the premium package includes unlimited viewings hosted by a Yopa agent, and a Premium listing on the major online portals.

Important: If you choose the Pay Later option, you are required by Yopa to use their preferred conveyancing broker - Optimus - or pay a fee of £300.

No Sale, No Fee Core

Fee: Fixed, but set at the discretion of the local Yopa estate agent.

Included: Local estate agent, advert on Rightmove, Zoopla, and PrimeLocation, floor plan, property photos, For Sale sign, and access to the YopaHub (their online tracking tool).

Important: If you pick the No Sale, No Fee option, you agree to enlist Yopa on a 'Sole Agency' basis for a minimum period of 16 weeks (or about 4 months). This means that if another agent finds you a buyer in this first 16 weeks, you will have to pay both Yopa and the other agent. You also can't cancel the contract until after this minimum period.

No Sale, No Fee Premium (not available in every area)

Fee: Fixed, but set at the discretion of the local Yopa estate agent.

Included: As well as everything with the Core fee, the premium package includes unlimited viewings hosted by a Yopa agent, and a Premium listing on the major online portals.

'Boost your Bundle' Extras:

Although Yopa claim to offer the same service as high street estate agents, you're required to pay extra for things that traditional agents would normally include in their fee.

These can be added to your Yopa fee package at any time, and are paid for upfront.

Some (but not all) are already included in the higher priced 'Premium' bundles, so make sure to check your agreement terms before adding!

Agent led viewings: £300

Note: The terms and conditions of your agreement with Yopa state that they are allowed to withdraw their viewings service at their discretion. They state that this might occur at any time 'where we consider it unreasonable for the agent to continue, in consideration of feedback from prospective purchasers.' If they decide to withdraw the service, you will not be refunded.

Featured advert for 2 weeks: £149 Premium Property advert: from £99

Note: The cost of a premium or featured listings varies depending on which package your estate agent has with Rightmove, however some sources suggest that the average fee is £10. This means Yopa is getting a significant mark up here.

EPC (England and Wales): Yopa charge £85 for an EPC, but you can get one for significantly cheaper here.

Home Report (Scotland only): Yopa offer an option to get quotes from their preferred providers through their website. They get a referral fee for this, so it might be cheaper to shop around to see whether you're actually getting the best deal here.

Yopa estate agency 'Terms and Conditions' to be aware of

When working through the Yopa terms and conditions, a couple of things stood out to us, which we thought would be useful to make clear to those thinking of using the online estate agent.

Firstly, we found it interesting that although Yopa offers a 'Free Valuation' by a 'dedicated local agent', their terms of agreement require the home seller to accept that this is a 'market appraisal' and a 'guide' and not a valuation.

The exact terms are: 'You agree and acknowledge that the guide price provided by the Local Yopa Agent during or following the Market Appraisal is not a valuation of the Property.'

The phrasing of this is an attempt to avoid liability for inaccurate valuations. For example, if your property sells very quickly because it's priced too low, or if your house is so overpriced that it generates no interest at all.

Of course valuations are always in some sense an estimation. But most experienced agents are able to use their knowledge of the local market to gain a fairly confident sense of what buyers would pay for a property.

If you’re looking to have your property valued, you can book free valuations in just a few clicks. Go there now.

Secondly, there were some important things to bear in mind when deciding which fee bundle is right for you:

  • Pay Later

If you pick 'Pay Later', you'll have to pick a conveyancer from Yopa's preferred conveyancing broker, or pay a £300 administrative fee if you would prefer to pick your own solicitor. You will receive a quote from a conveyancer when you sign up to Yopa, but this will simply be an estimate of costs, and won't include things like disbursement fees. We'd recommend shopping around before you decide to move forward. You may be able to find a better deal in your area, or a conveyancer with more specific experience with the type of property you're looking to sell.

The 'Pay Later' option also gives Yopa the option to transfer its right to your fee to a third party partner - Duologi. If you're considering this option, it's worth checking out whether you're comfortable with this, and Duologi's privacy policy, before moving forward.

Our suggestion is to avoid the Pay Later Option.

  • No Sale, No Fee

If you pick the 'No Sale, No Fee' option, you sign up to a sole agency contract with Yopa for a minimum of 16 weeks. Sole agency is pretty standard when it comes to estate agency contracts in the UK. It basically means that your agent has the 'sole right' to sell your home. If another agent sells the property, you will have to pay both agents. Sole agency does however make it more difficult to switch agents if you're unhappy, as you have to wait till the 16 weeks is over.

Unlike a standard high street agent, Yopa requires sellers to pay on exchange of contracts, rather than completion.

From our research we've found that paying an agent after a sale is confirmed results in better outcomes for the seller. This is because an agent is more incentivised to make sure the sale is successful. However, the best results come from commission-based agents, rather than those getting a fixed fee.

This is because the amount of commission an agent receives depends on how much money they make for the seller, so commission-based agents generally push to get the best price possible in property sales. Fixed fee agents don't have this same level of incentive.

Which fee package is best?

We were able to use our data analysis tools, and our access to a range of data sources - across property platforms, and the UK Land Registry, to find out how many of the properties Yopa put on the market actually made it to completion within 12 months (which is much longer than the average time it takes to sell a house). We found that Yopa had only sold about half of the properties they'd been marketing.

If you were one of the 50% that hadn't yet sold, but had paid the upfront fee, you'd end up having to pay again to enlist another more effective agent. Because of this, we generally suggest that home sellers avoid any agent charging an upfront fixed fee.

This means the No Sale, No Fee option presents the best option. If Yopa don't sell your property, or you decide you want to switch agents, you won't have to pay any fee. Your Yopa agent will also be extra incentivised to sell your property, because they haven't been paid upfront.

If you're unsure which agent will provide the best support for your home sale, try this comparison tool. It uses data from the Land Registry, and the major property portals, to figure out which agents in your area consistently get the best results. Give it a go now.

Are Yopa any good?

Beyond what Yopa charge, and the intricacies of their terms and conditions, we also wanted to see what people actually thought about working with this online estate agent. We delved deep into a range of review sites to try and get a real sense of the level of customer service that Yopa provides.

Yopa reviews

At time of writing, Yopa estate agents had received the following ratings on the most popular estate agent reviewing platforms:

Trustpilot - average rating of 4.7 out of over 10500 reviews **Reviews.io **- average rating 1.7 out of around 250 reviews All Agents - average rating 4.8 out of around 1500 reviews

Clearly Yopa has a lot of fans! But, also a solid group of disgruntled customers too.

We found that the highest proportion of low reviews had come from potential property buyers. They complained about the lack of communication from Yopa. Many said that they'd been unable to view a property, and in some cases, make an offer. These types of Yopa review could be worrying for a seller, as they indicate that perhaps not all interest in properties was pursued, possibly leading to lower offers, or slower sales.

It's general practice for online estate agents to cover much wider areas of the UK than high street estate agents. This can mean online agents are dealing with a lot more properties over a much wider area, and they ultimately have less time to work on each one.

Other low reviews came from people expecting a higher level of service for their money. Many people were expecting (as Yopa claim) the same level of service as a local agent provides.

For example, Jackie left this 1 Yopa review on AllAgents in July 2020*

'Apart from advertising on the portals, can't think of anything else Yopa did'.

However, if you're not hoping for the full estate agency experience, and are happy to take ownership of several elements of the sale, Yopa does seem to leave many property sellers satisfied.

One recurring theme in the reviews was a super fast sale. For example a 5 Yopa review left by Elizabeth in July 2020*, states that 'We sold the house in less than 24 hours.'

And this 3 review from Ian, also from July 2020*: 'started out well house sold very quickly even though the photos weren't complete' 'contact was rare and felt had to chase for updates' On the surface this sounds great. You've avoided the pain of lots of viewings and lengthy negotiations.

But we have to wonder, if a property sells so quickly, was the asking price too low? How much more could Elizabeth have got for her property if she'd had more viewings and drummed up competition over a couple of weeks? Would Ian's property have sold for more if the agent had taken photos of the whole house, or chased up leads more effectively?

The Advisory, an independent advice service, found that sellers using an online estate agent could be missing out on: up to 48% more viewings, 64% more offers, and an extra 5% on their final sales price. 5% may not sound much, but add 5% onto a £200,000 house and you get an extra £10,000.

Want to know which agent can get you the best outcomes for your house sale? Pop in your postcode here to check out which agents are the top-performers in your area. See which agents could get you the best price, along with reviews from people who've worked with them recently. Try it for free now.

Which is better: Purplebricks or Yopa?

Ultimately, Yopa is a better option than Purplebricks, but still has some of the same flaws that come from having an online agent / call centre model & an upfront fee service. Both agents offer a lower level of support throughout the sales process, and require you to deal with a range of people, rather than a single, dedicated point of contact. As more high street agents begin to offer online tracking platforms alongside their personal and hyper local approach offerings like Yopa and Purplebricks seem to have strikingly little to set them apart - especially when you consider their worse overall performance, upfront fee, and the fact you might be contractually required to use their preferred conveyancing partner.

For our full review of Purplebricks click here You can also read our review of their conveyancing partner 'Premier Property Lawyers' here.

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