Hatched Calls for Fairness in Advertising VAT Inclusive Prices
Numerous online based agents still flouting rules regarding the inclusion of VAT in their advertised fees
Hatched’s Adam Day is calling for all online estate agents to take heed of the Committee of Advertising Practice’s (CAP) guidance to include VAT in advertised rates. Following this ruling and advice circulated by The Property Ombudsman (TPO), it is clear that a number of agents, including the likes of Purplebricks, Emoov, Tepilo and House Network, are still advertising rates exclusive of VAT.
A letter penned by Day in April to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) highlighted the issue and those flouting the ruling. In response, the ASA has informed Day that the Compliance team are investigating the matter.
Adam Day comments, “We’ve included VAT in our prices for over 18 months now, ahead of any rulings being passed. We did this in order to be completely transparent and fair to our customers. After all, they can’t claim the VAT back, so the price they see, is the price they should pay. Those agents deciding not to include VAT within their prices are doing a disservice to potential customers by misleading them with a more attractive headline price, only for the customer to be hit with another £100 or so charge when they get to the checkout.”
He adds, “When I started Hatched, it was always my intention to create a new type of estate agency that was as transparent as possible. I know that my peers within the sector are also striving for complete transparency, coupled with the ultimate customer experience, but I’m afraid they are letting the customer down on this. If ‘online estate agents’ as a sector, wish to change estate agency for the better, then we all need to be raising the bar, and this includes when quoting transparent fees inclusive of VAT. It’s a shame that I’ve had to involve the ASA, as I thought, having made the first move 18 months ago, others would follow, but it’s gone on long enough now and something has to be done. I welcome the ASA’s investigation and look forward to swift changes being made to agents’ websites over the next days and weeks.”
For more information on house sales with Hatched, visit www.hatched.co.uk or call 0333 999 7699.
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Launched in 2006, Hatched is a leading fixed fee estate agent and one of the original pioneers of the online estate agency model.
Providing a full estate agency service but without the expense of a shop front, Hatched’s use of technology drives efficiencies in procedures and processes, producing low overheads, which ultimately lead to cost savings for the business, the ability to offer more competitive fees to clients, as well as more streamlined and innovative customer services.
With savings ultimately being passed onto customers, Hatched offers homeowners a smarter way to sell their homes.
Now favouring the term ‘hybrid’ estate agency as opposed to ‘online’, which detracts from the high value and quality service the estate agency offers, Hatched combines the use of smart techniques and a forward thinking approach with the defence of honourable ethics and values of traditional estate agency to ensure the best possible consumer experience.
Hatched’s fees are, on average, 85% lower than a traditional high street estate agent’s. This equates to an average saving of over £4,000 per property, or £15m worth of savings for homeowners since Hatched’s inception.
Lettings fees for a fully managed property start from just £50 per month.
The Hatched team has over 50 years’ combined estate agency experience and with a network of regional offices across England and Wales, the estate agency offers national coverage, local knowledge and a personal service.
To find out more, visit www.hatched.co.uk or call the team on 0845 678 0908.