Estate agents launch new property website to rival Rightmove and Zoopla

A new rival service to Rightmove and Zoopla has been launched by a consortium of estate agency firms from around the UK. The site called Onthemarket.com, gives agents part ownership of the new business in exchange for them no longer advertising with one of the big two established websites. The new site says it already has 2,200 estate agents signed up with many who have also agreed to advertise their properties only on the new site for the first 48 hours, before advertising them elsewhere. Ian Springett, Onthemarket.com’s chief executive, had this to say about the new site’s aggressive approach. “In order to enter a market where two major players are so dominant, Onthemarket.com member agents commit only to advertise their properties on one other portal,” he said. “In practice, this means in most cases removing their properties from either Rightmove or Zoopla. “The result is that… as well as losing large amounts of property stock, Rightmove and Zoopla will also suffer a substantial hit to their income,” he added. A big attraction for estate agents who join Onthemarket will be lower fees for advertising properties for sale to to let. Onthemarket said its typical fees for a selling agent might range from £177 a month to £655 a month depending on its location. However, online-only estate agents will not be allowed to join the new business. Alex Gosling of House Simple, which is an online-only estate agency, denounced the new initiative as a purely protectionist measure by traditional estate agency businesses. “Onthemarket is the High Street agents’ cynical, anti-competitive and desperate reaction to a market that is changing,” he said. “Homeowners are fed up paying the exorbitant fees High Street agents charge for a poor and inflexible service.” Property commentator Henry Pryor added that the new website would cause confusion. “It will make things more frustrating because it won’t make it easier or cheaper to find properties to buy or rent,” he said. The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with conveyancing solicitors in Guildford and across the country.