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August 21, 2018

How the entry of U.K.’s Purplebricks into Canada may shake up the real estate industry


An international online property powerhouse has purchased one of the world’s top web-based, commission-free real estate companies in a bid to shake up the Canadian home-selling industry.

Last month’s successful $51-million bid for Quebec-based duProprio means “For Sale” signs bearing the name Purplebricks will soon start popping up across Canada, says the company’s president, Michael Bruce. Also watch for some major advertising campaigns.

Traditional Canadian real estate agents scoff at the idea Bruce can disrupt how homes are sold here with his discount model that charges a flat fee for the services of a real estate agent rather than a sales commission.

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But from a standing start in 2012, Purplebricks has taken over about five per cent of the British market and has expanded to Australia, the U.S., and now Canada.

Based on market share, the Canadian company that Purplebricks bought is itself a global leader in discount real estate services. Within Quebec, duProprio commands about 20 per cent of the market.

The biggest selling point of both Purplebricks and duProprio is avoiding the five per cent commission traditional brokerages charge.

As of last week, the Canadian Real Estate Association reported that the average Canadian resale house now goes for $481,000. The duProprio online calculator says using its services on that average house would save you more than $27,000.

Keep reading on CBC News


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