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A major estate agency partner has pulled out of Tesco's newly launched property website, concerned that Tesco's practice of listing private seller's homes for £199 conflicts with its own business.
The Times is reporting that fish4homes has pulled out of its contract with tescopropertymarket.com. The move will initially damage Tesco's plans, as it would have expected to see many thousands of referrals from the fish4homes portal.
Other online property portals have already refused to co-operate with Tesco, as they mainly rely on estate agents for their business, and Tesco's DIY model excludes them altogether.
Joe Slavin, CEO of fish4homes, said he was not aware that Tesco would be displaying DIY listings alongside their own:
"We thought it was going to be just another portal link. It was not clear [when we signed up] that they were going to have their own home sellers. It was supposed to be a classic white label partnership. Our agents win by getting traffic, they win by knowing who is in the market."
All of the properties listed on Tesco's property site at the moment are supplied by fish4homes, so the withdrawal of the listings may have quite an impact to begin with.
However, in the longer term, who would bet against Tesco? Has fish4homes done the right thing by drawing a line and marking out Tesco as a competitor? Or, is this a dangerous / righteous ploy that may see Tesco redoubling its efforts to establish a real foothold in this nascent marketspace?