A NEW estate agency concept is opening in York.

Supermarket Tesco has launched the new agency iSold.com, operated by estate agency Spicerhaart, with a branded bus which will be promoting the new service outside Tesco in Clifton Moor until Sunday.

The business will employ up to nine locally based valuers and will have a further nine staff servicing the York area from its central offices in Colchester.

The new agency, which was launched in Bristol in March, claims it can cut the cost of selling a property.

Jon Evans, its managing director, said the business was a combination of a traditional estate agency and an advanced website to streamline the sales process.

“York was selected as one of the very first locations in the country to experience the iSold.com phenomenon.

It is such a historic city and one which has seen many developments and changes over the centuries.

It also has a thriving property market so it was the ideal place to launch such an innovative new product.”

The business has a fixed-fee payment scheme and sellers can choose from a range of packages.

The Office of Fair Trading sparked concern among the estate agency industry in February when it published a study into home buying and selling, which recommended helping new business models, particularly internet businesses, to enter the market to encourage more competition on price.

But Peter Bolton King, pictured above, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), said: “Contrary to popular belief, estate agents have always embraced new innovations in the market, including advertising properties on the internet.

“Buying or selling a home is the largest single financial transaction of a person’s life, so it is crucial that consumers do not use an internet portal at the expense of the advice and expertise that a professional agent brings.

“We would urge customers to stick with professional, qualified NAEA members.”