Online property auctions

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Although online property auctions have been held for a number of years, recent developments suggest that they could become the most popular way of selling houses.

Britain’s largest auction house, Allsops, has completed its first online-only auction at the end of April 2018. Six out of seven of the properties sold, with one fetching double its guide price after 200 bids. A development site was sold for a record £5.2m. 

Online auctions save costs, with no room hire costs and no catalogues to print and no estate agent fees for sellers.

The Allsops online auction featured a last-minute bid system. There is a bid deadline, but if someone bids at the last minute, the sale is extended for a further minute to allow other bids to be placed. Only after a minute of no bids is the auction sale closed.

Buyers have access to all the information about the property online and can bid in real time after the auction starts. Alternately they can submit their highest offer before the sale to make proxy bids.

Prospective buyers are advised to view the property before bidding

Winning bidders at online auctions still pay buyer’s premium charges and can use bridging finance to pay for property within the purchase completion deadline. Overall the costs for both sellers and buyers is cheaper for online auctions.

As technology advances, online auctions, and online property selling could be the normal way of selling property, but estate agents may not agree with this forecast

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