The UK’s largest auction house, Allsop, completed its first online-only auction last week in a landmark step that is set to popularise this method of selling houses.
Online property auctions have been around for a number of years, and offer many advantages to both buyers and sellers, but the latest auction from Allsop which was hosted exclusively online was a first for the company and could set future trends for the sector.
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The entire auction process was conducted online, and six out of seven lots were sold, with one property even reaching double its guide price after receiving more than 200 bids. Countrywide brand Lambert Smith Hampton was one of the businesses which used Allsop’s platform, and it successfully sold a development site for £5.2m – a record for an online property auction.
Compared to a traditional auction, doing it online can save both time and money for the vendor as well as the buyer. There is no room hire involved and no catalogue printing costs, and properties that don’t reach their guide price can be relisted at a new, lower price if necessary, at a date and time that is convenient to the seller.
Online-only has major advantages
Another difference is that last-minute bids can be accepted and can extend the selling time. David Sandeman, managing director of the Essential Information Group which works with Allsop, said: “If someone bids in the final minute of the sale, the auction is automatically extended for a further minute. Only when there has been a 60-second silence, is the sale concluded.”
Potential buyers can find all the information about properties online before the auction, and will then register to be able to bid in real-time once the auction starts. For buyers who can’t be there when the bidding process is underway, online proxy bidding enables them to pre-submit their highest offer.
Reservation fees and buyer’s premium costs still apply, like in any auction, but overall the process is cheaper and is expected to soar in popularity as the property industry continues to embrace advances in technology.