Online Property Auctions

Should I sell my house using an online auction? What are the pro’s and con’s of selling your home using online auction and how does it compare to an estate agency sale?

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Online Property Auctions – a guide for UK home owners. This guide is intended to help property owners make an informed decision about the practicalities of selling by online auction. And prospective buyers might find the article of interest too.
Last updated by Mark Grantham on 13th May 2021

The emergence of online property auctions

Just like most business activities in the world, property auctions have been moving online too. But the change to online has been slow and tentative. Many buyers and sellers still preferring the human contact and buzz of traditional ballroom auctions over the cold, hard clicks of online auctions.

Some traditional auctioneers have tested online auctions or have a small presence with a handful of properties for sale online every month. And it’s only because of the  sudden changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, all major traditional auctioneers have been forced to adapt to online-only platforms, with the format and timescales practically the same as a traditional ballroom auction; properties being sold lot-by-lot on a set date, with just a few minutes of bidding per lot. Some traditional auction company’s replicated a live auction room, with a live-stream and the auctioneer hitting the gavel to confirm the sale.

Savills remote bidding auction

During the COVID-19 crisis traditional auctions were held online with remote bidding only. 

There are 2 different types of online auction (1) a “broadcast auction” … traditional auctioneer …gone online (2) “modern auction” is more like an estate agency sale, but the rules of an auction sale apply

But there’s more to online auctions than simply replicating the live event of a traditional auction room. For example, the modern method of auction has proved to be a very effective way to sell and is now a permanent fixture in the property market; it’s effectively like an estate agency sale but with the benefit of competitive bidding. Prospective buyers place their offer in the form of a bid, either online or over the phone. Bidding takes place over the period of a month or two (compared to traditional auction where bidding takes place within a few minutes) so there’s more time to bid and no one misses out. And just like other auction sales, with modern auction the bid is legally binding, so the buyer cannot back out of their purchase or reduce their offer at any point.

Next steps…

Why not request a free pre-auction appraisal for your property? It only takes a few seconds. Or feel free to call us on 020 7183 2623 if you have any questions.

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“A real advantage of selling at auction is the competitive effect of having multiple bidders fighting it out for your property, bidding up the price within the space of a few minutes.“
Property Ombudsman Member