We are all adopting technology at lightning speed to adapt to the COVID-19 crisis, and this is never more evident than in the real estate sector.
With Level 2 emergency restrictions in place, we can now conduct open house inspections and even outdoor auctions within strict social distancing guidelines. Even so, buyers and sellers have really embraced online auctions, which kept the property market ticking over during Level 4.
The feedback for online auctions has been so overwhelmingly positive, we believe it could become a standard practice once this is all over.
Why? Because it’s so simple.
Who conducts the auction?
Your real estate agent will know several companies that provide a platform for an online auction and most still use an auctioneer.
On each platform, an auctioneer is on video, conducting the sale of your property in the traditional way. Bidding is different, though.
How does it work?
Prospective buyers are invited to sign up to the platform. For those wishing to bid, each system will request credit card details and permission to put a hold up to $2,500. This ensures all the bidders are genuine. Those wishing to watch the auction can sign up in the same way but don’t need to provide financial details.
At the designated time, the auction will take place much like those once held on the footpath, in a front garden, or at a third party venue. Some agents will also encourage telephone bidding.
Instead of waving a hand or nodding, bidders have a series of buttons to click to bid, pushing the price higher.
It’s conducted in real-time and buyers can make their bids on a computer, tablet or a smartphone. All the legal obligations of the seller and successful bidder hold for an online auction, just as they do in the “real world”.
It’s sold, what next?
This depends on the capabilities of the platform being used. Some platforms offer an end-to-end transaction process, meaning any subsequent negotiation and contract exchange is conducted on the platform, and you’ll have full transparency to those activities.
Some feature the ability to sign contracts, along with live-streamed open homes and video inspections. Your agent may ask you to open an account with DocuSign, which is a platform that allows legally-binding documentation to be signed digitally, so you don’t have to turn up to an office to complete that task in person.