Auction technology seals lockdown deal on €1m Dublin house

Hunters estate agent partners with BidX1 to complete sale of luxury five bed with pool in Castleknock

Huntington, a five-bedroom property on a third of an acre close to Castleknock village

Huntington, a five-bedroom property on a third of an acre close to Castleknock village

 

A collaboration between a local estate agent and online auction platform BidX1 has facilitated the sale of a Dublin property for just over €1 million. The deal represents a potential workaround for the property industry, which is struggling with the fallout from Covid-19.

The coronavirus lockdown has effectively put the brakes on the market as buyers and sellers struggle to complete the final stages of sale, which require the exchange of legal documents and signatures.

On Friday estate agent Hunters teamed up with online auction specialist BidX1 to complete the sale of Huntington, a five-bedroom property on a third of an acre with swimming pool and summer house close to Castleknock village. Hunters had placed the 386sq m (4,155sq ft) property – a receiver sale – on the market by private treaty on March 10th seeking €975,000. One open viewing took place on March 14th just as lockdown was being imposed and three interested parties bid upwards for the property to €1,017,500.

Once the receiver was happy with the price offered, the only stumbling block was to complete the paperwork necessary to conclude the deal
The hall at Huntington
The hall at Huntington
The pool at Huntington
The pool at Huntington
The living room at Huntington
The living room at Huntington

Once the receiver was happy with the price offered, the only stumbling block was to complete the paperwork necessary to conclude the deal. Hunters turned to BidX1 (formerly Allsop) with whom it shares a parent company, Space Property Group, led by Irish businessman Stephen McCarthy. All the necessary documentation was uploaded to a digital “data room” accessible to both the buyer and seller and where contracts could be signed digitally. The sale was concluded on Friday, and the buyer – a local family – will receive the keys on May 1st.

Rowena Quinn, managing partner with Hunters, said: “It works really well where the necessary paperwork and funding is in place. There can be delays around getting title deeds from banks at the moment, and that’s a stumbling block. But in this instance, where everything is good to go, it’s a great way to streamline the signing and exchange of contracts.”

The cash buyer element also helps to simplify the process, although BidX1 says the technology will also accommodate bank-funded purchases, where a clause “subject to bank funding” is included in the final documents.

The advantage is that there is no drawn-out sale-agreed period. Contracts are signed and the purchaser can get their keys about four weeks later

Jonathan Fenn, head of Ireland with BidX1, says it has already partnered with London estate agent Foxtons in joint sales where its technology can be deployed at the sale end, but this was its first such venture here. “The advantage is that there is no drawn-out sale-agreed period. Contracts are signed and the purchaser can get their keys about four weeks later.” Residential house sales here can routinely take three to six months to close after they have gone sale agreed.

Now BidX1 wants to extend its offering here by partnering with other Irish agents as joint agent on property sales. “We would be delighted to partner with other agents who would like to start making the move online, combining their own expertise with the flexibility, efficiency and security of our digital platform.”