BidX1 online property auction tweak gives sellers time to cool off
Foxrock house auction model will allow seller, but not buyer, to change their mind
78 South Park, Foxrock, Dublin 18: online auction scheduled for June 10th with a guide price of €625,000
Online auction specialist BidX1 has introduced a new feature to its sales model in which, rather than have the legally-binding deal close when the hammer falls – or, in this case, the auction times out – the vendor will have 72 hours to consider the top bid. Jonathan Fenn, director of property at BidX1 in Ireland, says its new “subject to conditions” (STC) model will give the seller more control over the sale and is like a three-day window of being “sale agreed” in a private treaty transaction.
This, says Fenn, marks the evolution of its business because while many aspects of estate agency have evolved – think online viewings, virtual tours and so on – the traditional sale-agreed period can drag on with either party able to withdraw after weeks or even months of work by lawyers, bankers, brokers, agents and surveyors.
The typical BidX1 process goes like this: a property – commercial or residential – is put on the website with the usual particulars, often prepared by the vendor, as well as the due diligence and documentation required for an auction, available for account holders to view – reflecting the company’s stated desire for “transparency, accessibility, information and, above all, integrity”.
Interested parties register with BidX1, pay a deposit (in the case of a four-bed detached house at 78 South Park in Foxrock, Dublin 18 the first residential property to be sold using the company’s new STC model in Ireland, the deposit is €10,000), and make the financial, surveying and legal arrangements necessary for signing on the spot. Depending on interest, which BidX1’s data-driven model tracks, the seller sets a reserve, and on auction day the bidding opens for a specific time.
The moment it closes, the highest bidder is bound to the sale and underbidders’ deposits are returned, while the seller has a three-day cooling-off period. The potential buyer has an uncertain wait, but, says Fenn, if the sale proceeds the company commits to closing and exchanging swiftly, normally within 28 days. If the vendor decides not to accept the highest bid, that person’s deposit is released to them immediately.
According to Fenn, the method already works well in South Africa and Spain, where property is difficult to price (the company also operates in Cyprus and the UK). The Property Price Register records sales of two houses in South Park last year for €715,000 and €725,000; the guide price for number 78, which is in need of upgrading, is €625,000 and the auction is scheduled for June 10th. Tempted? Better get your skates on; registration opens on June 3rd.