Bidder uses Skype to secure interstate property

Imagine selling a property to a crowd made up of faces on iPads and netbooks. That's what auctioneers could confront in the years ahead if the recent experience of one prominent auctioneer is anything to go by, with a Sydney-based investor using an iPad and online-based video call service Skype to participate in - and win - an auction held in Queensland.

Ray White New Farm principal and chief auctioneer Haesley Cush said that he sold a unit in the Brisbane suburb of Fortitude Valley to a man bidding live on Skype.

“A couple of years ago if you had told me a buyer wants to view and bid live on an auction over the internet, I would have instantly thought how much is this going to cost and how many agents will it require,” Mr Cush told Real Estate Business.

“But, to be honest, it was simple and very cost effective. Skype is free to everybody and the bidder was able to feel and experience the atmosphere of the auction without even attending.”

While Mr Cush does admit that the ‘iPad bidder’ was assisted over the phone by Ray White New Farm salesperson Antoine Velez, he doesn't feel it's entirely impossible that this may be the way of a future for interstate investors.

“It’s funny to think that one day I may be conducting an auction to nothing but faces on an iPad. It’s [already] not unusual to attend an auction where the majority of home buyers are bidding over the phone,” Mr Cush said.

“Our main goal is to ensure that all our buyers feel comfortable, and if this means providing a similar service in the future, then we certainly will.

“As long as you have all the hardware at hand and the bidder is legally registered, then I really don’t see a reason not to.”

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