Real estate agency sees the future – and it’s online auctions

One office is so convinced that online auctions will change the face of real estate that it’s now using the method to differentiate itself from rivals.

Ray White Bella Vista in Sydney held an event on Thursday night to promote the sale method, as well as online platform Exchangehouse to consumers.

Owner Peter Upton told the audience that consumers and agents needed to accept that online auctions would seriously disrupt the real estate industry.

“Technology has got to the point where this is as inevitable as night following day – but it won’t happen in five minutes,” he said.

Mr Upton emphasised during the presentation that he held the exclusive local rights to use Exchangehouse, so vendors would have to employ his office if they wanted to sell their home on the platform.

Ray White Bella Vista has so far sold four properties on Exchangehouse and has three more scheduled for later this month.

“Initially we wanted to test the platform in a real-life situation to be confident it was seamless,” Mr Upton told REB.

“I had decided that online sales were due to burst onto the real estate scene, and if this was true, I wanted to ensure that we were amongst the first to offer it.”

Mr Upton said there is nothing wrong with regular auctions but that online selling removes the extreme pressure that buyers and sellers can feel when using the traditional method.

“I also felt that having more time to negotiate was advantageous to the seller,” he added.

Exchangehouse auctions run for an average of two days – they conclude when a bid has gone unchallenged for 24 hours, giving agents extra time to communicate with buyers.

Exchangehouse claims to have handled $15 million of property since the platform launched in late 2014.

Buyers must provide 100 points of identification to register for auctions. All bids are binding, and deposits must be paid within 48 hours.

[Related: Online auctions have arrived – but not everyone’s sold]

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