22:36 PM, 21st March 2011, About 10 years ago 47
A business claiming to be the UK’s first “truly national” online property auction service for UK property has just been launched. Mark Alexander, founder of Property118.com recently had an exclusive interview with Paul Fieldson, Managing Director of bidonmyhouse, to see if this online property auction really will live up to its aim of ‘revolutionising the marketplace’. Interview notes as follows:-
Mark Alexander: That’s quite a bold statement to make. We’ve seen online auction companies come and go, but what makes your property auction different?
Paul Fieldson: What makes us different is that bidonmyhouse is the first that can claim to be truly national. This isn’t some back-bedroom enterprise – we have Area Directors covering every square mile of the UK allowing us to offer estate agents and sellers a personalised property auction service with a national reach. Then there’s our management team, which come from business and enterprise backgrounds and include a chartered surveyor, a business and a commercial manager and a wealth management expert.
MA: Why would a potential buyer use you instead of a traditional property auction house?
PF: For a start, bidonmyhouse is online 24 hours a day, seven days a week and we’re much more time and cost-effective than a physical auction room – buyers can bid from their home or sun lounger. There’s no danger of getting carried away in the emotion of the traditional property auction room and unintentionally overpaying, and with many more lots than would normally be in the ‘room’ they are more assured of success.
MA: So where is the benefit to the seller?
PF: In a traditional property auction, the buyer must be able to complete within 28 days. This reduces the market down to just those with the ready cash, who can attend on the day. BidOnMyHouse terms allow 28 days for exchange, followed by 28 days for completion. This gives buyers time to seek and arrange finance, widening the market of potential purchasers and ensuring that sellers get the best price for their property. It also gives the seller the comfort of a fixed timescale for moving. Sellers can also set their own starting and reserve price, and even – in the style of a certain well known auction website – offer a “buy it now” fixed price option.
MA: How do you plan to deal with failed sales?
PF: Unless the seller proves unable to complete, the reservation fee is non-refundable, and in the event that the deal does not reach the exchange of contracts stage, BidOnMyHouse will make a “sorry” payment of 30% of the fee to the seller, with the rest split between bidonmyhouse and the agent.
MA: How do the estate agents feel about this, are they threatened by the competition?
PF: Not at all. BidOnMyHouse is available only through local estate agents and property disposal businesses. This is a property auction service for estate agents, running alongside their traditional sales programme, and it costs them nothing. For agents who regularly list a certain number of properties with us, we can even offer a branded website on their behalf. BidOnMyHouse has had a huge amount of positive feedback from agents and are signing new arrangements with them on a daily basis. The main benefits to agents are increased sales and increased and predictable revenue. It will also reduce fall-through rates and bad debts because if a buyer is willing to pay the reservation fee, then there’s a very high chance of them going on to complete the purchase.
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