Why online property auctions are the future

Cycles of growth and housing market crashes, new technology, and, most recently, the pandemic-fuelled push to escape the city in search of country residences means that the property sector is evolving quicker than ever, writes Kate Lay of Landwood Group.

One of these pandemic-fuelled trends was the rise in the use of online property auctions. This, in turn, led to the emergence of new platforms, technologies, and software-enhancing digital capabilities.

With such wide-scale changes happening throughout the industry, owners looking to get the best price for their property should be looking to engage online experts to help with a sale.

The differences between operators who are built for the online world and those that simply tried to adapt to it during Covid are staggering. Those auction houses, such as Landwood Property Auctions, that have been designed from the ground up to be online auction experts have a huge gulf in capabilities compared to regular auction houses that conduct live-streamed auctions, offering ultimate flexibility, transparency, and speed for their customers.

Despite the clear growth in the use of online property auctions, many parties across the property industry still hold outdated views about how effective, useful, and relevant they can be to any buyer or seller.

There is still an outdated perception in some camps that either selling or buying via an auction is the very last resort.

Just this month a client was advised by his solicitor to avoid buying through online auction the very property that he’d rented as a tenant for years. The solicitor claimed that only “experienced cash buyers” should opt to purchase at auction, and first-time purchasers should “stick to the usual channels” – i.e. through estate agents

The fact is that in 2022, property auction companies like Landwood offer fantastic benefits for buyers and sellers of any type of property. No matter whether you’re a first-time buyer or a veteran of the property industry, using online auction facilitators such as Landwood allows you to sell or buy with confidence.

An end to calling time on sales

One of the most frustrating things for sellers of any type of property is the chance of a failure to complete. No matter whether it’s a run-down terrace or a multi-million-pound mansion, the risk of a hold-up in a property chain or a rejected mortgage agreement remains a constant threat to anyone looking to sell their property.

Using online auctions to sell a property helps to reduce this risk by providing a generally more successful sales process. In fact, our auction sales success rate is 94% and, in most cases, we sell the remaining 6% post-auction. When selling through traditional, non-digital auction houses, you typically encounter another problem – namely that there are often a huge number of properties being sold on auction day, limiting the time that an auctioneer can spend on marketing the property to its fullest potential.

We can massively reduce the impact of this, with weekly slots providing auctioneers with the ability to give every listing a huge amount of attention, driving higher prices at auction, and retaining the higher completion rates that make auctioning so attractive in the first place.

Mastery of the online auction

One of the biggest challenges for auction houses that the Covid pandemic posed was how to handle the switch to live-streamed auctions. The move from having buyers in a room to having them on a screen made it much more difficult for auctioneers to manage sales effectively.

Having a digital-first approach negates that issue, as there are technological innovations available to make these auctions seamless.

Landwood Property Auctions, for instance, uses technology to register bids far faster than any auctioneer – one of our most memorable sales saw us receive 16 bids in under 30 seconds totalling £13,000!

These waves of bids help to build momentum in an auction, with the spikes in activity driving higher final prices for auctioned properties and showcasing the benefits of opting for a tech-powered auction solution managed by a team of experienced digital auction professionals.

Selling all year round

The rise of the online auction has also helped to kill off one of the traditional pitfalls of the auction industry – the ‘summer slowdown’.

Classically, auction houses have often scaled back or even halted their operations entirely between July and September, with the total number of auctions dropping off a cliff and prices achieved collapsing over the summer months.

However, with digital-powered auction providers like Landwood Property Auctions and similarly to many digital-backed platforms, availability and timing is no longer an issue. We’ve seen success in having online sales every seven days, proving that the summer lull is a thing of the past. Buyers are queuing up all year round, which keeps prices and interest high.

In fact, as the first online-only property auctioneer, we pioneered weekly sales to provide sellers with ultimate flexibility, transparency, and speed.

Despite the leaps and bounds that the auction marketplace has seen during the past few years, the common misconceptions around the process, value, and success that a property auction can provide are stunting the growth of what could be the industry’s most exciting sales channel.

Don’t be left behind. Online property auctions are the way forward and the savvy seller already knows this.

  • Kate Lay is director of Landwood Property Auctions


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