Buyers no longer fazed by online real estate auctions
Lockdown isn’t deterring house-hunters from bidding at virtual auctions, with the process now as simple as buying groceries online, according to the LJ Hooker Group.
A shortage of stock and continued demand has seen clearance rates remain strong in Sydney during the latest round of lockdown restrictions.
Troy Malcolm, LJ Hooker Group Head of Sales, said the transition to online auctions has been smoother than previous lockdowns with increased buyer confidence and easy-to-use technology. While this does require bidders to go online and pre-register – including uploading documentation - it is a straightforward process.
“If you have used an e-commerce site to purchase a pair of shoes or your groceries then you would definitely be able to use the platforms, they have made them extremely user-friendly,” he said.
“We’ve focused on two key components – communication and accessibility. Agents are being more involved with the buyers, checking in with them two or three times a week to make sure they have all the information they need to be able to make a bid.
“Auctioneers are also speaking to buyers and coaching them through the process, while the platforms have also helped out a lot.”
Mr Malcolm, who is also an auctioneer, said it is comforting to know buyers are now accustomed to the process. While nothing beats the emotion of a live auction, the improved technology is not holding back buyers from competitively bidding.
Recent results include 20 Derwent Street, Mt Druitt, a 1150sqm property which set a new suburb record when it attracted 32 online bidders and sold for $1.92m – which was $520,000 above the owner’s reserve through Sid Elias and Mac Honkisz of LJ Hooker Colyton | St Clair.
The process of an online auction is almost identical to being in-person – auctioneers cover important information and legalities such as terms and conditions, registered bidders are given a number and there can even be online spectators.
However, requests for property appraisals have been high during lockdown indicating a strong back end to the year. There has also been an increase in vendors looking to sell off-market or via a pre-market campaign. Current low stock levels could make selling now more attractive with less competition than spring.
Online auctions are anticipated to remain popular in the post-COVID19 world as technology continues to evolve.
“This is a great tool moving forward - it is going to provide a hybrid approach so if you have buyers overseas or interstate, they can use the digital platform and they compete against the buyers that are present,” Mr Malcolm said.