Buying and Selling with Online Property Auctions

The property market, like many other industries, suffered a great deal of disruption when faced with the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Businesses in all different sectors were forced to adapt to this uncertain time, and many resorted to making their services available online to reduce the risk of spreading this deadly virus.

The property market was no exception, and while the housing market remained open during lockdown, many companies took extra precautions by introducing online property auctions in place of traditional in person auctions, to ensure that they were being as safe as possible.

Many letting agencies continued to use online property auctions when the pandemic came to an end, and it is now a recognised service within the industry that it is consistently used in the buying / selling process.

So, when you are looking to buy or sell a property, it is useful to know what an online property auction entails and why it can be beneficial for you.

What is an Online Property Auction?

An online property auction is an auction which takes place over a live stream and is open for bids for 28 days.

Traditionally, selling your home at an auction takes place in an auction house. Properties for sale by auction can be found in newspapers, through estate agents and auctioneers. In comparison to the modern method of auctions, buyers at traditional auctions have 56 days to complete the purchase, rather than 28.

How do Online Property Auctions Work?

As a seller, there are two options for an online property auction:

  • Unconditional online auctions – This is where the exchange of contracts happens immediately as the bid is made or as the online time period ends. Completion for purchase is normally set 28 days from that point.
  • Conditional online auctions – This is where the successful bidder has longer to exchange contracts and complete the purchase. They have around 56 days to finalise the purchase.

What are the Benefits of Online Property Auctions?

Speed of Sale

This is a big advantage to vendors. They are guaranteed to have the sale completed within 28 days of the auction, which is much faster than in a traditional property auction.

Reliable Buyers

Sellers benefit from online property auctions because a substantial reservation fee must be paid upfront by the purchaser so there’s far less chance of them pulling out than the traditional auction method.


You can carry out the auction process from the comfort of your own home

Increased bids

You can attract people from a wider area, both nationally and internationally

No Estate Agent Fees

Certain letting agencies do not charge you any estate agent fees. Watsons’ auction services offer this benefit – they enter your home into the online auction and it doesn’t cost you anything when it sells, other than legal fees.

If you are looking for a professional lettings agent that provides a wide range of property management services from fully managed letting to buy-to-let mortgages, contact us today!

Mark Francis Pearce

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