Online property auctions good or bad?

There is much to be said about the growing popularity of online property auctions, especially at a time when transactions are taking longer and over 300,000 purchases fell through last year. But is it all it’s cracked up to be? Richard Copus explains why buyers and sellers need to tread with caution…

Over the last few years, a new way of buying and selling via an online property auction has appeared.  Known as the Conditional or “Modern” Method, it differs from traditional auctions because contracts are not exchanged on the fall of the gavel.  Instead, the buyer pays a reservation fee which allows more time in which to prepare him/herself to exchange.  These types of auction are growing in popularity because they allow people who need time to raise the money to buy properties they would otherwise be unable to do.  These transactions will complete a great deal faster than buying on the open market and there is no risk of gazumping.

In February 2015, ULS Technology plc (LON:ULS) took a 35% share in HomeOwners Alliance, a website offering information and services to UK homeowners and prospective homeowners. Gresham House Strategic PLC (LON:GHS) has a 6.56% stake in ULS Technology.

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