With social distancing restrictions in place in Victoria, the real estate industry has had to move quickly to implement changes in the way business is conducted, to ensure that properties can still be bought and sold.
One of the biggest changes has been moving from in-person to online auctions.
Remote bidding has been happening for many years, especially if an interested buyer lives interstate or in another country – however, this has usually been in the context of a ‘live auction’.
During an online auction, all bidders are bidding remotely.
What is an online auction and how do they work?
An online auction can be run in one of two ways.
A live-stream auction is where bidders register and log in remotely, using laptops, smartphones or tablets to participate.
Bids are submitted through the website and either rejected or accepted by the auctioneer.
If a property meets or exceeds the reserve, the property is sold, If not, the auctioneer will call the highest bidder and begin negotiations.
The second form of online auction is much like buying something from a company which uses the bidding method.
Bids are submitted in increments within a given time frame. The deadline can be extended until all bids are exhausted. The successful bidder then conducts a digital exchange through a digital platform to complete the sale.
The two main online platforms used in Australia are Gavl and Auction Now. To participate in an online auction, bidders create an account and provide identification to prove they are a genuine.
After a successful sale, the sale can be finalised through a digital exchange of contracts or through phone-based negotiations.
While auctions are currently being conducted on-line, other important stages in the process of buying a home are still very much in-person activities.
Potential vendors may view a home by private inspection and by adhering to social distancing rules. This means a maximum of two people in the property at any time – the agent and the prospective buyer.
If you have found the right property and are considering making an offer, you can book a pre-purchase house inspection. Building inspections are permitted under Clause 11(3) of the Stay At Home Direction, which allows a person to permit another person to enter their place of residence for the purpose of their work.
The Home Inspection Hub can arrange a pre-purchase house inspection for you with one of our experienced and fully-qualified inspectors. A written report is emailed to you within 24 hours of the completion of the inspection, giving you the confidence to attend an auction and make a well-informed bid.
Call our office on 1300 071 283 and have a chat to one of our friendly, knowledgeable sales team, or take advantage of our free online quote today.