British Home

Selling your home through auction is not just for distressed properties

By Bea Patel, Director of Shop for an agent – The Estate Agent Comparison Site

“We believe that whether you are buying or selling a property, the process should be exciting, simple and certain. Auctions are a way to achieve this,” says the CEO of Bamboo Auctions.

In Australia, 40-50 per cent of properties are sold through auction compared to 3-4 per cent in England and Wales. With over 110,000 new homes built last year, Robin Rathore, CEO of Bamboo Auctions believes that “there is no reason why all of these properties can’t be sold by auction.”

At one time, there was a perception that only distressed properties were sold through auction. Because there was little going for them, auction was seen as they only way to sell them. Fast forward to 2015 and selling your home through auction could well be a viable way to sell your home, giving you a more certain transaction.

The website, allows buyers and sellers to exchange immediately at the end of the auction period. Aiming to save you money and time, Robin explains, “we want to make auctions more accessible, more transparent and better utilised as a way to sell your property.”

I asked Robin about where the idea came from. “The idea came about after trying to buy a house. We put an offer in and had to wait six months to exchange because of various delays in the interim. To top it all, just before exchange, the price had to be renegotiated.

“I thought there has to be a better way to buy a property, so I started exploring the idea of using auctions as a way to streamline the property transaction process. However, after attending the live room auctions, I found them to be infrequent, inaccessible and intimidating.”

The company was born out of this frustration. “Sellers list [their property] through an estate agent, and can set a reserve and choose the length of their auction period,” says Robin. “Buyers are pre-authorised to bid and can search, download legal documents, arrange site viewings and place bids on properties.”

What’s most important about the Bamboo Auctions process is that the “exchange occurs immediately at the end of the auction, so estate agents earn their commission faster, and buyers and sellers benefit from a more certain transaction,” explains Robin. And by working with a team of auction lawyers, they can ensure that things run smoothly.

It’s clear that they want to make the auction process better, and prove to the public that the condition of your property doesn’t influence the choice of selling it through auction. Robin says, “developers could use auctions to sell new or renovated properties. Why? Because you can set a reserve and exchange only occurs if that reserve is met, so the seller knows they’ll get a minimum price for the property. We don’t charge a listing fee so the Seller doesn’t lose anything by listing.”

Sellers would have to list their property through their estate agent and you can choose a reserve of one, seven, 14 or 30-day auction periods. Fully trained partner agents assist sellers throughout the auction process, and act as single port of call for sellers – making the process more streamlined.

And if you’re concerned about the legitimacy of buyers, Robin explains that they are all pre-authorised to bid. “We carry out all identity and anti-money laundering checks to ensure that buyers are committed. They are also required to provide their payment details before placing a bid. We charge the winning buyer a holding deposit of £5,000, which is held in a secure client account on behalf of the seller. The buyer then has five business days to transfer the remainder of the 10 per cent deposit. If they fail to do so, we transfer the £5,000 – less our admin fee – to the seller.”

Over the coming 18 months, they will be releasing extra features and upgrades to their website to make the transaction process more exciting. As a seller, you now have different options available to you when selling your property – and auction has surfaced as a viable alternative for selling any type of property, not just the distressed ones.

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