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The first-ever all-online property auction - where a contract is emailed and digitally signed by sellers and buyers, so the entire procedure happens via email and the internet - is now likely to be held in the autumn.

The event, staged in Dublin by Irish auction house Allsop Space, had to be postponed earlier this month because the IT system could not cope with the huge number of late bids.

The object of holding the event online is to attract international bidders; at least one UK residential auction house has told Estate Agent Today - off the record - that it is interested in staging a similar event based in London.

Robert Hoban, Allsop Space's director of auctions, says: Everything was going smoothly, but we started to get word in from some bidders that they couldn't get their bids in.

Around 70 potential buyers had registered to take part in the 24-hour auction, including Irish expats based in the United States, Australia and France.

The idea of buying a home via an online bid is not, in itself, particularly new.

Back in 2000 a company called Homes4Living sold two new apartments in a marina at Eastbourne by placing floor plans and 360-degree 'virtual tours' of the flats on a website.

The auction allowed only online bids over a two-week period, and people had to provide evidence that they had the funds and legal go-ahead before being registered as bidders.

The site had 150,000 - quite something as long ago as the year 2000 - and of those about 300 registered to bid, and both flats reached their reserve price.

Another firm, Thepropertylot, made an attempt to set up a similar service on a larger scale in 2001.

However, this autumn's Allsop Space auction is believed to be the first ever where all transactions will be completed online.


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    To correct the news, we have sold by not only private treaty online execution but also online real time auctions where a live auctioneer interacts with the bidding audience. There is no need to send emails; it is all auto generated by our unique technology known as Clicktopurchase. The last auction held was on behalf of one of the largest banks in the UK where 82 bids were submitted.

    Unlike the system you have referred to, Clicktopurchase also uniquely allows a private treaty contract to be fully executed online; without this feature, one cannot run an auction business properly I would suggest since it fails to allow bids to be submitted online prior or post.

    Most Clicktopurchase transactions are private treaty, or tender, but we can switch to a real time auction any time.

    Sellers who have already used the feature include Standard Life, CBRE Global Investors, UBS, DTZ Investment Management, Deloitte (receivers), BNP Paribas (receivers), GVA (receivers), etc as well as leading banks.

    So, Allsops Space is not a first but a second I am afraid. In Ireland, Lisney are using clicktopurchase already.

    See singerviellesales.com and clicktopurchaseproperty.com

    • 25 July 2014 09:28 AM
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