Auction house Clive Emson has launched a digital service through which vendors can sell land and property via an online auction.
Clive Emson Auctioneers Online will run alongside the organisation's existing auctions which are held every six weeks in five locations across the South of England.
Vendors who sell through the online auction will be required to set a reserve price and finishing date and time for their listing.
Lots are sold upon the 'fall' of the electronic gavel at the time set by the seller.
Online bidders are required to undergo anti-money laundering checks and then are free to make offers up until the end of the auction.
When the auction finishes, the highest bid is accepted – providing it is above the reserve price.
As in a physical property auction, the fall of the gavel ensures immediate purchase and exchange, with completion confirmed during the following 28 days.
In the event that there is a flurry of bids in the last five minutes of an auction, it is extended by 15 minutes.
Clive Emson says this is to deter multiple bidders from holding back until the last moment.
"The online auction platform means we can reach out to vendors and buyers across England and Wales who cannot make our live auctions,” explains James Emson, the firm's managing director.
"The online listings mean vendors have the flexibility to sell their property at a date of their choosing and they can keep tabs on the bidding process from where they are based.”
He says the 'wind is strengthening' when it comes to online property so it makes sense for his firm to increase its share of the digital market.
Emson says the initiative is a response to how people now want to do business – from the comfort of their smartphone.
The firm already offers remote internet bidding for its live auctions and so Emson says the online listings service is a 'natural progression'.
"Inevitably, comparisons will be drawn with eBay – there are similarities but there would be logistical difficulties in parcelling up a house and have it couriered to the buyer,” says Emson.
“There is one difference – a legally binding contract and deposit [are] taken immediately. We share the same philosophy as eBay – successful outcomes for seller and purchaser."