A new online property competition platform has launched that gives entrants the opportunity to win a home for £2 - but if you sell through the same route, you pay a hefty commission of five per cent plus VAT.
WinAbode is a website that latches on to the recent craze for property raffles, used by a small number of sellers who found it hard to find buyers through conventional routes.
Sellers list their property with WinAbode and pay five per cent plus VAT of the eventual sale price - determined before details are put on the site. A statement from the website says: “This might seem high, however our aim is to sell for a little more than the open market value. This not only covers our fees and expenses, it also means that sellers end up with more money in their back pocket than if they had sold through a conventional estate agent.”
Individuals entering the competition buy £2 tickets - a maximum of 150 of them per entrant - and they answer a skills-based question, which makes the competition legal under gambling legislation.
“Once the value of the property is met (plus our small commission) we will randomly draw the winner from the list of correct entries. So that’s one content seller and one person winning a dream home. Sounds pretty good, right?” says the firm on its website.
“And if we don’t manage to cover the value of the home we can either roll over the prize draw or someone will win the prize pot in cash instead, minus our commission.”
Tickets for different properties will cost £1 to £10; the first property to be ‘won’ this way has £2 tickets and is an apartment in the boho Dalston area of London; the property is described at being valued at £700,000 and some 400,000 tickets are available, meaning £800,000 will go to the organisers if it’s a sell-out.
The WinAbode company says it is donating 10 per cent of profits on its fees to the Centrepoint homelessness charity.
This is perhaps unlikely to be a serious threat to estate agency but it is interesting to see the terms and conditions surrounding entrants and vendors; and you can see the website’s FAQs here.