An online auction service which only came into existence in September last year claims to have 150 partner estate agents already, with a target of 300 by the end of 2019.
Whoobid says it aims to make online property auctions quicker, more affordable and more secure for UK buyers and sellers.
The company was founded by Doug and Alex Haigh, two brothers from Bournemouth, who say they saw “an opportunity to modernise the traditional auction process.”
As with other Modern Method of Auction services, Whoobid allows estate agents to offer no fees for sellers. “This enables high street agents to compete successfully with the traditional auction houses and online agents” says a statement from the online operation.
Whoobid says it now has expanded to become a 10-person team, mostly with “estate agency backgrounds with a breadth of industry knowledge and experience providing confidence and credibility in the property market.”
Whoobid aims to provide what it calls “a complete national coverage that allows agents, sellers and buyers to successfully auction and sell their properties online.”
Alex Haigh, the operation’s director, says: "We work hard to build relationships with our partner agents, ensuring we are on hand every step of the way to provide a complete package and this shows in the referrals, sales and on-going business we are seeing. We have a steady growth plan in place and we are excited to see where Whoobid will be in the next six months.”
Last month The Property Ombudsman, acting in concert with the National Trading Standards Estate & Letting Agency Team, issued a change to its Codes of Practice requiring agents to explain to customers both the benefits and disadvantages of their recommended method of transaction at market appraisal stage.
MMA has been criticised by consumer bodies and some agents in the past because of an alleged lack of transparency over the fees, which are often £5,000 plus VAT and which are levied on buyers; these fees go to the auctioneers and agents.