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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Modern Method of Auction firm has sold 16,500 homes in a decade

iamproperty, parent company of IAMsold, says it now works with 2,500 estate agency branches nationwide and has sold over 16,500 properties through auctions.

Newcastle-based IAMsold is considered the largest player by far in the controversial Modern Method of Auction sector; the company employs 185 people and says it is on course to complete 4,000 auction sales in 2019 for the first time in its history. 

In the spring The Property Ombudsman announced it would insist that agents should explain both the benefits and disadvantages of their recommended method of transaction at market appraisal stage - and this includes MMA.

This system 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. 

TPO has suggested that one disadvantage of the system which should be put by agents to any vendor considering using MMA is that the costs falling on the buyer may mean that the buyer would vary their offer for the property accordingly.

IAMsold describes this as “a positive development” and a spokesman told Estate Agent Today: “IAMsold have always pressed upon our estate agent network to outline the pros and cons of all auction methods and other methods of sale. We engage with every vendor and bidder to ensure that they understand the process and fees involved, in addition our business has a rigourous compliance framework to ensure that we are adhering to our own standards around transparency.”

The service says it’s also working with industry bodies to boost standards in the MMA sector and will reveal details in the near future.

The parent company, iamproperty, has today revealed its half-year figures to the end of June; these show the company’s turnover increased 16 per cent to £12.6m.

“We are in a strong position to maintain our growth. In the short-term we want to expand our offering to estate agents, by giving them a one-stop-shop of modern solutions that help them to provide exceptional customer experiences” says Jamie Cooke, managing director at IAMsold.

The service recently appointed the former managing director of property services at Zoopla, Mark Goddard, as group chairman.

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    Note to vendors - always remember the saying; 'When the service is free, you are the commodity'.

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    I won't go through all the cons of the Modern Method yet again and bore everyone to tears. Apart from the fact that one of the providers is almost bound to come unstuck legally within the next year with the subsequent media fall-out, the fact is that an increasing number of traditional auctioneers are now providing the Conditional Auction method (for that is all the "Modern" method actually is) at a fraction of the charge to buyers and are - importantly - where the buyer's fee is high, including some or all of it as part of the purchase price of the property if exchange takes place. If that catches on, there will be no place for the likes of I AM Sold who will no longer be able to make a profit as they have to have estate agents on the ground to market for them and split the fee. The "Modern" Method has been a very successful marketing tool for estate agents in a difficult market place but is a flash in the pan which is likely to end with fat on the floor!

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