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Modern Method of Auction firm says public needs to be educated

The largest company involved in the controversial Modern Method of Auction says it’s producing a “disruptive digital market campaign to address the common misconceptions” surrounding the process.

Iamsold claims the MMA market is growing but could double in size if people were not under what it calls “myths and misconceptions” surrounding such auctions. 

It says these are that “I don’t understand it, I can’t afford it / you have to be a cash buyer, it’s too risky / stressful, and it’s not for my type of property.”

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The campaign will have the tagline ‘Quit your jibber-jabber’ and is described as being about replacing myths with facts. 

There will be videos, social media contents, web banners, digital brochures and posters to be displayed in branches of estate agencies using MMA with Iamsold.

A statement from Iamsold refers to a survey assessing public awareness about the MMA process - the company does not say how many people were involved in the survey.

Jamie Cooke, Iamsold’s managing director, says: “Our survey findings show that the MMoA market could almost double, and it could very realistically become a more mainstream way of buying and selling property, which has always been our goal. 

“For this to happen, we’re calling for all our Partner Agents to get involved and support our drive to reach homeowners with the facts about auction in order to bust the most common myths that currently exist. We’re providing agents with all sorts of tools to educate at a local level across their customer base, to encourage open conversations about auction.

“Despite the MMoA having the power to offer a lifeline for vendors in need of quick and secure sales, only one in four homeowners surveyed are aware of it. Driving up awareness is key which is why we’ve created a more varied format of marketing materials for agents to use. We hope to see the campaign have a halo effect across the UK through our network, with a combined effort to help grow the category. We’re already looking at phase two which will launch later in 2021.”

Last year a conveyancing firm in the Bold Legal Group warned buyers and conveyancers to be ”wary” of the Modern Method of Auction because of the fees attached to the process. At the time the conveyancer said: “We are coming across more and more properties being dealt with in this manner and there are a few well known estate agencies where this is becoming the norm.  Clients and their lawyers really need to be wary as buyers pay a non-refundable ‘reservation fee’ – usually a percentage of the purchase price. 

Many clients do not realise this is an extra payment on top of what they have agreed to pay for the property and I suspect nearly all will not realise that this sum will need to be taken into account in the calculation of the stamp duty payable.”

In 2018 the HomeOwners Alliance, a consumer group, investigated what it called “the murky world” of online auctions of the MMA kind.

However, some estate agents partnering with Iamsold defend the process, and in a publicity statement Iamsold cites Caroline Appleby from Goldfinch Estate Agents saying: 

“For our business, auction gives us an advantage over many of our competitors as it allows our team to give clients options, so they can choose a method of sale best suited to their needs. Our auction sales are growing every year as more clients are selecting auction when given the choice and presented with the benefits, but initial awareness is pretty low.”

  • Samantha Sullivan

    It's a total con for both the buyer and the seller. Buyer paying extortionate fees which could be used as part of a deposit instead and sellers accepting below market value in most cases I've seen because buyers are less likely to purchase via this method. The only winner is the agent. If you list a property at the right price in the first place, it will always sell.

    Zoopla has tried to get me to sign up with iamsold a few times.... ask yourself why.

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    MMA is, and has always been, about the fee. As an agent, why accept 1% when you can push for 2.5%? Why do you think they have so many clients?

    The real winner here is IAMSold, just look what they do for 50% of the fee! The reservation fee should be either capped or outlawed altogether. No amount of 'disruptive' PR will get round them putting lipstick on a pig.

     
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    Very worrying. Is Zoopla still pushing this? Heard loads of bad stories about people using this service. Best not to touch!

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