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How auctions can help agents through the second lockdown

11 November 2020 2614 Views
How auctions can help agents through the second lockdown

As we embark on another nationwide lockdown, the team at SDL Auctions are keen to help agents ride the storm, beat the stamp duty deadline and even get paid this side of Christmas.

SDL Auctions partners with estate agents enabling them to help sellers get a quick sale for the best price, with a fall-through risk of less than 1%. What’s more, agents who sell a property through SDL Auctions get paid within just 7 days of the sale being agreed.

Managing director and auctioneer Andrew Parker said: “Auction is the ideal socially distant solution as every stage of the process can be handled remotely. If a chain looks likely to break or a sale has fallen through, auctions are the route to turn to as SDL Auctions operate with a less than 1% fall through rate. By partnering with agents to sell properties by auction, we help them turn fall-throughs into sales and ensure they get paid quickly.”

SDL Auctions already partners with more than 1,000 estate agents nationwide to sell properties by auction and in the first lockdown earlier this year it proved to be a vital lifeline, keeping income flowing to agents at a time when all other revenue had dried up.

Its partnerships enable agents to offer vendors a fully flexible and enhanced sales package with the option of an auction sale. This maximises the opportunity to sell properties quickly.

Andrew said: “The restrictions of the last lockdown certainly didn’t quench people’s thirst to buy and sell and the drive to keep the property market moving is expected to be even stronger this time, as time runs out to complete sales before the stamp duty holiday ends on 31st March.”

SDL Auctions is keen to get the message to the wider property market that auctions are not just for investors and developers.

Pandemic restrictions have steered a growing number of private homeowners towards auctions, not just because they can be carried out safely without breaking social distancing rules but because of their speed, transparency and certainty.

Andrew said: “Auctions have changed to suit the times and are becoming the first choice for many private homeowners, as well as landlords and investors. They are excellent for selling unique properties or settling a dispute over value – and for getting a quick sale, too.”

SDL Auctions’ growth in 2020 is testament to this. Having used remote selling methods for many years, it had tried and tested systems already in place which enabled it to adapt to the first lockdown in March extremely quickly, taking its traditional room auctions behind closed doors and continuing to accept bids by proxy, telephone and over the internet. Timed Auctions continued as normal.

SDL Auctions saw remote bidding increase by 200% and was rewarded by becoming the UK’s most successful live-streamed auctioneer.

The auctioneer continues to run monthly live-streamed National Property Auctions as well as daily Timed Auctions. Both routes offer the options of conditional and unconditional sales:

  • In an unconditional auction, contracts are exchanged at the fall of the hammer and buyers are legally, financially and contractually bound to complete the purchase, providing certainty to sellers. Completion is usually within 20 working days.

  • In a conditional auction, the buyer pays a reservation fee to secure the property and is granted 40 business days to exchange and complete. This more flexible route can make auction properties accessible to more buyers.

Andrew added: “It’s about putting sellers in control and providing them with choices. Adding auction services to an agent’s business allows them to offer their vendors complete flexibility to use a sales method which best suits their requirements and timescales.”

One misconception is that sellers will have to compromise on price. However, they can set a reserve so they don’t have to sell for a price lower than they are willing to accept, and properties sold by SDL Auctions do so for an average of 15% above their guide prices.

Andrew is keen to avoid an ‘us and them’ culture with estate agents and said: “It doesn’t need to be a choice of estate agent or auctioneer for vendors; we don’t want to work in competition. We are keen to work in partnership with agents, providing another arm of their business and working together to achieve the same aims.”

For estate agents, adding auctions to their list of services is as simple as making a phone call. SDL Auctions handles everything else; helping them to identify which properties are most suitable for an auction sale adding properties to the website within just a few hours. As the property is marketed both to the agent’s contacts and to SDL Auctions’ huge database of serious buyers, this vastly increases the property’s reach to drive the best possible price.

“As we head into another lockdown, and with the risk of private treaty sales not completing in time to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, there really is no better time for estate agents to diversify into auction sales.”

Estate agents can find out how much they could earn by partnering with SDL Auctions by using the SDL Auctions income calculator or by calling the team on 0345 222 0197.

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