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Live online property auction

publication date: Apr 28, 2008
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Online property auctions are a well established part of the buying landscape, but an auction house in Yorkshire, in conjunction with a new website, is set to stage the country’s first property auction where online bidders participate in real time as houses and flats go under the hammer.

On Thursday 15th May, 14 properties being offered by Harrogate-based auctioneers Feather Smailes Scales will be auctioned live online to private buyers and property developers. For the first time in the UK, internet bids through i-bidder.com will compete with those being submitted at the actual ‘physical’ auction.

Potential bidders on the Yorkshire properties, including a row of holiday cottages in Knaresborough and converted flats in Otley, will be hosted by new website i-bidder. com. The i-bidder.com facility is a new product from thesaleroom. com, which has successfully been offering a similar service for art and antiques for the last two years. Both sites are part of Atgmedia, part of the Daily Mail group of companies.

After a simple registration process, bidders through i-bidder.com will be able to view an online catalogue of the properties. The catalogue also lists viewing dates for those who want to physically view the properties and arrange surveys.

The auction

Charles Smailes, of Feather Smailes Scales, welcomed the development:

 “We’re looking forward to hosting the first of this type of property auction. Real-time, online bidding is extremely economical and convenient. It means that buyers don’t have to travel and be there in person to bid, but they can still participate in the excitement of a live auction. We are confident offering this service will ensure more bidders, as we won’t be losing those who can’t physically make it on the day”

Some of the properties up for sale on the 15th May include the very pretty Laurel cottage in Hampsthwaite, Harrogate. This needs full modernisation but it is set in a fabulous location overlooking the village green. Guide price is £280,000.

For the aspiring property developer, the sale includes a detached house that has been converted into 4 flats requiring modernisation in the West Yorkshire market town of Otley, offered with a guide price of £200,000.

A larger building presenting a significant opportunity is on offer at a guide price of £500,000, 4 Royal Parade in Harrogate. A former pharmacy, the shop floor still has some of its original fittings and there are a further three floors, a basement and an attic.

Also available is a row of three cottages in the historic market town of Knaresborough perfect for someone looking for a weekend getaway cottage for themselves and friends or family. The cottages are to be sold in two different lots. 2 and 3 Middleton Cottages each have 2 bedrooms and a rear garden terrace, with number 2 having recently been refurbished (guide price £250,000). No.4 with 2 bedrooms, to be sold with an adjoining plot with full planning consent for a further two x two bedroom properties (guide price £300,000).

For i-bidder.com, a real-time property auction is an obvious expansion of its current operations, which currently offer anything from electronics to furniture, including a weekly Saturday morning auction of contemporary furniture for Arthur Johnson.

Over and above attracting more clients through its database of regular users, Anne Somers, Managing Director of i-bidder.com outlined what she saw as the benefits for auctioneers looking at incorporating realtime online bidding: “Vendors are soon going to be expecting this service as standard. It makes financial sense as it reduces the number of telephone lines that need manning and there’s no extra specialist equipment to buy. We make it easy for the auctioneers to offer this service and provide a large amount of support in the early days”

i-bidder.com offer full support and can attend the first two auctions held with the new system. Auction houses interested in offering this service to their clients should contact the i-bidder.com business development team on 020 7420 6636.