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Bidprop.co.uk – eBay for homes?

publication date: Oct 9, 2009
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Samuel WagnerA new website has just been launched, with a new angle on auctioning property online. BidProp.co.uk could provide another alternative for agents who have properties they need to move quickly and it draws on many of the aspects that makes Ebay so popular.

Much in the way that a traditional auction works, BidProp invites 'motivated purchasers' to bid on a wide range of properties from studio apartments through to family homes, with auctions spanning a period of seven, 14 or 21 days.

BidProp attracts bids on properties that have a reserve price that is discounted when compared to current market value (or current asking price) and an auction starting price that is even lower than this. The website is designed for ease of use and transparency and clearly outlines how the buyer can register interest, gather more information, view a property and finally bid online.

Representing developers, construction companies and financial institutions, BidProp also operates with estate agents to complement their existing sales activities, charging no additional commission. Properties will be marketed using BidProp ’s own website alongside an estate agent’s main property portal. BidProp works only with professional sellers and does not allow ‘For Sale by Owner’ properties.

Samuel Wagner is behind the new site. He is a Swedish entrepreneur whose background is in residential development in London and he has experience of property auctions as a user.

He explained how his idea came about. "Auctions are effective for people selling their stock but I thought it wasn’t really the most efficient way," he says. "I saw it could be done online and that there was a gap in the market for a simple way for agents and professional sellers to auction properties and reach the seasoned property investors and buy-to-let investors who use traditional auctions.

“While the internet has revolutionised conventional home buying, there is one place where it has been slow to catch on and that’s property auctions. Some auction houses will allow you to see the lots on their website but details are scarce. Others will allow you to watch the auction live via the internet but you still have to bid against others in the room via the telephone. Consequently, a lot of people who might consider purchasing a home at auction are going to be put off.

"Auctions are often held in stuffy hotels in the middle of the day. Unless you are willing to take a day off work to participate in the auction, it will be difficult to make a bid. We’re aiming to make the auction process easier and more convenient for both buyers and sellers.

"By ensuring that people can log on and search for properties, enter a maximum bid, and do it all from the comfort of their own computer, we anticipate that BidProp will appeal to a wide audience. It is far less intimidating than the traditional auction room and more convenient as well."

There is no doubt it has the makings of a valuable new outlet for property sellers bringing them together with the cash-ready buyers in the market. We'll watch with interest to see how it catches the imagination of the market.

BidProp has launched in the Greater London area in September 2009 and will roll out nationally over the next two years.

www.bidprop.co.uk. Samuel Wagner, can be contacted through Debra Morrall (07769 89 4866) or Lana Wrightman (07725 951310).

www.bidprop.co.uk