Virtual Property Buying in SA has Reached Another Dimension

Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

The latest service provided in the online property auction environment now enables live bidding that provides a platform from where interactive auction transactions are concluded in dealing with one company from registration to signing the sales contract. And while these activities take place within a secure internet environment, it also offers the benefit of competitive commissions.

Following global trends, auctions have gained popularity as an alternative means of selling property, and is increasingly becoming the choices of both sellers and buyers. It is not too long ago that potential bidders had to physically view properties, and auctions were either attended in person or offers had to be made by proxy. The option of live online bidding by way of sophisticated interactive software provisions was simply not available. As technology has come along in leaps and bounds, it has facilitated a huge shift in property dealings, moving forward to provide online property listings, live streaming of auctions, walk-through tours of properties, exact geographical locations, and more.

Keeping ahead of global trends is DoveBid SA, that has been involved in international online auctions for sometime. By way of its auction software platform that took over 10 years to develop at a cost of US$10-million, the company is launching its first properties for online auctioning this week. MD John Cowing says it is time such a successful transactional platform comes into use, to enable the property investment community to cross over into the online auction arena. Up to now, while a number of auction houses offer online facilities, the only option available has been to involve third party service providers.

Online bidders currently registering for auctions, are mostly taken to a site outside of the auction house, where transaction capabilities are limited in that bids can only be submitted prior to auctions, and where security may be compromised. Cowing says this new platform changes what is currently available in the industry, and now provides online auction participants a complete interactive auction experience. This service offers the invaluable benefit of a 100% security on this site during an auction, because it is hosted entirely in-house, from the registration process to the live auction and the final signing of the sales contract.

Also differing from most current property auction services is that while buyers remain responsible for a 10% deposit on the fall of the hammer, the auctioneer’s commission will only be payable on transfer of the property, as opposed to the day of the auction. And both the buyer and the seller benefit from the live online presence of the ‘auctioneer’ during the entire transaction, and not just until the fall of the hammer.

Several other SA property companies are seen to follow global trends in online property marketing. Auction Alliance, one of SA’s largest auctioneering companies, that has provided online streaming of auctions and viewing of properties for sometime, is currently advertising its own online bidding facility to be coming soon.

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