Are online property auctions here to stay?
Buying a home through a digital auction took on a whole new look during the pandemic, but do online auctions have a place in the future?
Having the ability to log in to an online property auction from the comfort of your couch by raising your digital paddle transformed the property market for both buyers and sellers throughout 2020 and 2021.
While the online auction technology was available prior to the pandemic, it had been designed with the intention to cater to the odd absentee, rather than running an entire event.
When auctions were initially put on hold in the early days of the pandemic, agents quickly switched to online auctions to keep up with escalating demand. Not only did online auctions allow the property market to keep ticking, but the auctioneering platforms also enabled agents to see and engage with registered online bidders – live.
The shift to online auctions also coincided in a time when buyers had already ditched printed property mags en masse, and turned to the internet to research their dream neighbourhood.
“We’ve found that there are a lot more people staying home doing their research about the property market online. They might not necessarily come along to every auction, but they know the local area well and know what they want because they’ve researched it online,” says Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) President Adam Docking.
He admits that he too was surprised by how quickly the property industry embraced online auctions, with the quick shift to online auctions almost seamless. While the pandemic's disruption caused major disruption and stress for buyers, sellers and agents alike, the move has provided an additional avenue for sellers to find potential purchasers. “The new norm will be a hybrid of both in-person auctions and online auctions from now on,” he says.