Tips to buy a home in an online auction

Useful tips when bidding online to buy a home

South Africans have become comfortable with and accustomed to making purchases online. Which is why online auction property transactions make perfect sense.

So says MC du Toit, CEO, Property Sales for BidX1 South Africa: ‘Now acquiring property for sale on auction via an online platform is rapidly becoming a convenient and secure way of transacting. It’s a whole lot easier and quicker than physically attending an auction at a specified location, plus it’s secure, and provides an opportunity to acquire a property at a value-for-money, market-related price.’

According to Du Toit, in many instances, there is no buyer’s commission, or there is a reduced commission from that which buyers are used to seeing at normal auction sales.

On auction on 3 July through BidX1 South Africa and with a reserve price of R12.5 million is this luxury mansion with a separate guest suite in exclusive Eagle Canyon Golf Estate in Johannesburg.

For those who have not previously participated in an online property auction, here are a few things you need to know:

  • The auction takes place in real time, with the key benefit that you can bid for property from anywhere in the world and from any computer or hand-held device.
  • It’s also safe, as bidders have to register first and provide FICA documentation, namely ID and proof of residential address, as well as source of funds, thereby eliminating any fictitious bids being placed.
  • The process itself is transparent, as everyone can see the bidding as it unfolds, and as the process is also recorded, anyone is able to view the bidding for properties sold via our previous online auctions.
  • ‘Before participating in an online auction, I strongly recommend that you physically inspect the property at one of our show-days, download and fully understand the conditions of sale and read all the relevant information regarding the specific property of interest, all of which are available for each property on our website,’ says Du Toit.
  • ‘Each property on auction has its own Legal Tab with access to all the information needed to make an informed decision, while in addition, we have professional property brokers on hand who can answer any questions via telephone or email. They can also take you through the bidding simulation and provide examples of what will happen when bidding commences. Furthermore, they can provide advice and assistance even during the auction.’
  • Unlike the private treaty process, all the auction properties are sold without any suspensive conditions, so if you are the successful bidder, a legal and binding contract has been formed and you are legally obliged to complete the sale.
  • ‘Consequently,’ says du Toit, ‘you need to ensure you have the necessary finance available for the purchase, either by pre-qualification through a bank or with ready funds on hand. If you don’t want to place your bids manually, you can set a maximum bid, which means the computer will then enter bids for you only as it becomes necessary to keep your position as the winning bidder and only up to the maximum bid price that you’ve specified.’
On auction on 3 July through BidX1 South Africa, and situated on the West Coast in Sandy Point Beach Estate in St Helena Bay, is this modern three-bedroom (all en-suite) home with self-contained flatlet and sea views throughout, with a reserve price of R4.5 million.

‘My advice is to do your homework upfront and know what you can afford and are willing to pay for a property, by virtue of the fact that our sales are non-suspensive. Misconceptions are that bidding aggressively will intimidate other bidders, or that dragging out an auction with low bids may cause other bidders to lose interest – neither of these is the case. Remain calm and do what you feel comfortable with.’

Adds du Toit: ‘In the current buyers’ market, where stock is abundant but purchasers are in short supply, there is downward pressure on property prices, creating a situation which empowers buyers to negotiate strongly on price.’

The next online auction takes place on 3 July. Visit Bidx1SA for more information.




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