The COVID crisis has accelerated the modernisation of the home buying process by ten years, a leading online auction house has claimed, and hastened the decline of the ‘ballroom’ auction.
Iamsold.com says this is because the lockdown and the changes it imposed on home buyers and sellers have significantly altered the way consumers approach selling property.
“COVID-19 has fast forwarded change in the industry by as much as a decade and I think that the industry will be permanently changed,” says Iamsold’s MD Jamie Cooke.
“We had seen change gathering pace in recent years, namely due to more estate agents offering Modern Method of Auction (MMoA) to their clients.
“Buyer and sellers’ priorities have changed too, as well as more people becoming digital savvy and open to doing things online.”
Cooke claims that for many vendors COVID has created a sudden need to move as a result of lifestyle changes over the past few months.
This may be to relocate for work, sell second homes or search for a property more fit for purpose.
“For this type of vendor, traditional Private Treaty sales may be an inefficient solution as homes can take over 100 days to sell on average,” says Cooke (left).
But his comments may raise eyebrows among traditional auctioneers. Cooke says in-room auctions were in decline long before COVID and that “the pandemic may have hastened that”.
“During lockdown we took all of our in-room auctions online allowing our partner agents to continue to support their clients needing quick and secure sales,” he says.
“While we offer both in-room and online auction methods, it’s faster for us to sell a property via a bespoke online auction that’s completely tailored to a vendor’s circumstances and timeline.”