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SDL Property Auctions and Rightmove Join Forces

Property buying and selling has been carried out in this country in much the same way for generations and Andrew Parker, Managing Director and Auctioneer at SDL Property Auctions, believes it’s time for change. Through a new partnership with Rightmove he believes his company will be helping to revolutionise the property market by normalising auction sales. 

Buying and selling a property by private treaty can be a long and frustrating journey, with the potential for both financial and emotional distress. At SDL Property Auctions we believe there is a better way and that many sellers would benefit from the speed and efficiency of auctions. We are therefore delighted to be leading the way by becoming one of the first auction providers to adopt Rightmove’s new industry-first digital feature to sell properties by conditional auction.

As a result of this innovation, I believe we are on the cusp of a real revolution in property buying and selling. We are proud to be changing people’s perceptions of auctions – and making them more accessible for everyone. 

Our conditional auction properties now benefit from enhanced listings on the UK’s biggest property portal with the addition of the Rightmove’s innovative new Bid to Purchase widget. This will both raise the profile of conditional auction sales and help foster a new understanding of this fast and efficient sales method. 

House-hunters on Rightmove can already filter their search to find auction properties. Now lots being sold by SDL Property Auctions will be displayed with live bidding updates and the option to register to bid. This innovation by Rightmove is a major step in increasing awareness of auctions, both for private homeowners and for estate agents, and will encourage more of them to consider buying and selling in this way. 

At SDL Property Auctions we offer all types of auction sale through our monthly National Property Auctions and daily Timed Auctions on our website. For many years we have been working hard to help bring auctions into the mainstream and the challenges of pandemic have accelerated this journey, as the rapidly changing property market and lockdown caused many sellers to seek the speed and certainty that only auctions can provide. As a result, we are seeing far more private homeowners choose this fast, hassle-free and secure method of sale.

However, we do appreciate that there is still some suspicion about conditional auctions and have been working hard in our own business, with Rightmove and with other auction partners, to educate both buyers and sellers. There can be a lack of understanding about fees so we are proud to be leading the way in creating total transparency in this area, having been one of the first auctioneers to introduce a summary sheet of fees within the legal pack of every lot.

Unlike in an unconditional auction, where contracts are exchanged at the fall of the hammer, and the buyer must pay the deposit immediately, a conditional auction allows the buyer more flexibility. The end of a conditional auction sees the winning bidder pay a non-refundable reservation fee which grants them an exclusivity period, usually 40 working days, giving them time to arrange a mortgage if required. 

Buyers go into the auction knowing what fees they are expected to pay so can budget and bid accordingly. The exclusivity period means they cannot be gazumped. If they fail to exchange and complete during this period they lose this fee, making buyers far more committed to the purchase, which is why our fall-through rate is less than 1%

Conditional auction sales are ideal for highly motivated sellers as they can achieve a fast sale with a fixed completion date and the option to pay no selling fees. They appreciate the security of the sale, knowing the buyer cannot pull out without a penalty. The referring estate agents earns higher commission than in a private treaty sale – and gets paid just seven days after a sale is agreed.

Working with estate agents instead of in competition with them is a win-win for everyone and SDL Property Auctions already partners with more than 1,500 estate agents nationwide to enable them to generate a new income stream by offering auctions to their sellers. We provide training and resources to help agents build their own white-labelled auction department with no risk or financial outlay. 

Now, with Rightmove embracing auction sales with its new Bid to Purchase widget and live bidding updates, this provides a firm foundation for agent growth and is another step towards taking auctions into the mainstream.