In the conventional real estate market, property valuation often hinges on what the market is willing to pay, leading sellers to solicit competing offers from multiple buyers. This process, however, can be disadvantageous for sellers and buyers alike, resulting in missed opportunities for both parties.
For buyers with less-than-top offers, the traditional system leaves them at a competitive disadvantage.They don’t know what offers they are competing against unless the seller chooses to disclose. Depending on their initial offer, many buyers may lose out, not knowing what price they were competing with.
For sellers, the traditional property sale model is labor-intensive and complex. In our experience helping sellers with relatively low-value properties, the conventional real estate approach often results in the seller (our clients) leaving money on the table . They may accept an offer without giving other potential buyers a chance to make a better offer. We think buyers and sellers could benefit from a more transparent and dynamic pricing and selling approach, similar to what happens during an auction.
Online auctions offer many advantages for buyers and sellers:
Accepting competing bids over time and/or holding online property auctions offers transparency to both buyers and sellers. Buyers buyers can easily track the bidding history in real-time, with confidence they are participating in a fair and transparent transaction. Sellers can see what properties are of greatest interest during online auctions and can apply that learning to price other properties. Sellers are also able to foster trust in their sales process by making and following policies and procedures known to all participants.
The online bidding process significantly reduces labor costs associated with traditional property transactions. From answering buyer queries to processing applications, the streamlined approach lowers expenses at every step during the marketing and eventual final sale of a property. Additionally, online bidding eliminates the need for physical auction spaces, further reducing costs.
Selling properties online allows sellers to reach a wider audience of potential buyers, creating a larger pool of interested parties. An expanded audience increases the chance to securing a higher offer fora given property. Buyers, in turn, also benefit from online property auctions, because they can participate from a distance and with greater convenience.
We've seen firsthand that there has been a substantial upward trend in the number of people primarily searching for property to purchase online. If you've not had a chance to see a demo of ePropertyPlus (ePP), one of the many features it includes is a property marketing platform called Public Site. Public Site is a fully configurable, GIS-based website for ePP subscribers to market property for sale or lease directly to the public. With recent enhancements released in October 2023, it now supports online auctions.
From within ePropertyPlus, a subscriber can post properties for sale or lease with unique listing pages, accept online applications, and communicate to applicants via a dedicated applicant portal as they review and process applications. A prospective buyer can view available properties, submit applications, and track the status of their submitted applications. On the back end, ePropertyPlus supports application processing, emails and notifications, document generation with digital signature, and digital document storage. It's a fully integrated system for marketing and selling property.
Recently, we introduced a new feature we call Dynamic Pricing that allows our ePropertyPlus subscribers to create auctions for specific property listings. They can set a minimum asking price and the minimum amount required to bid higher. Interested buyers can participate in an auction of a single property or group of properties, fostering healthy competition and ensuring fair market value for sold properties.
The Dynamic Pricing enhancement was inspired by Shelby County Land Bank, one of our ePropertyPlus subscribers. Shelby County Land Bank has a unique requirement wherein if two parties submit equally qualified minimum offers for the same property, then the land bank has to conduct a “bid-off”. At the bid-off, competing parties submit bids in a live auction until one outbids the others. Shelby County used to hold bid-offs in person or over the phone, and they faced logistical challenges, from scheduling the events, to coordinating with participants, all the way through to collecting payments and finalizing closings.
With ePropertyPlus, Shelby County streamlined their bid-off process. From within ePropertyPlus, they can set up their online property auctions, notify participants, run bid-offs, accept bids, and create closing documents that cane be digitally signed by the winning buyers. It’s a seamless, efficient, transparent, and user-friendly experience for all parties.
The Dynamic Pricing feature lends itself to other scenarios as well, including traditional online property auctions or arms-length sales, where the ePP subscribing seller wants to allow competing offers over a longer time. ePropertyPlus also tracks all of the offers or bids with a built-in audit trail that increases accountability during property sales.
As the real estate landscape continues to evolve, ePropertyPlus evolves with it. It's highly flexible design and configurability responds to the unique needs of each subscriber. As with other ePropertyPlus features, ePropertyPlus subscribers can choose to incorporate Dynamic Pricing in their property marketing and sales or not.
To explore the full potential of ePropertyPlus, contact us for a product demonstration.