Auction website makes property foray

A Wanaka house 
being sold on a new 
auction website. 
A Wanaka house being sold on a new auction website. PHOTO: MARK PRICE
It worked when selling rams and bulls in Scotland, but will it work for selling a house in Wanaka?

That is the question David Giddings, of Fairlie, the owner of the new Your Bid auction site, is setting out to answer.

Mr Giddings owns the house and is putting it on Your Bid — the first time he has used the website for a property auction.

His success running ram and bull auctions in New Zealand and the United Kingdom has given him the confidence to expand into real estate.

He believes the auction website offers property buyers a cheaper, less pressurised and more flexible way of buying — just as it did for ram and bull buyers.

Mr Giddings developed the website during lockdown to sell his cows.

It used a "helmsman"- style auction, where buyers could bid on any stock at any time over a week.

"It went incredibly well.

"We had a record sale."

Since then, the website had been used for another three sales in New Zealand and two for ram breeders in the United Kingdom.

The Wanaka house will be offered for about a month with opportunities for prospective buyers to watch videos and bid by phone or computer.

They could also arrange to inspect the house.

All bids would be displayed without the bidder’s name, and any conditions attached to a bid — such as it being subject to finance — would remain private.

"At a normal auction, you’ve got to arrive there with all your money organised because you’ve got to be unconditional.

"This way you can put a bid on and then go to the bank if your bid’s live and say: ‘can we get the money?"’

And, Mr Giddings said
people could withdraw their bid.

"The reason we’ve done that is that normally people will make an offer subject to finance which means they can get out of it anyway.

"So, there’s no point making it 100% binding."

Buyers would benefit by knowing what other offers were being made — in contrast to a deadline sale.

Vendors could benefit from a very low commission.

"We could just charge them a minimal fee to sell a million-dollar property because it only costs us the set-up of the website for each sale.

"A commission of 3% to 5% or whatever [real estate agents] take is a fair bit of money now."

Mr Giddings believed a property had not been sold in this way before, anywhere else in the world.

He had received many inquiries from United Kingdom bull breeders about using his website, including a letter written on behalf of Prince Charles.

Upcoming sales in the United Kingdom are expected to be cancelled because of Covid-19.

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