Now may be the time that online property auctions actually become a reality. There have been many attempts to make it happen over the years but none have gained any significant traction.
It is not only the demand from buyers that has changed, avoiding personal attendance at auctions, but it is also an understanding of why previous attempts have failed to make an impact.
A small Irish startup called Offr, that launched late last year, may be the one to make online property auctions mainstream.
Its point of difference is that it is putting the technology in the hands of real estate agents. The real estate agent responsible for selling the property conducts the online auction on their existing website platform.
Most of the failed online property auction innovations in the past have required the use of a new external platform. Such platforms were distrusted and / or disliked by enough market participants to halt their adoption.
Offr includes additional functionality such as messaging and legal documents. These will undoubtedly be enhanced over time. Offr has been looking into the Australian property market as part of its early international expansion plans.