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UK digital auction house BidX1 enters SA

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From left: MC du Toit, CEO of auctions and sales at BidX1 SA; David Murphy, COO of BidX1 SA and Pam Golding Properties' Anthony Stroebel.
From left: MC du Toit, CEO of auctions and sales at BidX1 SA; David Murphy, COO of BidX1 SA and Pam Golding Properties' Anthony Stroebel.

UK-based digital auction house BidX1 has officially launched in SA, and hopes to become a game-changer in the local property auction market.

Established in the UK in 2011, BidX1 has developed what it says is a transparent and secure digital auction platform that allows users immediacy in buying and selling property online, from anywhere in the world, on any digital device.

BidX1 says it is the second largest auction house in the UK and Ireland. The Cape Town office is its fourth location, with the company recently opening another office in Cyprus.

The local launch follows BidX1's strategic partnership with South African property group Pam Golding Properties in October. Together, the companies will offer residential, commercial, retail, industrial, and agricultural property and investment portfolios via the platform.

The catalogue of local properties will be launched on the platform in early March, with the first auction to be held on 10 April, notes the company.

"BidX1 SA will provide greater transparency and accessibility to everyone, offering a full spectrum of asset types online," says BidX1 founder and CEO Stephen McCarthy.

"There is a strong tradition of auctions in SA, and therefore an existing understanding and appreciation of the benefits of that process. Auctions are used in SA across all property sectors and they are often the preferred method of sale, from both a buyer and seller perspective."

The company says it previously raised over EUR1.3 billion through the sale of 8 000 assets, EUR750 million through traditional auctions, and EUR550 million via its digital platform.

Through Pam Golding Properties' extensive footprint in SA and Africa, the company says its strategy is to expand its digital offering on the continent.

"The network of over 2 000 agents working across 300 offices on the continent makes Pam Golding Properties an ideal partner for expansion in the region," notes McCarthy.

The platform, which is run in-house, uses artificial intelligence and reporting tools, providing real-time information on individual property performance, emerging trends, bidder locations and buyer profiles, backed up by access to property specialists.

MC du Toit, CEO of auctions and sales for BidX1 SA, explains: "BidX1 offers an exciting platform for both sellers and buyers which will change the face of auctions in SA.

"Designed to assist buyers and sellers from the start of the process right through to the successful conclusion of the sale, we provide the opportunity for everyone to participate in the auction, no matter where they are located, but still with the benefit of the guidance and direct contact with the auctioneer."

How the process works

The online property auction platform says it ensures trust for both buyers and sellers, with legal documents available for online inspection and arranged property viewing sessions in the days before the auction goes live on the platform.

The bidder, purchaser and solicitor are all required to register on the platform by providing their identity information and recent proof of address.

Based on the value of the property, the bidder is required to pay a bidder's deposit. This payment will be taken on a pre-authorised basis, meaning the company only captures the funds in the event the bidder is successful.

Once the registration is complete, the auctioneer will review the bidder's registration and they will receive an e-mail confirmation.

"Starting from a stated reserve price, every bid placed during the sale of a property is logged and displayed in real-time, and this record, along with the final sale price, can be viewed publicly on the Web site," explains David Murphy, COO of BidX1 SA.

"In this way, buyers are assured they are competing against other genuine parties that have completed the same process as themselves. They can see competing bids as they come in and accurately assess demand for the property."

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