Auction portal

The Dunham Group is to launch an online property auction portal, to help estate agents sell more properties.

Lot37 will offer agents a platform on which to list all or a selection of their properties on which prospective buyers can bid, using a 30-day auction process.

Agents’ subscription fees are £80 per month, which allows them unlimited access to the site. Bidders are charged a £50 registration fee.

Dean Dunham, chief executive officer of The Dunham Group, says the fee is intended to confirm that bidders are genuinely interested in bidding for listed property.

Prospective buyers can place or increase bids on properties via text message. Lot37 texts and e-mails agents to notify them that a bid has been placed on their property. Agents then contact the bidder to check that sufficient funding is available for the property in question and a bidding limit is agreed. The bid then goes live.

Dunham compares the service to eBay. He says: “It gives agents a unique selling point, applicants and financial service leads. We pay the highest commission on the market, so for them it is a no-brainer.”

The site offers agents referral commissions of up to £300 for conveyancing, which is dealt with by Dunham Solicitors, and £50 for Home Information Packs. It also plans to refer repossessed properties and builder part-exchanges to agent members.

Dunham says: “We want to be able to pass business on to estate agents.” Dunham says the group has invested £300,000 in the site, over two years. He adds that he will limit the service to three agents in every UK town.

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