Anyone familiar with our regular content will know we have a huge interest in the technology that is currently driving innovation within the construction and property industries in Ireland (#proptech – yes, it’s a thing, check out www.prop-tech.ie!). So it is entirely frustrating to read and hear about old property problems, like gazumping, rearing their ugly heads again, especially now that we have the technology in place to protect buyers.
Actually, lack of technology has never really been the problem; the culture of opaqueness that runs down the spine of Ireland’s property transaction process is to blame. It is surprising that the industry at large didn’t use the crisis years to perfect some of the kinks in the system, it was the perfect opportunity. In fact, everything was so broken, arguably, we ought to have redesigned the entire sale and conveyancing process. But we didn’t.
Unfortunately we are now stuck in a market of chronic undersupply, so even the most modest of demand is driving prices beyond so-called ‘value’. The danger of our current, unprotected, system is that buyers are vulnerable from the time they ‘sale-agree’ their potential new homes until such time as both parties sign contracts, which can be a period of months in some cases. The cost to the thwarted buyer if the seller decides not to proceed is not just financial, it must also account for opportunity cost of fishing in an ever-diminishing pool of available property.
House-hunters appear to be vaguely aware of the many advantages to buying at auction; however, the inherent risk and difficulties for mortgage-buyers usually rule this out. But are would-be buyers aware that they can get the same speed and transparency of buying through auction without the risk? We thought not. Irish proptech company BidX1 have designed, delivered and are now offering such a process. Below is a snapshot of how their service differs from the traditional approach:
By the way, apologies if this reads like a sales pitch or an advertisement – it is neither. We are not associated with BidX1, we simply took this image from their website to demonstrate to homebuyers that transparency is not just a luxury for cash-buyers or investors at auction. We are starting to see examples of traditional estate agencies using innovative proptech to offer mortgaged home-buyers the opportunity to bid in a transparent process while eliminating the risk of gazumping. Of course there are other benefits to using a whole range of new proptech offerings, like time and cost savings, but we’ll let the agents and technology providers sell you on those, all we care about is a more transparent marketplace and protection for winning bidders.