A new online estate agency is getting set to launch, offering a sealed bidding process.
SealedBid will concentrate on new and refurbished properties at the top end of the market and will initially target property developers in London.
Vendors will be able to list their properties on the website, which says it will then market the property “utilising a wide industry network”.
Buyers will have to pass a verification process before being able to submit a sealed bid. An email is sent to their solicitor together with the contract details, confirming they are who they say they are, have passed money laundering checks and have the funds available.
Just three weeks on average will be allowed for bidding, with the exact closing time and day known from the outset.
Once bidding closes, the winner will have exchanged contracts with completion possible within days. All bids must be “in excess of” the reserve price.
Vendors can choose between paying 1% or £5,000 plus 15% of the uplift from the reserve price.
Behind the business is founder Danny Jay, who describes himself as an entrepreneur and disruptor.
Also in his team are conveyancer Justin Selig, who was until last year a co-owner of eviction firm Landlord Action; and London estate agent Jeremy Rosenblatt, currently a director of Vantage Private Office.
Jay said that his team is currently investigating requests from developers to market their properties.
He said: “Each property has to be carefully selected according to SealedBid Property’s brief.
“Our audience will be looking for luxury, new/refurb, high-end residential properties, with a value of over £1m. We therefore need to ensure that each listing matches this description.”
Jay said that the SealedBid gives no opportunity for the sale to fall through.
Asked if three weeks was really long enough to go from first marketing to exchange, he said it would be sufficient because documentation such as searches and plans could be uploaded on the site.
However he added that the three-week period was not set in stone if the vendor wanted a longer period for marketing and bidding.
Jay said: “Another idea we came up with was a viewing period of say two weeks and a bidding period of three weeks, ie a total of five weeks. Either way, it is flexible.”
He added: “Estate agents have been selling property the same way for 250 years – it has not changed in all that time. Maybe SealedBid can help transform the industry.”