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How to purchase a property via an online auction

Sep 8, 2020 3:40:15 PM

The real estate world has moved completely online, in-line with fresh industry regulations due to the COVID-19 climate in which we currently find ourselves in. In Victoria, this means all real estate transactions cannot take place in person, so Harcourts offices have moved 100% to a digital experience: viewing properties, signing leases, signing contracts and selling and buying through property.

Online auctions or “virtual auctions” have quickly become a preferred way to buy and sell a property. Popular with buyers who have targeted properties based on lifestyle rather than suburb, we have witnessed an increased in the number of properties going to virtual auction.

While it doesn’t really change the way real estate is advertised, eg: via a range of online platforms including, it has changed the way we purchase it.

With auctions now being held via video link, it’s easy to get confused as to how the whole thing works, after all, you can’t be there to put your hand up at a certain price or gauge if your competing bidders are going to knock you out with their next offer.

Harcourts has partnered with some of Australia’s fastest growing and comprehensive online auction platforms, in a bid (see what I did there?) to make the transition to online auctions simple and seamless.


What is the advantage for buying at an online auction?

Online auctions put buyers in the box seat. Buyers can complete their property search, monitor the market and buy their dream property online from anywhere in the world.

The online platforms enable buyers to watch, register, bid, buy and exchange on live property auctions on any device, from the comfort of their own home or even at the beach.

How does it work?

In order to participate in an auction, buyers must first register their interest with the Harcourts selling agent prior to auction day.

Once registered with Harcourts, buyers will then be able to both bid via phone or via the virtual auction platform.

There are two ways of conducting an online auction, with the first live-streaming. Registered bidders can view the auction from laptops, Smartphones and tablets.

The second is through a “genuine time online auction” where the auctioneer oversees the auction process and you have a start and end time. Once the highest bidder is successful, they conduct the exchange through the online platform.

Regardless of the platform, the experience is very similar to telephone bidding at a live, in-person auction. It’s like watching a live video of the auction and not complicated.

Should the property not sell at auction, Harcourts sales consultants and auctioneers proceed to FaceTime or Zoom meetings to further the conversation with buyers.

Harcourts, like many organisations across the country, is following the advice regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Australian Department of Health and the World Health Organisation. The health and safety of our teams and our clients is the utmost priority.

We believe that developing virtual auctions will not only ensure all offices across our 400 strong Australia-wide network can continue to service clients to the highest level, but do so while operating within current industry guidelines.

As an industry leader, Harcourts looks forward to being your guiding light in real estate throughout these uncertain times.

To find a property, search online at


Topics: Auctions, Residential, Selling, Online Auction