Belfast Telegraph

Online auctions here to stay even if 'bit of theatre' lost: agent

Inaugural success: Mark Carron
Inaugural success: Mark Carron

By Staff Reporter

A bargain £50,000 hotel in Co Donegal is among the lots in commercial property agency Osborne King's second online auction tomorrow.

Bidding will start at 9am on a range of property types contained in 33 lots - including the formerly Roneragh Hotel in Fahan, Co Donegal. It has a starting price of £50,000.

And the Belfast-based agency has also lined up another online auction for March.

Agency director Mark Carron said the lots on offer were mixed. "There are quite a few residential houses, there's development land and investments - really, it's a wide range of assets both commercial and residential."

There are shop units at 71 to 73 Castlereagh Road in east Belfast, with a starting price of £76,500. There's also a bungalow at Cedar Hill in Newtowanbbey, which has a starting price of £100,000, while a bungalow on Rossdowney Road in Londonderry has a starting price of £85,000.

Another lot was pre-sold before the auction, Mr Carron said. "If you get a willing buyer and a willing seller beforehand, then why wait? You never know with auctions, you take your chances. If buyer and seller are happy just to get it done and you're in contract, you've your deal done and that's what it's all about it."

He said the agency's online auction had a similar success rate to its old traditional "ballroom" auctions - usually in a hotel function room.

"Our inaugural auction had an 84% success rate - which would really be on a par with what I was doing in the ballroom. All in all, our online auctions seem to be going well.

"People are happy to use the online auction facility and are IT-savvy these days.

"Really, the only thing that's different is what takes place on a sale day - all the work you do beforehand is the same."

But there was one major difference. "Basically, I don't have to get up and stand in front of three or four hundred people for an online auction - that's the 21st century for you. Of course, you do lose that bit of theatre from the ballroom but you have just got to move with the times.

"Online auctions are here to stay."

Belfast Telegraph