First Property Online (Fprop) is hoping to revolutionise the business of buying and selling commercial property with the launch of its exclusive web-based software.
The system, available at www.fprop.com, will use a transparent bidding system that aims to eliminate gazumping and open up the process to the widest market possible.
Ben Habib, chief executive of Fprop, believes 30% of all commercial property will be sold this way in the future. The group is also planning a move into the residential property market.
It proposes to minimise the expense to borrowers involved in the property buying process by charging about 50% less than traditional agencies.
“All contractual information is disclosed before any bids are made – it means the buyer has to spend much less money on doing their homework,” added Habib.
By only allowing bids for a pre-defined period, Fprop hopes that frenetic bidding will be eliminated, allowing buyers to consider their position and not get dragged into a bidding war. Sellers are obliged to accept the highest bid offered or else lose a good faith deposit of £1,000, which is placed by all parties before any offers are made, and bidders are given three working days to raise their offer after a bid has been made.