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A new way of buying a house comes to Kingston

A home for sale on Davis Drive which will be sold over auction. Image provided by Jessica Hellard Realty.

A Kingston realtor is trying a new model to sell houses in the area. Jessica Hellard has teamed up with with On the Block Auctions to offer a home to interested buyers through an auction.

The property, located on Davis Drive, is listed on MLS and is available for viewings anytime, according to Jessica Hellard, broker at RE/MAX Finest Realty. All of the home’s information, including an independent, third party home inspection report, a 3D walk-through rendering of the entire home, and even the purchasing contract (without the final price) are available for viewing on the property’s listing page.  

“Kingston is an awesome and innovative community that I believe is up for seeing a different approach to buying and selling a home, and trying something new is one of my favourite parts of business,” Hellard said. 

This is the first auction of its kind in Kingston. The auction is set up to be fully transparent to the buyers in our community with the goal of both happy bidders and a happy seller when it’s sold on auction night. Hellard said she has worked with many frustrated buyers and Realtors over the past year. She knew of this model used by On the Block and thought it would be a great option.

On The Block Auctions, a Toronto based real estate brokerage and auction house, says that the biggest problem with the very active real estate market currently is a lack of transparency.

Hellard offered the experience of Al, a local father of two, who has been trying to buy a new home for months as further evidence that the market is eager for this new option.

“It is ridiculous,” he said. “We have had no idea what price to offer in these bidding wars, and we’ve already had one instance where the final selling price was less than we were willing to go – had we known.”

With a transparent auction, all bidders will know exactly what price to offer to be in the lead, and, while it will ensure the seller gets the best possible price, it also will ensure that every buyer is comfortable and confident with their decision, Jessica Hellard said in a press release.

There are several ‘how-to’ videos on the website that walk users through the bidding process, the company explained, noting that the experience is not dissimilar to other online auction platforms such as eBay. The one big difference from eBay is that nobody will be able to grab the property with a last second bid.

“We learned in our first auction that all the bidders wanted to wait until the end of the auction to bid, with hopes of winning the property because of the quickest click,” said Daniel Steinfeld, Chief Executive Officer of On The Block. “We’ve built the platform to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to purchase the home, so any bids in the final minutes of any auction automatically extends the clock to give other bidders the opportunity to increase their bids.” 

Hellard said registering to view all the auction details is easy and has no cost. Bidding is also free, however security measures are taken to ensure that no false bids are placed, including a pre-authorization on a credit card that only charges the user in the event of such a ‘delinquent bid.’ 

Viewings of the home can be booked either through a buyer’s Realtor, MLS or on the auction page at www.585davis.com. Pre-bidding is available until the auction opens at 5 p.m. on Friday, Mar. 26, 2021. Bidding closes at 8 p.m. on the same day, though may be extended if buyers continue to bid.

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