Galvanised and Game
TW Gaze Galvanised and Game under Government Guidelines
By Elizabeth Talbot
With extreme times upon us and best-laid plans disrupted for everyone, one local property agent has managed to fulfil the instructions of their vendors and satisfy the hopes of prospective purchasers by staging their latest property auction, following strict government guidelines under lockdown conditions.
Careful planning and co-ordination was put into place by Head of Residential Property and Director of TW Gaze, Mike Sarson. He mobilised sellers, buyers and most importantly, a small team of his staff to run the auction remotely from behind locked doors. In the end it took “one fabulous auctioneer” (Mike is quoted as saying, modestly), four dedicated back office staff calling and emailing all parties who had viewed or expressed interest, multiple phone lines and four written bids. The team members worked in their own space, complying with social distancing requirements and contacted all parties remotely. Special measures that were put in place included additional drafting of clauses to allow extended completion times if required, and lots of extra telephone work to try to speak to all potential buyers and explain both the situation and the bespoke bidding process.
The initiative meant that the auction was able to proceed as advertised on Thursday 26 March and it culminated in all but one lot being sold within the guides, at prices that were representative given the current situation.
The five sold lots of property and land realised a total of £847,000.
Some people declined to bid due to uncertainty but all the houses were empty and needing renovation, so the issue of not being able to book removal companies did not present a problem.
Mike Sarson emailed after the event: “Given we were so close to holding the auction by the time that the ‘lock down’ came, it seemed appropriate to allow interested parties to bid and secure the property they wanted , whilst being mindful of the absolute necessity of everyone keeping their distance. It was an unusual feeling to sit in a quiet office, linking with six colleagues who in turn were communicating remotely with bidders, compared to the usual drama of a packed auction room, but it worked. Our clients secured a sale and the buyers got the place they wanted.”
TW Gaze welcomes enquiries and approaches about all things property-related and will continue to advise throughout these difficult times. Please see twgaze.co.uk for departmental emails.