Tatura auction goes digital

By Jessica Ball

It was like any other auction day; the vendors were nervous, the auctioneer's voice was booming and the buyers were bidding.

But the crowd was not gathered outside Tatura's beautifully renovated Devonleigh House.

Instead, potential buyers were bidding from the comfort of their own homes.

With the Saturday, April 4, auction date set long before COVID-19 restrictions came into force, Kevin Hicks Real Estate quickly adapted to take the sale online.

Logged in to video communication platform Zoom, at the home's the kitchen table, agency principal and auctioneer Kevin Hicks said his first online auction was an interesting experience.

“We invited everyone to log-in 15 minutes before the auction and we had four live buyers,” Mr Hicks said.

“They could type their bid into the chat feature and I read them out.

“It was nothing different than what would have happened on-site, we just took it a little bit slower.”

With a favourable result, Mr Hicks said the ability to auction homes online could change the real estate industry forever.

“I think we might continue to provide an online service in the future,” he said.

“It would be effective for commercial and rural real estate.”

Vendors Megan and Bailey Argus said it was a nerve-wracking experience.

“We felt very nervous and uncertain of exactly was going to happen, but we had faith in our agent,” Mrs Argus said.

“We, as vendors, didn’t appear on Zoom, but we were able to watch the whole process.”

The home did not sell during the virtual auction and was passed in, which is not uncommon, but the young couple only had to wait a few extra hours before unveiling the `sold’ sticker.

“Once we had accepted we felt relief and were grateful to sell in such unprecedented times,” Mrs Argus said.

“We are very proud of what we have achieved. Two years of very hard work and little relaxation time has paid off.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better team. Kevin Hicks and his team have been amazing. They were so easy to work with and there at every call.”

Now the newlyweds are on to their next project, their "forever home".

“We've excited and eager to get started,” Mrs Argus said.

They will document their Roseneath Homestead renovation journey on Facebook and Instagram just as they did with Devonleigh House.