PETALING JAYA: Real estate and property agents have given their thumbs-up for the e-Lelong online property auction to be expanded this year.
Square Feet Real Estate agency team leader Ganesh Ramanathan said it would be a good move, ensuring a fair and transparent bidding process online.
“It will particularly prevent illegal activities by some agents who pay off some genuine bidders not to participate in the auction process,” he said.
Ganesh said going online would encourage bidders to be successful through a fair, merit-based system.
When e-Lelong had been expanded to other states, he said most consumers would be able to try their hand at bidding without the hassle of being physically present in court during the auction.
“However, I advise all bidders to keep their personal details strictly private and confidential, where possible.
“The bidder’s offer price must only be revealed on the day of the auction,” he said.
This, he said, was to prevent other parties from taking advantage of the situation by increasing the price and manipulating the bidding process.
IQI Global marketing team head Tony Yap lauded the system, saying it would prevent price manipulation and court pressure on the bidder.
He said more people would be encouraged to go for property auctions, especially since the Internet enabled any information to be within reach at the fingertips.
“Accessing the property auction play- ground will be easier with this online system.
“But investors will still need some time to get used to it,” Yap said.
However, he pointed out that properties being auctioned off weren’t necessarily “hidden gems”.
“If a property winds up at an auction, it means the owner was having financial trouble, so the house may have deferred maintenance problems.
“It might even be completely trashed. I advise people to do thorough checks before making any moves,” said Yap.
A property agent who wishes to be known only as Eng Sin said whether the online auction could be beneficial or not depended on the bidder.
“In a way, it is convenient since you do not have to be in court. But when you are physically in court, you will be able to monitor everything, including the number of bidders and who they are,” he said.
Eng Sin also pointed out that some bidders, especially senior citizens, might not be so adept with technology.
Some bids might also be affected if users had limited Internet access, he said.
“I know a lot of property owners from other states who do not even know how to write. They normally seek their son or daughter’s help.
“Or, maybe they will just appoint a lawyer to do everything for them,” he said.