First ever property bought and sold online
This early twentieth century square villa in Wanganui has the distinction of being the first property to be traded online. The seller only paid $20 to list the property and a success fee of $630 plus GST.
History was created last week when a buyer and a seller closed a property deal online. The transaction took place on the website operated by Jet Agent Limited, a new web-only real estate agent. The company’s founder, John Bradley, believes that the trade was the first time a property has been bought and sold using the Internet to negotiate the contract. “It is definitely a first for New Zealand,” said Mr Bradley’ “but we have been keeping an eye on global trends and believe that it is also the first in the world”.
Advertising property on the Internet is not new and many people have found their new home on any one of a number of websites that act as digital property catalogues. However, negotiating and closing the contract online is a new concept. “Jet Agent is a licensed real estate agent and that makes the difference”, said Mr Bradley. “People are encouraged to use the website to personally do as much of the selling and negotiating as they feel confident, but if anyone needs help or advice they can call the help desk.”
The property deal could be described as typically mainstream. The property at 37 Alexander Street in Wanganui is an old 1910’s square villa which is now used as a rental property. It was bought by an Auckland based investor off another investor and both wish to remain anonymous. The seller paid $20 to list the property and just $630 plus GST for the success fee.
“The fact that the first deal was such a low key transaction between two professionals is not surprising”, said Mr Bradley. “We had a couple of investors who wanted to trade in property with no fuss and the lowest cost. They didn’t need a regular agent and Jet Agent was perfect for their needs.”
The property was listed online by the seller and the buyer made the offer direct to the seller through the website. The contract was then negotiated between the parties online until agreement was reached using the website’s unique negotiating engine. The sale and purchase agreement was then printed off the website and signed by both parties in the traditional manner. The only thing missing was a live agent in the middle.
It is likely that this news will not be welcomed by agents. At a time when real estate agents are under pressure from a declining market and new legislation, the first property sold in this manner could be a sign of things to come. “We expect that trading in property online will become as common as online banking and trading in other goods,” said Mr Bradley. “With people who know what they are doing, the process of buying and selling is straight forward. All they require is a website that replicates everything an agent does, like a virtual real estate agent.”
The website is available at www.jetagent.co.nz and is open to anyone who is eligible to buy and sell property in New Zealand.
What is Jet Agent?
Jet Agent is a licensed real estate agent that operates a website and a help desk. Anyone who is eligible to buy or sell property in New Zealand is entitled to trade in property on the website. Sellers can list their properties for sale and buyers can make offers online. The offers can be negotiated back and forth between buyer and seller until agreement is reached. Then a standard sale and purchase agreement is printed and signed in the traditional manner.
How does it work?
A seller lists their property then buys advertising in the “agents only” media of their choice, such as The Property Press, Open2view and realestate.co.nz. They can also buy for-sale signs and open home equipment from the website. Sellers take their own photos, write their own advertising scripts and host their own open homes and viewings. Buyers see the property in the advertising and go to open homes in the traditional manner. They then can become members on the website and ask questions directly of the seller and make offers online. If buyers don’t have access to the Internet, the help desk answers any questions and co-ordinates the buyer’s requests.
How much does it cost?
It costs $20 to list a property then sellers pay for the advertising of their choice. When the property sells, the seller pays a success fee of 0.35% which is paid out of the deposit.
Who owns and operates Jet Agent?
Jet Agent is owned by John and Andrea Bradley, two experienced real estate agents from Paraparaumu. They also own and operate another more traditional real estate business. Jet Agent has been operating since Christmas and the help desk is based in Paraparaumu. The business had been in conception for about three years and design and development took around six months.