One of the best things about the Internet is the way it’s made buying and selling things so easy. Whether you want to make some money auctioning off your collection of toy trains or do all your holiday shopping in your pajamas, you can do it with a few clicks of a button.
Since its inception in 2009, online auction platform Hubzu has been bringing this convenience to the world of real estate. Prospective buyers, sellers, investors and others can utilize Hubzu’s digital technology to find—and close—lucrative deals on residential properties. Hubzu has more than 1.6 million registered users and has facilitated over 200,000 property sales to date.
Travis Britsch, Director of Operations at Hubzu, says customers come from all walks of life, but have one thing in common: they want to make a quick, easy purchase at a fair and competitive price. “Hubzu caters to investor-buyers who are purchasing properties to rent or flip, owner-occupant buyers looking for a great property to live in at a great price, and real estate agents representing buyers of all types.”
One-Stop Shopping for Buyers
For those looking to buy a home, either to live in, keep as an investment or to flip, Hubzu offers an auction platform that lets them search for properties, learn about them and make an offer—all from their mobile device or computer. Britsch says the company strives to make the platform engaging and easy to use, a “one-stop shop” that buyers can access from the comfort of their own home, or while on the go. “Hubzu focuses on continuous improvement and product innovations, with features like dynamic bidding and pricing, backup bidding and full bid history.”
Since Hubzu features an average of about 6,000 properties for sale at any given time, buyers have plenty of choices. Properties are located throughout the United States and range from small fixer-uppers to pristine, million-dollar mansions. The company specializes in marketing residential real estate, so bank-owned, short sale and foreclosure properties are all available. Whether folks are in the market for a studio, single-family home, condominium, townhouse, multifamily residence, mobile home or land to build on, they can find it through Hubzu.
Prospective buyers also have greater access to marketing photos through Hubzu; each property has an average of 20 to 25 professional photos (when permitted by the seller). Virtual tours, school district information and access to property-specific rental estimate data also give buyers a wealth of info when deciding whether to bid on a particular home.
A Fair and Transparent Bidding Process
Hubzu also aims to make the auction process fair and transparent. Users can track the status of their bids through automated alerts, allowing them to stay on top of bidder activity. A “15-minute rule” automatically extends any auction by 15 minutes in the event that a bid is placed within the last 15 minutes of the auction, in order to prevent last minute sniping. “This ensures that all bidders have equal footing in the auction,” explains Britsch.
An auto-bid feature lets users set a maximum bid amount and walk away from their computer or mobile device, so they don’t have to stay glued to their screen. Hubzu will automatically place bids on their behalf, keeping them engaged in the auction even when they are busy doing other things.
For buyers who aren’t in a hurry, a preview page of pre-auction listings lets users research properties and prepare their bidding strategies before the properties come on the market. A “watch” feature notifies interested users when the auction begins, so they can set their automatic bid amount and adjust their cap if they wish.
A Mobile App and More Innovations
With more than 130 employees in five offices around the world (Atlanta, Bangalore, Luxembourg, Manila and Seattle), Hubzu is continuing to grow and innovate. “Hubzu is always finding ways to make the home purchasing process quicker and easier,” says Britsch.
Hubzu already offers a fully responsive mobile website, but an app is on the way. With the app, users can search, learn about and place offers on homes while on the go. Britsch says other new updates include additional buying and closing process tutorials, and enhanced notifications—including SMS messaging—to keep bidders informed about real-time auction activity.
If you’d like to learn more about buying and selling properties through the online auction platform at Hubzu, this informational video explains the process in depth.