20 Oct 2017
A new portal has set up in opposition to estate agents to provide home-owners with a platform to raffle their properties.
WinAbode has been launched by chartered surveyor Richard Blaiberg and project manager Sam Park, with the first raffle being a three-bedroom home in east London valued at £700,000.
Entrants can buy a maximum of 150 raffle tickets for £2 and must answer a question correctly to be entered into a prize draw.
A cash prize will be offered if the value of the property is not met by ticket sales.
The platform says Stamp Duty will also be covered.
WinAbode makes estate agency fees look like a bargain as it takes 5% plus VAT. The founders admit this is high but claim they aim to make more on the property than vendors would get through an estate agent.
Each listing is checked by the platform and will include property descriptions, photographs and any leasehold information, but the eventual winner won’t be able to have a survey of the property before claiming the prize.
Park told EYE: “Our solicitors carry out searches for each property and review the management pack, the lease and insurance documents where applicable. If there are any major works planned we won’t offer the property as a prize.
“Because there could be hundreds of thousands of entrants for each prize, we feel that it could be overly intrusive to carry out surveys before the property is won. We do however fully inspect the property ourselves, much like a conventional estate agent would.
“In relation to the ground rent, service charge and council tax, we will be adding these to the main page soon. The energy performance certificate won’t be available online but will be sent to the winner and their solicitor, as per standard property transactions.”
There is no requirement for the platform to be part of a redress scheme but Park said because it is running prize competitions it must comply with the Advertising Standards Authority.
This is the latest in what looks like a growing trend for property raffles.
In one of the current attempts, a seller in Woolwich has told her local newspaper that she was tired of dealing with estate agents so is instead holding a raffle to sell her £285,000 two-bedroom property in Royal Arsenal at £2 a ticket.
The vendor, known only as Miss Page, has set up a snazzy website with floorplans and a quiz that entrants have to complete to be in the draw.
But while she says the property is worth £285,000, her expectations seem to be much higher.
The terms and conditions on the website shows the maximum number of entries are 500,000, so at £2 each that would value the home at £1m.
The website then goes on to say the competition can be extended by six months at their discretion, plus if insufficient funds are raised, the seller reserves the right to just provide a cash prize, from which they will take a 5% fee.
This begs the question as to whether these sellers are more concerned about selling their property for the right price or just making money.
Another couple in Northamptonshire, Kirstie and Matthew Searle, are more ambitious. They are trying to raffle their £300,000 home for £2 a ticket but will only sell if 500,000 are sold.
Sellers should beware though as the couple concerned have admitted the decision had caused a marital dispute, with Matthew preferring the traditional estate agent route. He told the Daily Mirror he stopped talking to his wife for a week when told she was raffling it.
They have at least said they will donate £10,000 of the proceeds to charity.
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