As the UK’s leading property portal, Rightmove announced its intentions to expand into the Modern Method of Auction space in early 2021.

In this short article, we explore how it works, what it means for the property sales industry, controversies surrounding the decision and whether the move really makes a difference.

How Does Rightmove’s Modern Method Auction Work?

From the outset, it’s important to note that Rightmove is not running a property auction platform.

Buyers will not be able to competitively bid against each other as is typical with online and traditional “in the room” auctions, for instance.

In fact, Rightmove’s role as Britain’s leading service to promote property sales will essentially remain the same.

The key difference comes down to featuring “enhanced” Modern Method of Auction listings.

This essentially means that – in addition to photos, floorplans, Energy Performance Certificates, property highlights and descriptions (as is standard) – each listing features information on how the modern auction process works. There may also be real-time data on the latest online bids.

Here’s an example of a listing:

As with all of Rightmove’s listings, you’ll not find a direct link to the respective modern auctioneer’s website / platform.  It would be a case of either calling the agent or auctioneer marketing the property (via the number provided).  You will also not be able to see the modern auction fees.

Alternatively, buyers interested in a particular modern auction property can visit their website directly.  Most of the leading platforms have search functions and/or easy access to properties and buildings up for sale.

Sellers who are already listing properties with specific auction providers do not need to do anything.  The auctioneer will continue to feed properties to the platform.

What Does Rightmove’s Step into the Modern Auction Space Really Mean?

Rightmove’s objective behind the rollout is to bring modern method auctions into the mainstream.

Largely misunderstood conceptually, we often cite one of the key benefits of this type of auction is the ability for sellers to achieve speed without compromising on price.


Rightmove’s Agency Director Dave Anderson also says (paraphrased):

“We want to help give agents more choice to offer their clients. We hope that it will help educate buyers and sellers about the Modern Method of Auction. Rightmove also hopes this may open up more routes to property transactions for agents who do not use an auction provider or who do not have their own auction service.”

With the added security that’s only available under auction conditions, the chances of the sale falling through are much lower.

Furthermore – relative to traditional property auctions – the longer exchange and completion timelines expose properties to a wider pool of buyers.

Controversies over Rightmove’s Decision

Rightmove’s announcement attracted some criticism from certain parts of the industry.  Much was directed at the high buyers’ fees that some operators charge alongside extra Stamp Duty liabilities.

Indeed, many modern auctioneers choose to incentivise sellers by offering 0% fees and then requiring the buyer to pay a non-refundable fee.  As this rarely happens with most private treaty (estate agency) sales, the pushback has perhaps been unsurprising.

Here at Property Solvers Auctions, we’ve overcome this issue by creating more of an even playing field – whereby we split our sales fee between the buyer and the seller.

Does This Really Make a Difference?

We would argue that it doesn’t really make too much of a difference.  Indeed, as shown above, the look of Rightmove’s listings has not changed dramatically since the initiative’s launch.

Here at Property Solvers Auctions, we regularly market modern method properties but have not signed up as an official provider.

We usually find that it’s the property itself that attracts the interest, not the way it’s sold.  Once a buyer contacts us, we have a range of information that explains our processes clearly and transparently.

However, the ability for both property buyers and sellers to be more aware of this fast-emerging property sales channel should be commended.