Normally, when a homeowner wants to rent out a property or when a renter is looking for a property, they will both go through a middleman – a property management company, broker, etc. This adds cost, often at both ends of the transaction, and often to the tune of 15%.
This hasn’t changed all that much with the advent of the Internet, with most online rental listings and websites being brokers themselves.
Now there’s BidOnNantucket, a new idea in online real estate rentals. Think of it as eBay for renters.
Homeowners list their property with photos and other information, just as you would any real estate listing. The property has a “Rent it Now” price which is similar to eBay’s “Buy It Now” button. If a prospective renter likes that rental price, they can choose to accept it and go through with the deal.
Or they can bid. This is where it gets interesting. A renter can enter a bid price for the rental. Others can raise the bids just as in any auction.
Neither the rental offer nor the bid is binding until both parties have signed appropriate legal paperwork and worked out payment agreements. Homeowners can reject bids that are too low once the auction is complete and re-list the property. Listings can last from a week to thirty days each.
The idea is very cool and if it catches on, expect to see more of them for regional or national use soon. Who knows? This could become the next trend in the home rental marketplace.