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What is Openn?

Openn Negotiation Limited (ASX: OPN) is an Australian property technology (‘Proptech’) company offering a proprietary cloud-based software platform to support real estate agents in selling property online with greater transparency.

The Openn platform facilitates a negotiation process, featuring streamlined digital contracting and automated communication tools, which enhances a property transaction. The solution provides buyers with real-time feedback through their device on how much competition exists and where their price stands in the negotiation, resulting in an optimal sales outcome

Openn keeps everyone informed about property negotiations in real time, allowing for confident decisions about buying or selling real estate.

How does Openn Negotiation work?

Openn Negotiation is a unique sales process that combines the best of auction and private treaty sales methods. This sales method ensures a buyer can’t miss out because they didn’t know what to pay.

In a nutshell, a buyer must start the qualification process by searching for the property they’re interested in and entering a starting price.

They will then be asked to complete terms for the owner’s consideration which can include level of deposit, settlement date and any other terms that can be flexible. Once the vendor agrees to your terms, the pending price becomes live on the property and the Buyer is allocated a unique paddle number and they are qualified.

Once qualified, Buyers can see the paddles representing other qualified buyers, the final bidding date and a bidding timeline. They can improve their price at any time or sit tight for the final stage. Alternatively, if they are the sole qualified buyer and the price submitted is acceptable, the seller can instruct the Agent to sell at any time.

An Openn Negotiation campaign is identified by the Openn Negotiation logo on the listing and you can read more about the difference between an Openn Offer and Openn Negotiation campaign here.

Openn Negotiation campaign

How does Openn Offers work?

Openn Offers is a private treaty/sale process. It gives agents a centralised offer management system and provides buyers with transparency of where their offer ranks and how many other buyers there are.

Buyers will submit a starting price, terms, and personal details for review by the agent and vendor. The starting price is then progressed to the next stage, and they can see how many other buyers are involved.

While the platform will display a date and time the Final Offer Stage will begin, the vendor can accept any offer, at any time. The offer accepted may not be the highest offer but have more favourable terms for the vendor.

An Openn Offers campaign is identified by the Openn Offers logo on the listing and you can read more about the difference between an Openn Offer and Openn Negotiation campaign here.

Openn offers campaign

Why should I sell my Vendors property through Openn?

Openn provides buyers with transparency of price, while creating healthy competition.

This means that as an agent, you can offer far more value to your clients because they know exactly what is happening throughout the entire process. It connects you with more prospective clients and restores the value both vendors and buyers see in the profession by making the process clearer and user friendly.

Openn is a more effective and simpler way for you to work because it gives you the flexibility to choose the best sales method for your seller, receive bids and offers to a centralised location, approve buyers and negotiate all from the palm of your hand.

Is this replacing real estate agents? 

Openn was created by agents, for agents and only licensed real estate agents can list with Openn.

How much does it cost? 

It costs $550 (incl GST) to upload a listing to the Openn Platform, which is refundable if the property does not sell.

How do I list a property? 

Before you receive full agent access Openn app, you are required to undergo Certification training. We have a range of options to help you get certified. The process takes less than 90 minutes and is then available whenever you need it. You can register for training here.

As a Certified Openn Agent, you’ll also receive 1-on-1 specialist coaching, marketing and promotional materials, access to our resource centre and entry to our private Facebook group of certified agents. 

What is the Final Offer/Bidding Stage?

The Final Offer or Bidding Stage brings the Openn process to an end. The platform will display a date and time for when this will begin. Once this starts, new buyers cannot be accepted and qualified buyers will participate and decide if they wish to improve their bid or offer further, under a countdown timer.

Each time someone improves their bid or offer, or the increment is adjusted by the Agent, the countdown timer resets. This is designed to provide plenty of time for each buyer to determine you’re their next improvement on price. The agent is also able to pause the timer. Usually this is so they can speak to the owner to set new increments, determine when the home meets the reserve or call buyers direct to encourage an additional bid.

In an Openn Negotiation, after the clock runs out; if the property has met reserve, it is sold to the highest bidder. If it has not met reserve, it is passed in and the Agent will continue negotiations.

What if it doesn’t reach reserve price? 

If the property doesn’t reach the reserve price, it will pass in and the Agent will negotiate with any interested parties, including the existing qualified buyers. 

Can we change the reserve price? 

In an Openn Negotiation, the reserve price can be changed at any time during the campaign. However, once the reserve price is reached, no changes can be made to it to ensure the legitimacy of the process. 

Can the property sell early?

Yes, in an Openn Negotiation, if a Sole Bidder enters a price that is acceptable to the seller, the property can be sold to them immediately.  

If there are other qualified bidders on the property, the Final Bidding Stage must be conducted to give other bidders a fair chance to purchase the property although it can be brought forward.

In an Openn Offers campaign, the property can be sold at any time to anyone, on the Vendors instructions.

How do I know the buyers are real?

In an Openn Negotiation, all buyers are required to complete and sign a fully binding contract as part of the qualification process, which is then signed by the seller. As a result of this process, Buyers can have confidence that each paddle on the bidding timetable can be linked to a fully legally binding contract.

The contract documentation and verification process all bidders and sellers sign before being allowed to bid is more rigorous than traditional selling methods and has been through an incredibly thorough legal review to ensure compliance with the Auction Act. Dummy bids are impossible with an Openn Negotiation.

In an Openn Offer campaign, each buyer accepts the terms of use before their offer is placed and the real estate agent undertakes a comprehensive identity check before progressing their offer and each buyer is again represented by a unique paddle number.

What if a buyer withdraws? 

As with any sales process, if the buyer does not wish to participate, they can pull out at any time. 

Are we obligated to take the highest bid? 

In an Openn Negotiation, if the highest bid is above your reserve price, the property will sell on the agreed terms to the highest bidder. However, in an Openn Offers campaign, the vendor is not required to accept the highest offer.

Can the sellers make a vendor bid? 

Under the terms and conditions of an Openn Negotiation, the seller is not allowed to instruct or make a vendor bid, or cause a bid to be made on their behalf.

In the case that they are a co-owner and want to purchase the property, they will go through the qualification process just like any other bidder and will be identified on their paddle number as a vendor.

Is Openn legal?

Absolutely yes. All sales methods facilitated through the Openn platform have undergone an incredibly thorough legal review to ensure compliance in all states.

Additionally, the contract documentation and verification process all bidders and sellers sign before being allowed to participate in an Openn Negotiation is more rigorous than traditional selling methods.