Characteristics of Real Estate Auctions

An Alternative to Brokerage

As consultant to clients who wish to explore all the available avenues for the disposition of real estate, I occasionally am asked what are the characteristics and benefits of the traditional brokerage vs. the marketing method in support of an auction.

Briefly, a transaction conducted in traditional brokerage is a negotiation that occurs over a period of time, with a seller and buyer bargaining and eventually coming to agreement on all terms, conditions, contingencies, prices, and schedule for settlement.  Auctions, on the other hand, are deliberate and competitive interactions among all willing buyers to offer a price for the seller to accept, without negotiation of all the other terms, conditions, contingencies, and settlement date. Those terms are pre-established by the seller and set forth in a property information package.

Three types of residential auctions: Absolute (no minimum or reserve); Public Minimum (published and made known to buyers), and Reserve (confidential minimum amount set by the seller).

Seller benefits: Quicker sale; maximum advertising exposure; maximize buyer participation; maximize dollars; no contingencies; property sold in as-is condition; buyer pays all documentary stamps and transfer taxes; commission free to seller in most auctions.

Buyer benefits: Auctions are fun; bidding process is open and fair; buyers buy at their prices; decision to bid is reinforced by the immediately preceding bid; buyers compete on a level playing field with other buyers because terms and conditions are the same for all.

If you think this alternative might be right for you, call me and I’ll help you make an informed decision.  For more information, contact me to talk about whether this option is right for you.

F. Hill Slowinski, JD, REALTOR® in DC, MD, and VA
W.C. & A.N. Miller Realtors, A Long & Foster Company
Exclusive Affiliate of Christie’s Great Estates,  President’s Club 2009
Consultant, Luxury Real Estate, Sloans & Kenyon Auctioneers and Appraisers
4701 Sangamore Road, Bethesda, Maryland  20816
Tel: 301-229-4000  Fax: 301-229-4015
Direct: 301-320-8430 · Cell: 301-452-1409 
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