Last updated on November 13th, 2023 at 07:14 am

Quick Facts

  • Auctioned houses typically sell within an average of 30 days, compared to an average of 90 days for traditionally listed properties.
  • Auctioned properties have an average acceptance rate of offers at around 95%, indicating higher buyer satisfaction with the purchase process.
  • Auctions are becoming increasingly popular with homeowners, with an estimated 10% of all home sales in the US now taking place through an auction.

When it comes to selling a property, homeowners often consider the traditional route of hiring a real estate agent and listing it on the market.

However, there is an alternative method that many homeowners are not aware of which can potentially unlock greater value for their property: property auctions.

Pros of Auctioning a Home:

Exposure to Serious Buyers: One of the undeniable benefits of auctioning a house is the ability to attract serious buyers.

Auctions create a sense of urgency and competition, drawing the attention of potential buyers who are actively looking to make a purchase.

This can result in a bidding war, driving up the price and maximizing the value of your property.

Quick Sale: If you’re looking for a speedy transaction, property auctions can deliver.

Unlike the traditional selling process, where negotiations and contingencies may cause delays, auctions have a definitive timeline.

Once the auction is held, the sale is typically finalized shortly after, providing a speedy resolution for both parties involved.

Price Discovery: In a competitive market, determining the right asking price for your property can be challenging.

Property auctions eliminate this guesswork by allowing the market to determine the true value of your home.

Interested parties bid against each other, and the final price is determined by the highest bidder.

This process ensures that you achieve the best price possible for your property.

Problem Properties: Auctions can be particularly advantageous for homeowners dealing with problem properties or those that may require significant repairs or renovations.

Traditional buyers may shy away from these challenging properties, but auctions attract investors and buyers who are willing to take on such projects.

This can expedite the sale of your property, saving you time and money in the long run.

Certainty of Sale: Selling a home through traditional means comes with uncertainties.

Potential buyers may back out due to financing issues or changing circumstances. In contrast, property auctions provide a sense of certainty as the winning bidder is obligated to complete the purchase.

This eliminates the risk of a sale falling through and offers peace of mind to the seller.

Cons of Auctioning a House:

Lower Sale Price: While auctions can often result in higher sale prices, there is always the risk of not attracting enough bidders or failing to meet the reserve price.

In such cases, the property may sell for a lowerprice than expected.

It is important to carefully consider the market demand and current conditions before deciding to auction your house.

Fees and Costs: Property auctions typically involve various fees and costs that the seller is responsible for.

These can include auctioneer fees, marketing expenses, and legal fees.

It is essential to factor in these additional expenses and weigh them against the potential benefits of a quick sale and higher price.

Limited Control: Auctioning a house means relinquishing some control over the selling process.

The timeline, terms, and conditions are determined by the auctioneer and the buyers.

This lack of control may not be suitable for sellers who prefer to have a more hands-on approach and oversee negotiations.

Stressful Process: The auction process can be stressful for some homeowners.

The competitive nature of bidding and the uncertainty of the outcome can create anxiety and pressure.

It is important to consider your comfort level with this type of selling method and whether you are prepared to handle the potential stress associated with it.

Unsuitable for Certain Properties: Not all properties are suitable for auctioning.

Unique or niche properties, as well as those located in less desirable locations, may struggle to attract enough interest from buyers.

It is crucial to assess the market demand for your specific property before considering an auction as a selling option.

How does a house auction work

 Property auctions can present a unique opportunity to maximize the potential of your property by attracting a wider range of potential buyers and creating a competitive bidding environment.

Choosing an auction company:

The first step in the house auction process is to select a reputable and experienced auction company to handle the sale.

It’s important to research and choose an auction company that specializes in real estate auctions and has a proven track record of successful sales.

Setting a reserve price:

Before the auction begins, you will work with the auction company to set a reserve price. This is the minimum price at which you are willing to sell your house.

It acts as a safety net, ensuring that your property will not be sold below a certain threshold.

The reserve price is not disclosed to potential buyers during the auction.

Promoting your property:

The auction company will then create a comprehensive marketing strategy to promote your property and attract potential buyers.

This can include online listings, targeted advertising, direct mail campaigns, and other promotional efforts.

The goal is to generate interest and create a sense of urgency among prospective buyers.

Auction day:

On the day of the auction, interested parties will gather either in person or virtually to place their bids.

The auctioneer will conduct the proceedings, starting with an opening statement about the property and any important details.

Bidding will then begin, and potential buyers can participate by placing bids in real-time.

Bidding process:

During the auction, interested individuals will compete by offering higher bids in an effort to secure the property.

The auctioneer will clearly announce each bid and give participants the opportunity to counter with a higher bid.

This process continues until there is no further bidding activity, which signifies the end of the auction.

Meeting the reserve price:

If the highest bid meets or exceeds the reserve price set for your property, the auctioneer will announce the property as “sold.”

At this point, the winning bidder will be required to pay a deposit, usually a percentage of the final sale price.

It is important to note that if the highest bid does not meet the reserve price, the property will not be sold, and you can choose to relist it for auction or explore other selling options.

Benefits of selling at auction

Selling a house at auction can offer numerous advantages over traditional methods.

Here are some key benefits that make property auctions a viable option for homeowners looking to maximize their profits and expedite the selling process.

Competitive Bidding War

One of the biggest advantages of selling a house at auction is the potential for a competitive bidding war.

When multiple potential buyers have an opportunity to bid on the property, it can drive up the price beyond the initial asking price.

This competitive nature of auctions creates a sense of urgency among interested parties and often leads to a higher sale price.

Exposure to Serious Buyers:

Auctions attract serious and motivated buyers who are actively looking to purchase a property.

These buyers come prepared and fully committed, eliminating the risk of dealing with non-serious buyers or time-wasters.

By targeting this concentrated pool of prospective buyers, sellers can increase their chances of securing a successful sale.

Market Value Discovery:

With the competitive bidding process, auctions provide an opportunity to discover the true market value of a property.

Through the bidding activity, the market determines the highest price that buyers are willing to pay.

This eliminates the guesswork often associated with setting an asking price in traditional sales methods.

Auctions allow the market to dictate the value of the property, resulting in a fair market price.

Does auctioning  get a higher price

When it comes to selling a house, homeowners often wonder if auctioning their property can fetch a higher price compared to a traditional sale.

 The Competitive Nature of Auctions:

Real estate auctions thrive on competition, creating an environment where potential buyers face off against each other to secure the property.

This competitive bidding war can drive up the price significantly, as interested parties are motivated to outbid one another to secure their desired property.

As a result, auctioning a house can often lead to a higher selling price than a traditional private sale.

Attracting Serious Buyers:

By opting for an auction, homeowners attract serious buyers who are actively looking for properties and are ready to make a purchase.

These prospective buyers come prepared and are more likely to have their financing in place, making them more capable of offering competitive bids.

The presence of genuine, motivated buyers can push the selling price higher.

Setting a Reserve Price and No Asking Price:

At an auction, sellers have the advantage of setting a reserve price, which acts as a minimum threshold that must be met for the property to be sold.

The reserve price safeguards the seller’s interests and ensures that the property is not sold below a certain value.

Additionally, not specifying an asking price eliminates any limitations, allowing bidding to start at a level that could potentially exceed the seller’s expectations.

Expanding the Pool of Potential Buyers:

Real estate auctions often attract a diverse array of buyers, including individual buyers, investors, and even trade-in companies.

This diversified pool of potential buyers with varying objectives can contribute to driving up the selling price.

Additionally, commercial properties or properties with unique features and potential can find a niche buyer through auctions who recognizes their true value, resulting in a higher sale price.

The Momentum of Auction Sales:

Auctions have a predefined timeframe and create a sense of urgency among buyers.

As the auction nears its end, the competitive atmosphere intensifies, and buyers may be more inclined to increase their bids, pushing the price higher.

The final minutes of the auction can often witness the highest bid, leading to a higher sale price for the property.

Should you sell your property at auction or in a private sale

The decision between selling your property at auction or in a private sale depends on various factors such as market conditions, property type, and personal preferences.

Auctions can generate competition and urgency, potentially leading to higher sale prices.

Private sales offer more control over negotiations and flexibility. 

Consider these factors to determine the best approach for your property.

Are there any risks in auctioning

While property auctions can offer a range of benefits, such as the potential for a higher selling price and a faster transaction, there are still some risks involved that sellers should be aware of. 

Uncertainty of final sale price:

Unlike traditional sales where you can set an asking price, property auctions rely on bidding among potential buyers.

There is a level of unpredictability as the final sale price is determined by the highest bidder.

This can result in the property selling for less than expected, especially if there is limited interest or competition among bidders.

Unsold property:

In some cases, the property may not attract any bids or fail to meet the reserve price set by the seller.

This means that the property remains unsold at the end of the auction.

While this outcome is relatively rare, it’s still a possibility that sellers should consider.

Limited exposure to a specific buyer pool:

Property auctions tend to attract investors or buyers who are actively seeking a bargain or quick investment opportunity.

This means that the pool of potential buyers may not include those who are specifically looking for a traditional residential property.

This limited exposure to a specific buyer pool may impact the level of interest and competition, potentially affecting the final sale price.

Legal and contractual obligations:

Selling a property through an auction involves legal and contractual obligations that sellers need to adhere to.

It’s important to consult with a real estate agent or legal professional to ensure all necessary documentation is in order, including a thorough understanding of auction terms, conditions, and any potential risks or responsibilities associated with the process.

It’s essential to approach property auctions with a well-informed mindset.

How long does it take to sell a home

Selling a house at auction can be an efficient and time-saving alternative to traditional methods.

The timeline for a successful auction sale can vary depending on various factors. 

Pre-Auction Preparation:

Before the auction, there are essential tasks to complete. These include assessing the property’s value and setting a reserve price, which is the minimum price the seller is willing to accept.

Marketing and Promotion:

To attract prospective buyers and create a competitive bidding environment, thorough marketing and promotion are necessary.

The auction company will employ various strategies, such as online listings, print advertisements, social media campaigns, and targeted outreach to potential buyers, real estate agents, and investors.

Auction Event:

On the auction day, interested parties gather to bid on the property.

The auctioneer leads the event, outlining the terms and conditions, and initiating the bidding process.

Qualified bidders compete, raising their bids until there is a winning bidder.

The auctioneer ensures transparency and manages the pace of the auction.

Post-Auction Procedures:

Once the auction concludes and a winning bidder emerges, the sale is subject to the contract’s terms.

The buyer typically pays a deposit immediately or within a specified timeframe.

They will then proceed with due diligence, including property inspections, considering legal issues, and completing necessary paperwork.

If the buyer successfully completes the due diligence process and fulfills all contractual obligations, the sale moves towards settlement.

This involves transferring ownership of the property, finalizing financial transactions, and ensuring all legal requirements are met.

The timeframe for settlement usually ranges from a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on the specific circumstances.


Who pays the auctioneer’s fee

The auctioneer’s fee is typically paid by the seller of the house.

Auctioneers typically charge a commission of 5-7% of the final sale price, plus any additional fees.

This fee is usually a percentage of the final sale price and is agreed upon prior to the auction.

It’s important to discuss this with the auctioneer and have a clear understanding of all costs involved before proceeding with the auction process.

How to set a reserve price 

  • Research the market value of similar properties in your area.
  • Take into account factors like location, condition, and amenities. Seek advice from a real estate agent or auctioneer to determine an appropriate reserve price that is realistic and flexible enough to attract potential buyers and generate interest.

How to find qualified bidders 

To attract qualified bidders for your house auction, advertise in local newspapers and real estate websites.

Expand your reach by using social media platforms.

Collaborate with local real estate agents who might have interested buyers.

Consider hiring an experienced auctioneer with connections to potential bidders.

What are the interested buyers in an auction

Interested buyers in an auction can include individuals, collectors, dealers, and businesses and even wholesalers.

They are often seeking unique or rare items that are not readily available in the market.

Some buyers may be purchasing for personal use, while others are looking for investment opportunities.

Auctions attract dedicated buyers who are willing to compete and bid higher prices for desired items.

What happens if the property does not sell 

If the house does not sell at auction, you have a few options.

You can lower the reserve price and try again at a later date.

Alternatively, you can consider traditional methods of selling, such as listing with a real estate agent or exploring other avenues like online property portals.

Final Thoughts

Choosing to auction your house can offer numerous benefits over traditional selling methods.

Auctions attract more buyers, create a competitive environment that can drive up the value of your house, and help sell real estate quickly.

With an auction, you have the advantage of knowing your exact sale date and setting a minimum pricing that ensures you get the price you want.

However, it’s important to consider all options before making a decision. If you’re unsure whether to sell your property at auction or in a private sale, weigh the pros and cons of each approach.

Ultimately, working with a real estate agent or selling “for sale by owner” may also have its advantages.